Vegan Comfort Food To Warm You Up This Winter

Bella Breakdown

Nothing warms you up in the winter like a big plate of your favorite comfort food. Mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, mashed potatoes, yum. If your vegan or eat a mainly plant-based diet, comfort food can seem inaccessible for your lifestyle. Luckily, we’ve got some comforting, vegan recipes that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So whether you’re a long-time vegan or just trying to eat a little healthier this winter, these recipes are for you.

Vegan French Toast

1 heaping Tbsp chia seeds (whole or ground into a fine meal so they’re undetectable)
1/2 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (or sub honey if not vegan)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 slices bread (it’s important to use a sturdy, rustic bread or it can turn out soggy/soft)

Mix all ingredients except the bread in a large, shallow bowl. Place in the fridge to activate for 10-20 minutes. Preheat griddle to medium heat (~350 degrees F / 176 C) and grease with 1 Tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil.

Dip each slice of bread in the batter for about 20 seconds on each side. If your bread is dry, leave it in a little longer. If you’re using sandwich bread, it should only need 25-30 seconds total to soak.
Place on griddle and cook until golden brown on the underside. Carefully flip and cook until the other side is golden brown as well – 3-4 minutes.

Top with desired toppings: coconut whipped cream, strawberries, and maple syrup.

Vegan Avocado and “Bacon” Melt

1 avocado
juice of 1 lime
dash salt
dash pepper
4 slices sandwich bread
1/4 cup coconut bacon
4-6 jarred roasted red pepper slices
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
about 2 tsp. olive oil

Mash avocado lightly with a fork. Add lime juice, salt and pepper and mash a bit more to blend.
Divide avocado mixture in two and spread over two slices of sandwich bread.

Top avocado mixture with coconut bacon, red pepper slices and cilantro. Top each sandwich with one of your remaining bread slices to close.

Coat a large skillet with olive oil and place over medium heat.
Place sandwiches in skillet and cook until browned on each side, about five minutes per side.

Vegan Pasta Carbonara

18 ounces pasta of your choice
10 ounces firm tofu
1/2 cup plant milk of your choice
1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (8 tbsp)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (4 tbsp)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tahini (or extra virgin olive oil)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 ground black pepper
Plant-based bacon to taste, usually add 3 slices for each serving
Fresh parsley to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Place the rest of the ingredients (except the bacon and the parsley) in a blender and blend until smooth.
When the pasta is ready, strain it and place it in a frying pan or in the same pot you’ve cooked the pasta, add the sauce and the bacon (chopped) and cook over medium-high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve with some fresh parsley on top, more pepper and more bacon (optional).

Store the pasta carbonara in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days.

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

¾ cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
2½-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 medium-large cloves garlic
¾ tsp sea salt
½ tsp dry (ground) mustard
freshly ground black pepper to taste
¾ cup raw cashews (unsoaked)
2 cups frozen artichoke hearts (one 9 oz. box)
2 cups (loosely packed) spinach leaves

Preheat oven to 425ºF. In a blender, add milk, lemon juice, garlic, salt, dry mustard, pepper and cashews. Blend until very smooth. If using a Vitamix or other high-powered blender, this will only take a minute or so. If using a standard blender, keep blending until very smooth.

Add artichokes and spinach and very briefly blend or pulse. Do not fully blend, keep some chunky texture! Transfer mixture to an oven-proof baking dish, and bake for 17-20 minutes. Do not bake any longer or the spinach will turn off-color.

Serve warm with raw veggies, bread, tortilla chips, pita bread/chips or crackers. I liked it even better after letting it cool, then refrigerating and re-heating it later.

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