5 Warming Winter Recipes

Forget winter is coming, winter is HERE. It’s my least favourite time of year, and boy am I cold. I know that in Sydney, the cold is nothing compared to North America and Europe, but to me it often feels colder purely because our city is not set up for winter. Forget heating and fires and winter coats, think more freezing draughts rattling through floorboarded homes and girls in mini skirts because they don’t own a pair of thermals! I think it hits you worst of all when you jump out of the steaming shower and get slammed in the face with freezing cold air. It’s the worst! I have collated some of my favourite recipes that I reach for on those cold winter days when trackies and uggies are a necessity. I often find pleasure and warmth by indulging in these delicious meals. 

Let me present my warming winter recipes, from me, to you.

Hot Chocolate
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1.5 tbsp dairy free chocolate, chopped
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp raw sugar or maple syrup
Marshmallows (make sure they’re vegan!)

Heat milk on saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add cocoa powder, vanilla extract, chocolate and maple syrup, whisking to combine. Add 2 (or 10) marshmallows and you’re ready to go!

Peanut Butter Oats
When it’s one of those freezing dark mornings and the thought of a cold breakfast is anything but appetising, this is what I reach for. It’s the season to indulge with decadent oatmeal, and I tend to go a little overboard. I just think it’s the perfect breakfast for when you need to be fulfilled!

½ cup oats
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 tbsp chia seeds
Pinch of cinnamon
1 ripe banana
Handful raspberries
1.5 tsp peanut butter
Shredded coconut for topping

Heat milk on stovetop. Add in oats, chia seeds, cinnamon and banana and cook until thick, adding extra water to achieve desired consistency if required. Add in PB and raspberries, cooking for an extra minute. Top with shredded coconut and any leftover raspberries. You are welcome!

Vegan Ramen
I stumbled across this recipe somewhat recently, and I thank my lucky stars that I did! This dish is to die for. It’s difficult to find vegan ramen in restaurants, yet it is such a warming and wholesome dish. Thank you Cilantro & Citronella for the recipe!

500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
100 grams extra-firm tofu
2 – 3 tbsp oil
2 tsp grated garlic
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp dark miso paste
3 tbsp soy sauce, divided
2 tsp sake
1 green onion, white and light green parts sliced into very thin matchsticks for frying and dark green parts thinly sliced for garnish
4 – 6 leaves of bok choy, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tbsp tahini
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp chilli oil, plus more for garnish
2 servings of ramen noodles (packaged or fresh)

Heat the vegetable stock in a pot over low heat while you prep the soup ingredients. Mash the tofu with a fork. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a small pan. Add the tofu and fry until crispy and golden brown. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the miso paste with 1 tbsp of the soy sauce and stir well to dissolve. Reduce the heat to medium, push the tofu to one side of the pan and add the garlic and ginger. Fry, stirring, until fragrant and cooked through then stir the tofu back in. Add the soy sauce-miso paste mixture and the sake. Allow the liquid to boil off and fry the tofu for a couple minutes more to allow it to crisp up again. Remove to a plate.

Add 1 – 2 tbsps more of oil to the pan (you want a layer of oil deep enough to cover the matchstick green onions) and heat up. Add the sliced white parts of the green onions and allow to gently fry for 5 – 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to the boil. In a bowl combine the tahini, 2 tbsps of soy sauce, rice vinegar and chilli oil. Mix well. Cook the bok choy in the boiling water until the stems are tender. Remove. Add the ramen noodles to the pot and cook according to the package directions (for fresh noodles they just need 30 – 60 seconds). Divide the tahini mixture between two bowls and ladle over the hot stock while stirring well to combine. Add the noodles and top with the bok choy, tofu, fried green onions and fresh green onions. Serve with additional chilli oil for drizzling over top.

One Pot Dahl
I love a good curry. They’re wholesome and warming and oh so delicious. I often make dahl, or a version of it, using whatever I have left in the cupboard!

1 tbsp olive oil
4 cups veggies (broccoli and eggplant are my faves)
100g dry red lentils
¾ cup water
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk
2 cloves garlic
1 onion, diced1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp curry powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin

In a pot, heat the oil and fry onion until clear. Add in the ingredients apart from the vegetables. Bring to a low boil then reduce heat and cook for 18- 30 minutes, adding the vegetables half way through. Stir the mixture frequently while cooking. Serve over white rice and top with cilantro and lime!

Cinnamon Baked Apples
This is a perfect winter dessert. It reminds me of being a kid and visiting my grandparents – my Nan would always make stewed cinnamon apple and rhubarb, fresh from the garden. It makes a decent sized tray, but it never lasts very long in my house!

6-7 medium to large apples (2 tart like granny smith, 4 sweet)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 pinch nutmeg
3 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch (for thickening the sauce)
3 tbsp fresh apple juice or water
1 pinch sea salt
Plant-based icecream

Preheat oven to 175 degrees and set out a 9x13-inch (or similar size) baking dish. Peel and core apples, quarter, and thinly slice lengthwise. The thinner the better! Just try to be consistent so they cook evenly. Add to baking dish and top with lemon juice, coconut oil (optional), coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cornstarch (or arrowroot), apple juice (or water), and a healthy pinch of salt. Toss to combine, then loosely cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes (covered). Then carefully remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the apples are very fork tender (especially in the centre of the dish) and slightly caramelised. Enjoy as is or with vanilla ice-cream! Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.

Dara HayesComment