Colourful curries, comforting burgers and magnificent bubbling soups – there’s no end of mouth-watering vegetarian recipes. These exciting meals are my all-time favourite veg-packed dishes.
Chickpea and Coriander Burgers with Chips
If ever there were a burger you could whip up in minutes, it’s this. Check out my super-nutritious chickpea and coriander burgers – they’re great for when you need some spice. Most of the ingredients is found in your cupboards – so you probably won’t even need to head to the supermarket.
If you’re in a hurry, ditch making the chips in this recipe and, instead, consider using McCain quick French fries. They’re ready in a mere five minutes and because they’re thinner, they’re extra crispy.
400g can chickpeas, drained
zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of ½
1 tsp ground cumin
small bunch coriander, chopped
100g fresh breadcrumbs
1 medium red onion, ½ diced, ½ sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 small wholemeal buns
1 large tomato, sliced, ½ cucumber, sliced and chilli sauce, to serve
400g potatoes, peeled
500ml sunflower oil
Slice the potatoes so they’re 3cm thick.
Parboil them for about a minute. Drain and leave to dry.
Warm oil to 120°C. Tip in the chips and fry for five minutes. Remove the chips and lay out on kitchen towel to soak up any leftover oil.
Next, heat the oil to 160°C. Fry the chips for a couple of minutes until crispy and golden then drain.
Blitz the chickpeas, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, half the coriander, the egg and some seasoning using a blender. Pour into a bowl and stir in with 80g of the breadcrumbs and the diced onions. Mould four burgers from the mixture, pressing the remaining breadcrumbs onto both sides and refrigerate for roughly 10 mins.
Warm the oil in a frying pan, then cook the burgers for few minutes on each side, making sure the heat is on medium, so they don’t burn.
For serving, halve each bun, add your burger patty then top with a slice of tomato, a burger, a couple of red onion slices, some cucumber slices, a dollop of chilli sauce and the rest of the coriander.
Macaroni Cheese Recipe
My tried-and-tested mac ‘n’ cheese recipe below can easily be adapted to your liking. For instance, you could add some butternut squash, cauliflower or cherry tomatoes. I especially love the crisp topping and creamy base.
700ml full-fat milk
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 bay leaf
50g butter, plus some extra for greasing
50g plain flour
175g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp English mustard
50g Parmesan, grated
50g coarse white breadcrumbs
Using a small pan, heat the milk, onion, garlic and bay leaf until nearly boiling. Take off the heat, cover, and leave to steep for 10 mins, then strain.
Cook the macaroni as per pack instructions until almost soft, but still with a little bite (known as al dente in Italian). Drain, then rinse under the tap and stir (this prevents the pasta from sticking together).
Next, make the roux (flour and fat, cooked together, then used to thicken sauces). Fire up the oven to 190°C and grease a 25cm x 18cm ovenproof dish.
In a medium pan, soften the butter. When foaming, combine the flour, then cook on a low heat, mixing continuously, for about a minute.
Gradually mix the warm infused milk into the roux until smooth. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, so the sauce thickens and has a coating consistency (run your finger through the sauce on a spoon – it should leave a trail). Take the pan off the heat, then pour in the Cheddar and mustard powder. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper, then mix until the cheese has melted.
Stir the cheese sauce through the macaroni, covering it thoroughly, then pour into the prepared dish. Top with the Parmesan and breadcrumbs, then bake until golden brown and bubbling. Best eaten piping hot with a green salad.
Jerk Sweet Potato and Black Bean Curry
Like your dishes with some heat? Then you’ll love this delicious curry. This divine Caribbean-style curry is packed with jerk seasoning and plenty of ginger. And, believe it or not, my rich, thick curry is incredibly nutritious for you. Don’t forget to serve with a dash of coriander.
2 onions, 1 diced, 1 roughly chopped
2 tbsp sunflower oil
50g ginger, roughly chopped
small bunch coriander, leaves and stalks separated
3 tbsp jerk seasoning
2 thyme sprigs
400g tin chopped tomato
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp demerara sugar
2 vegetable stock cubes, crumbled
1kg sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
2 x 400g tins black beans, rinsed and drained
450g jar roasted red peppers, cut into thick slices
In a big pan, lightly soften the diced onion in the sunflower oil.
Next, blitz up the roughly chopped onion, ginger, coriander stalks and jerk seasoning with a blender.
Combine the softened onion and fry until aromatic. Mix in the thyme, chopped tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and stock cubes with 600ml water and bring to a simmer. Leave to simmer for roughly 10 minutes, then tip in the sweet potatoes. Leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Pour in the beans, peppers and some seasoning, and simmer until the potatoes are nearly soft. Leave to cool.
Warm through gently on the hob and serve. Roughly cut up nearly all the coriander leaves and mix in. Serve and sprinkle over the rest of the leaves.
My easy-to-make vegan lentil soup is fast to make and uses mainly pantry ingredients. It combines good-for-you greens and a squeeze of lemon juice for added flavour and zing. I season it with an array of my much-loved spices and flavour it generously with freshly ground pepper.
4 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tin chopped tomatoes, lightly drained
200g brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
950ml vegetable stock
1 tsp salt, more to taste
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
67g chopped kale, ribs removed
1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice (½ to 1 medium lemon), to taste
Using a pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
When the oil is shimmering, combine the chopped onion and carrot, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has become soft and turns transparent.
Next, tip over the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Fry until aromatic, stirring continually. Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further couple of minutes, stirring regularly.
Empty the lentils, stock and the water into the pan. Sprinkle over the salt and a touch of red-pepper flakes. Scatter liberally with the freshly ground black pepper. Fire up the heat, so you take the mixture to a boil, then partly cover the pan, lower the heat and leave to simmer. Cook until the lentils are soft but still maintain their shape.
Move 475ml of the soup to a blender. Tightly seal the lid, use a tea towel placed over the lid to protect your hand from steam, and blend the soup until smooth. Decant the blended soup back into the pan.
Pour in the chopped greens and cook until soft. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. You may want to add more salt, pepper/lemon, depending on your tastes. Like it spicy? Sprinkle over some more red-pepper flakes.
Serve while hot. Any remains will keep well for about four days in the fridge, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).
For a vibrant supper loaded with vegetables, my moreish veg recipes represent the best of the best. Whether you’ve taken the full-on veg plunge or are getting stuck into meatless Mondays, my nutritious, plant-based recipes will wow your dinner guests.