How to nourish your body with vegan food in winter
Our bodies crave rich and nourishing food in winter, which basically means: protein and fat. Plant based food can provide that just as well as meat, eggs and dairy. And with a little imagination, you can create delicious vegan dishes.
Published on:
Mavie Logo
Mavie editorial team
“A healthy and balanced vegan diet is essentially based on the following food groups: Vegetables and fruits, (whole) grains, legumes, nuts and seeds”, says nutritionist Katharina Petter from the Vegan Society of Austria. Legumes and grains are dried and are therefore available all year round without restriction. The situation is similar for nuts and seeds, where the question of seasonality does not arise either.

With fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, the supply of regional varieties is limited in winter - but it's a limitation that still leaves quite a variety of options. Root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and beets, vegetables from the cabbage family such as white, red and sauerkraut, cabbage sprouts, savoy, green and black cabbage, various winter salads and various mushrooms also offer an interesting range of raw materials for nutritious and tasty vegan dishes in winter.

Plants give us everything we need

We mostly crave fat and protein in winter which can be absorbed very well via plant foods. Protein is found in numerous legumes such as beans, lentils, peas or chickpeas - as well as in soy products such as tofu, tempeh and yogurt, grains, nuts and seeds, which are also a good source of fat. During the winter months, for example, a hearty, warming stew with legumes, potatoes and winter vegetables with vegetable oil as a fat component is especially good.

If you try to buy regional produce, nature has something to offer for you too. Bread and noodles can be made from common regional grains, and spelt rice is an alternative - although there is now also very good organic rice from Austrian cultivation. Soybeans grow in Burgenland and Upper Austria, which means that the supply of tofu is assured. Lentils, peas, beans and chickpeas are also grown regionally. Hazelnuts and walnuts, hemp and flax seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and oils from them complement the winter vegan menu.

Nutritionist Katharina Petter shared the following warming winter recipes with us.

Vegan Winter Recipes

Ribollita (Tuscan vegetable soup with black cabbage and fennel)
Ingredients: 2 red onions, 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 sprig thyme, 1 carrot, 100 g potato, 250 g fennel, 3 cloves of garlic, 300 g black cabbage, ½ bunch parsley, 400 g peeled tomatoes, 50 ml white wine, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground black pepper, 600 ml vegetable broth, 300 g white beans cooked, 4 slices ciabatta, preferably stale, 4 tbsp vegan parmesan.

Preparation: Caramelize the coarsely chopped onion cubes and sprig of thyme in olive oil over a medium-high heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the diced carrot, potato and fennel and finely chopped garlic to the pot and fry for a further 5 minutes over medium heat. Fold the thinly sliced black cabbage stalks and leaves, cut a little wider, together with the finely chopped parsley stalks into the vegetables, deglaze with the tomatoes and white wine, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Deglaze with vegetable stock and simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes. Puree a quarter of the beans, add to the Ribollita together with the rest and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Tear the bread into chunks and fold in. Remove the thyme sprig and serve the ribollita with vegan parmesan and parsley.
TIP: Instead of black cabbage you can also use savoy cabbage, chard or spinach.

Baked beetle bean dumplings with sauerkraut
Ingredients: 1 red onion, 2 tbsp sunflower oil, 250 g smoked tofu, 800 g runner beans, 400 g diced bread, 100 g diced brown bread, 200 ml plant-based milk (spelt, oats, soya), 2 tbsp margarine, sunflower oil for frying.
Binding agent: 50 g rolled oats, 2 tbsp spelled flour, 2 tbsp whole soy flour, 2 tbsp ground linseed, breadcrumbs if required. Spices: 1 tbsp marjoram, 1 tsp ground allspice, 1 tsp garlic powder, lemon zest and a little lemon juice, salt, pepper, chopped fresh parsley, 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder, 2 tbsp tamari sauce, 1 pinch nutmeg.

Preparation: Sauté finely chopped onion in oil until translucent. Finely mash the tofu with a fork, squash the beetle beans by hand or in a blender until mushy. In a large bowl, mix the bread or black bread cubes with the oat flakes, remaining thickeners and spices, add the tofu, onion and runner beans. Heat the plant milk and margarine and add to the breadcrumbs. Mix, taste and let rest for 15 minutes. Form dumplings and fry slowly in hot fat for 10 minutes. Serve with sauerkraut or alternatively in clear vegetable soup.

Sweet potato stuffed with lemon chili
Ingredients: ½ sweet potato, ½ leek, 1 small carrot, 1 clove of garlic, ½ lemon (peel), ½ can kidney beans, ½ can corn, 200 g minced soy, 1 can tomato passata, 1 teaspoon chilli powder.

Brush the halved sweet potato with olive oil and season with chili salt from the mill. Bake cut-side down in the oven at 180 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. In the meantime, sauté the leek strips, chopped garlic and finely chopped carrot in a pan with olive oil, then add the soy mince and passata and simmer gently. Add the beans and corn only at the end, refine with lemon zest, season with chilli powder and season with salt and pepper. Take the half of the potato out of the oven, hollow out the inside with a small spoon and fill the chili into the hole that has been made.

The expert

Mag.a Katharina Petter studied nutritional science at the University of Vienna. After professional stints at the animal protection organization Four Paws, the Institute for Sustainable and Alternative Nutrition in Gießen/Germany and the University of Vienna, she now works as a consultant for nutrition and health at the Vegan Society Austria. She is also a member of the National Nutrition Commission.

Get active now!

Mavie offers tailor-made solutions to accompany your company and your team on the path to a healthier lifestyle. Make an appointment for a consultation: by phone on +43 1 585 388 1 or by email to:
Get in touch
Share article