In November 2013 I decided to eat a more varied selection of vegetarian food. I’m not vegetarian, but for now I only cook vegetarian at home.
If you’re like a lot of people you might think I’d be eating cauliflower cheese every day. You couldn’t be more wrong.
I came up with a routine – every weekend I pick up one of my many cookbooks (I think I have 300) and find 10-15 dishes I want to make the following week. That’s one way to stop your cookery books gathering dust!
I’ve also found a wealth of great recipes online. One particularly tasty dish from Ocado’s Recipe section (filter by Dietary: vegetarian) is Couscous, Sweet Potato and Edamame Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette.
The recipe suggests boiling then frying the sweet potatoes, but I left the skins on and roasted them as they become much softer, sweeter and more intense.
I also prefer to swap couscous for quinoa cooked in bouillon as it is much higher in protein and gluten-free – ideal if you have vegans in your home. Bouillon really adds flavour to grains like quinoa, pearl barley and bulgar wheat.
Looks beautiful, doesn’t it. Really colourful and inviting. And what’s more all the ingredients are readily available from your favourite online supermarket.
There are so many textures and flavours going on in this recipe. Quinoa, sweet potatoes, edamame beans, spring onions, basil and rosary ash goat’s cheese. The orange and basil dressing adds a lovely citrus hit and the goat’s cheese is incredibly creamy – hmm it’s just so yummy and is very filling – and I know I’ll make this regularly.
You can eat this dish hot or cold, and it keeps really well too – so if you have leftovers you can take some to work the next day and have your colleagues drooling as they eat their ready meals and sandwiches!
In the past 10 years the availability of ingredients has expanded exponentially. In the ’90s you wouldn’t know where to go for chia seeds or preserved lemons. With the explosion of online shopping you can buy almost any ingredient you need.
I particularly like using fresh pomegranates in salads, red or black quinoa for added colour, and sweet potatoes or butternut squash. I also like to keep a wide variety of nuts and seeds for use in salads.
Vegetarian cookery has never been so exciting.
Tony, Application Support Team Leader
Intrigued by Tony’s foodie project? See how he’s getting on and what he’s cooking up on his blog.