bean stew bean stew Usher in that chilly weather with some hearty, nutritious and meatless stews. (Photo: Sea Wave / Shutterstock)

7 vegan versions of your favorite comfort foods

For the plant-based folk among us, there's no reason to deny yourself the goodness of comforting, hearty meals.

So you've recently decided to become vegan. You've cut out all meat, dairy and eggs, and you're discovering all the deliciousness that comes from plants. Good for you!

But ... it seems you've hit a snag, and it's in the form of ... cold weather! A milky hot drink to ward off those early-morning chills, a slow-cooked stew simmering in its own juices, a zesty Taco Tuesday indulgence with friends ... what's an herbivore to do?

Believe it or not, all those things are possible with your current diet. And our Israeli Kitchen has the ticket, with seven brilliant vegan versions of your favorite cold-weather comfort foods. You really can have it all!

Vegan chili tacos

vegan chili tacosOmnivores and vegans alike will delight in these tacos. (Photo: Sarah Berkowitz)

As someone who does occasionally enjoy meat dishes, recipe author Sarah Berkowitz was hard pressed to note the difference between this meat-substituted version and the real thing. You can absolutely make this dish for a mixed crowd – the omnivores and vegans alike will relish the flavor, the crunch and the fun of these tacos.

Here's our Israeli Kitchen recipe.


Vegan pumpkin spice latte

vegan pumpkin spice latteIt's vegan, it's homemade, and it's made from real pumpkin. Meet your new favorite fall drink. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

No need for piles of whipped cream or sugar with this pumpkin latte – the flavors of pure pumpkin, coffee and maple syrup are bold enough that you can enjoy this drink straight up. And enjoy you will! Berkowitz's vegan pumpkin spice latte has a unique, less sweet taste than most lattes, and is a perfect hot drink to start or end your day (without the sugar buzz that accompanies the coffee shop version).

Here's our Israeli Kitchen recipe.


Vegan bean stew

Bowl of warm, comforting vegan red bean stewRed bean stew (Photo: Miriam Kresh)

Sometimes a brand new pot is all the inspiration you need for a delicious vegan stew, savory with tomatoes and herbs and baked to perfection.

For this recipe, author Miriam Kresh uses kidney beans because, she says, "They’re meaty (but vegan) and robust, and floury enough to absorb the flavors of olive oil and aromatics."

Here's our Israeli Kitchen recipe.


Vegan fudge

Vegan chocolate date fudgeDuring the time of year when cookies are plentiful, date fudge is a healthful way to satisfy your sweet tooth. (Photo: Anna Norris)

With the onset of fall comes a generous round of sugary sweet recipes for festive treats. This one requires a food processor and a little patience, as it focuses on processing dates into a paste, but its rewards are immense in the end.

With a low glycemic index, dates are a great substitute for other sweeteners. They not only satisfy your sugar craving, but they also keep you satiated longer than palm sugar does.

Here's our Israeli Kitchen recipe.


Vegan cream of zucchini soup

Bowl of vegan cream of zucchini squash soupThis cream of zucchini soup works great in vegan form. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

How to achieve creamy soup without actual cream? Thanks to an abundance of dairy-free alternatives, it's easier than ever to make a soup that's warm, smooth and comforting. Here, Berkowitz uses coconut milk, but that's not the only secret to this soup's creaminess; zucchini does that on its own, too.

Here's our Israeli Kitchen recipe.


Vegan sushi

vegan sun-dried tomato sushiSushi gets a vegan twist with sun-dried tomatoes, avocado and cucumber. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

This sun-dried tomato sushi recipe uses a non-traditional rice blend and is purely vegetable-based, unlike many fish-based sushi combinations. Sun-dried tomatoes have a pretty intense flavor, you're certainly not skimping on flavor by eschewing meat here.

Here's our Israeli Kitchen recipe.


Vegan ice cream

Vegan banana black cherry ice cream in a glass.Banana black cherry ice cream is the perfect summer dessert. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

This ice cream recipe is not only vegan, it's also instant – no freezing or waiting needed. But that's not even the best part. This is the type of dessert you can make for all your friends – the vegans, the raw foodies, the ones who are allergic to nuts – you name it, they can eat it!

Here's our Israeli Kitchen recipe.

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