NOW CLOSED: WIN a whole week of veggie shopping for National Vegetarian Week

Are you willing to take up the Vegetarian Challenge? It’s National Vegetarian Week from Monday 18th May, and we’re looking for a social media-savvy meat eater to go veggie for the week and photo-document their experience on Twitter or Instagram.

In return, we’ll send our winner and their family an entire week’s worth of luxury vegetarian groceries, plus a handy vegetarian meal planner for that week.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Find out how to enter below…

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Flavour Friday on Daily Brunch with Ocado

We’ve got a flavour-packed Friday celebration going on today: crispy polenta served with an intense, tomatoey pesto and Parma ham; and the ultimate veggie burger topped with strong cheddar and a proper burger sauce.

Get started…

Crunchy Polenta with Parma Ham

Image of crunchy polenta

This polenta recipe makes a delicious side dish or light meal. Simon serves the polenta squares with a fresh and zingy pesto to offset the creaminess of the polenta and the richness of the Parma ham. He adds extra texture by deep-frying to create a deliciously crunchy crust.

  • Serves 4 – 6
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

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Vegetarian Week Guest Post: Tony from Technology

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.

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Guest post: Karin Ridgers’ veggie Christmas

Restaurant advisor and Founder of VeggieVision TV, Karin Ridgers, writes on catering for veggies and vegans at Christmas. Read on for lots of great ideas…

Image of Karin Ridgers

So, you have a vegetarian coming for Christmas? Firstly, there is no need to panic. With a little preparation and a chat with your guest before the big day, everything should run smoothly.

Many veggies do love the traditional Christmas dinner, so ask if they would like something completely different or not. Perhaps they would prefer not standing out at the dinner table and would just enjoy everything that everyone else is eating – without the meat!

Maybe as their centrepiece a tasty Chestnut Bourguignonne Pie would go down well, or simply some meat-free alternatives. If it all sounds too much, talk to your guest. They might be able to bring their own turkey substitute, making things much easier.

Image of Chestnut Bourguignonne Pie

 Here are my top Christmas catering tips

  •  Make sure that the veg and roast potatoes are cooked separately from the meat or any animal fat.
  • Gravy can easily be made without meat juices. We always add a spoonful of Vegemite to ours as it tastes great, is vegan, and is bursting with B vitamins.
  •  Check the ingredients of mince pies and Christmas puddings – some will not be veggie or vegan friendly. If you’re making your own, just run the recipe by your guest beforehand so there’s no stress at the dining table.
  • Replacing butter for vegans couldn’t be easier. Tomor is great for cooking with, and there is also Vitalite which I know several people like as it is very buttery.
  • Tofu is super for recipes such as quiches, or simply mashed up and fried with onions and dairy-free cheese for my favourite: Scrambled Eggless.
  • There are many dairy-free milks to choose from, like soya (light/unsweetened/organic/wholebean), coconut milk, various almond, hazlenut, oat, rice, hemp… see what they prefer.

Image of Veggie lunch

No matter why you are exploring meat or dairy-free options, never focus on what you won’t be having, always focus on the abundance of new products that are out there waiting for you to try!

Have a delicious Christmas

Karin Ridgers

For my full, free guide go to veggiechristmas.com or follow me on Twitter @veggievisionTV

 

NB Karin is vegan – all non-vegan links are Ocado’s

“Everything should taste like bacon”

Not long now ‘til everyone’s favourite holiday, when family and friends gather together to share love, laughter and good food.

Yep, I’m talking International Bacon Day – and since it comes but once a year (31st August, on the off-chance you’ve forgotten) I’m here to help you celebrate it properly. Read on…

In the words of Justin and Dave, makers of the ultimate bacon flavoured spread, ‘everything should taste like bacon’. So, first up, I bring you Baconnaise! It’s delicious on sandwiches, salads, chicken, ice cream if you really must… Basically, anything that you want to make more baconny.

 Baconnaise

It’s also Kosher and vegetarian, somehow.

While a bacon-flavoured spread is a mess-free way to get your bacon fix, International Bacon Day isn’t International Bacon Day until you’ve fired up the grill.

A classic BLT is the traditional way to celebrate, and while it makes a tasty lunch, so far so standard.

BLT

For those of you who enjoy something a little more creative between your bread, may I suggest a bacon, chocolate and Stilton sarnie? As alt rock gods Incubus enigmatically put it, if not now, when?

Bacon, chocolate and Stilton

Caught the creativity bug? I can recommend the Better Bacon app. It’s packed with know-how, guides and recipes, plus some clever ideas for bacon-infused cocktails.

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 12.23.40

By now you’re pondering what to feed your vegetarian guests. No problem. International Bacon Day is nothing if not inclusive. Make sure everyone joins in the tasty bacon fun with…

Smokey Bacon Crisps

Quorn Deli Bacon Flavour Rashers

Frazzles

 Problem solved.

And after the big meal, the family rows over streaky or smoked, plus one too many bacon whisky, comes the snooze in front of the telly. Naturally, you’ll want to round off the day with a Kevin Bacon flick. I’ll be digging out my Footloose DVD; what will you be watching?

Footloose

Happy International Bacon Day, all.

Matthew, PR Intern