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Main Courses - Vegetarian

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 29 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Vegetarian Recipes Meat-free

Veggie doesn’t mean boring!

Vegetarian kids who’ve made the choice for themselves are often more interested in their food and what’s in it and how it’s prepared than many meat-eaters. Encourage this interest by helping them to investigate and sample the options.

These simple recipes will be enjoyed by all the family.

Vegetable Kebabs
In the summer you can cook these kebabs on the barbecue; in winter bring the taste of summer indoors and cook them under the grill.

What you need:

  • 1 courgette
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 4 small red onions
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
What you do:

Wash the courgette and cut into 16 pieces. Wash the pepper, deseed and cut into 8 pieces.

Peel and halve the onions.

Soak 4 long wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes.

Thread a variety of vegetables onto each of the skewers. Brush them with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of herbs: basil or oregano, thyme or dill.

Cook on the barbecue or under the grill for about 10 – 15 minutes until tender.

Serve with Chinese dressing or Satay sauce.

Chinese Dressing
What you need:
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ small onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 6 fl oz olive oil
  • 2 fl oz red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper
What you do:

Finely chop the onion and celery stalk. Put in a liquidiser with all the other ingredients and whiz together. If you don’t have a liquidiser, you can put all the ingredients in a screw-topped jar and shake them together just before pouring over the warm kebabs.

Satay Sauce
What you need:
  • 2tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 large red chillies
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 3 oz crunchy peanut butter
  • 7 fl oz coconut milk
  • 1 lime
  • Salt
What you do:

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Deseed and chop the chillies very finely. Take great care not to touch your eyes after handling chillies as it will make them sting! Wash your hands straight after handling them.

Gently fry the onion, garlic, chillies and spices in the oil until soft.

Mix the peanut butter and the coconut milk and add to the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce thickens. Stir in a squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of salt.

Cheeky Chilli
What you need:
  • 2tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 8 oz soya chunks or mince
  • ½ pint vegetable stock
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 tin red kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • Cheese for serving.
What you do:

Peel and finely chop the onion. Fry over a low heat and stir in the chilli powder and soya. Turn the chunks over in the spice and continue to fry for about 5 minutes until browned.

Add the stock and tomatoes. Mash the tomatoes with a fork. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the kidney beans, return to the boil and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.Serve sprinkled with grated cheese.

This makes a mild chilli. You can increase the heat by using more chilli powder or by using hot chilli powder or fresh chillies.

Popeye’s Pasties
What you need:
  • 1 lb spinach
  • 1 oz butter
  • 2 oz light cream cheese
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • 8 oz puff pastry available frozen in supermarkets
  • 1 egg
What you do:

Allow the pastry to defrost.

Preheat the oven to 220oC, gas mark 7. Grease a baking sheet.

Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan. Add the spinach. Sprinkle on some salt and then put the lid on and let it cook over a low heat for a minute or so. Give it a good stir so that any spinach that is still looking fresh is pushed down, and put the lid back on for another minute.

And that’s about all the cooking time that fresh spinach needs. It’s wilted rather than cooked. There’ll be lots of water still in it though so press it down in a colander to drain it well.

Mix the cooked spinach with the cheeses, the finely chopped garlic, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Finally taste the mixture and add a squirt of lemon juice if you want.

Roll out the pastry quite thinly and cut into 6 rounds. You’ll have to re-roll the off-cuts to get 6 out. Divide the spinach mixture between the 6 rounds.

Brush the edges of the rounds with beaten egg, then bring one half up to meet the other, making a pasty shape. Place the pasties on the greased baking sheet and brush all over with egg.

Make a little hole in each one to let the steam out. Then cook for about 15 minutes or until they’re golden brown.

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