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    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 7th Aug 18, 7:54 AM
    • 13,004Posts
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    Meatless meals
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 18, 7:54 AM
    Meatless meals 7th Aug 18 at 7:54 AM
    Climate change is and has been an ongoing thing for decades now and given the brutality of this summer here in the UK it would be a very good thing to consider how we might be able to help slow it down on an everyday living basis. A suggestion from an expert this morning included the idea that eating less meat would be a good thing as farming livestock for food is expensive both in terms of land tied up, crops grown to feed them and emissions because they are living beings.

    If we take the suggestion to eat less meat as a good one it would be helpful to have some tasty and satisfying meat free recipes to help us eat in an alternative way that would be more beneficial to the planet and therefore to us, our children and their children in the fullness of time and take a very small but significant step to help keep the temperatures down.

    I like meat as well as most folks but I'm prepared to eat less if the end result is a better world for future generations and also us now!

    So, any meat free recipes that are tried and tested and delicious enough to make as part of a regular weekly menu plan would be very helpful

    My favourite soup is Lentil Soup, we eat many bowlfuls in the colder months

    Lentil Soup

    200g split red lentils (picked over for stones and well rinsed)
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 large carrot chopped
    1 celery stalk chopped
    1 large potato diced
    2 and 1/2 litres of vegetable stock (salt free of low salt)
    1 teaspoon dried sage
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    good grinding of black pepper
    2 x bay leaves

    to finish when the soup is cooked
    1 heaped teaspoon of yeast extract
    celery salt
    seasoning of salt and pepper

    In a very large pan put all the soup ingredients except those to finish it. Bring to the boil and simmer partly covered on the hob until the lentils have completely broken down to a soft consistence, this can take a couple of hours so I cook the soup on a heat spreader to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan, stir it occasionally. When the soup is done, remove the bay leaves and add the ingredients to finish the soup in quantities to suit your own personal taste. This amount gives around 6 good meal sized portions.

    It makes sense also in a time when prices are rising and there is some small question over both this years harvests and availability of produce from around the globe t have at our fingertips some ideas to feed us and our families with both local produce from the UK and things that are easy to store dried and tinned which will also help all of our futures.
    Last edited by MrsLurcherwalker; 07-08-2018 at 7:57 AM.
    Thumpers mum was right - if you can't find anything nice to say don't say anything at all!
Page 1
    • timehastoldme
    • By timehastoldme 7th Aug 18, 8:30 AM
    • 197 Posts
    • 671 Thanks
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 8:30 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 8:30 AM
    This mixed bean goulash is delicious, quick and really tweakable. We use butter beans in place of baked beans and smoked paprika. It can be bulked out with roasted sweet potato or butternut squash and is lovely with a chunk of home made bread.
    • C J
    • By C J 7th Aug 18, 9:17 AM
    • 1,141 Posts
    • 7,007 Thanks
    C J
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:17 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:17 AM
    Line a large baking dish with filo pastry and fill with a mixture of grated courgette and chopped cooked spinach leaves (squeeze out extra moisture from both), chopped sauteed onion and garlic, a cup of cold cooked rice, some grated strong cheddar cheese, herbs and seasonings to taste, and a beaten egg or two to bind. Top the pie with crumpled sheets of filo, brush with melted butter and bake for around 40 minutes.

    Sorry that measurements are vague, I tend to cook by eye/taste/guesswork
    An ever-shifting labyrinth of chiaroscuro
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 7th Aug 18, 9:22 AM
    • 4,198 Posts
    • 6,688 Thanks
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:22 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:22 AM
    I aim to eat veggie twice a week. Here is one of my favourites, though not exactly what you want to cook in this weather. It's very tweakable. I don't use the cheese, often add a splash of Worcester sauce (which of course makes it non veggie, but I'm not bothered)
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 7th Aug 18, 9:23 AM
    • 3,403 Posts
    • 9,106 Thanks
    • #5
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:23 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:23 AM
    I find this cheap and cheerful basic mixture great for making burgers & meatballs its quite versatile as can be added to a tomato sauce for a pasta meal or subs or served with mash and mustard sauce or Swedish gravy to ring in the changes,

    1 tbs olive oil
    1 small yellow onion, diced
    2 cloves of garlic, diced
    8 oz button mushrooms, cleaned with dry towel and chopped
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp chili flake
    1 400g tin of white beans, drained and rinsed
    juice of 1 lemon
    2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
    1 1/4 cups bread crumbs, split into 1 cup and 1/4 cup to roll the meatballs
    heat oven to 180 fry off the onions garlic and mushrooms then add in the in the seasonings and beans remove from heat, mash mixture together ( easiest done in the food processor from a few blasts) then add in the breadcrumbs and rest until the mixture firms up. roll into balls or burger patties and roll into the remaining breadcrumbs bake for around 40mins until evenly brown
    • K80 Black
    • By K80 Black 7th Aug 18, 9:29 AM
    • 305 Posts
    • 661 Thanks
    K80 Black
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:29 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:29 AM
    Apologies, I cook by eye and have no idea on weights, times or temperatures!

    Red pepper and red onion quiche - rub together flour and butter for the pastry, roll out and line a dish, blind bake while you lightly fry the onions and pepper, beat eggs and cheese together with the veg, pour into the pastry case and bake.

    You can also make great fajitas with refried beans instead of meat, or add some kidney/butter/whatever is handy beans to a stir fry instead of meat, or. home made pizzas with just veg.

    Not forgetting the quick and cheap classic of baked potato with cheese and baked beans, or coleslaw.
    • VJsmum
    • By VJsmum 7th Aug 18, 9:43 AM
    • 5,471 Posts
    • 80,360 Thanks
    • #7
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:43 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:43 AM
    I also aim to eat veggie / vegan at least twice a week - am also striving for more

    I like Sarah Brown's lentil cottage pie

    here is one of our (more wintery) favourites

    Winter veg casserole

    pt dry white wine
    6 carrots
    Tom puree
    2 tsp mixed herbs
    3 onions
    Can tomatoes
    4 celery sticky
    2 leeks

    6 oz flour
    3 oz butter
    4 oz cheddar

    Saute onion, celery, leeks, garlic in the olive oil. Add the chopped carrots and saute a little. Add tomatoes, cauliflower, wine, tom puree and herbs and simmer until cooked. Put in a casserole dish.

    Rub fat into flour and add cheddar, sprinkle on top and bake for about 20 mins on about 180 - 200 until topping is cooked (i guess the last bit)

    And a summery one

    Cheese and Lentil loaf

    6 ounces red lentils
    12 fluid ounces water
    4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
    1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1 large egg
    3 tablespoons single cream
    salt & freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon butter


    Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375 deg F (190 deg C).
    Pick over the lentils for any sticks and stones.
    Rinse thoroughly and cook in a tightly covered pan with the water for 10-15 minutes.
    Check after 10 minutes in case you need to add more water.
    The mixture should cook to a stiff puree.
    Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the grated cheese, chopped onion, parsley, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.
    Season to taste.
    In a separate bowl lightly beat the egg.
    Stir in the cream (to the egg).
    Pour this mixture over the lentils.
    Greas e 1 lb loaf tin with the teaspoon of butter and press in the mixture.
    Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown and the mixture feels firm to the touch.
    Let it stand for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out.

    Nice with salad - or cold for lunch the next day...

    i use deliciously Ella and Plant based pixie websites for some inspiration. As well as Jack Monroe
    Last edited by VJsmum; 07-08-2018 at 9:46 AM.
    I wanna be in the room where it happens
    • VJsmum
    • By VJsmum 7th Aug 18, 9:45 AM
    • 5,471 Posts
    • 80,360 Thanks
    • #8
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:45 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:45 AM
    ANother thing to try is Jackfruit

    I recently made 'pulled jackfruit' using a pulled pork recipe and just substituting the meat for the jackfruit. Struggled to see the difference. Jackfruit comes in cans (you need the green fruit in water - not the ripe fruit in syrup). i got mine from planet Organic in London, but am told you can get it in waitrose.
    I wanna be in the room where it happens
    • timehastoldme
    • By timehastoldme 7th Aug 18, 10:02 AM
    • 197 Posts
    • 671 Thanks
    • #9
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:02 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:02 AM
    This thread will be useful, we're planning for midweek vegetarianism for the foreseeable.

    My mum has our Keralan cook book, so from memory

    Curried Squash

    Butternut squash/crown prince pumpkin cut into reasonable chunks (inch to inch and a half)
    Garlic cloves
    Ginger (fresh)
    Coconut milk powder (stores well)
    Garam masala
    Pinch of chilli

    Soften squash in a pan
    Add chopped ginger and garlic
    Add spices in quantities to suit (I eyeball this, but a teaspoon of all but the chilli is a good place to start) and stir
    Top with stock and coconut milk powder, allow to reduce until squash is cooked and sauce is thick

    Lovely with lemon cashew rice or paratha
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 7th Aug 18, 10:21 AM
    • 13,004 Posts
    • 179,604 Thanks
    Wow, fantastic posts everyone and I really, really like the sound of all of them particularly your lovely versatile mix TORI.K that is going to be a very useful and economical addition to many of our future meals.

    I hope the thread can be used as an easy reference resource to help us all and perhaps let people thinking of trying some meat free recipes see just how simple and thrifty they can be, thank you all so much, keep the recipes and ideas flowing, Lyn xxx.
    Thumpers mum was right - if you can't find anything nice to say don't say anything at all!
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 7th Aug 18, 10:38 AM
    • 4,292 Posts
    • 14,753 Thanks
    Out, Vile Jelly
    I've been a vegetarian most of my life; not bothered by the meat replacement substances, I just like veg. Once you've got yourself into the mindset that veg can easily be the basis of a delicious meal, rather than a supporting role to meat, there are countless amazing dishes to try.

    The Hugh Fearnley-Posho Veg Every Day book is a good starting point.

    An Indian variation on laksa:

    Fry chopped onions with a couple of tablespoons of madras paste, plus chillis if you like heat
    Add whatever veg you've got lying around; greens, roots, anything that needs using up
    Add milk to the consistency you like (soup or stew), simmer
    Serve with Indian sides, and mop up with naans

    Feels like a takeaway treat, without the rich greasiness of a lot of Indian food.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • SpikyHedgehog
    • By SpikyHedgehog 7th Aug 18, 10:51 AM
    • 998 Posts
    • 10,075 Thanks
    ANother thing to try is Jackfruit

    I recently made 'pulled jackfruit' using a pulled pork recipe and just substituting the meat for the jackfruit. Struggled to see the difference. Jackfruit comes in cans (you need the green fruit in water - not the ripe fruit in syrup). i got mine from planet Organic in London, but am told you can get it in waitrose.
    Originally posted by VJsmum
    Sainsbobs are also selling it in the chilled vegetarian section and in the prepped veg section. I haven't tried it yet though.

    Stir fry is popular in Casa Spiky:

    Get the noodles out of the cupboard before you start (so you can realise there aren't any/enough and do rice instead if needed...
    Prep the protein (choose 1) - drain and press 1 pack of tofu; drain a can of ready prepared chickpeas; defrost a tub of aduki beans you soaked and cooked yourself, use a pack of LindaMacCartney 'shredded hoisin duck' from the freezer (so far, found in M0rris0ns, but not Sainsbobs); soaked vegetable protein chunks...
    Half fill a large lidded pan with water for the noodles. Retrieve the wok from the back of the saucepan cupboard and pour in approx tablespoon of bland oil. (ie, rapeseed, sunflower, 'vegetable oil'...)
    Get a large mixing bowl and put the veg into it as you prep it so you can give it all a good stir before cooking (optional).
    Peel and slice 1 or 2 onions
    Wash and julienne 2 or 3 carrots
    Wash and cut into strips 1 each of red, yellow and green peppers
    Wash and cut into strips some mushrooms (1 x 250g tub?)
    Wash and cut up a small head of broccoli (or half a large head) - I start by trimming off the dry end of the stalk as I use the stalk as well. You want the bits quite small so it will cook with the other veg - or you could blanch it first.
    (This is what I use for preference and affordability - you use the veg you like and have! I like to add baby sweetcorn, and the boys like bamboo shoots and water chestnuts)
    Put the heat on under the wok and noodle pan (If I'm using rice, I use brown rice so have already started it before prepping the veg)
    When the oil is hot, add the veg and stir well, stirring regularly. (Add frozen protein now to give time to cook)
    When the water boils, put in 1 nest of noodles for each person.
    While the veg and noodles are cooking, prep the sauce:
    Crush 2 or more cloves of garlic into a cereal bowl.
    Add fresh chopped ginger - about 1 inch? (I get a good amount of root ginger at a time, peel and grate it/chop finely in the food processor if DS1 has bought 600g of ginger and freeze it in ice cube trays so it's ready when I need it. I use 1 or 2 cubes for a stirfry.)
    Chilli - 1 or 2 fresh chillies or half a teaspoon of dried crushed chillies to taste (or leave out if you don't like it)
    1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice mix (if you have it)
    1 teaspoon stock powder
    1 tablespoon of cornflour
    1 tablespoon of sesame oil
    1 tablespoon of soy sauce
    1 tablespoon of tomato puree (optional)
    Cold water (about 4 tablespoons)
    Stir well
    The veg should be nearly ready now, it really takes less time to make the sauce than to type it! So add the protein if using tofu or something else that is ready cooked but needs to heat through. Stir well.
    Stir the sauce for a last time in the bowl (remember, uncooked cornflour separates when standing) and add to the wok - stir well.
    Nearly done!
    Drain the noodles - I can't fit them in the wok as it's still full of veg, so they go straight into pasta bowls or onto the plates.
    Stir veg and dish up.
    Think that you should have toasted some sesame seeds before putting oil in the wok so they were available for sprinkling over the yummy meal...

    Something that DS2 likes (though DS1 does not!):

    Pasta, baked beans and hummus

    Cook pasta for 2 people and drain.
    Add 1 can of baked beans, stir well, add approximately 1 tub of hummus, stir well and season to taste and serve.

    Very simple and my preference to the demand polite request from DS2 that I get chips from the chippy... With baked beans and hummus counting as a serving of veg, not a bad fast food meal And we've a Mr T express as our corner shop, where there's often reduced hummus so it works out cheap.

    It's a variant on the pasta, cheese sauce and baked beans mum used to cook for us, though DS1 will eat the cheese sauce original (with extra seasonings including mustard in the cheese sauce).
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z #37 - waterproof wearing cage customiser, chief of cable ties and duct tape

    It's me, DS1 (23), DS2 (15), and the lurcher, and DS1's leopard geckos.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Aug 18, 10:56 AM
    • 65,769 Posts
    • 386,178 Thanks
    I don't eat much meat, it's pricey and you really have to be able/willing to use it once purchased... I picked up some mince and stewing steak reduced to half price about 2 months ago, they're still in the freezer as I'm "waiting for it to be meat weather/colder".

    I'm a fan of nut roasts - although bl00dy expensive to make. Not a fan of lentils, nor soup.

    But even simply not having meat on pizza toppings, or choosing a cheese/onion quiche instead of a quiche lorraine is doable for most ... although not cheaper than choosing the meat content.

    For takeaway I go for vegetarian curries - the additional 2 or so cost of choosing a meat one isn't usually worth it for the few blobs you get.

    Veggie food is "better/easier" as there are fewer concerns about storage and use by dates involved... so it's more flexible about when you use/eat it and how long it was in your bag before you got home. So "laziness" can be a motivator
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Aug 18, 12:03 PM
    • 5,088 Posts
    • 31,321 Thanks
    This is a cracking recipe

    I made butternut squash & black bean chilli last week. No recipe but I basically replaced mince with cubed butternut squash and kidney beans with black beans in my usual chilli con carne. I had it with sour cream, grated cheese and tortilla chips. Really tasty and I didn't miss the meat.

    HM tomato sauce is a winner and so versatile. For a basic sauce I use 1 diced medium onion and 1 clove of garlic for every can of tomatoes. Soften the onions/garlic in a little oil, add tomatoes, 200 ml of water, 1 tsp each of oregano or mixed herbs, salt and black pepper, pinch of sugar. Simmer until well reduced and thick then blend until smooth.

    Spinach & riccotta makes a lovely lasagne filling. Mix two tubs of riccotta with 1/2 a bag of cooked well-drained frozen spinach, salt pepper and a grating of nutmeg. Layer up as follows tomato sauce, lasagne, spinach mix, lasagne, tomato sauce, lasagne top with becamel sauce & grated cheese. Bake in medium oven for 45 -60 mins.

    Brown lentils sub well for beef mince, use a cup of lentils to every 400g of mince. Add and extra cup of water to your recipe. If cooking for meat eaters a beef stock cube adds the beefy flavour folk might miss.
    GC: Jan 105/120, Feb 50/120
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 7th Aug 18, 12:58 PM
    • 11,141 Posts
    • 75,342 Thanks
    Wow....great recipes and tips. Although an omnivore who has to eat a paleo grains or pulses ........I do try and eat a diet based around vegetables and fruits, with only modest a amounts of meat and fish. And I too try and go meat free a couple of days a week.

    I am sorry but I'm another cook by eye and taste rather than following recipe books and using weights and measures.

    Skid Row Stroganoff.

    Basically the same as beef stroganoff but using mushrooms. Cheap and cheerful and the mushrooms are surprisingly filling. I can't eat rice so I usually serve it with either either cauliflower or broccoli "rice".
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 7th Aug 18, 1:01 PM
    • 5,833 Posts
    • 34,019 Thanks
    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    Come now Ms LW.

    Mushroom roulette! All you have to do is ask.

    PS. Don!!!8217;t believe the bullshine.
    Cardiac Arrest - Electrical - Patient unconscious! Heart Attack - Plumbing - Patient conscious!
    Defibrillators Cannot Cure a Heart Attack!
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 7th Aug 18, 1:15 PM
    • 13,004 Posts
    • 179,604 Thanks
    Hi BOP beans on toast with an egg, mushrooms too, and another egg !!! food of the Gods and 'proper grub!'.
    Thumpers mum was right - if you can't find anything nice to say don't say anything at all!
    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 7th Aug 18, 1:51 PM
    • 1,129 Posts
    • 9,573 Thanks
    Some weeks I'm better than others for being meat free. I may have a veggie pasta dish, a veggie rice dish, a bean or lentil burger in a Portobello mushroom bun and then a fish dish.

    Brown lentils sub well for beef mince, use a cup of lentils to every 400g of mince. Add and extra cup of water to your recipe. If cooking for meat eaters a beef stock cube adds the beefy flavour folk might miss.
    Originally posted by caronc
    I do this a lot, as mentioned above cottage pie, or a ragu type sauce for bolognaise or lasagne as well as moussaka, get the seasoning right and they are fantastic.

    Skid Row Stroganoff.

    Basically the same as beef stroganoff but using mushrooms. Cheap and cheerful and the mushrooms are surprisingly filling. I can't eat rice so I usually serve it with either either cauliflower or broccoli "rice".
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    I love a good mushroom stroganoff and very partial to a mushroom risotto, I've also made a mushroom, leek and sweetcorn lasagne which was also a really big hit.
    Grocery Challenge Annual Budget = 1000/893.74 left
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    Feb - 50.00/70.00
    • prowla
    • By prowla 7th Aug 18, 1:54 PM
    • 10,173 Posts
    • 8,458 Thanks
    Non-cooked food, like salads & fruit is going to be environmentally friendly.
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 7th Aug 18, 2:20 PM
    • 1,206 Posts
    • 25,312 Thanks
    ... not if you buy washed salad leaves!

    I only eat meat 2-3 times a week, because I try to buy only ethically sourced meat and it's bloomin expensive! I don't use many recipes but I do recommend the HFW book mentioned above, Everyday Veg, it's brilliant.

    Macaroni cheese, cauliflower cheese, mushroom risotto (use a few dried porcini to give it more punch), butternut squash risotto; onion tart, vegetarian chilli made with lentils; vegetable soup ... I just see what's in the fridge and make it up as I go along.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
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