Vegan Comfort Foods.

Pannikan, Encinitas
Jennifer Moore

 This vegan website said it so well; even vegans need comfort food. VegKitchen “Vegans need comfort food just as much as anyone else. Salads and smoothies are great, but during sad or difficult moments, or when you’re under the weather, they just don’t do the trick. Warm and soothing, comfort foods also contain just the right amount of nostalgia — and love.” 

A sample of their recipes:  Vegan “Chick-Un” Noodle Soup “This simple, tasty soup recalls a comfort food from my childhood — minus the poor bird. Chickpeas or baked tofu do the trick, adding substance and flavor to this soothing soup. There’s a Yiddish proverb that goes: “Worries go down better with soup.”

Serves: 6 ~Click on the recipe to see photos & additional notes.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large celery stalks, finely diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 32-ounce container low-sodium vegetable broth ~I like “NotChick’n” broth cubes.
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt-free all-purpose seasoning blend (like Frontier or Mrs. Dash) ~Lemon pepper would be good.
  • 4 to 6 ounces small pasta rings (anellini) or
    short noodles (cut vermicelli or angel hair pasta work well)
  • 1 cup cooked or canned (drained and rinsed) chickpeas, coarsely chopped,
    or 4 to 6 ounces baked tofu, finely diced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill 
  1. Heat the oil slowly with 3 tablespoons water (or broth) in a large soup pot. Add the celery, carrots, garlic, and onion. Sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Add the broth, water, and seasoning blend. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Raise the heat and bring to a rapid simmer. Add the noodles and simmer steadily for 5 to 8 minutes, or until al dente. Add the chickpeas or diced tofu, then season with salt and pepper. If the soup is too crowded, add a cup or two of additional water or broth. Stir in the fresh dill and serve.

Nutrition information
Per serving: Calories: 157;  Total fat: 5g;  Protein: 7g;  Fiber: 2g;  Carbs: 21g;  Sodium: 163mg

Oh my, this page has too many to choose from! The list is from different websites. 15 Drool-Worthy Vegan Comfort Food Recipes That Will Warm Your Heart and Tummy “There are some days when you just need something that will comfort you inside and out. It may be your favorite sweats and a big sweater, it may mean a snuggly blanket, and it may mean certain foods that make you feel warm and cozy. On December 5th, we get to indulge in those feelings because it’s National Comfort Food Day.”

I particularly liked this one: Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese Casserole from OneGreenPlanet. 


  • 1 5-ounce pack of crackers
  • 2 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 14-ounce box elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup plain almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese ~There are many brands to choose from at the grocery store. You don’t need to make your own.
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 of 1 onion
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated

FOR THE SHIITAKE BACON: There are many brands of vegan bacon to choose from. This sounds good & not too much effort to make. You can do the same thing using tempeh sliced thinly if you can’t find shiitake mushrooms.


  1. First, make the Shiitake bacon. Slice the mushrooms, coat in all the ingredients (and leave coated for as long as possible), and place in the oven on 250°F for 30 minutes. Rotate the mushrooms at the halfway point for an even cook. Mushrooms should be crispy, not hard.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place cubed squash on a baking pan and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Add the almond milk to assist with puréeing. Soak the cashews in hot water for ten minutes, drain, and add to the blender with the butternut squash along with the nutmeg, nutritional yeast, sea salt, cayenne, and Dijon mustard.
  3. Boil pasta in a pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside. To make the topping, put the package of crackers in a plastic bag, smash for 3 minutes until you get crumbs of all sizes, and set aside.
  4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion, garlic, rosemary, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, then stir in the 1/2 cup almond milk and cook until just starting to thicken, about 3 minutes. Take the sauce off the heat, then stir in the 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese until fully incorporated. Add butternut squash mixture stirring to combine. Season to taste with kosher salt.
  5. Combine the full mixture with the cooked pasta. Add the pasta to a baking dish and top with vegan Parmesan cheese, the flatbread crumbs, shiitake bacon, and chopped fresh rosemary and bake for about 20 minutes.
  6. Slice and serve.

~Just an added note. I bought a bottle of organic pumpkin pasta sauce but it had cream in it. I found this vegan version that sounds wonderful. Vegan Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce on the Detoxinista website under her vegan recipes.

OLIVES FOR DINNER; RECIPES FOR THE ETHICAL VEGAN  is a very interesting site. The photos, as well as the recipes are wonderful. I would say that if you love to cook, this would be a good resource for you. Read the home page about the author & her husband’s views on being vegan. Hi, I’m Erin! I love creating original and delicious vegan recipes and sharing them here. I cook and photograph food with my husband Jeff in Redondo Beach, CA”

I have shared  Chocolate Covered Katie  with you before. She is delightful & her recipes are amazing. 

Zucchini Banana Bread  Adapted from Flourless Banana Bread

Total Time: 35m, Yield: 9×5 loaf

Ingredients ~No flour!

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats (260g)
  • 1 cup mashed banana (240g)
  • 1 cup finely grated zucchini, loosely packed (200g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup oil OR milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, agave, or honey
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • optional 1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease a 9×5 loaf pan very well, making sure to go up the sides. Put the oats in a blender and blend until a fine powder forms. Add all other ingredients (except optional chips) and blend until smooth. Stir in chips, if using. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then bake on the middle rack for 35 minutes. Turn the oven off, but DON’T open the oven. Let the bread sit in the closed oven for another 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and let cool completely before going around the sides with a knife, then inverting onto a plate.

Take a look at her brownies 🙂 

I am adding this link for those of you who are vegan ~look for the vegan baking tab~ & for those of you who don’t use eggs. Madhuram is from India. Her story is very inspiring.   Madhurams Eggless Cooking  Hello and welcome to Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking, a blog fully dedicated for egg free baking recipes. Are you one among the millions who cannot eat eggs due to health concerns, religious restrictions or personal preference? Or are you simply out of eggs? Don’t let that stop you from baking crispy cookies, decadent cakes and delicious pastries because you are in the right place and I have the perfect solution. Find hundreds of truly tried and tested egg free and vegan baking recipes with drool-worthy pictures, easy to follow instructions and loads of useful tips to make your egg less baking experience as pleasant as possible.”

Take a look at her vegan cookie recipes. Lots of healthy comfort food there 🙂

ChowHound Vegan Comfort Food  has a gallery of yummy recipes. Eggplant lasagna sounded so good. The recipe is not as difficult as it looks. 

Vegan Lasagna 

  • Total Time: 1 1/2 hrs, plus baking time | Makes: 8 to 12 servings

 What’s lasagna without ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan? To an Italian, it’s a travesty. But to a vegan or those with food allergies, it’s a delicious and healthy pasta dish that is bound to also please the meat- and dairy-lovers among us.


For the eggplant:

  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 2 small)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

For the sauce: ~You can always buy a prepared vegan marinara sauce.

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons capers

For the noodles:

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces dried lasagna noodles

For the filling:

  • 2 pounds soft tofu, drained
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from about 2 medium lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed (from about 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

To assemble:

  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves (from about 1 bunch), cut into 1/4-inch-thick ribbons


For the eggplant:

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Cut the eggplant(s) lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Place in a single layer on a flat surface or 2 baking sheets, overlapping slightly as needed, and sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Flip the eggplant and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt; let sit until water beads form on the surface, at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

For the sauce:

  1. Using a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, pulse the tomatoes and their juices, in batches as needed, until coarsely chopped (about 10 pulses). Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a tightfitting lid over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
  2. Push the onions and garlic to one side of the pan and add the tomato paste to the empty side of the pan. Cook the paste slightly to remove the raw flavor, stirring occasionally, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the onions and garlic into the paste to incorporate. Add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and a few pinches of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to meld the flavors.
  3. Add the capers, taste, and season with additional salt and red pepper flakes as needed; set aside.

To finish the eggplant:

  1. Using paper towels, pat the eggplant slices dry on both sides. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add just enough eggplant to sit in a single layer in the pan and sear on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Transfer to a plate and repeat, in batches, with another 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil and the remaining uncooked eggplant.
  2. While the eggplant cooks, place the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the seared eggplant to the oil-vinegar mixture and toss. Taste and season with additional salt as needed.

For the noodles:

  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, lay the pieces flat on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

For the filling:

  1. Place the tofu, parsley, nutritional yeast (if using), lemon zest, lemon juice, and measured salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Taste and season with more lemon juice, salt, and pepper as needed; set aside.

To assemble the lasagna:

  1. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Place a single layer of noodles on top of the sauce, about 3 regular-sized noodles. Top the noodles with a quarter of the tofu filling (about 1 cup) and spread evenly. Lay a quarter of the eggplant slices over the filling. Spread about 1 cup of sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with about 1/4 cup of the basil leaves. Make three more layers of noodles, filling, eggplant, sauce, and basil, omitting the basil from the top layer.
  2. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake until bubbling, about 10 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup basil. Serve with any remaining tomato sauce.

Here they are! From Cookie + Kate  “These easy vegan pancakes are my favorite basic pancakes! Who knew that eggless, whole grain pancakes could be so fluffy?! I made mine with healthy whole wheat flour, but I suspect that you could substitute other flours with great results. Feel free to throw in some add-ins like blueberries or chocolate chips, if you’re so inclined. Recipe yields 6 modestly-sized pancakes (perfect for 2 servings), so multiply as necessary.”

Simple Vegan Pancakes 

  • Prep Time: 10 mins/Cook Time: 10 mins/Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 pancakes
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup almond milk or dairy-free milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or sugar of choice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • More oil to grease your pan/skillet, if necessary


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or another mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract until thoroughly blended. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with the cold milk, gently warm it in the microwave just until it liquifies again.)
  2. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until combined, so only a few lumps remain (don’t over-mix or your pancakes will be tough!). If you’d like to mix in any totally optional add-ins (like chocolate chips or blueberries), gently fold them in now. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes so your pancakes will be nice and fluffy.
  3. Meanwhile, if you’ll be using an electric skillet, heat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, heat a heavy cast iron skillet or nonstick griddle over medium-low heat. You’re ready to start cooking your pancakes once the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on contact.
  4. If necessary, lightly oil the cooking surface with additional oil or cooking spray (I don’t oil the surface of my non-stick griddle and my pancakes turned out great).
  5. Using a 1/4-cup measure, scoop the batter onto the warm skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until small bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes (you’ll know it’s ready to flip when about 1/2-inch of the perimeter is matte instead of glossy), and flip. Cook on the opposite sides for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, adding more oil as needed. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point. Serve the pancakes immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven.

Solved my pancake dilemma 🙂

~Another possibilty:  Vegan Baked Buckwheat Banana Pancakes from Detoxinista

My lovely husband likes to cook. He is very good at it too. One morning he told me that he wanted French Toast for breakfast. He didn’t want to have a lot of bowls & ingredients. He had an idea he wanted to try.

He preheated our large flat cast iron skillet on medium & added a little bit of coconut oil. When it was ready he placed 4 slices of sprouted bread on the skillet. Then he poured plain hazelnut milk onto each slice & topped it with cinnamon. When he thought they were browned he flipped them. When they were browned on both sides he served them.

I thought this was ingenious of him 🙂 They were very good plain or with maple syrup. Sometimes simple is the best. 

 Pancakes are ready! Until next week…Mary 🙂

Don’t forget we have a Recipe page on this website!