Go veggie this National Vegetarian Week

If you’ve always wanted to try eating less meat, now’s the perfect time to start. People around the country are being encouraged to go veggie this week, as it’s National Vegetarian Week (May 15-21, 2017).

This year’s event is being supported by Si King and David Meyers, aka the Hairy Bikers. “As cooks, we’ve always appreciated our veg and they’re a hugely important part of our cooking,” say the TV chefs. “And lately, without really thinking about it, we’ve been eating less meat.

“The more we learn about cooking great food, the more we enjoy making use of all the amazing produce that’s on offer and creating dishes where vegetables, pulses and other plant foods are the stars of the show. That’s why we’re getting stuck into National Vegetarian Week this year… and we think you should too.”

Si and David are publishing a vegetarian cookbook – called The Hairy Dieters Go Veggie – to mark this year’s National Vegetarian Week. In the meantime, here are a couple of Vegetarian Society recipes to get you into the swing of things – visit www.nationalvegetarianweek.org for more info and even more recipes.

Wholewheat spaghetti with cherry tomatoes

This simple recipe uses few ingredients and is a delicious light meal option. This recipe contains olive oil, which is praised for its many health benefits – including promoting good heart health.

Serves 2 

Ingredients:

150g wholewheat spaghetti

2tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

16 cherry tomatoes, halved

½ medium lemon, zest only

Pinch of salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

5g fresh parsley or coriander, finely chopped

Method:

1. Place spaghetti in large pan of boiling water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or according to packet instructions, until tender.

2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil in a deep-sided frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking for 3 minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes and lemon zest, then season with salt and pepper.

3. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes become really soft and the oil has begun to take on an orange colour. Once cooked, remove from the heat. 

4. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain and add it to the tomatoes, along with the chopped herbs. Stir to combine, then serve. 

Chocolate and Clementine Mousse

Cacao and cocoa powder are rich sources of magnesium, which is essential for many functions in the body including bone and heart health.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2tsp extra virgin coconut oil

1 medium avocado, peeled and stoned

2tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder

1tbsp honey

1 clementine, peeled and cut into thin slices

Method:

1. Melt the coconut oil by placing it in a small bowl over hot water.

2. Reserving a couple of clementine slices, put all the other ingredients into a food processor and blend until thick and smooth.

3. Spoon the mixture into two bowls and chill in the refrigerator. The mousse will keep well for a few hours in the fridge, so can be prepared in advance.

4. Decorate with slices of clementine and serve.

 • Recipes from Happy, Healthy and Delicious cookbook, available at www.vegsoc.org/shop.