Posted on November 08, 2018 by Josh Puttock

Whether you like it or not, winter is fast approaching. At this time of year, the desire to stay fit and healthy may lessen when the opportunity to lounge around in the warm arises. And, as we all know, indulging in comfort food is always tempting during the darker, colder months.

As much as it may excite you to have comfortable and sometimes less-than-healthy moments like this, it’s good to keep an eye on your health. So, even if your training drops a little, you can eat well and maintain a good level of fitness. How? Let us explain…

If you haven’t given vegan food a try, there are a great number of hearty meals out there that taste great and are really good for you. Feel-good meals for the upcoming winter months are always a must, so it’s worth going vegan here and there if you fancy trying a healthier approach.

We’ve rounded up a selection of vegan meals below that are perfect for this time of year.

Vegan meal options

*Meal ideas and ingredients (not a step-by-step guide)

Brazilian stew

One of the best meals to eat when it’s cold and you’re not feeling 100% is a stew. Most stew recipes are packed full of healthy vegetables, and none more so than this Brazilian vegan stew featuring cauliflower and roasted tomatoes.

More and more people are introducing this type of meal to their diet – with an array of complex flavours meaning it can turn a basic meal into an exciting, flavoursome one. This Brazilian stew is full of strong flavours, such as turmeric and paprika to help spice up the taste.

The South American dish is packed with a number of hearty vegetables, ensuring you’ll be getting a great deal of nutritional value through the vitamins and nutrients, as well as a delicious meal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion – chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and diced
  • 1 large red pepper – diced
  • 1 can of tomatoes – diced
  • 1 small green chili pepper
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 1 ripe mango – peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup of fresh cilantro – chopped
  • ¼ tablespoon of salt

Red lentil, sweet potato and carrot chilli

This lentil, sweet potato and carrot chilli is perfect for when you are in desperate need of some serious comfort. But at the same time, it works well when you want to make sure you are still eating healthily and well.

The great thing about this recipe is how good it is for you – filled with lentils, tomatoes, sweet potato and carrot, all of the nutrients and fibres from these foods will make you feel well and healthy! It’s very low in fat and is full of carbohydrates and protein, as well.

One of the great positives about a chilli is that it’s perfect for reheating as well as freezing, and it’s a meal you can eat all through the year. But it always tastes even better in the dark winter months!

Ingredients:

  • 450g of sweet potato
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion,
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins of brown/green lentils or approx.
  • 250g of dried lentils
  • Salt & pepper

Carrot and coriander soup

Soup is a great meal – one that is easy to make and perfect for both lunch and dinner throughout the winter. As well as being simple to make, soups are an excellent way to keep your body topped up with vitamins and minerals to keep you well all year round.

You can add whatever vegetables you may like when making soup, which is great! With this vegan meal, adding vegetables, carrot and coriander ensures your soup is not too heavy, however it remains full of flavour and nutrients to keep you going.

You can’t go too wrong with soup, especially when it’s fat free like this winter warmer.

Ingredients:

  • ½ white onion – diced
  • 4 Large Carrots – peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium white potato – peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups of low-salt vegetable stock
  • A large bunch of fresh coriander

Tomato pasta bake with garlic crumb topping

Pasta dishes are always a popular choice throughout the year. A hearty pasta dish can normally hit the spot when it comes to comfort, and can also bring you nutritional benefits – especially with the choice of wholemeal pasta and natural ingredients.

This deep-dish tomato pasta bake will most certainly be a hit amongst the whole family, and it doesn’t take hours to prepare. With the inclusion of a rich tomato sauce, baked together with the garlic crumb topping – the flavours come together perfectly. You’re still getting nutritional value, too.

This pasta dish is one that can be easily made in advance and then baked later on – so feeding a large number of people with this a healthy option won’t be as daunting as you’d think!

Ingredients:

  • 500g pasta
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 fat garlic cloves
  • 1 large can of tomatoes – diced
  • ½ teaspoon of chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed italian dried herbs
  • 3 cups of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 slices of slightly stale bread

By Charlie Casey