A-Z of Easy Eating – Hot Tips for Veggie Virgins!
- Bangers & Burgers Veggie sausages and burgers
keep well in the freezer – one favourite standby of mine
is sausage and mash with onion gravy and greens. There are also
lots of vegan varieties, mostly in health food shops.
- Bulk It Up If you are cooking beans, lentils,
rice, pasta sauce, soup, home-made burgers, curries and so on … it’s
almost as quick to cook a bit extra, then freeze the leftovers
- Cool Schools Most schools do veggie options
now, although not so many do vegan. If you and your children are
happy with the meals, fantastic. Otherwise they can take their
own! All the lunch recipes in Family
Affairs are for 4, but you may
want to reduce quantities if your kids are eating a cooked meal
- Favourites. Most people have about 7 or 8 dishes
that they cook regularly, and veggies are no different. You don’t
need to learn a whole bookful of new recipes! Keep the experiments
for when you have a little more time, such as weekends or holidays – that
way you will enjoy cooking new dishes.
- Saucy! For those frantic nights when time is
really short, there are lots of tasty ready made veggie-friendly
sauces around – you
can create quick Indian, Italian, Chinese, Thai dishes like this.
Just add rice, pasta as appropriate. Otherwise
make your own quickies!
- Seeds of Health. You don’t need
to eat polluted fish from our over fished oceans to get important
protein or Omega 3 and 6. Safer and more compassionate sources
are seeds such as sunflower, sesame and linseed – all found
in good supermarkets or health food shops. Linseeds can be ground
up in a blender - a tablespoon on your breakfast cereal will keep
you fighting fit! Or buy it in oil form from health shops – keep
in the fridge and use in salad dressing. Other nuts and seeds are
delicious on their own as snacks or else sprinkled in salads.
- SOS (Save Our Stores) If you are lucky enough
to have access to an independent health food shop, use it and talk
to the staff – they are usually delighted to advise you on
their products. The same goes for Asian and Chinese shops, often
much cheaper for vegetables, pulses, rice, spices and other goodies.
- Soy Ahoy! Delicious, small pots of fruity soy
yoghurt (made by Provamel/Alpro) are available in packs of 4 from
supermarkets and health food shops. They’re a great extra
in packed lunches.
- Speedy Stir Fries are another quick fix meal – and
you can add almost anything to them! Use Liz Cook’s So,
What Do You Eat? P.26 for some fantastic ideas.
- Stock Up There’s nothing like home made
veggie stock to add flavour to sauces and soups, (good frozen in
ice cube trays) but here at Viva! we are great fans of Marigold
Bouillon powder. Wonderful stuff, it’s available in veggie
and vegan versions.
Totty soft or medium
silken varieties are particularly good for quiches and ‘cheesecakes’,
instead of eggs. One fabulous example of this is Red Onion and
- Tofu Treats. If one of your favourite
old recipe calls for meat or fish, substitute tofu, which comes
in plain, smoked and marinated flavours. Drain a slab of firm tofu
and mop up excess dampness with kitchen paper. Slice it longways
into 2 ‘steaks’, sauté in a little sunflower
oil till golden brown on each side. add a bit of shoyu in the pan
and let it coat the tofu. Drain on kitchen paper. You can use these
tofu steaks as they are or else slice into cubes and add to the
rest of the ingredients near the end of cooking time.
- Vegetize! Many popular meat dishes such as Spaghetti
Bolognese or Chilli Con carne can
easily be made vegetarian, as you’ll see from some of the
recipes featured here.