Have you ever thought about going vegetarian before? If not, now is perfect time to try. From Monday 20th to Sunday 26th May people all over Britain will be celebrating National Vegetarian Week (NVW) by ditching the meat and going green.
First established in the UK by the Vegetarian Society in 1992, NVW is celebrating its 21st birthday in a big way, with events happening up and down the country. From limited edition vegetarian menu’s in London restaurants to special offers on organic cosmetics, it seems everyone is going gaga for a taste of the veggie lifestyle.
Of course there are many fantastic reasons to do so. Millions of people all around the world choose not to eat meat or fish and instead live healthily on a balanced vegetarian diet. Not only does it save a lot of animals from becoming somebodies dinner, it’s also an incredibly sustainable lifestyle, allowing people to grow their own food and negating the need to waste large amounts of time, money and space on keeping and feeding livestock.
If you’re curious about living life the veggie way, why not embrace the spirit of NVW and try your hand at this delectable collection of recipes that you can cook at home in your own oven. You might be surprised at the amount of amazingly filling and tantalisingly tasty dishes which you can create without using any meat or fish at all.
Oven Baked Risotto
Risottos are fantastically easy to cook meals that are great at keeping you warm during the colder British weather.
- 300g mixed pepper antipasto
- 100g risotto rice
- 50g spinach
- 25g parmesan cheese
- 25g butter
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 small red onion, cut into small wedges
- 1 tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 150ml white wine
Preheat your oven to 180oC (fan ovens 200oC) or gas mark 6 and mix the butter, garlic and red onion together in an oven proof dish. Place that in the oven for about 5 minutes or so until the butter melts and covers the vegetables.
Add the 100 grams of rice, along with the vegetable stock, chopped rosemary and white wine and bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it’s cooked through.
After half hour drain the pepper antipasto and stir it into the mix as well. Keep that baking for 10 minutes or until nearly all the liquid is absorbed. Then remove the mix and sprinkle the parmesan on top before serving.
Roast Vegetable With Hummus Pie
This enticingly crispy puff pie costs is relatively inexpensive to make yet serves up to 4 people.
- 375g ready-rolled puff pastry
- 2 small sweet potatoes, sliced into thin strips
- 1 onion, cut into small wedges
- 50g cauliflower
- 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, cut into chunks with the seeds taken out
- 2 courgettes, thickly sliced
- 200g humus, your choice of flavour (Stick with something mild though as you don’t want it to overpower the pie)
- 1 lemon’s worth of finely grated zest
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. cumin seeds
Before you start preheat your oven to 220oC (Fan ovens 200oC) or gas mark 7. Mix all the courgettes, peppers, cauliflower and onion chunks together in a roasting tin along the cumin seeds and olive oil. Roast the mixture for 30 minutes then remove the tin and mix in the humus, coriander and lemon zest.
Roll the pastry out and slice it into two even rectangles. Put one piece aside and place the sweet potato slices in an overlapping pattern over the other piece of pastry, leaving a small 2cm gap around the edges. Heap the roasted vegetables on top of the potatoes and brush the edges of the pie with a glaze (to make a simple glaze mix an egg yolk with a tablespoon of milk).
Take the remaining slice of pastry and stretch it out over the top of the vegetables, ensuring that you cover the pie from edge to edge by pressing and sealing all the side together. Slice 3 slits on the top the pie in order to let the air flow and glaze the surface.
Put the finished pie back in the oven and bake for half hour at 180oC (fan ovens 200oC) or gas mark 6. Take it out once your pastry has risen and turned a delicious golden brown colour, then leave to cool for a while and enjoy.
For more recipe ideas, check out the collection over at the VegSoc site.
Vegetarian Symbol: Wikimedia Commons
Risotto: Wikimedia Commons
PIe: Wikimedia Commons