Ahh, cold weather!

There’s something about it that just makes us want to stay indoors and cook up a storm. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Need some inspiration for some delicious, filling comfort food? I’ve compiled my favourite top 10 vegan comfort foods for this winter:

Be warned – some of these are NOT healthy at all, but they do taste pretty good. Choose what suits!

Spicy ‘Chicken’ Kebabs oumph spiced vegan kebab meat

These were possibly my favourite thing to eat through the Autumn. So easy to throw together quickly, and no recipe required! All you need is vegan kebab meat + pitta bread + sauce of choice + salad. Simple!

My favourite combination is the Oumph! Spiced Kebab Meat (pictured), in a wholemeal pitta with lettuce, onion, mayo and sriracha sauce. You can find Oumph! in the vegetarian freezer section at Tesco.

Looking for a healthier alternative? Try making your own walnut meat, and pop it in a wrap with salad. It’s so good!

Vegan Pizza

Who doesn’t love Pizza? It’s indulgent, cheesy and created in less than 20 minutes! Vegans don’t have to miss out on the melted goodness.

vegan pizza

A 50/50 pizza – meat feast VS healthy veggies!

For a base, I tend to buy from the ‘Free From’ section of the supermarket, or use a vegan naan/flatbread. Spread a layer of tomato puree on top, sprinkle grated vegan mozzarella (Tesco and Asda both sell it), and add the toppings of your choice. Some great options are: vegan bacon, sliced sausage, kebab strips, falafel, mushroom, onion, sweetcorn, spinach, sun-dried tomato, artichoke, and pineapple.

You can also buy ready-made vegan pizzas from the store! My current favourite is the Oumph! Epic Italian Pizza. It’s topped with soya chunks, semi-dried tomatoes and rocket. Do be aware that some shop-bought pizzas don’t have cheese on (Goodfella’s, we’re looking at you), so if that’s a deal breaker for you, check the packaging first! Tesco sells a plain margarita in the refrigerated section along with their Wicked Kitchen range, as well as the Pizza Express Giardiniera in the freezer.

What’s your favourite topping? I love chilli tofu and mushrooms, but I am also partial to a pizza with all of the veggies!

 

Ham and Cheese Toastie 

vegan cheese and ham toastie sandwich

SO. CRAZILY. SIMPLE. We all have those days where we’re swamped with work, the kids are home from school sick, or college work is piling up. This is the perfect go-to lunch for warmth and comfort. Tasty toastie contents could include: veggie meat, cheese, tomato, mushroom, onion, olives, or rocket.

A little birdy told me that if you grill or fry the Quorn smoky bacon ham slices beforehand, it makes for an EPIC toastie filling. Give it a go!

Just remember to serve it up with a little side salad for a nutrient boost…

Roast Dinner

As a child, I remember us having a big dinner with all the trimmings every

Clive's Nut Roast vegan roast dinner

Sunday, like a ritual. Plates were piled up, and lashings of gravy poured over. I still love them now!

There are a few great centrepieces for a family roast dinner. The obvious one is a nut roast. You can find a nut or lentil roast in most supermarkets now, but for something special try Holland and Barrett. I love the Artisan Grains range they sell, and my ultimate favourite is the Clive’s Nut Roast. If you’re feeling something a little more ‘meaty’, try out the Linda McCartney beef or Tofurkey brand. And if you love being in the kitchen, try out this delicious stuffed seitan recipe.

To accompany, I like mashed potato (made with unsweetened soya milk and cream cheese), roasted sweet potatoes, sprouts baked with pecans, and steamed carrots. You can even have Yorkshire puddings!

Full Vegan Breakfast

A big breakfast is perfect for hangovers, lazy weekends and family brunches. What do you like on yours? I usually pick 5-6 items from the following:

What would you mix and match?

Mac ‘n’ Cheese

vegan macaroni cheese mac and cheeseYou can’t compile a list of comfort foods without including pasta, surely? In recent times, the variations of pasta available in stores have really grown. You can buy buckwheat, red lentil, brown rice pasta – all under one roof! That means if you’re also gluten-free, you don’t need to be restricted in choice. To go with the pasta, I’ve been using this 5 ingredient cheese sauce from Oh She Glows for years now. It’s easy to whip up and pour over, in under 10 minutes. Peas and onions taste great in this dish for a little added nutrition. For a ‘carbonara’ feel, slice up some vegan ham too. Feel free to top with vegan cheese for pure indulgence!

 

Raw Cheesecake

Raw vegan purple cheesecake with strawberries

It might be a cold dish, but there’s just something about sitting by the fire, looking out at the wind and rain, with a big slab of cheesecake. It feels very indulgent and comforting. Or is it just me?

Perhaps I love it so much because, for the first few years of being vegan, you couldn’t buy vegan cheesecake in the stores, let alone the raw kind! First I stumbled across regular vegan cheesecake recipes, then amazing raw cheesecakes too. With trying to eat healthily, eating raw cheesecake feels like an acceptable naughty treat, as it doesn’t contain refined sugar and is usually based around cashews.

If you do want cheesecake, but don’t want to make it yourself, head down to ASDA. They sell vegan lemon cheesecake in the freezer section (not raw)! Make sure you remember to defrost it first.

Overnight Oats

Vegan overnight oats with berries and banana

Breakfast on the go? No time for morning prep? If that sounds like you, overnight oats are the perfect meal to replace porridge. You do all the prep the night before, can carry it around, and eat at your desk. Just don’t forget your spoon!

Simply add oats and milk (I love cashew or almond) to a mason jar to soak overnight, and add your desired toppings. Some great options are: banana, berries, cinnamon, coconut sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, coconut flakes, almond butter, or cashews. They will keep you full until lunch.

If you’d like to follow a recipe, check out these vegan overnight oats – only a few minutes prep required!

Butternut Squash Soup

vegan butternut squash soup comfort food in blue bowl

Admit it, we all descend on the soup recipes when Autumn hits. Tomato, lentil, vegetable, curried sweet potato… This craze carries on until the weather warms up, and why not? Soup is so easy to make, you can cook a batch and freeze, plus it’s a great way of getting your 5-a-day.

What’s your favourite soup to make?

My family loves butternut squash. It has a beautiful vibrant colour, but is kind enough on the palette to suit children. If you like heat, try adding a little chilli or curry powder to the Learner Vegan recipe!

Here it is:

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Butternut Squash Soup

You can also add a little chilli for a kick! 🌶️🌶️
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 small white potato
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 500 ml thin vegetable stock or bouillon
  • 1 tsp garlic puree
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp single soya cream (optional)
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)

Instructions

  • Peel and chop your 5 types of vegetable. Boil for 25 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse your vegetables. Add to a blender with the stock and blend until smooth.
  • Transfer back to your saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes, adding the garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Dish up, drizzling your cream and nutritional yeast over.

Let me know if you give it a try!

Vegan Chilli and Rice 

chilli vegan ingredients pepper garlic onion

Last, but certainly not least. 3 bean chilli graces the menu of every amateur restaurant, and you can usually make a better version yourself at home. Chilli is a protein-filled meal, that contrary to its name can be quite mild (great for the kiddies) or pack a real punch. It’s a great way of using up tins of beans lurking in the back of the cupboard, too!

I love to use this recipe from Wallflower Kitchen as a starting point, but I’ll often throw extras in too! These could be different kinds of beans, varieties of mushroom, herbs, spices, shallots and aubergine. The more variety you can get into your diet, the better.

Chilli is lovely with brown rice (which is also gluten-free so less bloating) but sometimes I’ll have it with pasta or even quinoa. It’s so versatile!

 

Looking for something a little healthier? I’ll be doing a rundown of our top healthy vegan meals in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

And if you’re outraged because I missed your favourite meal, let me know what it is below!

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  • Before supermarket shopping...⁠
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⭐️ Do A Little Light Reading! ⭐️⁠
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Food shopping as a vegan can be really easy and no fuss, but to get to that happy place you need to remember something: knowledge equals power. ⁠
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Being familiar with key non-vegan ingredients that pop up frequently, can speed up your shop immensely. Lactose can sneak into creamy products, egg white pops up in some Quorn foods, for example. ⁠
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You also need to be familiar with what you CAN eat. Many supermarket chains have a special range of vegan food now so you can completely skip the label-checking for those – think Tesco with Wicked Kitchen. Check their websites, do some research and you’ll be ready to quickly spot that packaging in the aisles and snap up those goodies. ⁠
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Luckily, I have an amazing mum who is! She makes and sends me recipes for cakes and bakes, that are easy enough even for me to have a go at.⁠
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A basic vanilla sponge cake pleases everyone. It's the perfect starting point for a birthday cake, or with added icing, whipped cream or sprinkles.⁠
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Ingredients:⁠
210 g plain flour⁠
250 ml soy milk⁠
200 g sugar (white or coconut)⁠
80 ml oil (olive or vegetable)⁠
0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda⁠
0.5 tsp table salt⁠
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar⁠
3 tsp vanilla extract⁠
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Instructions:⁠
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