Archive for the ‘Vegetarian Recipes’ Category

Vegetarian Crock Pot Recipes

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Slow cooking involves cooking food slowly over low heat, instead of the stovetop method of using short bursts of high heat. Crock pots, the vessels used in slow cooking, are more closely associated with heavy meat dishes, as the method lends itself well to tenderizing tough cuts. But vegetables go surprisingly well in crock pots, and can even make convenient one-dish meals.

The advantage of slow cooking is that it gives food more time to render its flavor and allows different tastes to blend in the pot. On the practical side, it’s also less time-consuming, despite its name–all you have to do is place your ingredients in the pot, press a few buttons, and leave it to cook for the day. So you come home to a warm, ready-to-eat meal that’s worlds better than a TV dinner, not to mention healthier.

Vegetarian crock pot recipes often rely on heavy vegetables, including beans, legumes, and root crops. These provide most of the volume in meatless recipes, and also absorb flavors from the rest of the dish to make it richer. Potatoes and carrots are fairly popular, but don’t be afraid to experiment–turnips, radishes, and rutabaga also make excellent crock pot ingredients. You can use dried or canned beans, but the former may need to be soaked overnight as they can get mushy if allowed to soften in crock pots.

Greens and light vegetables can also go in the pot, but the long cooking time can make them too soft and/or wash out their flavor. This can be avoided by adding them a little later than the rest, or if you’re going to be out most of the day, putting them on top where the heat is less intense. Likewise, the slower-cooking ones such as potatoes and carrots should go at the bottom where it’s hottest. Dark greens such as broccoli and kale work best for crock pots.

Meat imitations also go fairly well in the crock pot, although it largely depends on their consistency. Dense products such as tempeh and tofu can keep their texture fairly well, but some varieties of seitan can go soft. If you plan on slow-cooking fake meat, go for premium brands and choose only the freshest. Also make sure to set the times right; most crock pot recipes take eight to twelve hours to soften the meat, but with vegetables it can take as little as four.

Indian Vegetarian Recipes

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

For people who choose to eat a vegetarian diet, Indian food has a huge amount to offer in terms of the large number of dishes that are endemic to this country that have no meat.  A large proportion of Indian dishes are meatless and taste great as they are infused with flavours from spices which are commonly used in Indian cooking.

One of the great benefits of Indian cuisine is unlike most countries Indian cuisine offers a wide range of nutritious and tasty vegetarian foods rather than just having vegetarian food options as an afterthought.  These vegetarian dishes are commonly found on the menu at many Indian restaurants making it easy for vegetarians to select a dish that tastes great and not having to place a special order with the kitchen.

Another great thing about Indian Vegetarian recipes is that they are always full of flavour and taste great.  Indian cooking combines many spices which gives the dish a great aroma and taste.  These spices infuse through the dish and give the ingredients a sweet taste or a warm to hot taste for the curry dishes.

Traditional Indian dishes including curries are mainly vegetarian and consist of a huge range of vegetables.  If you are eating at an Indian restaurant look through the menu and you will generally find a large proportion of vegetarian options.  It is also a good idea to try different vegetarian dishes as Indian cooking includes vegetables that you may not have tried before and taste great.

As well as dining out in restaurants for your fix of vegetarian Indian this style of cooking is quite easy to cook and prepare at home.  There are recipe books and hundreds of recipes online for Indian cuisine that is vegetarian, easy to cook and tastes great.  One of the advantages of cooking your own vegetarian Indian food is that you can control the amount of spices used in the dish.  This is important as you won’t enjoy the food as much if it has too much chilli and you don’t like hot food.

Lastly when it comes to vegetarian Indian recipes there are no hard and fast rules.  Many Indian dishes can be changed with ingredients added or taken out depending on taste.  One of the great benefits of Indian vegetarian is the variety of foods that are prepared in dishes and also the ingredients which can be purchased from any local supermarket.

Two Great Vegetarian Pasta Salad Recipes

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Looking for a great salad for that next BBQ with friends – try the two recipes below for great tasting vegetarian pasta salad.

Awesome Vegetarian Pasta Salad

This pasta  salad is easy to make and can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.  This dish is great for BBQs and can be served with or without meat.  Recipe serves 8 people.

Ingredients:

60g of Snow Peas, cut into pieces

2 Carrots, Shredded

1/2 Cup of frozen sweet corn

1/2 Cup of frozen peas

2 Broccoli cut into small floret’s

6 Green shallots, chopped

500g of penne pasta

1/2 to 1 cup of honey soy mayonnaise

3 Tbsp reduced fat sour cream

1 Tbsp mustard

1 Tbsp McCormick’s ‘Season All’ Seasoning

1 Tbsp Lemon rind

1 pinch of salt

Method:

1.  In a small sauce pan bring some water up to the boil and add the broccoli florets.  After about 4 minutes of cooking add the frozen peas, corn and then the snow peas.  Allow to boil for a further 4 minutes and then strain under cold water.

2.  In a separate saucepan boil the pasta until cooked

3.  In a large bowl mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon rind, seasoning and the salt.

4.  Combine all the other ingredients and mix until combined

5.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Yummy Vegetarian Pasta Salad

This is another great dish to eat during the hot summer months and a great dish to take to a BBQ.  This recipe makes enough for 4 serves.

Ingredients:

400g of Spiral Pasta

1 corn on the cob, with husk and silk removed

250g of fresh peas, shelled

2 tsp of olive oil

250g cherry tomatoes, chopped

160g fire roasted marinated red pepper strips, drained

2 Celery sticks, sliced

1 and 1/3 cup of fresh basil leaves

Black Pepper ground

6 large garlic cloves, unpeeled

1 tbs white wine vinegar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp water

300g packet silken tofu, chopped

salt

Method:

1.  Preheat the oven to 180° C.  In a large saucepan boil some water and add the pasta with a small pinch of salt.  Follow the packet directions for cooking the pasta.  Drain the pasta in cold running water and place in a large bowl.

2.  While cooking the pasta use this time to make the basil and garlic mayonnaise.  Make a small cut in each of the cloves of garlic and place on a baking tray.  Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes or until tender.  Remove the garlic from the oven and set aside to cool.  Peel the garlic and place in the bowl of a food processor.  Add the basil, vinegar, mustard, oil and water and blend until smooth.  Gradually add the chopped tofu until combined then season with salt and pepper.

3.  Use a small sharp knife to cut down the length of the corn cob and remove the kernels.  Heat oil in a medium saucepan and add corn and peas.  Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally until tender.

4.  Add corn mixture to the pasta as well as the tomatoes, pepper strips, celery and basil.  Add the mayonnaise and toss to combine.  Serve immediately.

Delightful and Easy Vegetarian Spaghetti Recipe

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

For people who choose to eat a vegetarian diet it is important to have a few easy to prepare meals that taste great.  Pasta dishes especially spaghetti are great for vegetarian meals as they are generally easy to prepare and the addition of vegetables increases the health benefits of these types of meals.  The following is a great vegetarian recipe to add to your collection.

Vegetarian Spaghetti

Ingredients:

1 Brown Onion, Chopped

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

2 Cloves of Garlic, Crushed

2 Zucchini, chopped

1 Medium Egg Plant, chopped

2 Yellow Squash, Chopped

3/4 Cup of red lentils, drained

2 Tomatoes, chopped

800g bottle of Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce

350g of broccoli, cut into florets

1/4 Cup of Parsley

375g of dried spaghetti

Shaved Parmesan cheese

Method:

1.  In a large heavy based sauce pan heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onion and he garlic to the sauce pan and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft.

2.  Add the squash, zucchini and eggplant to the sauce pan and cook for 5 minutes while stirring.  Add the lentils, tomato, pasta sauce and 1/2 cup of cold water.  Bring the contents up to the boil and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook covered for approximately 20 minutes add broccoli and cook for a further 10 minutes uncovered until the lentils are tender.

3.  In a separate saucepan add enough water to cover the spaghetti, a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.  Follow the pack instructions for how long to cook the spaghetti.  Once cooked drain the pasta.

4.  Divide the cooked spaghetti into serves and top with the vegetable sauce.  Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top.

Strictly No Animal Products: Vegan Cheese

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

The decision to become vegetarian or vegan is a very personal thing with many people deciding to change their diet for health, ethical or environmental reasons.  People who decide to go vegan make an even bigger commitment when you look at the foods that are not vegan friendly.  The good news is that there is always work being done on alternatives for animal and animal products and one of these alternatives is vegan cheese which is derived from soy and contains no animal products.

Vegan cheese can be found in many health food stores and specialty delicatessens along with other vegan and vegetarian products.  There are a few different types of vegan cheese as the end result depends on which base is used to make the cheese.  Soy, tofu, rice and almond are the most common bases for vegan cheese and this provides each finished cheese product with its own individual taste and also texture.  For variety some vegan cheeses will use a combination of base ingredients for a unique taste or texture.

As with dairy cheeses, vegan cheese can be eaten straight out of the packet, grated and even melted when grilled on bread or other dishes.  Vegans who are looking to use these cheeses as you would dairy cheese may be a little disappointed as the vegan cheese does not melt well enough for sauces or toppings.  This type of cheese is still very versatile however and can be used for many hundreds of dishes that you can change to vegan friendly by substituting milk based cheese to any variety of vegan cheese.

When choosing which type of vegan cheese is best for you take the time to taste a few of the variations until you find one that you like.  Mostly these vegan cheese varieties come in a handy block which can be sliced or grated at your convenience.  For people who may have allergies when it comes to nuts stick to the cheese varieties that have soy, tofu and rice as a base.

Along with the added benefit of being able to change more recipes to vegan friendly, there are also the health benefits associated with this cheese.  Vegan cheeses have no cholesterol and have much less fat than many cheeses derived from dairy products.  These cheeses also have a very low saturated fat content and can be a great source of protein for people on a vegan diet.