Tasty vegetarian meal ideas(20 Posts)
I realised today that we eat meat every day, sometimes twice a day if you include ham in sandwiches etc. We've had some kind of meat dish every day this week, apart from one day when we had fish!
I'd like to have a couple of meat free days a week but my kids and dh love their meat so it needs to be tasty!
Can anyone recommend any good vegetarian recipes that aren't pasta and pesto?
What about beans and pulses? I have really enjoyed making curries from Smitten Kitchen and What's For Lunch Honey blogs. Most of the recipes are not complicated, and they are extremely economical if you invest in the spices, which probably still work out to be cheaper than meat.
Would your family eat burritos? Put 2 cans of black beans in a skillet with some of the liquid and let them simmer, mashing up some of the beans with a fork or potato masher. I also fry up an onion and a green pepper, and then serve in a store-bought burrito with grated cheese, sour cream (or plain yogurt), salsa and guacamole or sliced avocado. Delicious, vegetarian, fairly healthy, and extremely easy.
There are tonnes of soups and stews from lentils and other beans.
Another vote for beans and lentils. A favourite in our house is Spicy Beanburgers. Basic recipe below
4oz cooked kidney beans or chickpeas (very, very well drained if they are canned), crushed or finely chopped with a mini food processor
1 heaped tablespoon rolled oats
1 egg, beaten
1/2 carrot, grated or finely chopped (or peppers, mushrooms, courgette etc)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
... to this you can add various flavours, herbs, seasonings.
- Once the mixture is combined, set aside for 30 minutes so that the egg is absorbed by the dry ingredients.
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan, form the mixture into patties and cook on both sides until firm and browned
dp was appalled when I suggested meat free days but we've been doing them over a year now and he's completely changed his mind. Do you like spicy food? I do a few different curries and you honestly don't miss the meat. I use squash, potatoes and spinach for indian curries and babycorn, new potatoes and green beans for thai.
Other favourites are spinach and feta filo pie, mozzarella and tomato tart, spanish omelette, cheesy bread pudding and spicy bean casserole. I'll be experimenting with masala dhosa this week.
Veggie soups are a great meal and perfect for when the nights are getting chillier. I make a lovely leek and potato or a butternut squash soup. Served with slices of fresh bread and everyone should be happy!!
I also make a lovely butternut squash and red lentil curry. It was adapted from a Weightwatchers recipe so filling and very healthy. Also try macaroni cheese or making veggie lasagne. You could also swap minced beef for quorn. The texture is a little softer than 'real meat', but it still tastes nice.
I think finding things that are naturally veggie is a good way forward. Meals such as macaroni cheese, or cauliflower cheese and baked potatoes are 'traditional' enough to not seem unusual for example. Otherwise, I agree that curries etc are a good bet:
- noodles with stir fry and cashew nuts or omelette strips for protein
- chickpea curry
- wraps stuffed with chopped roasted butternut squash, spices, chickpeas and spinach, rolled up, topped with cheese and baked until golden and crispy
- veggie chilli
- Thai vege curry with tofu
- ratatouille and baked potatoes
- veggie lasagne
- Spanish omelette
My eldest is vegetarian as are my parents. A family favourite is lentil burgers. I cook some red lentils until soft and mushy (probably about 100g but it's one of those recipes that I never measure), mixed with mashed potato, bread crumbs, fried diced onions and some parsley. It should be a firm and not too sticky consistency, then form into burger shapes and shallow fry in a little oil until golden. We like them served with carrots and mint sauce but they are also nice with a tomato sauce.
Another of DS1's favourites is another make it up as I go along recipe a can of kidney beans (I've also used butter beans but they need more bread crumbs) blitzed in the food processor, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, and an egg, mixed and formed into sausage shapes then shallow fried until golden.
The beans need to be drained and rinsed by the way :D
Thanks for the inspiration. I'm looking forward to our meat free days
I'm vegetarian so biased towards the virtues of veggie food but I'm sure you can win your family over with some great dishes. I have just started to put some of my child friendly veggie recipes online. Some might be of interest to you AberdeenAnxious:
Hope it's helpful...and enjoy your meatfree mondays!
I eat fish but not meat and I think quorum mince is great for traditional dishes-it's low fat and can be bulked out with lentils and bean etc in a chilli or lasagne.
I agree that veggie curries are fab, especially in this weather. We eat a lot of tapas style meals which might be a good way to experiement for the first few goes-even if one dish is a complete failure (as happens to me a lot!!) then there will be others to fall back on, just until you find your meat free feet. Enjoy! I love using bbcgoodfood for inspiration.
I'm vegan and while I don't usually go for fake meat I tried an experiement a few months ago using TVP in bolognese and chili for the family and nobody noticed, in fact my DH said what was different with that bolognese the mince was nicer! I buy the TVP from Holland & Barret and it's a savoury darker one. When soaking I add a spoonful of marmite and seasoning then add it straight into the sauce. For a typical bolognese dinner to serve four I use 3/4 of a cup measure of TVP.
Big yes to curries and frittatas - any manner of veg or cheese (the more leftovers the better) can go in frittatas and they are delicious.
I also make different kinds of lasagne, for example:
- quorn, which DH prefers to real meat lasagne
- courgette and ricotta
- fennel and roast tomato (BBC Good Food recipe, is fab for more grown up meal)
- butternut squash
- mushroom and taleggio type cheese
Basically any veg can be used as a base for lasagne, you can really experiment. Lots of recipes on the good food website.
There are palenty of vegetarian recipes on BBC Good Food. Here are a few of my favourites...
Squash & coconut curry
We started out with Meat Free Mondays last year and then in April this year my DD decided to become a full time vegetarian.
I have been vegetarian in the past (so has my DH) so since it's easier to cook one meal, we've all pretyy much drifted into it. I'd say 95% + of our meals now are veggie with only occasionally fish.
DS was a little reluctant at first but loves my mushroom risotto and adores pasta.
Tonight i'm experimenting on the family with halloumi & pepper skewers with couscous
Veggies meal we enjoy, as meat etaers, are macaroni peas, feta & hummous pizza, chickpea & ketchup curry and breacrumb pesto spaghetti,
Falafel is nice, and easy to make.
Spicy rice balls
Pancakes with stir fry veg
Grilled Halloumi with salad and Homous
Roasted potatoes, shallots, peppers, squash, sweet potato, borlotti beans...
I'm making myself feel hungry now.
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