Lilly Singh believes that comfort food can make a clean break from guilty ingredients

Lilly Singh and Lightlife, photo provided by Lightlife
Lilly Singh and Lightlife, photo provided by Lightlife /

While comfort food calls, Lilly Singh believes it is time to make a clean break from old school recipes.

For Lilly Singh, some of her favorite comfort food recipes are ready for a makeover. As a vegetarian, she is always looking for delicious, easy ingredient swaps for those classic recipes. Luckily, Lightlife is the tasty plant-based food ingredient swap that brings all the flavor and none of the guilt. From the novice cook to the more advanced chef, the simplest ideas can be the perfect cooking solution.

Many people know Lilly Singh from her late night show which stemmed from her uber popular YouTube channel. The entertainer has had no qualms about setting the record straight and giving people a glimpse into her world. From her quick wit to her insightful commentary, the laughter often highlights real issues.

During a conversation with Singh, as part of her partnership with Lightlife, she revealed that she used to think that cooking vegetarian meals were hard. As a 12 year vegetarian, she thought that her options were limited, required a lot of prep and sometimes didn’t taste the best. When that food generated in a lab has unpronounceable words, that food may not be bursting with flavor.

Like many people over the past year, Singh has learned to appreciate cooking and good food. For Singh, she enjoys some comfort food recipes, but she wants to feel good after eating them. Specifically, it is important that when she looks at the ingredients in Lightlife she understands them. It isn’t a long list of poly-syllabic words and other statements. According to her, better ingredients just make you feel better.

Although she was scared that the Indian community might frown on the statement, she admitted that she isn’t the best at slicing and combining ingredients in a recipe. Singh found that Lightlife products taste good on their own. They don’t have the hidden under other layers of flavor. Even for her level one of cooking, the Lightlife sets her on the path for cooking success.

Even more important for Singh is that she wants convenience in the kitchen. Long gone are the days where she can spend hours creating a dish and just hope that the final result is tasty. Now, she has an ingredient that takes the guess work out of the situation.

Since Singh is a creator, the kitchen can be another outlet for her. Sure, her videos bring the relatable humor, but her creativity isn’t limited to a single box. When given the right ingredients, everything can be an expression of creativity.

Although outside pressures can be overwhelming, many people, including Singh, turn to comfort food. The downside to comfort food is that it can sometimes be a less healthy food option. Still, those food memories make that single bite feel like a warm hug.

For Singh, the simple swap of using Lightlife in those classic comfort food recipes push the guilty feelings off the plate and puts those tasty moments front and center. It can be as simple as using a plant-based chicken in a curry dish.

While many home cooks are looking to incorporate more plant-based food options in their weekly menus, Singh had a few recipe recommendations. For the novice cook, she suggested just using some Lightlife grounds in a simple pasta dish. With a little sauce, herbs and some crusty bread, this meal can go from stove to table quickly.

For those home cooks looking to make an elevated comfort food dish, this plant-based food version of a Shepherd’s Pie is a must try. During cooler weather, a Shepherd’s Pie is quite satisfying. From the creamy mashed potatoes to all the vegetables, it is the ultimate winter comfort food meal.

Here’s how to make Lilly Singh’s Favorite Plant-Based Shepherd’s Pie.


Meat Filling:

  •  2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ¾ cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup carrots, diced small
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 12 oz. package Lightlife Plant-Based Ground
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon plant-based Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour (cup for cup blend)
  • 1.5 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup peas, frozen
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth

Potato Topping:

  •  4 medium sized Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 8 Tablespoons plant-based butter
  • 1 ½ cups coconut cream
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  • Optional Pie Toppings:
  • Vegan cheese shreds
  • Gluten Free Italian breadcrumbs


The Meat Filling:

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots. Cook for about 8 minutes stirring occasionally.

2. Add the garlic and the Lightlife Plant-Based Ground to the pan. Break up the ground with a spoon, continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add in the salt, pepper, thyme and Worcestershire. Cook for 1 minute.

4. Add flour and tomato paste and stir until fully incorporated.

5. Add frozen peas and vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a simmer and simmer for ~5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Turn off heat, cover and let sit while you make your potatoes. Preheat oven to 400.

The Potato Topping:

7. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water and a pinch of salt.

8. Bring water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook potatoes until they are fork tender. 10-15 minutes.

9. Add coconut cream, plant-based butter, vegetable broth, salt, pepper and garlic powder to potatoes and mash with fork or blend with immersion blender.

The Pie:

10. Pour the meat filling into a 7×11 baking dish and spread into an even layer. Then, spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the filling and carefully spread into an even layer.

11. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Then, turn broiler on low and cook for an additional 4 minutes or until golden brown.

12. If adding breadcrumbs and plant-based cheese, add before turning on the broiler and remove from oven when cheese is melted, and breadcrumbs are toasted.

The biggest takeaway from speaking with Lilly Singh is that any cook can make a recipe taste better when good ingredients are used. And, laughter in the kitchen will always make any cooking experience more enjoyable.

Lilly Singh is host of Late Night with Lilly Singh on NBC. She has a YouTube channel and has other projects slated for 2021.

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What is your secret ingredient swap that makes a comfort food recipe taste better?