Nicola is a mother to two, a stepmother to three, and a wife to one. She prides herself at being able to "veganize" virtually any recipe.
The summer is sadly drawing to a close. Here in Eastern Ontario, the nights are feeling chilly, and my unheated pool is dropping below the temperature I would need to just dip my toes in. I hesitate to add dreaded imagery, but snow will be here before we know it.
With all that in mind, I give you my top five vegan comfort food recipes. Of course, these recipes will work any time of the year, but I feel like they are particularly enjoyable when we’re seeking warmth and comfort.
So, put your burgers and your salads aside for a little while, and take a stab at these satisfying and yummy recipes, all home-tested and photographed by yours truly.
In this article, I will cover:
- Vegan Potato Soup
- Vegan Black Bean Chili
- Meatless and Dairy-Free Pizza
- Vegan Sloppy Joe's
- Double Chocolate Mug Cake
1. Vegan Potato Soup
I've never been a big fan of soup, but I know that a lot of people see it as a warm and comforting food. It works great as a starter or entree, or even as a lunch alongside crusty bread or a salad. I like my soups chunky—almost stew-like. I need it to be thick and satisfying.
And of all the vegetables, potatoes are the most filling, the most chunky, and the most satisfying of them all. Topped with green onions and sliced vegan bacon, this soup is full of flavour and is thick enough to fill you up.
It can be thrown together in less than an hour, and leftovers keep well in the fridge or the freezer.
2. Vegan Black Bean Chili
I'm not a big fan of beans. Although they taste just fine, the texture makes me squeamish. This recipe calls for three cans of beans: kidney, black, and garbanzo.
The first time I made this chili, I followed the recipe to the letter, and the resulting meal was so full of beans that I struggled to enjoy it. My family loved it, though, so I had a partial win!
The next time I made chili, I added only the black beans, and I added extra vegetables like mushroom and celery to make up for the missing beans. In fact, I even mashed some of the beans with my potato masher. The resulting chili was far more palatable to me, and my family still loved it. Win-win!
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Top with vegan shredded cheese, diced green onion, vegan bacon, crackers, or nothing at all. This is a very satisfying meal.
3. Meatless and Dairy-Free Pizza
Pizza has become the food we eat when we're happy and the food we eat when we're sad. We eat it when we're rushed, when we're out with friends, and when we're home alone with a good movie. It's convenient and quick and the best part is that you can eat it with one hand. It is our favorite comfort food.
Here is the pizza dough recipe that I use. I then top my pie with tomato sauce, mushrooms, peppers, tomato slices, spinach, and red onion. Sometimes, I add vegan bacon or non-dairy shredded cheese.
I'll admit that I have yet to become a real fan of vegan cheese, so I make most of my pizzas without any cheese—although I do add nutritional yeast as I feel like the cheesy flavour adds so much.
4. Meatless Sloppy Joe's
Do you love Sloppy Joe's? They are the ultimate in messy comfort food, with a fantastic tomato flavour. No need for added condiments. Just eat these as they come and enjoy!
I didn't have Sloppy Joe's growing up and tried it for the very first time a few months ago. As a vegan! So, having never had them made with beef, I can only tell you that they are really yummy with a meat alternative.
This recipe is not vegan. The author suggests a pound of ground beef, but I used a full bag of Gardein's Beefless Ground. A similar quantity of finely chopped mushroom and onion would work as well. Meat has been surprisingly easy to replace, and it's not at all missed.
5. Double Chocolate Mug Cake
This one truly excites me! It is not only the ultimate comfort food, but it's also the best evening treat. When this mug cake comes out of the microwave, it is warm and moist, almost like a brownie. Topped with the vegan chocolate chips of your choice, the ooey-gooey-ness is overwhelming!
Simply whisk together the dry ingredients in a microwave-safe mug. Then add the wet ingredients and stir. Top with vegan chocolate chips, and nuke for about a minute. The cake bakes and rises, and the chocolate melts on top. But don't be too eager! Give it a few minutes to cool or you'll burn your tongue.
If you're anything like me, you'll find it hard not to make this every night!
For food to be comforting, it needs to be easy to prepare. Each of the preceding recipes is made with simple ingredients that are also easy to find. They can be thrown together quickly, and they help to bring back cozy feelings of past meals with loved ones.
I hope you enjoy making these recipes (and eating them!) as much as I have and that you'll follow me in my food journey.