Friday, 8 March 2013

Vegetarian food - help!

Slightly alarmed by the report that eating too much processed meat has been linked to early death, DH has decided that we are going to eat more vegetarian food. He announced this as we tucked into sausage casserole! We have this about once a week, and we probably use a packet of bacon a week between us, so all in all I don't think we overdo the processed meat. However, I can see the health benefits of eating more veggies and I am willing to have a go at a weekly vegetarian dish. After all, I was vegetarian myself for three years when I was a student.

There are a few issues; DH is lactose intolerant so we can't have too much cheese. Bang go macaroni and cauliflower cheese! He also dislikes too much tomato, no one apart from me will eat courgettes, and I struggle to get DD to eat more than peas and sweetcorn on the vegetable front. Help! Does anyone have any good ideas?!


  1. Does your family like curries or perhaps stir fries? They are both great ways to get in lots of veggies. I have several great cookbooks that are vegetarian so if you are looking for something specific please don't hesitate to ask.

  2. I feel your pain - in similar position! Have you considered Quorn? Best idea I can offer is to make it DH's problem and get him to do the research. Good luck!!! WS xxx

  3. Hi - I am gradually reducing our meat intake and have worked out some alternatives to the usual meat dishes that we eat. I use lentils as the 'meat' part of the dish and then make the rest as I would when using minced meat. I also cook lentil curries. If you fancy the recipe for any of these please email me and I'll send you some of the ones I have found work for us. Lily. xxx

  4. Thank you everyone!

    Shara - We love both stir fries and particularly curries. A good veggie curry would be great!

    Sybil - Love the idea of getting DH to do the research! I have tried Quorn and it made DD ill! You couldn't make it up...

    Lily - I hadn't thought of lentils. Thanks! I will email you for recipe.

  5. Looks like I have some homework to do...

  6. This is my favorite curry recipe. It is quite basic and then I do add ins.
    The recipe is from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. If you can find a copy of the book at your local library I recommend checking it out. It is full of basic recipes with easily accessible ingredients.

    1 cup of brown lentils, washed and picked over
    3 1/2 cups of water, coconut milk or veggie broth (if you use coconut milk use 1 can and add water for the difference) -- you may need more water as it cooks
    1 tbsp of curry powder
    2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
    salt and pepper
    yogurt and minced cilantro for garnishment

    Combine lentils, liquid and curry powder and bring to boil over medium heat. Turn down to a med/low and simmer...covered partially and stir occasionally until lentils begin to absorb the liquid. (Approx 15 minutes)

    Add potatoes and cover pan completely. Cook for 10 minutes more undisturbed, then check to make sure not getting to dry. Add a little liquid as needed.
    When lentils become soft add your salt and pepper.

    Continue to cook until lentils are soft and potatoes are done. (approx 5 to 10 more minutes) Add liquid as needed.
    Mixture should be moist, but not soupy. Taste and adjust spices.

    Serve as is or over rice.

    Now that is where the recipe ends, but I use this base and add tons of veggies. Carrots and onions definitely, and then whatever other veggie I have on hand that I want. I just adjust the liquids and spices to suit me. I've also added chicken when I wasn't looking for a vegetarian dish.

    Please keep in mind that in my area there are no restaurants that serve curry so I have no idea what an authentic one would taste like, but hubby likes this enough he requests it from time to time.

    1. Thanks for this Shara! Somehow your comment ended up in my spam folder so I've only just found it.

  7. Our favs-

    Veggie Shepherds Pie-we use Tesco Veggie Mince as it stretches. Mr Sft is a meat eater and loves it.

    We also like Quorn Veggie Sausages, esp the cumberland ones.

    1. Thanks Sft, I'll look out for the mince!

  8. I've been vegetarian for over 30 years. I hardly ever eat cheese - why is it that meat eaters automatically think "macaroni cheese" when hearing the word vegetarian? I never eat the processed foods such as Quorn designed to replace meat.

    I eat different grains, rice, quinoa, millet, barley. A great salad or stews can be made with any of those. I eat lots of lentils and beans (chickpeas are a favourite - don't just think boring chickpeas - they're delicious with added flavours). There are so many different beans and they can easily replace the meat in any dish.
    A good idea would be to get several vegetarian books from the library although I'd ignore the ones that use processed or "pretend meat" products. Wholefoods are the best way to go.

    For dinner tonight? Curried quinoa patties with a red pepper sauce (not decided on the accompanying veg yet till I look in the fridge)

    Yesterday - Bean, kale and rice casserole.

    I could go on but the dog needs walking!

    Think "Wholefoods" and take it from there.

    1. Thank you! I have gone out and bought a packet of lentils, and I am trying out a great looking recipe in the next few days. I will definitely ransack the library! The macaroni cheese comment was because I really like it and I am mourning it's loss - although I suspect my arteries aren't!


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