If you have been following my Advent Challenge, you will have seen Day 8 was a challenge to try to become a weekday vegetarian. Becoming a weekday vegetarian you would be cutting 70% if your meat intake, but still able to have that burger on the weekend! By cutting 70% of your meat this would greatly help to reduce your carbon footprint as meat causes huge emissions and also uses 100 times the water that veg does to produce. Apart from saving the world, you will also be much healthier, save money, and maybe even lose a bit of weight. Win win if you ask me :-)
So here are a few of my favourite veg recipes to get you inspired:
LahLah's Homemade Hummus and Kale Crisps
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Take as much fresh kale as you desire, chop it up into bite size pieces, place on a baking tray, drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle in rock salt and bake for 10 mins or until crispy. While the kale is crisping, make your hummus:
- 1 tin chickpeas
- a big handful of parsley
- 2 garlic cloves (1 if you're not that keen on garlic)
- 1 teaspoon tahini
- 1/2 lemon squeezed
- 1 teaspoon JP Hot Sauce
- Pine nuts
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
Whizz all the ingredients together in a whizzer (yes, that is the technical term) and voila, healthy delicious hummus and kale crisps ready! YUMMY!
Baked Sweet Potato with ricotta, grated zucchini, avocado, basil, tomatoes and seeds.
This one is SO easy. Turn the oven on to 200 C, wash and dry your sweet potato and then prick it all over with a fork. Put it in the over for circa 40 mins or until the potato is soft. Then remove from the oven, cut it in half and add all your favourite goodies. I like to load mine up with ricotta, followed by tomato, and grated zucchini, torn basil, avocado and topped with some pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. YUM!
Sweet Leek and ricotta lasagne
This is a Jamie Olivier recipe which I love!
- olive oil
- 4 leeks, thinly sliced
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 250 g spinach, washed and chopped
- 350 g good-quality ricotta
- 1 litre base tomato sauce
- 1 packet lasagne sheets, wholewheat if you can find them
- 125 g mozzarella ball
- 75 g fresh Parmesan, grated
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Prehat your oven to 180ºC. Heat a large saucepan and add a splash of olive oil. Add the leeks and sliced red onions, and sweat, slowly, until soft – about 10 minutes. Add the chopped spinach and briefly cook until wilted down. Set aside to cool slightly, then drain off any excess liquid in the pan.
Mix the ricotta into the leek and onion mixture and season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper.
Spoon a quarter of the base tomato sauce into the bottom of a 3-litre ovenproof dish. Cover with sheets of lasagne. Spread half the leek and ricotta mixture over the lasagne, then add a third of the remaining tomato sauce. Repeat with more lasagne sheets, the remaining leek and ricotta mixture and then half the remaining tomato sauce. Finish with a final layer of lasagne sheets, then spread the rest of the tomato sauce over the top.
Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and dot over the top of the lasagne. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Place on a baking sheet and bake the lasagne for 45 minutes – it needs to be cooked through and golden brown on top.
Spicy Carrot and Lentil soup
Here's a Nigella soup which is a real Winter-Warmer
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 pinch of dried chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 300 grams carrots (i used frozen baby carrots which worked fine, otherwise use fresh and coarsely grate them, skin on)
- 70 grams red lentils (split)
- 0.24 litres vegetable stock (hot)
- half a can of coconut milk
Dry fry cumin and chilli in a large saucepan over a low heat until the aromas are released. Scoop out half and set aside
Add the oil, carrots, stock, lentils and milk to the saucepan then bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened.
Blitz the soup in a liquidiser or with a stick blender.
Season and serve with a dollop of sour cream and the spices you set aside earlier. MMMMMMMM!
Please feel free to comment if you try any of the recipes, and let me know your take on any of them!