I'm not vegan but one of the best realizations I've had over the years is that comfort food doesn't have to be heavy on the dairy. Sure, I love melted cheese or a cream sauce but there's so many ways to make a solid comfort meal while staying vegan. Some tips I've learned over the years: nuts are key, legumes are your friend, and don't be afraid of your spices! Below is almost a month's worth of dinners that showcase my favorite comfort recipes without a shred of cheese or a drop of cream.
These recipes are up top because they are the ones I turn to time and again. I love cozy meals that highlight beans and lentils- it's hard to go wrong. Add a delicious sauce or toss them in a stew for an automatic comfort meal. Keep dried legumes on hand and you're sure to be ready for any type of dinner you might want.
- Smoky Beans with Polenta
- Chipotle White Bean Tacos
- White Bean Masala over Sweet Potatoes
- Bulgur Chili
- Berbere Chickpeas with Chard
Fall is the best time to enjoy greens. The crisp air makes for an almost sweet flavor in some varieties. I love soups and stews with greens but almost every meal is rounded out with the help of salad. A couple different varieties of greens are always in my market basket even if I don't know what I will make with them. I just like having them on hand for quick meals.
- Cabbage Ginger Noodles
- Soba Noodle Cabbage Salad
- Turmeric Rice with Coconut Kale
- Ginger Bok Choy Soup with Noodles
I could easily have a post devoted to brassicas. Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels are on heavy rotation every fall season. These vegetables make up some of my favorite fall recipes that we eat nearly every week (like the peanut sauce noodle bowl!)
- Fried Cauliflower with Romesco Sauce
- White Bean Quinoa Risotto
- Spicy Peanut Sauce Noodle Bowl
- Brussels Sprout Soba Bowl
While it may look like I'm partial to butternut squash, I always have a a few different squash varieties on hand. I love spaghetti squash as a base for sauces, I use delicata for salads/pizza, and acorn is the perfect bowl for beans and salads. It's hard to go wrong with dinner when you have a squash in your kitchen.
- Tahini Butternut Squash Noodle Bowl
- Butternut Squash Salad with Hemp Dressing
- Butternut Squash with Cilantro Tahini Sauce
- Miso Butternut Squash Soup
I feel a bit like a broken record but for good reason: carrots are the workhorse in my kitchen. They are wonderful roasted, perfect when used in a sauce, and they are usually fairly cheap for how many you get. I love how versatile they are and they store well for an extended time period.
- Roasted Carrot Spring Rolls
- Cashew Carrot Ginger Noodles
- Roasted Carrot Multigrain Pilaf
- Moroccan Carrot Salad
A few years ago, I posted so many sweet potato recipes that I realized after a couple of months that every other recipe used sweet potatoes. I can't help myself- I love a good potato recipe. Plus, potatoes (both regular and sweet) work well with many different flavors. My favorite is a stuffed potato but I've also been known to eat my fair share of homemade baked fries.
It feels like I never give root vegetables enough love during the fall but that has started to change over the past few years. I find myself reaching for parsnips and rutabagas more often and it's hard to resist a beautiful bunch of beets. I like root vegetables make some of the best comfort food.