Sex up Meat-Free Mondays with 3 tempting veggie eats like kimchi burgers and tahini cups

With greater numbers deciding to swap out meat and fish for vegetables, the options for vegetarian food are better than ever, and so much more than the ‘jacket potato and cheese’ or ‘lentil soup’ default of old (ask anyone who went veggie in the 80s!) 

Around 5-7% of the UK population classify themselves as vegetarian, according to data from YouGov, and with others considering reducing meat consumption for health and environmental reasons, it’s clear more and more of us than ever are in need of ideas for how to introduce veggie dishes to our repertoire.

Luckily, Luise Vindahl and David Frenkiel from Green Kitchen are on hand to provide some simple, yet delicious ideas filled with healthy whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

So, whether you’re vegetarian 24/7 or you’re just looking to give Meat-Free Monday a go, here are three tempting vegetarian meals to make at home…



Green Kitchen: Quick & Slow is out now

Creamy green kale, broccoli and pea pasta

SERVES 4


Creamy green kale, broccoli and pea pasta is a tasty evening meal option

Ingredients

  • Sea salt

  • 250g bucatini, or pasta of your choice

  • 4 large leaves kale, stalks discarded

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

  • 75g frozen peas, thawed

  • Handful of basil or parsley leaves

  • Handful of mint leaves, plus extra to serve

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon

  • 4 tbsp grated vegetarian Parmesan, plus extra to serve

  • 200g broccoli florets

  • Handful of pine nuts, toasted and chopped

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions.

  2. Add the kale to the pasta pan, along with the garlic clove. After about a minute, use a pair of tongs to remove the kale and the garlic, along with a cupful of the pasta water.

  3. While the pasta continues to cook, add the kale and garlic to a blender, along with half the peas. Then, add the basil, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, Parmesan and 4 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water. Blend until smooth.

  4. When there are just a few minutes left of the pasta’s cooking time, throw the broccoli and remaining peas into the pan to cook. Drain the pasta and veggies in a colander, then return them to the saucepan. Pour half of the green sauce over the top and stir.

  5. Divide the remaining green sauce between 4 plates and spread out into round puddles.

  6. Top with the pasta, then scatter over the toasted pine nuts, along with some fresh mint leaves and a grating of Parmesan.

  7. Finish with some lemon zest and freshly ground black pepper.

Kimchi and quinoa burgers

MAKES 6


Kimchi and quinoa burgers are a great meat-free alternative

Ingredients

For the burgers

  • 10g dried porcini mushrooms

  • 80g uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained

  • 250ml water

  • ¼ tsp sea salt flakes

  • 50g rolled oats

  • 2 free-range eggs, whisked

  • 60g mature Cheddar, grated

  • 50g spinach, finely shredded

  • 75g kimchi, finely shredded

  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (for frying)

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • Burger buns, toasted

  • Mayonnaise

  • Extra kimchi

  • Sliced crunchy lettuce

  • Sliced avocado

  • Sliced cucumber

Method

  1. Put the porcini in a small bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Rehydrate for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Place the quinoa, water and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 13-15 minutes or until small “tails” are visible on the seeds and the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, place some paper towels under the lid and leave to steam for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and paper towels and set aside to cool.
  3. Drain the porcini and pat dry, then finely chop. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the cooked quinoa, along with the oats, eggs, cheese, spinach, kimchi and spring onions. Season to taste and mix well to combine.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes, then form the mixture into 6 patties of about 100g each.
  5. Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium setting. Fry the patties 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are golden.
  6. Serve in toasted burger buns with a layer of mayonnaise underneath, topped with kimchi, lettuce, avocado and cucumber.

Swirled tahini cups

MAKES 18


Swirled tahini cups are an ideal sweet treat

Ingredients

  • 125ml tahini

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

  • 3 tbsp maple syrup, or sweetener of your choice

  • 2 tbsp rice flour, sifted

  • ¼ tsp sea salt flakes

  • 250g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), roughly chopped

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted, plus extra to sprinkle

Method

  1. In a bowl, stir together the tahini, coconut oil and maple syrup. Add the rice flour and salt, and stir to combine, then transfer to a piping bag and put in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate.
  2. Add two-thirds of the chocolate to a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of water that’s on a low heat and gently melt the chocolate.
  3. Once melted, take the bowl off the heat and add the remaining chocolate, stirring until it has melted.
  4. Place 18 mini muffin cups on a plate or tray. Sprinkle sesame seeds into each cup, then half-fill each one with the melted chocolate.
  5. Remove the tahini piping bag from the fridge and stick the nose of the piping bag just under the surface of the chocolate in one of the cups. Squeeze the bag gently so that the tahini ends up in the middle of the chocolate cup.
  6. Lift the nozzle as you do so, leaving a little circle of tahini on the surface. Use a skewer to swirl this into the chocolate, then repeat with the remaining cups.
  7. Sprinkle extra sesame seeds on top of the cups.
  8. Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up. They’ll keep for a week in the fridge and a month in the freezer. Remove them from the freezer about 10 minutes before eating.

Extract from Green Kitchen: Quick + Slow by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant, £27)

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