10 Top Vegetarian Recipes!                

The hashtag ‘Meat Free Mondays’ on Twitter is just one sign of how eating vegetarian meals isn’t confined to vegetarians alone. More and more people are going veggie because of claims that eating too much red meat is harmful to our health. There are thousands of cookbooks and blogs providing us with tasty nutritious alternatives to our favourite meaty meals and praising the health benefits of being a part time vegetarian. Try out these 10 Top Vegetarian Recipes! and get more vitamins and minerals into your diet.

1. Lentil and Egg Curry

Ingredients (serves 2):
4 eggs
1 red onion
2tbsp hot curry paste
400g can chopped tomatoes
100g lentils
200ml water
Steamed rice
Wholemeal chapatti

Method: Boil 4 eggs for 7 minutes, then cool, peel and halve. Thinly slice 1 red onion, then fry (reserving a few slices to garnish) in a deep non-stick frying pan sprayed with oil for 5 minutes.

Add the hot curry paste, chopped tomatoes, red lentils and water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with the eggs and remaining onion, then serve with steamed rice or wholemeal chapatti. Credit: Healthy Food Guide Magazine

2. Lentil Tabbouleh

Ingredients (serves 4):
200g puy lentils
1 bunch of spring onions
200g ripe cherry tomatoes
1 large bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large bunch of fresh mint
Extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon

Method: Rinse the lentils, then cook in plenty of salted water until tender. Drain and set aside to cool. Trim and finely slice the spring onions, halve the tomatoes, then pick and finely chop the herb leaves. Mix the cooled lentils with the spring onions, tomatoes, herbs and 4 tablespoons of oil.

Add the lemon juice to taste, season with sea salt and black pepper, then serve. Credit: www.jamieoliver.com

3. Sweet Potato and Banana Loaf

Oil, to grease
275g self-raising flour
75g rolled oats, whizzed until fine in a food processor
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp ground ginger
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
150g sweet potato flesh, grated
3tbsp caster sugar
3 eggs
Zest 1 large orange
2tsp vanilla extract
3tbsp soya milk (or other dairy-free milk alternative)

Method: Heat the oven to 160ᵒC/fan 140ᵒC/gas 3. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper. Combine the flour, oats, bicarbonate of soda and ginger in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and level the surface. Bake for 1hr 10min – 1hr 20min until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil after 30 min to stop the cake browning too much.

Remove from the oven and leave the loaf to cool in the tin for 10 min, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

4. Broccoli Pesto Pizza

Ingredients (serves 4):
500g pack ciabatta bread mix
1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets, stalk cut into even chunks (about 450g)
100g pine nuts
1 garlic clove, crushed
150ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
150g ricotta
60g bag rocket

Method: Make the dough for the pizza following pack instructions. Knead and pat into a ball. Cut the dough in half and shape into two large discs on a lightly floured surface – use a rolling pin, if you like. Leave to prove on two greased baking sheets covered with cling film for 10-15 mins.

Meanwhile, make the pesto. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Tip in the entire broccoli, bring to the boil and cook for 1 min. Drain and cool under cold running water. Transfer to the large bowl of a food processor with the pine nuts, the garlic and some seasoning. Pulse until breaking down, then gradually pour in the oil while the processor is on – the mixture should be the consistency of pesto. Season to taste, then set aside.

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 6. Spread the broccoli pesto over both bases, leaving a 2cm edge for the crust, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for 25 mins or until the base is golden and cooked through. Dot over the ricotta and scatter a handful of the rocket over each. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a good grinding of black pepper.  Credit: www.bbcgoodfood.com

5. Ricotta Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes and Sage

Ingredients (serves 4):
250g ricotta
1 free-range egg yolk
20g parmesan, grated, plus extra (or another vegetarian alternative)
Good grating of fresh nutmeg
50g plain flour
300g mixed cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Small bunch of fresh sage

Method: Drain the ricotta in a fine sieve, then put in a mixing bowl. Add the free-range egg yolk, grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), fresh nutmeg and plain flour. Season, mix with a fork, then chill for 20 minutes. Halve the mixed cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a frying pan, then add the tomatoes and garlic and sizzle gently, pressing down on the tomatoes to lightly crush, then season.

Finely chop the fresh sage, then add the majority of it to the pan. Take off the heat. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Use 2 teaspoons to scoop up small rugby ball shapes of the ricotta mixture, then add to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes or until they bob on the surface of the water. Drain. Put the tomato mixture back on the heat to warm through, then serve with the gnocchi, scattered with the remaining sage, a grind of pepper and extra grated parmesan. Credit: www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk

6. Bread Pudding

Ingredients (serves 8):
600ml Alpro Hazelnut Drink
100g raisins
40g stale white bread
1 tsp cinnamon
80g brown sugar
3 eggs
3 slices gingerbread
100g dark chocolate
1 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp flour
Icing sugar

Method: Gently warm the Alpro Hazelnut Drink on a low heat while you soak the raisins in water. Cut the (stale) bread into squares of around 2cm square and put them in a mixing bowl along with the cinnamon, brown sugar, eggs, gingerbread and the soaked raisins.

Pour the Alpro Hazelnut Drink over the bread mixture, stir until well mixed and then add the chocolate, broken into small pieces. Pour the mixture into a greased and floured bread tin, smooth the top and cook in a preheated oven at 170°C for 1 hour. When ready, allow your bread pudding to cool down, turn out of the tin and lightly dust with icing sugar before slicing. Credit: www.alpro.com

7. Vegetarian Comfort Pie

1 large or 2 small bunches of celery, cut into 2cm cubes
300 ml vegetable stock
A good slosh of brandy
½ tsp Marmite, Vegemite or other vegetable extract
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
500 g potatoes, peeled
150 ml skimmed milk
A grating of nutmeg

Method: Put the celery into a saucepan, pour over the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the stock in the pan. Return the pan of stock to the heat, bring back to the boil and stir in the brandy, marmite and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add the cornflour mixture and stir until the sauce thickens. Pour into an ovenproof casserole dish and stir in the celery. Place on the hob and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, then drain. Bring the milk to the boil in the same pan and add the grated nutmeg (if using). Tip in the potatoes, mash well and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat the grill to high. Spread the mashed potato over the top of the celery mixture, fork them up and pop under the grill until they are nicely browned. Credit: www.redonline.co.uk

8. Za’atar Salmon & Courgette Skewers

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 tbsp za’atar
1 garlic clove, grated
1 lemon, zested
1 tbsp olive oil
260g salmon fillets, cut into 16 chunks
1 courgette, cut into 16 chunks
100g full-fat yogurt
25g harissa paste

Method: In a bowl, mix together the za’atar, garlic, half the lemon zest, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add the salmon and courgette and leave to marinate for at least an hour. Mix together the yogurt, the remaining lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Swirl through the harissa paste, then set aside. Thread the salmon and courgette on to 4 skewers.

Place a griddle pan on a high heat. When hot, cook the salmon skewers for 2 minutes, then turn and cook for a further 2 minutes. Serve with the harissa yogurt and lemon wedges on the side. Credit: www.marksandspencer.com

9. Roasted Beet and Potato Soup

Ingredients (serves 3):
6 potatoes (600g)
2 beetroots (400g)
1 can of coconut milk (400ml)
1 lemon
2 tsp of coriander powder
2 tsp of chilli flakes
1 tsp of cumin powder
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper

For the croutons:
4 potatoes (400g)
1 tbsp of chilli flakes
Salt, pepper and olive oil

Method: Start by turning the oven to 200°C. Then place the beets, with the skin on, into a baking tray to roast for about an hour. While these roast, peel the potatoes (just the ones for the soup) and place them into a sauce pan with cold water. Bring the pan to the boil and then let them simmer for about forty five minutes, so that they’re really nice and soft.

If you want to make the potato croutons then chop the remaining potatoes (you don’t need to peel these ones) into small pieces and place them in a tray with lots of olive oil plus the chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the outside is crispy.

Once the beetroots have cooked, set them aside to cool. Once cool peel the skin off, it should just peel off in your hand. Then chop the beets into pieces and place them into a blender. Drain the boiling (soup) potatoes and add them to the blender too along with the lemon juice, cumin, garlic, coriander powder and coconut cream, plus some salt and pepper. Blend until smooth – if you find it’s too thick at this point then add water until you reached your desired consistency. Place the soup into a saucepan and let it heat up to the perfect eating temperature. Pour the soup into bowls and sprinkle each bowl with the roast potato croutons! Credit: www.deliciouslyella.com

10. Carrot & Halloumi Patties

Ingredients (serves 2):
For The Patties
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fennel seed
4 large carrots, grated
40g spring onions
30g coriander, roughly chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
100g Halloumi, grated
1 clove garlic, finely grated
20g red onion, grated
40g rice flour
1 egg white, whisked

For The Dressing:
4 tbsp of olive oil,
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp of agave syrup

Method:  Pre-heat the oven to 175°C. In a pan, heat the olive oil and the fennel seeds for 3 minutes, take off the heat and put to one side. Mix all of the remaining ingredients into a separate bowl, with the fennel seed olive oil. Take a handful of the mixture, squeeze the moisture out, and make a small patty; it should fit in the palm of your hand. Transfer to a hot pan with 1 tsp sunflower oil, and sear till golden on each side. Then put into the oven to cook for 15 minutes.

To make the dressing, simply mix all of the ingredients together until combined. Serve on a bed of rocket with the lime dressing. Credit: www.honestlyhealthyfood.com

If you’re a meat lover, start by having one vegetarian meal a week (hello Meat Free Mondays) and start incorporating vegetables into your meals and snacks. As well as trying out some of these recipes try having sliced peppers and cucumbers dipped into hummus for an afternoon snack that’ll keep you feeling full. Make these swaps and you’ll be fuelling your body with much needed vitamins, minerals and proteins to keep you going all day and prevent possible health-related illnesses in the future!

Safia Yallaoui

Safia is a lifestyle blogger and coach at the fitness membership company MoveGB. She also has an MA in journalism and has done a variety of freelance work in print, radio and online. After losing 14lbs a few years ago Safia got into health and fitness realising the most important thing about clean eating is nourishing your body. She loves to keep in shape with weight training and going to fitness classes. Whilst training to be a Nutritional Therapist she is learning how to alleviate health problems by including or omitting certain foods and has a keen interest in the affects of sugar on a person's physical and mental health.

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