Whether you are vegetarian or not, preparing these dishes without meat is simple and also very healthy. The vegetarian diet is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, plus it's low in saturated fat.
1. Curried Sweet potato and lentil soup
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons of curry powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 4 tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 cup of dried lentils
- 250 ml of water or vegetable stock
- 1 can of light coconut milk
- 450 grams of sweet potato (peeled and cut into very small pieces)
- 1 small zucchini (courgette) chopped
- ½ cup of green beans cut into thirds
- ½ cup of fresh cilantro (parsley), finely chopped
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a saucepan. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until it becomes soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and ginger, simmer for another minute and add the curry, pepper and salt, stirring frequently for about one or two minutes, or until the curry release its aroma.
- Add the lentils and tomatoes, then later add coconut milk and stock. Boil and place a lid on top until the mixture begins to bubble.
- Boil lentils until tender (about 15 minutes) and add the sweet potato. If the mixture looks dry, add more water or stock. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add squash and beans, adding more water if required to retained moisture in the preparation. Cover the pot and cook for five to ten minutes for the lentils and vegetables to become tender.
- Season to taste and serve!
2. Quinoa Risotto
- 4 teaspoons of butter
- 2/3 cup of chopped walnuts
- ½ small sweet onion finely chopped
- 2 tsp of canola oil
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh thyme , or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 1/ 3 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup of vegetable stock
- 1 cup of water
- 4 medium carrots
- 1 ½ cups of sweet peas
- ½ cup of Parmesan cheese
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the walnuts and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring until browned. Later remove from the heat and set aside.
- Add onion, oil and salt in the same pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add thyme and garlic, cooking until browned for three minutes.
- Add the quinoa and stock. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Add ½ a cup of water then cover again and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the carrot and, if necessary, re-add ½ cup of water, cover and cook for another 10 or 15 minutes, or until the carrots soften slightly.
- Add peas, simmer for 5 minutes and season to taste. Serve with some cheese and walnuts sprinkled on top.
3. Spiral Pasta with vegetables
- ¼ cup of chopped nuts
- 226 grams of spiral pasta or traditional wheat pasta
- ½ head of cauliflower cut into small florets
- 1 large carrot cut into thin slices
- 1 cup of peas
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- ¼ cup of chopped parsley
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
- ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Spread nuts on baking tray and put in the over to crisp up until they release their flavor (about 5 minutes). Remove them and leave aside to cool.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. When 5 minutes remain for cooking add the cauliflower and carrots into the water. Add the peas in the last two minutes.
- Remove ½ a cup of the resulting stock and set aside. Drain the pasta and vegetables, before immediately putting them back into the pan. Later, add the stock and stir. Season with parsley, pepper, salt and garlic.
- Serve hot and sprinkle with cheese and walnuts.