Give me 5... Vegan recipes for winter
By Maya Blinkhorn / 19th December 2019
With the nights drawing in earlier and the cold air providing a relentless assault on our lips, a struggle through which only lip balm can prevail, I think that it is important to acknowledge how horrendous winter is. To admit to feeling crap, feeling tired and negative, and feeling utterly exhausted. Of course, there are some people who love winter, but I know that I am not alone in finding it a real struggle. Winter signifies a time when we need to slow down, perhaps to sleep more, eat more, and do less. This can be hard to acknowledge, and the way our society operates certainly doesn’t encourage us to go easy on ourselves, but it is important that we do so all the same. Hibernating through the winter months is more than a temptation; it is a survival strategy for our bodies and for our souls. Here are five vegan recipes that combine seasonal produce and festive favourites. This is heartwarming food which might bring people together to share or be better enjoyed during a solitary night of hibernation.
1. Vegan Cauliflower Cheese
This is my own recipe which I whip out when making a roast and it never fails to impress, vegans and non-vegans alike! To be enjoyed with a roast or on the side of pretty much anything.
- 1 cauliflower
- Vegan butter
- Plain flower
- Nutritional yeast
- Oat milk (or other plant based milk)
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. Boil cauliflower until slightly soft. Whilst the cauliflower is boiling, melt a knob of vegan butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add a tablespoon of flour at a time, until you have made a roux. Slowly add oat milk into the pan, stirring as you go so there are no lumps. As the sauce thickens, add nutritional yeast flakes, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Continue to stir. Add as much nutritional yeast as you fancy: the more you add, the more cheesy it will be.
Take the cauliflower off the hob and drain the water. Add the cauliflower to the cheesy sauce and stir well. Transfer to a baking dish and spread the cheesy cauliflower evenly across it. Sprinkle walnuts on top and a dash more paprika and pepper. Place in oven and cook for fifteen minutes or so, until the top of the cauliflower cheese is lightly browned.
2. ‘Nutella’ and Biscoff Tear and Share
This recipe is from BOSH. I would recommend BOSH cookbooks to anyone and everyone, as their recipes never fail to be simple and delicious, and keep everybody happy.
For the ‘Nutella’:
- 300g roasted hazelnuts
- Pinch salt
- 265g dark chocolate, melted
- 160g maple syrup
- 125ml nut milk (we used hazelnut)
- Biscoff spread
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- Hazelnut milk for brushing (optional)
- Icing Sugar to dust on top
- Fresh fruit, strawberries, raspberries etc
Blend all the homemade ‘Nutella’ ingredients together until smooth and a good consistency. Spread this and the Biscoff on a sheet of puff pasty to create a Christmas tree-shaped triangle about an inch thick. There'll be some left over but you can use this as a dipping sauce!
Lay the other sheet of puff pastry on top, press down slightly, then trim the excess pastry (where there's no ‘Nutella’) off. Now make even cuts down both sides of the triangle, leaving an inch uncut in the center, to keep the tree together. Twist each strip from top to bottom to create tree branches. Brush the pastry with hazelnut milk so that when it bakes it goes golden brown. Bake for 20 minutes at 200ºC, or until well risen and golden. Add some berries and dust with icing sugar. Mix the leftover ‘Nutella’ with a bit more nut milk to make the dipping sauce.
These pancakes promise to cheer up any dreary morning. They’re super easy and you can eyeball the ingredients. The recipe is from the BBC Good Food website.
- 300g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp sugar (any kind)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 400ml plant-based milk (such as oat, almond or soya)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil for cooking
To Serve (optional)
Sliced banana, blueberries, maple syrup, vegan chocolate chips, plant-based yogurt
Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt in a bowl using a balloon whisk until mixed. Slowly pour in the milk until you get a smooth, thick batter.
Heat a little of the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat, and add 2 tbsp batter into the pan at a time to make small, round pancakes. You will need to do this in batches of 2-3 at a time. Cook for 3-4 mins until the edges are set, and bubbles are appearing on the surface. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another 2-3 mins until golden on both sides and cooked through. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining pancakes. Serve stacked with lots of toppings of your choice, or serve with bowls of toppings for everyone to help themselves.
4. Heartwarming Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
This soup is creamy and delicious; it’s a big hug at the end of the day in soup form. It uses seasonal but cheap vegetables and is one of those dishes that will please pretty much anyone. Add more or less spice depending on what level of heat you want the soup to have: I like it fairly spicy but also sweet so usually dial up the cinnamon and paprika.
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 red onion
- One cube vegetable stock
- Olive oil
- Oat milk
- Paprika (about 1 tsp)
- Cumin (about 1 tbsp
- Cinnamon (about 1 tbsp)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- One butternut squash
- One large sweet potato
Preheat the oven. Chop the butternut squash and sweet potato into chunks. Drizzle with olive oil and the spices and rub in until evenly covered. Roast for 20-30 mins: the veg should be slightly brown when it’s done.
Once the vegetables are roasted, heat some oil in a large pan. Once the oil is hot, sauté the onion and garlic with a little more cinnamon and cumin. Add in the roasted veg and stir, until the spices evenly coat the veg. Cover the veg with the water from the stock, turn to a low heat and leave to simmer for ten minutes or so. Blend the soup until it’s smooth and add oat milk at the end for extra creaminess.
5. Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Whilst not exactly Christmassy food, these cinnamon rolls are absolutely amazing and exactly what one needs to cheer them up on a cold and dark English day. This recipe is from Minimalist Baker.
For the Dough:
- 3 Tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
- 1 packet instant yeast* (or use rapid-rise yeast // 1 packet yields ~ 2 1/4tsp)
- 1 cup (240ml) unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1 tbsp organic cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups (360g) unbleached all-purpose flour
For the filling:
- 3 tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth balance // melted)
- 1/4 cup (30g) organic cane sugar
- 0.5-1 tbsp ground cinnamon (to taste)
For the topping:
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) – melted
For the dough:
In a large sauce pan (or in a bowl in the microwave at 30-second increments), heat the almond milk and vegan butter until warm and melted, never reaching boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees F (43 C) or the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast.
Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on yeast. Let it activate for 10 minutes, then add 1 tbsp sugar and the salt and stir. Next add in the flour 1/2 cup (68 g) at a time, stirring as you go (you may not add it all). The dough will be sticky. When it is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so until it forms a loose ball (be careful not to overmix). Rinse your mixing bowl out, coat it with avocado or olive oil, and add your dough ball back in. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
For the filling:
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with melted vegan butter and top with sugar and desired amount of cinnamon. Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. Then with a serrated knife or a string of floss, cut the dough into 1.5-2 inch sections and position in a well-buttered 8x8-inch square or comparable sized round pan (you should have about 10 rolls as original recipe is written).
For the topping:
Brush with vegan butter (melted) and cover with plastic wrap. Set on top of the oven to let rise again while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).Once the oven is hot, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve immediately. Optional: frost with a simple mixture of 1 cup (112 g) organic powdered sugar and 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) almond milk.
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