7 Cozy Plant-Based Meals That Might Turn Us All Into Veg Heads

What do you think when you hear “cozy food”? Mom’s mac and cheese? Chili and cornbread? A mug of hot chocolate? It may seem counterintuitive, but stick-to-your-ribs-filling food doesn’t have to include butter, cream, or even wheat. Not convinced? Just ask Renee Byrd of Will Frolic for Food. She’s this week’s featured foodie, and she knows a thing or two about plant-based recipes… after all, they’re the only kind she writes. Whether you’re in the mood for a big dinner bowl or a warm drink, try seven of Renne’s coziest recipes—pajamas highly encouraged.

Did you ever find a peanut butter and honey sandwich in your lunchbox as a kid? This is just like that, only about a billion times more satisfying. Toast a thick slice of bread (preferably one with lots of nuts or seeds) and spread with coconut oil. Add a glob of tahini and honey, then add thinly sliced apple. You’re right, this is the best snack you’ve ever had.

If you have yet to try lentil sloppy joes, adjust tonight’s grocery list accordingly. Sweet, savory, meatless yet meaty, this meal is the best way to quiet any hungry bellies, vegan or otherwise. While you could be civilized and slice into the taters with a knife, we also recommend going to town on this bad boy hot dog-style.

Unlike many cashew-forward treats, this recipe doesn’t require the nuts undergo an overnight soak. Toast cashews to bring out their mild flavor, then blend into a creamy paste, adding maple syrup and coconut oil along the way. Chill the mixture until firm, then scoop out rounds. Dunk in chocolate, pop into your mouth, and repeat.

Ease into the mega-healthy “Golden Milk” (essentially just turmeric and nut milk, possibly what runs through many vegans’ veins) with a turmeric mocha. Round out the sharp spice with cashew butter, dates, cocoa powder, and coffee, then blend until thick and frothy.

Looking for a lighter one-bowl meal, are you? Direct your attention to this roasted potato and asparagus salad. With chickpeas and sunflower seeds for crunch and protein, and a zingy red onion-dill dressing, we doubt this meal will make it off the serving platter and onto plates; just grab forks and start spearing.  

There’s powdered chai latte mix, and then there’s the real deal masala chai, sweet from soft dates and creamy from tahini and almond butter. Blend until frothy, then take a long sip—we imagine this is what drinking velvet tastes like.

If you’ve ever gotten home after a long day feeling cold and tired, instead of ordering a pizza, take five extra minutes and put together this Buddha bowl. Start with roughly chopped broccoli drizzled with coconut oil and tamari, then toss it into the oven. While the veg is roasting, stir a good glug of BBQ sauce into meaty red lentils. Pile everything into a bowl with a side of soba noodles. Accompanying sighs with relief not mandatory, but highly likely.

Renee Byrd is the plant-based food blogger and photographer behind Will Frolic for Food. She lives in Charlottesville, VA with her husband, instruments, and a vintage VW van named Mr. Cashew. For more plant-powered inspiration, follow Renee via Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.