For Busy Schedules
Many people on a busy schedule (vegetarians included) simply don’t have the time to think about what to cook – they just have a few simple dishes which they recycle again and again. Here are some suggestions:
Vegetable stir-fry with tofu
The tofu can be fried along with the onions and garlic, and then everything else you have hanging around in the back of the fridge can be thrown in: peppers, mushrooms, courgettes, beansprouts, the lot. If you have an aubergine, chop it up into one-inch slices and put them into the pan five minutes before the tofu and onions. (15 mins)
The sauce can be made with either TVP or Quorn mince. If the sauce is coming from a jar, fry the Quorn first before adding the sauce, or mix the TVP and sauce together in a saucepan together with a little water for soaking. Or you can do up your own sauce : Fry aubergines, onions and garlic Quorn (if using) in a pan for 10 minutes, then add chopped tomatoes/ tomato puree, basil and TVP (if using) with the appropriate amount of water and simmer.(10-25 mins, depending on how you do it) .
Chilli con carne (without the carne)
Fry 150g of Quorn mince according to the instructions on the packet, When finished add half an onion and half a clove of garlic (both finely chopped). Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of chilli powder depending on how hot you like it and stir well. Cover the pan for 2-3 mins, then add half a can of peeled tomatoes and a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree if you have it. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add ½ a tin of red kidney beans (drain them first) and perhaps a little water if the consistency of the whole mix isn’t to your liking. Finally add some cumin and oregano to taste. (30 mins, Serves 1)
Note: Instead of Quorn you could add some TVP mince when you’re putting in the tomatoes along with enough boiling water for the mince to soak - in this case you’re looking at 15-20 minutes)
Channa Batata Curry
Cook 4 small peeled potatoes in boiling water until tender, then drain, let cool slightly and chop into cubes. In a separate pan, fry a tablespoon of black mustard seeds until they pop. Add the potatoes, a 425g can of chickpeas (drained), and a teaspoon each of turmeric and curry powder, and cook whilst stirring the mixture constantly until heated through. Chop 5-6 fresh sprigs of coriander leaves and stir them into the mixture for a few seconds, then serve immediately. (35mins, Serves 2)
Note: You don’t necessarily have to have all the ingredients – half the fun lies in experimenting with whatever you have to hand!
For the more adventurous……
Many vegetarians will tell you that making the switch opened up to them a whole new range of dietary possibilities – as a child we have been conditioned to eat the same things over and ever again and it often takes a dietary switch like vegetarianism to make us raise our heads as see what’s actually out there! Try the following:
Like peanut butter except with sesame seeds. Tahini begins as an acquired taste and ends as an essential one!
Made from malted barley, this is what the Japanese use as their stock for stews and soups.
Many people don’t react at all well to wheat – this alternative cereal easier to digest and is much more nutritious. You can buy spelt bread, pasta and breakfast cereals in health food shops.