, where people are encouraged to go meat-free.
With such obvious health benefits, it’s no wonder popular hashtags like #MeatFreeMonday have taken the world of social media by storm. Simply comparing the nutritional content of meat and vegetarian substitutes highlights what a difference switching to veggie could make in your diet. For example, the calories in 100g of lean beef mince number around 290 and around 25g of fat, whereas the same amount of vegetarian mince comes in at only 35 calories and absolutely no fat.
Although there is a perception that the vegetarian diet is less varied and flavourful compared to a typical carnivore’s diet, if you asked any vegetarian, they will tell you the opposite. Vegetarian and vegan food uses a plethora of ingredients and expertly-chosen herbs and spices to evoke mouth-watering textures and tastes in a single dish.
Don’t just take our word for it, we asked four bloggers for their favourite delicious and easy-to-make vegetarian recipes…
Zucchini, fennel and tomato gratin
- 3 medium-sized zucchinis, sliced thinly
- 2 small fennel bulbs, sliced into strips (save some fronds for the garnish)
- 1 lemon, ½ juiced and ½ sliced thinly
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 container of cherry tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- Cut top and bottom of fennel bulb off and cut in half. Then, slice longways. Boil for 5-7 minutes in a pot with the lemon slices.
- Drain and remove lemons and set aside.
- 425 degrees.
- Drizzle bottom of dish with olive oil.
- Create a circular layer with zucchini slices and your tomatoes, and drizzle with olive oil, a couple shakes of onion powder, garlic powder and some salt and pepper.
- Next, sprinkle with a thin layer of Italian bread crumbs and cheese.
- Add the boiled fennel, half of the lemon juice that you had set aside, some bread crumbs and a bit more cheese.
- Add another layer of zucchini slices, the rest of the breadcrumbs, spices and cheese and top with a drizzle of melted butter.
- Place in oven and cook, uncovered for about 35-40 minutes. If it starts getting to crispy, cover with foil to prevent it getting darker.
- Let it cool for at least for about 10 minutes before serving.
Jackfruit ‘pulled pork’
One of the biggest food trends of 2015 has undoubtedly been pulled pork. Whether it was in a stew, on a burger or the filing of a huge sandwich, there was just no hiding from the slow-cooked meat. Smothered in barbeque sauce and accompanied with a huge bread bun, it’s a treat that soon equates to a generous percentage of your overall calorie allowance.
creatively substituted pulled pork for jackfruit to produce a veggie alternative that could give the real deal a run for its money!
For the Mexican "pulled pork" jackfruit:
- One can of young green jackfruit in brine
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp red chilli paste
- 3/4 red onion, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
For the guacamole:
- Two ripe avocados
- A handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Fresh coriander
- Lime juice
- Plain nachos
- Fresh coriander
- Lime wedge
- Cottage cheese (omit for vegan version)
- Throw all of the Mexican jackfruit ingredients into a slow cooker. Fill the chopped tomato tin with water and pour that in too.
- Set on high mode for 3-4 hours.
- When your pulled jackfruit is almost ready, stir through a few times and push the pieces with the back of a spoon to break up. Use a couple of forks if you want to emphasise the pulled effect.
- Make the guacamole by combining and mashing all the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste.
, aka Lucy Melissa, is a dab-hand when it comes to whipping up mouth-watering vegetarian recipes in the kitchen. Take this traditional Peranakan cuisine soup dish called Laksa, made with Quorn chicken pieces and fresh veg, for example.
300g Quorn Pieces
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3cm piece of root ginger, grated
1 red chilli, diced
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp curry powder
4 spring onions, diced
100g green beans, cooked for 5 minutes in hot water
4 tbsp light soy sauce
400ml coconut milk, light
100ml vegetable stock
150g fine rice noodles, cooked according to pack instructions (approximately 300g cooked weight)
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the garlic, ginger, chilli and spices for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the Quorn Pieces and fry for a further minute.
Add the spring onions, green beans, soy sauce, coconut milk, vegetable stock and noodles. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5-10 minutes until all the ingredients are piping hot. Add the coriander and lime juice.
Easy veggie stir fry
- Pre-cooked tofu pieces
- A bag of mixed stir-fry vegetables (red onions, spring onions, peppers, bean sprouts, green beans, etc.)
- Rice noodles
- Ginger syrup
- Chilli powder
You really can’t get any simpler than a good stir fry, which makes it the perfect healthy meal choice for those who don’t have a lot of spare time to spend in the kitchen. Throw all of the ingredients in a large pan and gently fry until soften. Drizzle the ginger sauce over the entire contents of the pan and add chilli powder to your taste.
These unique recipes will satisfy even the fussiest eater’s appetite. Even if you don’t want to commit to life as a vegetarian, swapping your usual meat-dish for one of these, if only for one day, could be the boost you need to lose weight and become a little bit healthier.