In celebration of National Vegetarian Week, we have put a range of scrumptious vegetarian ideas together, so you can enjoy this week meat-free! Plant-based eating is becoming more and more frequent in our every day cuisine and it may be of benefit to shop at your local greengrocer, so you are supporting local business and getting the best out of fresh, local produce.
We look into what type of vegetarian meals you can rustle up at home whether it's baked treats or a garden BBQ.
The current lockdown has seen a surge in people baking at home. From muffins and cakes to flatbread and pastries, baking has become a new hobby for many and is considered to be a healthier option when creating sweet treats from scratch. Plus, all ingredients should be easy to source from a local supplier or supermarket. If you haven't found the time to make something - go ahead and try our classic banana bread recipe.
3-4 ripe bananas, 140g butter, 150g dark brown sugar, 2 Eggs, 250g self- raising flour, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, a drop of vanilla essence, Pinch of salt, 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda, Optional: 2 teaspoons of honey/yoghurt for added flavour. For decoration: icing sugar/nuts/dried banana slices
Preheat your oven to 180C and grease-proof a loaf tin. Melt your butter or wait for it to soften. Then combine with sugar in a separate bowl until and mix until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Pulp/mash bananas and add to the mixture. Add sifted flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and vanilla essence. Then bake for 45-50 minutes until golden. Wait for it to cool for around 10 minutes or so. Add decoration to your liking and there you have it!
Tip: you can add 80g buttermilk or normal milk before adding dry ingredients for an extra moist cake!
Everyone loves to grill. What's better is that grilled vegetable dishes can be used both as a main dish and as a side accompaniment. It is said that grilled vegetables are healthier as many of the nutrients are still present after grilling - some of which are lost when using alternative cooking methods. In addition, there is no need to add any extra oils or butters when cooking. There are certain types of vegetables which work well on grills to include: mushrooms, onions, asparagus, and bell peppers. Why not try this simple but flavoursome salad this week?
5 large asparagus, 1 aubergine, 2 large bell peppers, 2 courgettes, 1 large onion, cherry tomatoes, an ear of corn, mushrooms, a teaspoon of olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Additional extras: Stilton/blue cheese or Parmesan, olives, artichokes
Cut all vegetables into bite-size chunks and drizzle with oil. Then grill vegetables (in batches if needed) for around 30 minutes. Turn vegetables regularly with a set of tongs to ensure cooking throughout.
Once softened, remove them from grill and place vegetables into a large mixing bowl. Add all ingredients for the salad dressing, mix and top off with extras like cheese or nuts for added flavour.
Tip: Try adding paprika or dried chilli flakes or garlic powder prior to grilling for an added kick
With plant-based eating on the rise, there are literally now 1000's of plant-based meat-free brands which reflect the taste and flavour of the real thing. Usually made from Quorn, soy protein and other vegetables, this is a great alternative if you want to cook a hearty meal for the family which is jam-packed with nutrition for any day of the week.
4 Beetroots (drained and cooked), 1 egg, 80g oats, 2 garlic cloves, 400g tin of beans, (lentils/butter bean/chickpea or cannelloni) 1tsp of paprika, 1tsp garlic powder, 1tsp salt, 1tsp cumin and 1tsp thyme, 4 buns, 2 tomatoes, onions, roman lettuce
Additional extra's: Cheese, gherkins, jalapenos
Mince and sautee garlic and onions. Add your spices. Cook for a couple of minutes until brown. Remove and add to a processor along with the beetroot, oats, a beaten egg and beans. Once you have your mixture, mould into patties and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then transfer the patties onto a grease-proof paper, add a splash of oil and bake for 25 minutes at 180C. Alternatively, you can fry the patties for around 15 minutes.
Then ensemble your burger using tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, add your condiments and volois!
Tip: Squeeze excess water from the beetroot so the mixture is not soggy when trying to mould into patties.