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Wholesome Vegetarian Meals

You don’t have to be vegetarian to enjoy these low-carb, high-protein meals. Our ideas will help convince you!

QUINOA FATTOUSH

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes (plus soaking)

  • 2 rounds wholemeal pita bread
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon sumac (or zaatar), plus extra to sprinkle
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, seeded, thickly sliced
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, seeded, thickly sliced
  • ¼ cup pistachios, toasted, chopped
  • 4 eggs, soft-boiled, peeled, halved

Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 1 thinly-sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 100g labneh
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
  2. Place pita bread on tray. Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden and crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine quinoa with water, boil on high and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes until tender, and then cool for 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine onion and vinegar. Set aside 15 minutes. Drain, discarding vinegar.
  5. Combine lemon juice, zest, oil and sumac in a jar and shake well.
  6. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, onion, tomato, cucumber, mint, pistachios and half dressing. Toss well.

7.Break pita bread into small pieces and toss through salad. Top with labneh and eggs. Drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle with sumac.

VEGGIE SKEWERS WITH PARSLEY & CASHEW PESTO

 

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes (plus soaking)

  •  2 red capsicums, seeded, cubed
  •  750g eggplant, cut into 3cm pieces
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • couscous salad, to serve (see tip)

Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • 3 zucchini, thickly sliced
  • 8 bamboo skewers, soaked
  • 4 lemon cheeks

Cashew Pesto

  • 2 cups parsley
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup unsalted cashews, toasted
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  1. Thread capsicum, zucchini and eggplant alternately onto skewers. Brush with oil and season to taste.
  2. Heat a grill pan or barbecue grill on medium. Cook skewers 6-8 minutes, turning on all sides, until vegetables are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, grill lemon cheeks, flesh-side down for 1-2 minutes until light marks appear.
  4. For the Cashew Pesto, combine parsley, cashews, parmesan, oil and juice in a food processor. Pulse to a rough, loose paste and season to taste.
  5. Serve skewers with pesto and grilled lemon. Accompany with couscous salad (optional).

TIPS: For an easy couscous salad, combine 1 cup cooked, cooled couscous with baby spinach leaves and chopped sundried tomatoes, or a jar of antipasto mix.

CHILLI TOFU STIR-FRY

Serves: 2-4

Preparation time:
20 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2cm ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 tablespoons kecapmanis (similar to soy sauce, optional)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 sliced green onions
  • ½ cup toasted peanuts, roughly chopped cooked brown rice, lime wedges to serve
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 bunch baby carrots, trimmed, halved lengthways
  • 350g packet marinated tofu
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock (or water)
  1. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan on high. Stir-fry garlic and ginger for 20 seconds, until golden.
  2. Add vegetables and tofu and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Then pour in sauces and stock, simmer then cook a further 1-2 minutes until vegetables are just tender.
  3. Remove from heat and stir green onions through. Sprinkle the dish with nuts and serve with brown rice and lime wedges.

VEGETARIAN SAUSAGE ROLLS

Makes: 18

Preparation time: 25 minutes (plus cooling)

Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ cup tomato relish, plus extra to serve
  • 3 sheets puff pastry, halved
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 30g butter
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 400g kumara (sweet potato), peeled, cubed
  • 400g can lentils,    rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons milk, for brushing
  • salad leaves, to serve
  1. In a large frying pan, heat oil and butter together on medium. Saute onion, carrot, parsnip and kumara 6-8 minutes, until just tender. Add lentils and curry powder, and cook 2 minutes. Season to taste.
  2. Remove from heat, stir cheese and tomato relish through. Cool completely.
  3. Preheat oven to hot, 200°C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.
  4. Spoon vegetable mixture lengthways down each pastry strip. Brush along opposite edge with milk and roll up to seal. Place on trays, seam side down. Brush with remaining milk and sprinkle with seeds.
  5. Bake 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Cut each roll into thirds.
    Serve with extra relish
    and salad leaves.

TIPS: These can be made, wrapped well and frozen before baking. Increase cooking time by 10 minutes if cooking from frozen.

MUSHROOM, HALLOUMI & WHITE BEANS ON SOURDOUGH

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus 2 tablespoons extra)
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 250g halloumi (sliced into 8)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 400g can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
  • 8 field mushrooms, stalks trimmed
  • 8 thick slices sourdough bread
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • basil leaves, to serve
  1. Heat oil on low heat in a saucepan. Cook garlic and rosemary for 1-2 minutes, then add beans and water. Bring to simmer and cook 4-5 minutes. Let it cool.
  2. Puree bean mixture in a food processor until smooth and season.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan or barbecue grill on high. Spray mushrooms with oil and cook for 3-4 minutes each side. Place in a bowl with extra oil and vinegar, season and toss well.
  4. Toast bread on grill for 1 minute each side until golden.
  5. Toss halloumi in flour, spray the grill plate with oil and cook halloumi for 1-2 minutes each side.
  6. Spread half sourdough slices with bean puree. Top with mushrooms, reserving liquid. Toss tomatoes in liquid. Top remaining bread with halloumi, tomato and basil.

PEARL BARLEY, PUMPKIN & PEA RISOTTO

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time:
1 hour 20 minutes

  • 750g pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cubed (see tip)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups pearl barley (see tip)
  • 5 cups vegetable stock, hot
  • 200g feta, crumbled
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup white wine (optional)
  • 2 cups thawed frozen peas
  • 1 cup mint, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat oven to hot, 200°C.
  2. In a baking dish, toss pumpkin with 1 tablespoon oil and sugar. Season to taste. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until tender.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a large saucepan on medium. Saute onions 2-3 minutes, until tender. Add barley and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in wine and half pumpkin. Bring to boil. Add ½ cup stock at a time, stirring constantly, until liquid absorbs (about 30 minutes) and until just tender.
  4. Stir peas through and cook for further 2-3 minutes. Then add remaining pumpkin and stir until heated through.
  5. Mix feta and mint, reserving some to garnish. Serve hot.

TIP: Cut pumpkin into cubes of about 3cm.

Replace pearl barley with brown rice if you prefer, or use Arborio rice; the cooking time will be reduced by about 10 minutes.

 


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