Help me do veggie please!(26 Posts)
Since moving in with DP fairly recently, my diet has suffered. He and DS are picky eaters and I've found myself eating alot of red meat and fried food with alot less veg than I used to.
I want to clean up my diet and get back to being healthy as well as losing some weight.
Ideally I'd like to stick to a mostly vegetarian diet but maybe have some fish once or twice a week for variety-so pescatarian really. Can you share with me any tips/good recipes/things to look out for?
I have loads of vegetarian recipes, what sorts of foods do you like? this is one I do regularly it's delicious and even my meat loving dp loves it.
I have loads more that I do, I try to eat meat free at east 3-4 days a week.
Making a Shepards pie with veggies and beans instead of meat is really yummy. I also like to do a sweet potato mash topping.
Veggie fajitas with courgettes, mushrooms, onions and peppers with guacamole and lettuce.
veggie lasagne is very nice too. one of my favs is baked sweet potato with oven roasted cod and tomatoes with grilled red pepper, served with salad and topped with feta cheese and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
Oh, thanks for replies!
I like most foods, not a huge fan of pulses/lentils but I'm willing to try!
Things that I can make a little extra of and take to work for lunch the next day are good, as are things I can sort of adapt for DS too.
The mushroom risotto looks lovely!
When I transitioned to Veganism I found the best thing to do was stick to my old favourites and adapt them.
Spag Bol, I would make the base of carrots, onions, mushrooms and add lentils or crumbled vegan meatballs. The Jamie Oliver Superfood Veggie Bolognese is incredible.
Same with Chilli, Cottage Pie, Lasagne, either lentils or 'mince'.
Veggie Sausage and mash, Veggie Pasta, Veggie Curries.
I found the best thing to do is sit down and do a meal plan of your current favourites, adapt how you serve it eg have extra veg on the side and try and form veggie alternatives to the main. Experiment with a new recipe once or twice a week. You'll have some you hate and some you love. But it's a learning curve!
Making your own chips is also a deal breaker.
Peel (or don't if you like skin) a potato, slice it and bang it in the over on some parchment paper with some olive oil. Shake the tray after twenty minutes and then cook until they're how you like them. It made such a change from McCain's!
the mushroom risotto is moreish and if you make extra you can make risotto balls for the next day, it does take time but it is worth every second, i agree about homemade chips and wedges, you can sprinkle all varieties of seasonings on them or roast them with sea salt, garlic and rosemary ( my favourite ) black beans are good in chilli as an alternative to mince. I love Moroccan flavours so will regularly do Moroccan chickpea soup and Moroccan eggs.
Are you happy to eat dairy, just reducing the meat content of your diet - or do you want to limit dairy as well?
And are DP and DS picky, as in will only eat plain meat, 1 veg if pushed and boiled potatoes, or lots of fried stuff - or want a large amount of meat compared to the veg but will have pasta, curries, thai, morroccan etc?
I eat quite a few things that are either veggie, or reduced meat,
I do things like prepping a BIG batch of medditeranean veggies, diced up small (all same size) and marinated in some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Things like (whole cloves of) garlic, (halved) cherry tomatoes, (rest are diced to the same size) - mushrooms, courgette, peppers, (aubergine if you like them) etc. I tend to prep 2 courgettes, 4 peppers, 2 onions and the rest together - roast half (takes about 20-25 minutes) and freeze half uncooked for another night. Any leftovers can be frozen and added to a tomato sauce for pasta, with some prawns, sausages (chopped) or bacon lardons if you wanted an element of meat/fish. But the roast from the oven would often be served as the side dish to say a lamb chop/knuckle and some potatoes - which I tend to also roast for convenience that night. Goes well with chicken and white fish too.
Go for stew type dinners rather than 1 piece of meat and veg on the side. Add lots of veg to the stew - onions, carrots, squash, peppers, mushrooms etc - depending on the meat. While having some beef/lamb meals, do put a few chicken and fish nights in there too.
Veggie curries (Jamie Oliver did a nice one as an alternative to Friday night takeaway on a tv programme a few years ago that is very tasty and quick) are great. And even ones that include meat, you can increase the amount of veg in them (and take less meat yourself). Or do larger batches of both a meat (with some veg) curry and a separate veggie one, to eat one night, and freeze leftovers for other nights (lots of curries freeze really well). Or do a large batch of a meat one, with leftovers to freeze, and the next time, use leftovers for the boys and make a large batch of a veggie one for you, again making leftovers to freeze. So you only make 1 each time but can eat separate ones. Bulking out with veg, lentils, chickpeas etc do help to reduce meat content and improve healthiness of the dishes.
I tend to do my spag bol/lasagna sauce with maybe 3/4 carrots, half a courgette, a pepper and a handful of mushrooms chopped up in the food processor and added once the meat has browned before the tomatoes. And my shepherd's pie is similar except not using peppers (too sweet) but I do include frozen peas (whole) as well. My DSis uses a good handful of lentils in hers as well - I just can't cook lentils .
Similar to the veggie curry, we also do a veggie chilli at times. Its sloppier than chilli con carne but has large chunks of pepper, cauliflower, onion, etc and is surprisingly tasty.
The other option would be to do lots of stir fry type meals - a handful each of a few different veg - either with or without meat, and with different sauces to suit different veg/meat/carbs - so tomato sauce with pasta, cream and wine sauce with pasta/rice/potatoes, Chinese sauces with noodles/rice, curries, etc. Even starting with your veg and tomato sauce but changing the seasoning to make it Italian, Indian or Mexican works well.
river cottage veg every day book is really good. found lots of really tasty recipes, they arent hard or hard to get ingredients and easy to take for lunch the next day.
Oh and I quite often make a big batch of veg soup to take into work.
I also forgot to add my mushrooms. I cook a bunch of mushrooms (sometimes all regular button ones, sometimes a nice mix of fancy ones or even dried ones reconstituted) (sorry, I do cook them in butter but olive oil does work) with chopped garlic and thyme, slowly till nice and dark (full of flavour, not burned). Sometimes I eat them straight like that, others I will add a dash of white wine and reduce, or cream, or both, to make a sauce.
It goes great over a nice bread (sourdough.....mmmmmm) toasted, or over pasta or rice. Can add chicken if someone wants meat. Also great for mushroom risottos.
And actually risottos are great for veggie nights. Broad bean, or pea, or leek versions are more light and summery. Mushroom or butternut squash for heavier wintery days.
As well as HM oven chips or wedges, I also do diced potatoes when popping something in the oven (like a part boned chicken breast with feta and thyme leaves under the skin) - dice the potatoes to an even size, marinate (even 5 minutes if great) in olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest (and a squeeze of juice but not much), and garlic (I use garlic granules for this - fresh garlic for pretty much everything else), throw into a hot oven and cook for about 30-40 minutes, shake half way through, until golden and crispy delicious!
I've also found that doing spuds in the oven, I am more likely to then put the meat in too, and the fat comes out more compared to the pan (and you don't put any other fat into the pan for cooking).
I keep meaning to experiment with an idea I saw of a thick slice of cauliflower across the middle, cooked as if it were a joint of meat. Looked delicious. I actually often have (not so great for the diet but yum!) a good cauliflower cheese with some roast potatoes and no meat, but lamb or steak goes well as well for the carnivores of the house. So you get most of the cauli, they get their meat and a serving of cauli as their veg, and everyone's happy.
If you are thinking of eating more veggie I would try to get your family on board as much as possible, it makes life so much easier if you don't have to cook two different meals each night.
I often do meals that 'just so happen to be veggie' rather than veggie versions of traditionally meat based dishes.
Things like macaroni cheese, cheese and caramelised onion quiche, pizza with mushrooms and peppers, stuffed peppers, falafels and pitas, puff pastry tarts, fritata.
I make lots of veggie pasta bakes, curries, love 5 bean chilli, in BBQ season roasted veg and haloumi skewers, baked sweet potatoes with homemade coleslaw, stir fries with cashews, stuffed butternut squash, shakshuk. Beany quasedillas.
DP and DS are picky and mostly eat "plain" food.
DS will eat any sort of plain veg (peas, broccolli, corn, green beans, salad etc) but protein wise is limited to chicken nuggets and sausages (I know). He wouldn't entertain eggs, pulses etc so I just try to make sure he has decent quality non-processed versions of the things he'll eat and he enjoys plenty of dairy, plain pasta etc to accompany his meals.
DP is a law unto himself, he literally has about ten meals he will eat, and wont entertain changing them, though to be fair he doesn't ask me to pander to him and usually cooks for both of us/himself.
Basically, I'm better just leaving them to it and concentrating on making this work for me. I'm happy enough eating dairy (no way I could give up my beloved cheese).
Happy to cook double portions of things to freeze or use the next day but don't want to end up with a freezer bursting full of leftovers as I quite enjoy cooking regularly.
Tonight I'm having a baked sweet potato with goats cheese and some salad, not very exciting but itll be tasty.
Generally I'm happy enough having plainer food as its easy to prepare something like that then alter it to suit each of us slightly differently but I'd like to be a bit more adventurous now!
add some red onion chutney to the goats cheese and potato it will make it very tasty and some balsamic vinegar over the salad, it's something I have regularly for lunch
Thanks Music no chutney in at the moment but I will definitely keep it in mind. If I wasn't trying to lose weight I'd caremalise some with sugar but its unecessary calories
Any good packed lunch ideas that I could try when I'm not having leftovers?
I just made a stew/soup thing I'm quite happy with! Best thing is it took 15 mins.
One carrot, diced
One potato, diced
Half a cup of red lentils
Half a red onion
One shallot (or just some normal onion)
One garlic clove, minced
Pinch of chilli powder
Salt to taste
1/4 cup passata
Cup of pasta
Veg stock cube
Sauté onion, garlic, carrot, potato in olive oil and once softened, add boiling water and stock cube. Simmer. Add passata, pasta and lentils Simmer until the veg has softened completely and stock has thickened.
Couscous with Mediterranean veg, avocado and grilled halloumi is amazing
My fave topping for baked sweet potato is feta and spring onion
An unexpectedly amazing cook book which is fabulous and full of hearty tasty (vegan) food is the Nick Knowles one. I paid about 7 quid in Asda for it and everything I have made from it is filling. My current favourite apart from Leon!
My favourite veggie lunches are cold fritata with salad, falafel in pitta, salad leaves with sweet potato, peppers, spring onion and roasted chickpeas.
Thanks all, these are great! I never thought of doing cold fritata.
Are there any ready made or convenient things that are worth checking out? I'm thinking things like quiche, jars of pasta/curry sauce or whatever as opposed to meat substitutes. I'm not a massive fan of quorn!
Keep em coming!
Have a look on the Cauldron fb page.
They have suggested cauldron sausages with a thin coating of Dijon mustard and covered in breadcrumbs and cooked. I gave it a go and it was delicious.
The vegetarian society on FB have some cracking recipes as well!
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