#NationalVegetarianWeek

Last week was National Vegetarian Week so I thought I would ditch the meat for the week and try out some new recipes. I am not a Vegetarian or Vegan, however I do like to  research different lifestyles based around food, to vary my daily diet, discover new recipes to make and places to eat, and if I am helping the environment more and more by making small changes to my diet in this way, then great!

What is a Vegetarian?

Quite simply, a vegetarian does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. Some people may be vegetarian for religious reasons.  Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, economic, or personal preference.

There are many pros and cons arguments on how practising Vegetarianism can have an effect on yourself and on the environment, click here for a good read.

Some fantastic Vegetarian recipes

Here’s just a few recipes I had the chance to make last week, that I thought were delicious and super easy to make. These meals will no doubt become part of my regular diet!

Mixed Bean Chilli with Guacamole (From Joe Wicks’ Fat-loss Plan, tweaked slightly)

I made this meal twice in a week I enjoyed it that much, especially the homemade guacamole which would be really good with a number of other recipes.

veg chilli

Serves: 2

Cooking time: 30 minutes including prep

Ingredients;

  • Coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 pepper, de-seeded and finely diced
  • 1 courgette, finely diced
  • 3 tsp cajun spice mix
  • 1 tsp group cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 rbsp tomato puree
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 400g tin of mixed pulses/beans
  • salt & pepper
  • Soured Cream.

For the guacamole

  • 1 large avocado, cut into small chunks
  • 1 shallot or half a red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, cfrushed
  • Handful of plum tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • Small handful of chopped coriander, plus extra for garnish

Method:

  1. Melt the oil in a wide non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the onion, pepper, courgette, cajun spice mix, cumin and cinnamon and stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, puree, stock and tin of mixed pulses/beans and bring to the boil. Cook over a medium to high heat for 15 – 20 minutes, until thickened. Season well and remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, make the guacamole by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and season well.
  4. Serve the chilli topped with sourced cream and the guacamole and enjoy!

Pasta Primavera (From Asda Good Living, tweaked to taste)

Love this pasta dish for a “meat-free Monday”!

pasta primavera

Serves: 2 (with some leftovers for lunch)

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 300g fettucine or fresh tagliatelle
  • 250g peas
  • 250g asparagus
  • 1 red onion
  • 15g butter
  • Olive oil
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Grated parmesan
  • Basil leaves

Method:

  1. Add the pasta to a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water. Stir once, bring back to the boil and simmer for approx 12 minutes. Drain and leave to one side. Use the pan for step 3.
  2. Meanwhile put the peas and asparagus in another pan and cover with boiling water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then drain.
  3. Cook the red onion, chopped, in 15g butter and a dash of olive oil until soft. Add the  cherry tomatoes, halved and cook for a further minute.
  4. Add to the pan the lemon zest, lemon juice, a further dash of olive oil, creme fraiche and dijon mustard and stir well.
  5. Add the drained pasta and veg into the large saucepan, mixing everything together and heating everything through.
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan and basil leaves.

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry

And last but not least, a yummy veggie curry that is my own recipe with inspiration from a number of curries I have cooked previously. I sometimes add chicken too to make it go even further. The meat-free version is just as satisfying and tasty though!

sweet potato chickpea curry

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 40 – 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (to taste). I also add a fresh chilli finely chopped too if I want a fiery kick!
  • 50g root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 400g tinned chickpeas
  • 400g tin tomatoes
  • 2 large/3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • Rice (I cheat and make the microwave pouches, 1 between 2 people)

Method:

  1. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and fry for a minute, or until aromatic. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, chilli flakes (and chilli if you wish) and ginger and fry for a further three minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add to the pan with the tomatoes and sweet potato. Add enough water (approximately 500ml) to cover the chickpeas and sweet potatoes and bring to a simmer, stirring to mix everything together.
  3. Cover with a lid and simmer over a medium low heat, stirring now and again, for approx 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and beginning to break apart and the sauce has thickened. Top up with a little more water during the cooking if needed.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the packet instructions.
  5. Taste the curry and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with the rice.

I hope that I have given you some food for thought, and would love to hear your feedback should you make any of these recipes yourself. If you have any other Vegetarian recipes that you think I should try making myself and would like to know my thoughts, please do share them with me!

Contact me if you have any more questions on the above blog or recipes. Share your pictures and comments with me here or across my FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

If you would like to contact me regarding my blog / ideas on where to eat/what to cook, or would like to work with me (advertising/reviews/publishing recipes/other), then please feel free to email me on jen@jensfoodblog.com

Happy munching!

Jen

@jensfoodblog

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