5 hearty vegetarian meals ideas to fight the cold

Winter is just around the corner, the weather is getting cold and the days are getting shorter… It’s time to spend more time indoors and enjoy quality time with friends and family.

To set the mood for these evenings we’ve gathered 5 great vegetarian meal recipes that will fill you up and support your immune system to prevent colds and flu.

1. The Feel Good Roasted Carrot Soup 

Bright, colourful and warming, this ginger and carrot soup is easy to make and particularly low calories. Ideal to warm up this winter!

carrot soupIngredients:

  • 3 lb carrots, peeled
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 5 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk for a vegan version)
  • Fresh coriander for garnish

 

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C
  2. Season the carrots with salt and pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil. Roast them for about 45 minutes (turn over mid-way through). Set aside.
  3. Cut the carrots in big chunks and place them in a large food processor with the garlic, ginger and 3 cups of the broth. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a cooking pot and add the remaining vegetable broth, coriander and allspice.
  5. Turn the heat to medium-low and stir occasionally.
  6. Add the heavy cream and remove from the stove.
  7. Serve with fresh coriander leaves.

2. The Generous Lentil Tomato Bowl

Low in calories and high in nutrition, lentils help fight cravings, keep you feeling full after meals and help you stay healthy!

lentil bowlIngredients:

  • 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

 

Method:

  1. Rinse the lentils and put them into a cooking pot.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic cloves and salt.
  3. Cover with water and bring to boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes. If there is not enough water you can add a little bit.
  5. When the lentils are ready, add the olive oil and top with parsley.
  6. Serve!

3. The Exotic Ginger Sweet Tofu with Pak Choi

This flavorful tofu recipe is so fast and easy to make we’re sure it will become one of your dinner’s favorites.

Ginger Sweet Tofu with Pak ChoiIngredients:

  • 500g firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2cm sliced ginger piece
  • 400g pak choi
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Jasmine rice

 

Method:

  1. Cut the tofu into bite-size cubes.
  2. Mix 2 tbsp grated ginger, 2 tsp dark soy sauce, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, and 2 tbsp brown sugar in a bowl, add the tofu and toss.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp groundnut oil in a wok and fry the ginger. Add the pak choi leaves and some water. Cook for about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Rinse the wok, heat another tbsp groundnut oil. Add the tofu and stir-fry for 5 minutes until browned.
  5. Season with 2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine and 2 tbsp rice vinegar. Add the remaining marinade, bring to the boil and reduce. Sprinkle over 1 tsp chilli flakes.
  6. Serve with the pak choi and jasmine rice.

4. The Delicate Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

This vegetarian version of stuffed Portobello mushrooms is a real delicacy that will make a perfect low carb dinner for the whole family!

Stuffed_mushroomsIngredients:

  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 tablespoon salad dressing
  • 1 egg
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepperoni
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 °C.
  2. Brush both sides of each portobello mushroom cap with salad dressing and place them on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake mushrooms for about 12 minutes.
  4. Mix egg, garlic, salt, and black pepper together in a large bowl.
  5. Stir spinach, pepperoni, Parmesan cheese, 3 tbsp mozzarella cheese, and 3 tbsp bread crumbs into the eggs until evenly mixed.
  6. Put spinach mixture over mushroom caps and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bread crumbs.
  7. Put the mushrooms back in the oven until topping is golden brown and cheese is melted.

5. The Amazing Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is definitely a crowd pleaser. This vegan version is very filling and so incredibly easy to make. Try it out!

vegan shepherd pieIngredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • ½ yellow onion
  • cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1tsp fresh sage
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ⅓ cup red wine
  • salt
  • pepper
  • soy milk, or rice milk, as needed
  • Vegan butter, as needed
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

 

Method:

  1. Peel, chop and boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes (until soft)
  2. Chop the carrots, celery, and onion and cook them with a bit of olive oil for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms, the garlic, salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste, flour, thyme, and sage.
  3. Slowly add the veggie broth and wine and stir for a few minutes.
  4.  Mash the potatoes, add the soy milk and vegan butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place the vegetables into a baking dish and spread the mashed potatoes over top.
  6. Spray the surface with cooking oil.
  7. Bake until the top is crispy.

Enjoy!