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1 Oct

Super Simple Dishes for World Vegetarian Day

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day and so when is better to challenge yourself tgo meat-free or at least switch up your regular staple dishes for a veggie alternative? Whether you’re a full-blown veggie, flexitarian or fancy hopping on the ‘Meat-free Monday’ trend, this article hopes to inspire you with some super simple meat-free recipes.  

I stopped eating meat just over three years ago and can safely say it’s one thing I will never go back to – I don’t miss it in the slightest. Not only will you save the planet by reducing your meat consumption, you will also save money and reap many health benefits in return. For example, I noticed a huge improvement in my skin from cutting out meat and limiting dairy. My body also felt less bloated from losing extra fluid it was holding onto. At first, my weight dropped significantly but after getting used to this new lifestyle choice, my body felt rebalanced from no longer being fed unnecessary animal products and hormones.   

The abundance of mock meats and veggie alternatives in the shops today is overwhelming, but from someone who wasn’t a massive meat eater before, I much prefer to opt for plant-based options. I do find that fake meats can be heavily processed and often too ‘real’ in terms of texture and taste! 99.9% of dishes can be made veggie/vegan these days, which means no meat definitely does not mean you’re missing out! If you’re not a fan of fake meats, why not try tofu? And if that’s not your thing, simply load up on the veggies and ensure you’re consuming some source of protein, healthy fats and carbs.  

 

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more veggie-inspired meals: @veggie_tori

Tori’s Top Veggie Dishes: 

1. Falafel Grain Bowl (Difficulty-Easy Breezy) 

2. Sweet Potato & Feta Couscous Salad – (Difficulty- Easy Breezy) 

Salads don’t have to boring and believe it or not, can actually fill you up. I love adding sundried tomatoes, olives, avocado and seeds for extra healthy fats. Olive oil, balsamic and hummus make great dressings as shop bought varieties can otherwise be loaded with salt, calories and sugar.  

3. Veggie Thai Green Curry (Difficulty-Not too tricky)  

4. Mixed Bean Chilli with Healthy Tortilla Chips and Guac (Difficulty-Not too tricky) 

1. Falafel Grain Bowl – 
Serves 2  

Ingredients:

1 pack of pre-made falafels  

1 bag of microwave rice and grains  

1 bag of mixed leaves  

½ diced red onion 

½ cucumber 

150g cherry tomatoes  

1 handful of olives 

1 can of sweetcorn 

8 sundried tomatoes  

1tbsp sundried tomato oil  

2 tbsp of hummus 

Squeeze of lemon 

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Optional: 

Feta  

Method:
  1. Microwave rice and grains according to packet instructions or heat in a pan  
  2. Assemble the rice into one half of the bowl and fill the other half with mixed leaves 
  3. Chop up cucumber, onion and cherry tomatoes and place these on top of the mixed leaves 
  4. Scatter on ½ a can of sweetcorn  
  5. Arrange 4 -5 falafels on top of the salad / rice mixture – you can have these hot or cold  
  6. Add 4 sundried tomatoes and as many olives as you desire  
  7. If you’re a dairy eater, feel free to crumble over some feta – the flavour combination works  
  8. Finally squeeze over lemon juice and ½ tbsp of the sundried tomato oil straight from the jar 
  9. Pop a dollop of hummus on top and season with salt and pepper 
  10. Quick, simple, healthy and trust me, it’s delicious!  
2. Sweet Potato & Feta Couscous Salad  
Serves 2 

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato  

1 red onion 

100 grams of dried couscous  

50g pumpkin seeds 

2tbsp olive oil 

1/2 lemon juiced 

2tbsp balsamic vinegar  

1 bag of rocket  

50g feta 

Salt & black pepper to taste   

½ tsp paprika  

½ tsp mixed herbs  

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180° 
  2. Dice sweet potato into cubes, drizzle with 1tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and mixed herbs  
  3. Chop red onion into wedges and add to baking tray with sweet potatoes – toss around in seasoning  
  4. Bake for 20-25mins until soft, caramelised and golden 
  5. Meanwhile measure out the couscous and add to a bowl. Cover with boiling water and leave to cook (top tip- place a plate on top to speed up cooking process) 
  6. Once the onion and potato are out of the oven the couscous should be ready 
  7. Fluff up with a fork and season with salt and black pepper  
  8. Cut half of the feta into cubes and combine with the onion, potato and couscous  
  9. Add juice of half a lemon, 1tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp of balsamic 
  10. Add a generous handful of pumpkin seeds and toss through the rocket leaves  
  11. Crumble the remaining feta on top  
  12. This salad is the perfect packed lunch or side dish eaten hot or cold. I recommend serving with halloumi, falafel or fresh bread for a heartier option.  
3. Veggie Thai Inspired Curry – 
Serves 4  

Ingredients:

2 tbsp Thai red curry paste 

1 tin of coconut milk 

1tbsp soy sauce 

½ of a veggie stock cube  

1 lime juiced 

1 onion 

1 garlic clove  

300g of mushrooms 

1 pepper 

1 handful of spinach  

130g of baby corn  

150g of mangetout  

Rice -opt for microwave for a quick lazy version  

Black pepper, to taste 

Optional:  

Tofu / Quorn pieces 

Fresh coriander, spring onions and sesame seeds to garnish  

Method:
  1. Chop onion and garlic and fry until soft  
  2. Crumble in ½ stock cube 
  3. Add 2tbsp curry paste and 1 tbsp of light soy sauce  
  4. Season with black pepper  
  5. Pour in a full can of coconut milk and squeeze in half of the lime  
  6. Allow the sauce to simmer on a low heat, allowing the flavours to infuse  
  7. Meanwhile prepare all the vegetables  
  8. Add peppers, mushrooms, corn and mangetout to the pan. You don’t want to overcook the veg- a little crunch is nice!  
  9. If you’re adding tofu or quorn you should add this along with the veg or a few minutes before 
  10. Once again leave the curry to simmer and infuse on a low heat  
  11. Towards the end add in a handful of freshly washed spinach – you won’t even notice the spinach so it’s great if you’re not a spinach fan but also adds an extra source of iron! 
  12. Serve with rice (I use microwave to avoid any uncooked/overcooked rice mishaps) 
  13. Garnish with fresh coriander, a lime wedge and sesame seeds 
4. Mixed Bean Chilli with Healthy Tortilla Chips and Guac
 Serves 4 

Ingredients:

1 can of mixed beans 

1 can of chickpeas 

1 onion 

1 pepper 

1 can of sweetcorn  

1 can tinned tomatoes  

1 garlic clove 

1-3 tsp chilli powder 

1 tsp chilli flakes  

1-3 tsp paprika 

1tbsp balsamic vinegar  

Salt and black pepper, to taste  

4 tortillas  

1 large avocado  

2tbsp olive oil  

Optional: 

Bunch of fresh coriander  

Lime juice 

Brown rice  

Sour cream / Greek yogurt  

Method:
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan 
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened  
  3. Incorporate the spices and cook until a paste forms  
  4. Chop peppers and add to the pan  
  5. Tip in the beans, chickpeas, half of the sweetcorn and tomatoes 
  6. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins or until the chilli has thickened 
  7. Season with salt, pepper and the secret ingredient -Balsamic Vinegar! 
  8. While the chilli is simmering away you can prepare the accompaniments  
  9. Cut 4 tortillas into triangle shapes and place on a baking tray  
  10. Drizzle with oil and a generous grind of sea salt. Toss around so both sides are covered in oil. 
  11. Place in oven at 180° for 10 mins – shake every now and then to ensure both sides are cooked and do not burn!  
  12. If the tortilla chips seem soft when they come out of the oven, don’t worry they will get crunchy once cooled!  
  13. Smash the avocado with salt, pepper, lime juice, chilli flakes, finely chopped red onion and coriander (if that’s your thing)  
  14. Serve up the chilli with the remaining sweetcorn, healthier tortilla chips and fresh guacamole 
  15. Feel free to bulk the dish up with rice and of course add a dollop of sour cream or 0% fat Greek yogurt for a healthier option 
  16. A great one for the family or friend’s dinner party-Enjoy!  
Tori Hartin

Petite Irish girl in Leeds with a penchant for cocktails, coffee and clothes...

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