If you're a vegetarian, or thinking of reducing the amount of meat you eat, SOPHIE BROWNSON has some mouth-watering recipes for you to try.
WITH National Vegetarian Week 2014 just around the corner, now is the time to impress your friends, vegetarian or otherwise, with some tasty and easy veggie recipes.
Running from May 19-25 the annual awareness week aims to show people how tasty and nutritious a vegetarian diet can be.
To celebrate a week of delicious vegetable eating, the following delicious main meal ideas are sure to see you through the week.
Tenderstem, Shallot, Sweetcorn and Tarragon Butterbean Pot Pies
Recipe by www.tenderstem.co.uk
Individual puff pastry pies that can be made ahead, chilled and baked to order
Serves: Four (more if you use smaller dishes for children)
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
You will need:
50g unsalted butter
6 shallots, thinly sliced
5 tbsp plain flour (50g)
850ml milk (a or mix of milk with a little cream for extra indulgence)
2 x 410g tins of butterbeans, drained & rinsed
325g tin sweetcorn, drained
A small bunch of tarragon, leaves chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 sheet of readymade puff pastry
What to do:
Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan and add the shallots. Sweat over a medium low heat for 10 minutes until they are starting to soften. Stir through the flour, mixing it well into the buttery juices and cook for a minute.
Over a low heat, slowly pour in the milk, stirring all the time to prevent lumps forming. Once all the milk is combined increase the heat a little and bring up to the boil, cooking for a few of minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy. Add the drained and rinsed butter beans and remove from the heat.
Blanch the Tenderstem in boiling water, then drain well and stir through sauce. Add the sweetcorn and tarragon and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide between four deep pie dishes, or spilt into smaller dishes for children’s portions. Set aside to cool.
Unroll the sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured worktop and cut into pieces large enough to fit on top of the pie dishes. If necessary roll the pastry a touch thinner to make it a little larger. Lay the pastry over the the pies and tuck well down over the filling. Make a cut on the surface for the steam to escape, brush with a little milk and sprinkle over a few flakes of sea salt. Chill until required.
When you are ready to bake the pies, preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is bubbling hot. If you are cooking smaller pies, reduce the time a little.
Roast shallot and broad bean cous-cous
Recipe by www.UKshallot.com
This hearty supper is healthy, cheap and filling - great for an easy meal for your vegetarian mates.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
8 shallots, peeled and halved
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
300ml vegetable stock
200g broad beans
grated rind and juice 1 small lemon
150g feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
handful chopped fresh mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Put the shallots in a small roasting tin and drizzle with the oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 10-15 minutes, until tender and golden.
Put the cous-cous in a bowl and stir in the paprika. Pour over the stock and cover with cling film. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. Cook the broad beans in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Slip the beans out of their grey skins.
Fluff up the cous-cous and stir in the beans, lemon rind and juice, feta (if using), mint and shallots.
Reginette pasta with beetroot & sour cream sauce
Recipe by www.lovebeetroot.co.uk
This pretty dish looks decadent but is actually deliciously healthy. The beetroot sauce turns the pasta a pretty pink hue, while the rocket adds a splash of green and a fresh crispness
The beetroot sauce turns the pasta a pretty pink hue, while the rocket adds a splash of green and a fresh crispness.
If you fancy something a bit more indulgent, try dressing the salad prior to adding the pasta and topping it off with parmesan shavings.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
280g Reginette pasta
2 cloves garlic
1 pack cooked beetroot - choose from Sweet Chilli or Red Wine Vinegar and Orange Blossom Honey infused beetroot from the infused beetroot ready-to-eat range.
2tsp olive oil
200ml low fat sour cream
2 large handfuls rocket
Small bunch Chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
To serve (optional)
Your favourite salad dressing or a drizzle of oil
What to do:
Boil a kettle of water, pour into a large saucepan and bring back to the boil. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.
While the pasta is cooking roughly chop the shallots, garlic and beetroot. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the shallots for 5-6 minutes until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
Take off the heat and add the beetroot and sour cream to the pan. Blend the mixture using a hand blender or food processor to a coarse sauce. Taste and season well with salt and black pepper
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pan. Pour the warm sauce over the pasta and toss to coat the pasta well. In a separate bowl dress the rocket with a little oil or your favourite dressing (optional).
Scatter a little rocket over each plate then top with the beetrooty pasta. Drizzle over any sauce left in the pan and sprinkle over the chives. Top with the remaining rocket and a few shavings of parmesan (optional).