The Veggie Recipe page!
How to be a happy healthy vegetarian (me for nearly 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 15 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 mince in a tasty sauce as normal - only use Linda McCartney's! Or Tesco. 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!
- 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.
- Sausage / Burgers, egg and chips - some really nice flavour veggie sausages and burgers abound: Cauldron, Linda McCartney, Vegetarians Choice (Holland & Barrett). AVOID QUORN! (see below)
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...
Nut Roast - this is so easy and as TASTY as you flavour it!
Put the following in a large bowl:
Chopped nuts (or use blender): cashews, other mixed nuts eg hazelnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, etc. Peanuts are not really nuts!
Chopped fresh sage (or from packet)
Pepper (but get salt from marmite; see 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)
Stir well, put in a greased 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!
Stir Fry - classic, quick and easy - even meaties love this!
- Marinate (soak) tofu cubes (about 1½ - 2cm size) in natural SHOYU for as long as you have time for (1 hr good, 10 mins ok!)
- Cook thai jasmine rice for 10 mins or 4 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 for a moment 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!)
- 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 WEAPON which is less secret now I have told you: a LITTLE lemon juice and a LITTLE 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 spianch 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 is
1. Put the potatoes 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/pease/salad are all ready.
- 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.
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.