We’re all vegivores* here at lovefood HQ. So, in tribute to vegetables everywhere, here are our favourite meat-free recipes for you to try at home:
The Mediterranean one
Meat fiends might like Luca Hollweg’s aubergine, courgette and basil gratin (above) on the side of their roast lamb, but a generous wedge served with crusty bread and butter will keep your hunger locked up too. Remember to sprinkle parmesan on top for a crunchy, cheesy crust.
The spicy one
Dollops of chilli-coconut bhaji mopped up with a chapati or two… oh yes. Why traipse down the curry house when you can have Maunika Gowardhan’s mustard seed-spiked potato bhajis on the table in 30 minutes?
The cheesy one
Roasted beetroot and parsnip sticks dipped egg-and-soldiers-style into an oozing slab of French goat’s cheese is our idea of the perfect night in. Alternatively, share the joy by serving Sophie Wright’s goat’s cheese, beetroot and parsnip salad recipe as a dinner party starter.
The posh one
Veggie in-laws coming over? Despite the fancy title, Maria Elia’s honey and harissa kataifi-wrapped aubergines are actually dead easy to make: just roast aubergine chunks in a sweet marinade, roll them up in kataifi (shredded pastry), and deep fry until golden. Simples.
The fakeaway one
Ditch the oily takeaway and make it fresh instead. Maunika Gowardhan’s tandoori gobi masala combines charred cauliflower florets with a gently spiced fenugreek yoghurt sauce. Serve on a bed of sautéed onions and peppers with naan for a filling main.
The cheap as chickpeas one
It’s a week until pay day and you can’t face another omelette. Our advice: ferret for £3 down the back of the sofa and go and buy a tin of chickpeas, a spud, some coconut milk and an onion. Bung it together with a few staple spices and hey presto! It’s chick pea and potato curry for tea.
The purple one
Beetroot is a veggie’s best friend. Roast it, boil it, bake it in a cake… or try Diana Henry’s beetroot, goat’s cheese and hazelnut tart, laced with caramelised onions and fresh rosemary. Experiment with different nut and cheese combos (walnuts and blue cheese would work) and serve alongside a green salad for lunch.
The eat-it-with-chopsticks one
Simon Rimmer’s cabbage and mushroom stir-fry recipe takes only eight minutes to cook and is easily doubled for big families. Top tip from Simon: fry your mushrooms in a very hot pan to seal in moisture and give a crispy edge.
The I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-meat one
Nicola Graimes’ mushroom and cashew nut pie is the most deceiving pie we know. It looks pretty darn meaty and the rich nutty mushroom mix inside even boasts the same kind of textures. Try it with all the trimmings for Sunday lunch, or pack up a few for a picnic.
The healthy one
What would a veggie recipe collection be without a McCartney? Stella’s spiced wholewheat couscous is pretty on the plate and will guarantee at least one of your five a day. Serve with a generous squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds.
*A vegivore is someone who also has a special fondness for vegetables.