The Veggie Recipe page!
How to be a happy healthy vegetarian (me for 40 years now)
I have four children who ate no meat or fish before 18. The older two checked out meat before basically returning to veggiedom (I think!); they do sports, have degrees and are stunning guitar players. The 16 yr old was the fastest runner in his class. At 17 yrs my daughter is set for A* and looks beautiful.
You do not need meat! And the planet would be better off if you didn't eat it: see the Observer article top right >
What do we need? 3 things:
- Protein - body building
- Vitamins - systems functioning
- Carbohydrate - fuel
Where can veggies get them?
Protein TOFU is a great source: huge protein content, no fat and tastes delicious if you cook it as described below. It has the full set of amino acids needed to make proteins. It comes from soya beans. Other major sources of protein are other products of soya beans, from exotic tempeh to Linda McCartney sausages, veggieburgers, veggie mince, etc. Also other beans, nuts and, of course, dairy products: yoghurt, cheese and milk.
Vitamins come from all over the place if you eat a good variety of foods including uncooked.
Carbohydrate Rice, potatoes, bread - all the normal types of carbohydrate - give you energy.
Simple meals (that our family lives off). Does this sound difficult or boring?
- Shepherds pie - with veggie mince (in a tasty sauce) - Tesco, Sainsbury, Linda McCartney... AVOID QUORN.
- Stew - chunks of vege steak (chunky strips from Holland & Barrett). It's your SAUCE that creates the taste.
- Nut Roast slices with roast potatoes, gravy, redcurrant jelly and your favourite vegetables.
- Stir-fry with rice and tofu (marinated in shoyu is good!).
- Curry and Rice - endless varieties... Mr. Patak and his wonderful pastes are all you need!
- Halloumi with 'greek potatoes' - fried in magic flavoured batter! See below.
- Buckwheat and Tofu - The easiest tastiest recipe. Buckwheat is a wonderful grain. See magic recipe below.
- Bacon and eggs - just use Tesco's great veggie bacon. Tastes like bacon crisps which are actually vegetarian - check the packet!
- Pizza!!! With all sorts of things on...
- Pasta!!! e.g. tagliatelli with mushrooms in a wine and cream sauce.
- Mince (veggie) in 'enhanced' bolognese sauce with Mash/Baked Potatoes, grated cheese and frozen peas/veg.
- Cauliflower Cheese - also use as a veg with roasts and everything else!
- Sausage / Burgers, egg and chips - some really nice flavour veggie sausages and burgers abound: Cauldron, Linda McCartney, Vegetarians Choice (Holland & Barrett). AVOID QUORN! (see note at the bottom)
Honestly, does that sound like hardship? It isn't and it COSTS LESS than meat versions of the same. And just like meat, you can make it as interesting or boring as you like...
SOME AMAZING RECIPES - EASY - SIMPLE - TASTY!
Easy Start - Mushrooms and Tomatoes on Toast - simple things made tasty
Thanks to a celebrity chef website for telling me that mushrooms (and tomatoes, I've found) cook beautifully if you just
LEAVE THEM ALONE on a low heat! So ...
Wipe some ordinary mushrooms (either button or the ordinary size) with a damp cloth or piece of kitchen paper to clean any compost off. Place them in the smallest frying pan you can fit everything into.
Slice a large lump of butter (a centimetre or two!) off the end of the pat and put it in with the mushrooms and turn on the heat medium high for now. The butter will start to melt and then bubble but DON'T burn it!! Move the mushrooms around so they get coated.
Cut some lovely tomatoes in half (across the equator, not pole to pole!) and put them in the pan, flat side down, with the mushrooms and butter, which should be getting hot by now. Sizzle but DON'T BURN!
ADD the MAGIC:
1. Garlic if you like it - finely chopped/sliced cloves (not too much, but as you wish!)
2. Pepper from a mill scrunched lightly over everything
3. Salt from a Rock Salt grinder (definitely not too much) (these two mills can both be got from a supermarket)
4. Sprinkle oregano or herbes de provence (or both) over everything
Now shake it all about and let it sizzle for a minute to coat everything with everything and get a little bit of colour...
then TURN DOWN THE HEAT TO LOW and LEAVE IT ALONE! Just turn things once or twice if you remember to!
Now go and make some toast - and in another pan make scrambled eggs / veggie bacon / veggie sausages / whatever or just have toast! The time this takes will let the mushies and toms sit in the butter getting cooked but not burned cos the heat is LOW. Doesn't matter how long - say 5-10 mins or even 15.
Finally tip everything from both frying pans on top of the toast and enjoy! Pour the juicy buttery liquid over everything. Heaven!
Nut Roast - this is so easy and as TASTY as you flavour it! This and the next make a great Sunday Roast.
Put the following in a large bowl:
Chopped nuts - buy or use chop with blender: cashews (50% ideal if you can afford it!), hazelnuts, brazils, almonds, etc.
- NB Peanuts are not really nuts and they give a different taste.
Create/buy breadcrumbs. Put an old crust or two in a blender and break up any lumps by hand.
Chopped fresh sage (or from packet)
Pepper (no salt as it comes from below)
Mug full of hot water in which you have dissoved a large teaspoonful of marmite - as much or as little as you like for taste
Some wholemeal flour - can use plain white. It's for glueing it all together.
Some oil (olive, ideally)
My magic ingredients - squeeze of lemon and squeeze of honey. Not enough to be tasted but enough to add MAGIC - try!
Stir well, put in a lined bread baking tin and roast at 180°C / gas mark 6 for 40 mins. Don't burn...
Serve with roast potatoes, broccoli, carrotts and tasty gravy made using miso!
NOTE ... if you want to make this super special, flatten half the mix in the tin, spread a layer of cranberry sauce on it, and add the second half as a top layer. No-one will know why it tastes so amazing!
Lentil Cheese Roast - this is EASY, CHEAP, UNBELIEVABLY NICE !
Lovely strong taste!
Filling and perfect for impressing non-veggie guests! Great Sunday Roast, like the above.
Put some/all of the following in a large bowl, in any order, with anything else that seems a good idea! -
Red lentils: 225g / 8oz + 450g water, boiled + simmered for 15 mins (don't let it dry out - add water if necessary)
Breadcrumbs - put the dried end of a loaf of bread in a blender for a few seconds and break up any lumps
Cheese - 225g / 8oz - grated. Use extra mature for good taste!
Fried chopped mushrooms - not too much, not too little!
Fried finely chopped onions - not too much, not too little! Experience gets this sort of thing right
A BIG teaspoonful of Marmite, or other yeast extract, or both, dissolved in a mug of very hot water.
- Don't use too much water - you can add more if necessary - see the stirring stage, below.
Use MORE Marmite and/or a veggie stock cube in the hot water for a STRONGER taste!
An egg, beaten
Pepper and herbs to taste - say, cayenne pepper, normal pepper, mixed herbs, oregano, paprika - you choose!
- NB salt is in the marmite so don't add more!
Flour - self-raising may be good to lighten the resulting loaf - It's for glueing it all together.
Add a tsp of baking powder if you'd like a lighter softer loaf.
Some oil (olive, ideally) also to hold it all in a nice guey lump to put in the baking tin.
... and ... my magic ingredients of a squeeze of lemon and a squeeze of honey if available. Not too much! See Nut Roast.
Stir it all up really well: it should end up firm but sticky, not too wet, not too dry. Adjust Marmite water to get right. Put in a LINED deep baking tin and roast at 180°C / gas mark 6 for 30-40 mins. Don't burn... check every now and then and stick in a knife to test if soggy inside still.
Serve with roast potatoes, broccoli, carrotts and tasty gravy made using miso!
This is SO GOOD but you may have to make it a few times to get your balance of consistency and taste to perfection. Make DOUBLE size, cook in two tins and freeze the second one for a week later!
Chinese Style Stir Fry - classic, quick and easy - even meaties love this!
- Chop a slab of tofu into cubes and soak in natural SHOYU for as long as you have time for (1 hr good, 10 mins ok!)
- Cook thai jasmine rice for 11 mins or 5 mins in a pressure cooker (1 cup rice : 1¼ water)
- Coat the tofu cubes in flour (wholemeal + a little white mix works really well)
- Fry the tofu cubes in hot oil (we use olive oil). Leave to cook on one side while you start the stir fry -
- Wok-sizzle your stir fry vegetable pack from Tesco/Co-op etc with extras like asparagus, courgettes, etc.
- Turn your tofu cubes regularly now, to make crisp and golden and cooked on all sides (bit of random is nice!)
- Add Sharwoods Kung-Po/Sweet & Sour/Sweet Chilli / mixture of 2 of them / to the stir fry
- Serve it all HOT sprinkled with Shoyu!
Indian Style Supper - simple, fun, incredibly satisfying to make and eat!
- 3 DISHES to make for a spread you will love: chick pea curry, paneer spinach korma, bombay potatoes.
- Extras can include popadoms, naan bread and mango chutney.
- Raitha is easy: drop matchstick shaped slices of cucumber into yoghurt and sprinkle a trace of paprika for looks!
- Buy your favourite flavours of Mr. PATAK's wonderful PASTES - not sauces. I have Korma, Tikka Masala, and Madras so I can mix mild, medium and hot to get the balance I want! Nice tastes are also Balti, Jalfrezi and Rogan Josh.
- FIRST slice and fry onions in lots of olive oil. This will be a base of the curry and the korma.
- Fry mushrooms if you love them: button mushrooms for the curry, slices of larger mushrooms for the korma.
- Put half the onions and oil into a non-stick saucepan and fry with 3 - 4 heaped teaspoons of curry paste(s).
- Add the mushrooms and sizzle for a few mins, stirring so nothing burns
- Add some chopped garlic now if you like.
- Add a tin of chick peas including the water and stir together.
- Add a block of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, beans, etc.) and/or cooked vegetables of your choice
- As the whole thing melts and heats up it gets lovely. Simmer.
- Add water and cornflour to thicken. STIR to avoid lumps!
- Leave the curry to simmer very slowly for ages while you make the other things.
- SECOND put the rest of the onions and the sliced mushrooms into a wok (non stick is good)
- Fry with 3 - 4 teaspoons of the KORMA paste, stirring to avoid anything sticking or burning. Add garlic if you like.
- Use the first frying pan to fry slices of PANEER. DON'T let it stick and fry til golden-ish. Add to the wok.
- Throw in lots of baby spinach leaves and a pot of either soured cream, creme fraiche or full double cream...!!
- Stir and simmer.
- ADD MY SECRET INGREDIENTS, less secret now I've told you: a squeeze of lemon and a squeeze of honey:
- Add to both dishes but not enough to taste: just so the whole thing tastes heavenly and no-one knows why.
- Stir gently and STOP cooking the korma when the spinach has gone dark green and put aside.
- You now need the rings for
- RICE - basmati rice of course. 1 rice 1½ water. Boil and simmer for 10 mins or pressure cook for 4 mins.
- BOMBAY POTATOES. The best bit, wait til you taste them.
- one medium potato per person: chop into small cubes and wedges.
- Heat plenty of oil in a large frying pan, adding lots of BLACK MUSTARD SEEDS.
- When they start 'popping' add the potato cubes. Fry on one side for a while then start to turn regularly.
- Add lots of turmeric powder and mix in unevenly as you tgurn the cubes.
- Simmer quite hot for 10 mins while either the rice cooks or the pressure cooker cools ON ITS OWN.
- FINALLY... heat up the korma again, add more spinach and double cream and stir gently and evenly.
- Serve the KORMA garnished with a few uncooked baby spinach leaves.
- Serve the potato cubes in a hot dish
- Fluff the rice up and put a serving spoon in the curry
- Heat the popadoms and naans and have the raita cool and the mango chutney at room temperature.
- Eat and swoon with pleasure.
Halloumi + 'Greek Potatoes' - deep fried halloumi in flavoured batter - yum!
- The Sequence (overview)
1. Prepare the potatoes and put them in the oven
2. Make the batter and get out the salad or frozen peas. Cut lemons in to small quarters to squeeze over the halloumi later!
3. Turn the potatoes once after 15 mins
4. Cook the halloumi and put in the oven to keep warm if doing it in batches. Reduce oven to 180°C to keep the potatoes cooking without burning the halloumi.
5. Time it all so that the last halloumi comes out of the pan when the potatoes/peas/salad are all ready.
- The Details
- Chop potatoes in wedge shapes, put in a baking tray and mix up with olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.
Put the potatoes in the oven set to 220°C , quite high (may smoke if not clean!).
Set the timer for 15 mins and turn all slices ONCE and return to the oven for another 15 mins while you finish the halloumi.
- Use either a deep oil fryer (if you have one - I don't!) or fill a small frying pan or wok with oil, deep enough to at least half-cover cover a slice.
(NB Buy the 1L low price olive oil from Tesco/Sainsbury - doesn't add that much to the cost of the dish - perfect for all cooking.)
- Start heating the oil but don't reach smoking... While doing this...
- Make the batter: same weight of water+milk mix (equal quantities) and plain flour (equal quantities of white and wholemeal works well) e.g. 60g of each
- Add salt and pepper, a teaspoon of baking powder, a little oil, and ... the magic ingredient:
- Stir in lots of Paprika! About 2-3 teaspoons if using 60g flour. Use one-third 'Hot Paprika' for tingle. Add a little ground ginger, half tsp? - tastes great. Add some mixed herbs for fun if you like!
(NB the orange batter will stain white plastic temporarily - use a glass jug?)
- Mix thoroughly until well mixed and smooth
- Cut a chunk of halloumi in half, and each half into three thick slices (i.e. 6 slices). Depending if you are using a deep fryer or not, put all or half the slices into the batter and mess it about GENTLY (halloumi is fragile) until WELL covered and sticking all over.
- With fingers, drop each coated slice into the oil. If it doesn't sizzle, your oil is not hot enough!!!
(You can test first with a drop of batter)
Tip the hot oil over the uncooked side, to cook it slightly, before turning the slice over, carefully - otherwise the wet batter may fall off as you turn it. It should be deep golden brown.
- Put the first batch of halloumi in the oven if not doing it all in one go. Reduce the heat to 180° so it doesn't burn but keeps the potatoes cooking.
- Time the frozen peas, salad, halloumi and potatoes so all are ready together. Yes, I know...!
- Serve and squeeze lemon over the halloumi (not too much) and go into a trance with pleasure at the first bite.
Buckwheat + Tofu in Shoyu and Ginger- simplicity and utter wondrousness of taste
- The sequence:
1. Start the buckwheat in a pressure cooker or saucepan.
2. Chop the tofu and simmer in a suacepan with shoyu, ginger, herbs and the secret ingredients *
3. Put on the frozen peas when all else nearly ready. Total time about 25 mins if using pressure cooker.
- Quantity: 1 tumbler/glass/mug of buckwheat for about 3-4 people. 1½ for 4-5 people, 2 tumblers to make loads to have the next couple of days. You'll get to know how much it makes: it expands mightily!
- Measure the buckwheat and water using the same tumbler/mug/glass. Measure the buckwheat first and put in a bowl or something for now - if you measure the water first, the buckwheat will stick to the side of a wet tumbler! Put the water straight into the pressure cooker and start boiling.
- Chop the onions finely - one small-medium onion per glass of buckwheat. Place in the water that is coming up to the boil and boil for a couple of minutes to reduce the pungency of the onions.
- Add the buckwheat to the boiling onions in the pressure cooker, or saucepan. Stir, put the lid on and leave to cook at pressure for 20 mins or boil for 30 mins.
- Now make the tofu dish.
- Chop the tofu into pieces the size of your little finger joint (small if you have big hands!).
- Place in a saucepan and pour shoyu on top. Use about an inch of a 500ml bottle. Yes, really. You'd think you gone mad if you are used to just sprinkling it on things...
- Start to heat it while you grate a fresh ginger over a bowl.
- After you've grated 1 - 2 teaspoons' worth of ginger, add some water to the bowl and slosh it about to make a watery paste. Hold a fine tea strainer over the saucepan and pour the ginger water into it. Squeeze/rub the ginger to extract as much ginger flavour as you can. Put the squeezed paste into the bowl again and wet it. repeat until you think you have got the best out of the grated ginger!
- Simmer a minute or two. Add a squeeze of my magic lemon and honey, add herbs, then thicken with kuzu or conrflour so it gets a creamy texture. Leave to simmer slowly.
- Put on the frozen peas.
- All should be ready about the same time!
- Serve a small mountain of buckwheat, ladle on the tofu and peas beside. You won't know what has hit you.
NB this is a YANG dish (salty and small hard grain) so is ideal for cold weather!
STOP PRESS! Avoid Quorn!
Quorn is made from a type of MOULD, accidentally discovered and then exploited by a business. I am allergic to nothing, but if I eat even a small bit of Quorn (even without knowing it) I am violently sick two hours later until my body has emptied itself of everything. The same is true for some of my friends. The Quorn company is believed to be suppressing the true data on how many people get very ill from Quorn. If you believe in natural and unprocessed food, Quorn is the OPPOSITE.