My Wonderful Winter Meal Mash-Up

I have spent the last couple of months eating and cooking some pretty good food, in the spirit of hibernation and comfort. I wanted to share some of my favourites with you guys. It might give you some inspiration to cook something new; to tweak one of the meals I mention or maybe it’ll help an indecisive partner decide what they want for dinner!

Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto

I ate this at Maranto’s, Lark Lane in Liverpool. It was delicious – I just wished there were more crispy sage leaves to cut through the softer risotto texture.

Oreo Cheesecake

Nice flavour – wayyyy too much cheesecake. I’d love to try and make something similar at home. Portions at Maranto’s are definitely generous!

Mowgli Paneer

While absolutely everything veggie on the Mowgli menu is amazing (from the Green Ginger and Rhubarb Dhal to the Tea-Soaked Chickpeas) the paneer is my all-time favourite.

Marzano Tomato Soup

From Coco in Guernsey, this soup is unreal. Made with Marzano tomatoes (I didn’t know what they were either) and topped with fresh chives – this soup had my tastebuds dancing. Super fresh and really delicious.

Toasted Fregola

Another word I didn’t learn until trying this food. Fregola is pasta originating from Sardinia with a consistency similar to giant couscous. While Le Nautique didn’t have much variety for veggies, the taste of this dish made up for it.

Hot Chocolate Fondant

Le Nautique also has a pretty fancy dessert menu. The fondant came with coconut ice cream which I passed on (not a fan of hot and cold mixing, not sure why) and white chocolate pouring sauce. Yum.

Tofu Ramen

While Octopus specialises in fresh seafood, their non-fish option was really good. Full of ingredients with differing textures, I really enjoyed eating! I just wished that the broth itself had a little more depth in flavour.

Paneer Makhani

Paneer again? Of course.

Taste of India is one of my favourite restaurants in Guernsey; Every meal that I’ve tried is full of flavour and freshness. I also love how many options there are for veggies and vegans.

Gino D’Campo’s 360 Sky Bar

So, funny story. My mum, Beck and I came here, proud as punch, with a food voucher from my uncle Mark. With the food already paid for we splashed out on wine and a little Italian Cicchetti (similar to Spanish tapas). It turned out to be a little salty- the arancini was good though.

The view was amazing, overlooking the Mersey, Radio City, and my dad’s old apartment building. What was not amazing, however, was the fact that the sky bar didn’t accept our code because it was linked to a hotel. The moral of the story- always check before you order folks!


The voucher saga continued. Eventually, me and the mother made plans to eat at the Castle Street restaurant. Despite changing the name to Riva Blu, they did take our voucher.

Mum got duck in cherry sauce and I had rigatoni arrabbiata. We finished up by sharing some bombolini, or Italian donuts, filled with vanilla cream, Nutella, and Amalfi lemon.

Vegan Lebanese Breakfast

Grilled tomato, falafel, foul madamas, mushrooms, and Lebanese potatoes with flatbread to dip.

This was my first time trying foul madamas, crushed broad beans with olive oil, and I’ll be eating a lot more from now on. The crunch of the sesame falafel with the smooth foul madamas and the softness of the potatoes really delivered on the texture front.

Beck’s Vegan Christmas Dinner

Beck did an amazing job of feeding seven people, including two veggies over Christmas. We had the works- vegan turkey, stuffing, ‘pigs’ in blankets, roasties, Yorkshire puddings, and some very (thanks to my mithering) sparkly gravy that was full of Christmas magic.

Thanks for an amazing meal, Beck!

Between work’s nights outs, festivities and birthdays, I ate out a lot over winter. That said, I did keep my cooking skills ticking over. I made some familiar favourites, while throwing in some new challenges.

Roasted Pepper Tagliatelle

My mum loves it when I cook pasta, so I try to make it as often as I can. Making the sauce from scratch I use plenty of balsamic vinegar, onion, garlic, finely diced carrot, dried oregano, roasted tomatoes, and plenty of olive oil.

Sweet and Sour Tofu

I finally got onto the ‘frying tofu in cornstarch’ train and now I never want to get off. For someone who isn’t a big fan of squidgy tofu, this is an awesome alternative.

Protein Bagel

Richmond’s Meat-Free bacon on a Warburton’s protein bagel with some Stokes Chipotle sauce makes a pretty mean, energy-filled breakfast.

Chorizo Puppies With Spinach Trottole

While it might look like a radioactive mess, this pasta dish tasted really good! The spice from the veggie chorizo sausage gave an arrabbiata edge to the trottole and, remember, spinach = protein which is essential for energy, muscle repair, and GAINS.

Spanish Grains and Sweet Potato

Aldi’s Spanish Grains are a lifesaver. I use them for speedy lunches or dinners because they’re full of nutrients and flavour! Mixed with sweet potato; the usual veggies; pepper, onion, tomatoes; and a barbeque sauce – what more do you need?


I first learned to make rice balls with the Hamasaki-Menda family, my ever-generous friends/family/ guardian angels. Then I practiced my skill at Taketa Station Hostel Cue, to fuel an impromptu walk to Ota Castle at sunrise the next day.

This attempt was a lot messier, but just as fun. It was nice to paddle in my happy memories while rolling and filling the onigiri with crispy hoisin ‘duck’.

I’m looking forward to cooking more as we slide into Spring. I love getting creative with ingredients and seeing what I can do with them. Pages like Rogue Vegan, The Foodie Takes Flight and Turnip Vegan are a constant source of inspiration for me. I’m especially excited to have a go at making Turnip Vegan’s Parsnip Sandwich.

Do you have any meal ideas/ sources of foodie inspiration? I’d love to see it!

Stay Positive.


Jess x

Menu Hunting:

Bakchich, Liverpool

Riva Blu, Liverpool

Gino D’Campo’s 360 Sky Bar, Liverpool

Maranto’s, Liverpool

Mowgli, Liverpool

Coco, Guernsey

Le Nautique, Guernsey

Octopus, Guernsey

Taste of India, Guernsey

Feature Image from Unsplash

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