Happy World Vegan Day!
World Vegan Day is officially on November 1st, but this day also marks the transition from celebrating Halloween to preparing for the holidays. With winter weather fast approaching, delicious treats and warming comfort food are undoubtedly on everyone’s mind.
Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of rich and savory plant based dishes that are heartier than the typical salad. Innovative recipes to make vegan friendly classics are popping up left and right, including everything from pulled “pork” tacos using jackfruit to easy tofu breakfast scrambles.
However, not all vegan food has to be healthy, and with the holiday season right around the corner, everyone deserves to splurge! That’s why I am sharing some of my favorite go-to recipes guaranteed to impress both vegans and meat eaters alike!
Sweet Potato, Squash, and Black Bean Enchiladas
Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck was my first vegan cookbook, and when the weather gets chilly, the recipe I turn to time and time again is the enchiladas. The epitome of comfort food, this dish is so flavorful that you won’t even miss the cheese (but feel free to melt some on top)!
- If you don’t like things spicy, by all means halve the cumin and chili powder added to the sauce.
- In case the sauce seems a little thin, add 1 tbsp of cornstarch mixed with ½ cup water.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower with Smokey Almonds
Whether we really want them or not, vegetables always make an appearance on the holiday table; and these sprouts are sure to have even the kids reaching for seconds! The smoky almond slices add a bacon infused flavor to the mix, completely transforming this otherwise simple side.
- I like to caramelize red onion with the almonds for some extra flavor.
- This pairs especially well with my favorite mac & cheese recipe!
Epic Vegan Chocolate Cake
Unquestionably, the Happy Pear is one of my favorite vegan resources. These Irish brothers have so much energy, and their passion for good food is infectious. Last December, I attempted to make their Epic Vegan Chocolate Cake for my mother’s birthday and it did not disappoint! I have had so many requests for the recipe and have already been asked to make it again this holiday season. The result is an irresistibly rich, melt-in-your-mouth fudge cake that, unlike most cakes that dry out over time, gets even better after a day or two thanks to the coconut oil!
- This recipe is British, and subsequently uses the metric system. Pre-heat the oven to °320 F. I recommend using a food scale to get the most accurate measurements for the ingredients.
- The spelt flour can be substituted for all purpose flour. If you can’t find any almond flour, it’s easy to make by pulsing raw almonds in a food processor until fine.
- I always struggle with getting my coconut milk to turn into whipped cream. Luckily, there are many soy whipped cream alternatives in grocery stores these days if you want to bypass this step!
I am also very excited to try out some new recipes this winter, and this coconut curry from Fresh Vegan Kitchen sounds delicious. A highly aromatic and spicy broth filled with noodles, tofu puffs, and fresh veggies sounds like the perfect dinner on an extra chilly night. With four servings, this dish is great to share with family and friends or reheat throughout the week. Below is an exclusive look at this mouth-watering recipe!
For the soup you will need:
4 tbsp coconut oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
2 tbsp palm sugar
1 batch Laksa Curry Paste (see below)
1¾ cups coconut milk
1 batch Laksa Vegetable Stock (see below)
1–2 tsp tamari (make sure it’s gluten free)
1 heaped cup snow peas, cut in half
½ cup baby corn, cut in half lengthways
1 cup enoki mushrooms
2 red chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
3½ oz block tofu puffs or marinated tofu pieces
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, plus extra to garnish
1 bunch of fresh Thai basil
1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
a handful of Crispy Fried Shallots (green onions) or crispy fried Thai shallots
large lime wedges to serve
salt and pepper
Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of water for about 1 hour, then drain.
In a large pan, heat the coconut oil, then add the palm sugar and Laksa Curry Paste and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until it starts to brown and caramelize. Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Season with tamari to taste, then strain.
Return the soup to the pan and slowly bring up to a boil, adding the mangetout, baby corn, enoki mushrooms, red chillies, and tofu puffs or pieces as it heats up. Meanwhile, take 4 large bowls and divide the soaked rice noodles, herbs, and cherry tomatoes among them. As the soup comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then check the seasoning and add a little more tamari, if needed.
Pour the soup over the noodles and vegetables. Sprinkle with extra coriander leaves and crispy shallots and serve with lime wedges.
For the Curry Paste:
3½ oz green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1oz fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
2 sticks lemongrass, finely chopped
4 dried red chillies, deseeded and chopped
2oz fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp medium curry powder (make sure it’s gluten free)
To make the paste, lightly toast the coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a low heat for 1–2 minutes until fragrant. Grind the toasted seeds in a pestle and mortar, then transfer to a blender or food processor with a pinch of salt and pepper and all the remaining paste ingredients and pulse until smooth.
For the Laska Vegetable Stock:
1 carrot, chopped
1 oz fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
½ bunch of scallions, chopped
2–3 dried shiitake mushrooms
½ bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ bunch of fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, sliced in half
2 quarts water
salt and pepper
Put all the ingredients in a large pan. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer. After 30 minutes, strain the stock into a bowl, discarding the solids, and use as required.
Sweet Potato Bubble and Squeak
Finally, last on my list is the king of all leftover dishes. Bubble and Squeak is a traditional English dish served the morning after a roast dinner. It takes all the left over veggies from the night before and turns them into a super-satisfying breakfast potato hash. Veggie Comfort Food offers one take on this classic using sweet potatoes to add a bit of color and sweetness to the dish and Brussels sprouts for texture; however, you can add in whatever veggies are in your fridge!
1lb Brussels sprouts, halved
4 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
4 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 tbsp hazelnuts, toasted
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Steam the Brussels sprouts for 10–15 minutes until soft. Steam the sweet potatoes for 8–10 minutes until soft. Tip them both into a bowl and mash together.
Heat half the oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, then stir it into the mash along with the nutmeg, toasted hazelnuts, salt, and pepper.
Heat the rest of the oil in the frying pan and dollop the mash back in.
Press down the mash with the back of a spoon and leave to cook for a few minutes, undisturbed, to get a crispy underside.
Once the underside has started to brown, flip it over.
Don’t worry if it breaks up a bit, just flip over each piece.
Cook for a few minutes until crispy on the bottom.