News, entertainment and sports from Langara College journalism students

Fall comfort food made healthy


Reported by: Simran Gill and Linda Nguyen

Vegan pumpkin pie is a healthy alternative to other fall comfort food that tend to be full of calories. Photo: Simran Gill.

Fall has arrived and so have the seasonal pumpkin spice lattes and the cravings to indulge in high calorie foods.

Autumn is filled with holidays where people tend to overindulge in casseroles and lasagnas at dinner and begin to notice their pants fit a little snugger than normal.

Cooking meals at home a healthier alternative

It is a challenge for people to manage their diets during the cold and brisk fall evenings but Helena Kopelow, the executive chef and owner of Grayson’s Catering, Spices and Turkeys to go, expresses the importance to learn how to cook.

“Take a cooking class to learn how to cook for yourself, this way you can add what you like and learn about where your calories are coming from,” said Kopelow.

Kopelow, who is also a cooking instructor at Langara, advises students to add veggies into their meals and to avoid processed foods.

“Cut back on three major calorie killers, alcohol, candy, and cheese,” said Kopelow. “Watch out for mindless snacking too, are you really hungry or are you bored?”

Enjoy desserts in moderation

Desserts are often irresistible because it is enjoyable to savour something sweet after a meal, but Kopelow said it’s important to eat it in moderation.

“I would rather have a small piece of what I really like and enjoy it. Make sure that you really want what you are eating and not just eating it because it is there,” said Kopelow. “Have fruit with a small amount of cheese for dessert.”

South Van restaurant offers residents fall comfort food

Roots Café , located on 49th and Main Street, has healthy food options like vegan and gluten free quinoa bowls along with comforting food.

Nicolas Alexandre, a day cook at Roots Café, said that Roots is a great place to come if you want to enjoy food at its finest because it is known for its famous Indian butter chicken poutine.

Roots Cafe’s Indian butter chicken poutine. Photo: Linda Nguyen.

“That form of Indian food is very good and who doesn’t like a good fry?” said Alexandre. “I think it just calls to everyone’s taste.”

Sarah Bailey, Masters in statistics student at SFU, moved back from living in the United States for six years and said that she loves having low calorie comfort food at this time of the year.

“I love turkey soup, it warms me up and reminds me of Thanksgiving,” said Bailey.


Pumpkin pie is a fall classic but it can end up being very heavy in calories, watch the video below and follow the simple steps to create a vegan pumpkin pie full of protein and low in calories. 

Vegan pumpkin pie recipe


Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 171 Fat: 7.8g Saturated fat: 2.1g Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 10.9g Sodium: 188mg Fiber: 3.5g Protein: 5 grams


• 2 cups of dates

• 1 cup of almonds 

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Dates and almonds food processed to make a crust. Photos by Simran Gill.



• 2 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (~1 1/2 15-ounce cans)

• 1/4 cup maple syrup

• 1/4 cup brown sugar

• 1/3 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

• 1 Tbsp olive oil, or melted coconut oil

• 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder

• 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or sub mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves)

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

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Blend ingredients in a mixer until well incorporated. Photos by Simran Gill.


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 Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for one hour or until golden brown, and then refrigerate until chilled. Photos by Simran Gill.

Our video version of our Pumpkin Pie recipe

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