It’s the start of Meat Free Week today. While I’m not a vegetarian, there is no denying that eating less meat is a good idea for many reasons (if you want to learn more check out the Meat Free Week website, which sets out the issues a lot better than I can.)
I love cooking vegetarian food as it forces me to be a bit more creative with the ingredients. When meat is involved, it’s pretty easy to resort to the old meat, vegetables and potatoes fall back (nul points for imagination.) Getting the most out of your veggies requires a little more thought.
I have a few cook books that I call upon for inspiration when I’m cooking vegetarian. A lot has been written about Anna Jones’ A Modern Way to Eat and rightly so as it’s full of delicious and different veggie recipes. (See here for a proper review). I also like Vegetarian by Alice Hart and Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi.
So I’m doing the Meat Free Week challenge. As Fred, who is seven, has started eating his dinner with us now, I’ve got to find recipes for dishes that the whole family will enjoy. I’m lucky that he’s not a picky eater and doesn’t mind a little bit of spice and chilli in his food. Here are a few ideas for the coming week:
Fritters are a great way of getting kids to eat their vegetables. These carrot fritters with halloumi are from Vegetarian by Alice Hart. I’ve made them before and they were loved by adults and kids alike. You can find the recipe here.
Fred has recently discovered the delights of a lightly spiced curry. Indian food is fantastic for vegetarian recipes. Of course a simple aloo gobi is divine, but if you want something a little bit different, why not make a spinach and paneer curry? I even made my own paneer when I tried this recipe. Get me. Cheese maker extraordinaire, Alex James had better watch out. The recipe can be found here and is from Meera Sodha’s excellent book Made in India.
I’ve also been on the look out for a good, quick pasta recipe. Anna Jones has listed a few on her blog which are worth taking a look at. I quite like the look of this one from 101 Cookbooks, a brilliant blog for tasty, innovative vegetarian food. You can’t go wrong with pasta, pesto (this one is made out of kale) and cheese.
Shakshuka has become one of my staple dishes – eggs baked in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce, what’s not to love? Ottolenghi does a mean shakshuka. Although it’s meant to be a breakfast or brunch dish, I don’t mind eggs at dinner (brinner?) time. I may tone down the chilli if Fred is eating with us. I like it hot.
And finally, these quesadillas from A Modern Way to Eat look pretty tasty. One for Friday night perhaps?
I’ll be documenting my #meatfreeweek on Instagram. What are you cooking this week?