National Vegetarian Week

It’s National Vegetarian Week! A lot of people still have a bit of a negative perception of what a vegetarian diet is, and although during the 20 plus years that I’ve been a vegetarian, people’s views have changed, I think there’s still a long way to go to win people over. It’s not all tofu and lentils, though those are some of my favourite things!

People think it’ll be a struggle to eat a vegetarian diet, even for one day a week. It really isn’t hard. I think people should give it a try, we’ve all got to do our bit for the environment and eating less meat is an easy way to do it.

So, will you miss the meat in your recipes? I don’t think so. OK, I haven’t eaten meat for years but I cook vegetarian meals for my husband and for plenty of my friends who eat meat and they don’t complain, not to my face anyway!

It doesn’t have to be complicated. I started to think about how easy it is to switch out meat in most recipes and use a vegetarian alternative. There’s so many vegetarian and even vegan meat fee products available now that you can make yourself a dish that you’d usually use meat for, like a curry or a chilli, instead of adding meat, add something like Quorn. It’s quicker to cook and will still take on the delicious flavours you add into your sauce like a piece of meat would. If you want to try something a bit different that uses Quorn have a go at my easy recipe for Chorizo and Butterbean Stew.

Things like National Vegetarian Week, Vegetarian Society and Meat Free Monday are great ways to inform, inspire and educate people, we just need to let people know they’re there. So with plenty of resources available for recipe ideas and for information on nutrition, you really don’t have an excuse! Check out some vegetarian recipes and go for it, even for one day a week, you can do it!

National Vegetarian Week

“Chorizo” and Butter Bean Stew

Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew

I found out today that I won a Quorn competition on their Facebook page! A few people have asked how I made the dish, so thought I’d stick it up on here! I didn’t write the recipe down at the time while I was cooking it, so this is my memory of it. Sorry if it’s not perfect, use your cooks initiative if it needs a pinch more of something or a drop more water! Good luck!

I’m not sure how easy the Quorn “chorizo” sausages are to get hold of, I found them in Sainsbury’s, but I’m sure any veggie sausages would work, just pop a bit more paprika in. Or obviously use some vegan sausages to make it vegan.

2 Quorn chorizo sausages
1 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 a red pepper, diced
1 courgette, sliced into rounds
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 400g tin butter beans
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
Olive oil

Start off by heating some olive oil in a medium sized pan, over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add in the paprika, oregano, red pepper, courgette and chorizo. Cook this for about 5 minutes or until the veg have softened slightly. Put in the tomatoes and butter beans, save the liquid from the beans and add some if the stew is looking too thick. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Serve it up with rice or couscous or just with a chunk of bread!