More and more people are turning to a vegetarian diet. Some eat a veggie meal once a week, for some it’s most of the week and others are turning their back on a meat heavy diet completely.

So what are the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle:

  1. A vegetarian diet can be exciting and full of fresh flavours. It can help you to think creatively about what you are eating and get you out of boring meal time ruts.
  2. It’s a cheaper option. Meat, fish and poultry are so expensive.
  3. A balanced vegetarian diet should be low in fat, high in complex carbohydrates and packed with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  4. Research has shown that vegetarians are less likely to suffer from obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, some diet-related cancers, diverticular disease, appendicitis, constipation and gallstones.
  5. It’s good for the planet too. Going vegetarian can reduce your carbon footprint, help conserve land and water and protect the oceans.

So you want to try a vegetarian diet?

Start simply and introduce one meal a week, to see how you get on and to give yourself a chance to try different recipes and find out what you like.

Here are 10 of my favourite vegetarian meals:

Roast Vegetable, Veggie Sausage and Chickpea Bake

Roast vegetable, veggie sausage and chickpea bake

This is such a simple dish. The vegetables and sausages are cooked in a roasting tin and other ingredients are added during the cooking process. I love serving it with mashed potato or buttered crusty bread to mop up all that lovely sauce.

Get the recipe here: Tinned Tomatoes

 

Cheesey Vegetable Pie

Cheesey vegetable pie

A selection of vegetables cooked in a cheese sauce with a puff pastry lid. Comfort food at its best. Serve with roast potatoes and extra vegetables for a hearty Sunday dinner that everyone will enjoy.

Get the recipe here: Tinned Tomatoes

 

Messicani with Spinach and Cheese Sauce

Messicani with Spinach and Cheese Sauce

Pasta is great with cheese sauce, just think macaroni, but add spinach to the sauce and it takes it to a new level. I like this with messicani pasta, but choose your own favourite pasta shape.

Get the recipe here: Tinned Tomatoes

 

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew

This stew is packed with flavour and easy on a budget. Look in the World Food aisle of your local supermarket for the best priced and quality chickpeas. Serve with rice.

Get the recipe here: Tinned Tomatoes

 

Fridge Lentil Soup

Fridge Lentil Soup

This is one of my favourite soups and a great way of using up vegetables from your salad drawer that are past their best. It’s another cheap meal that’s very substantial.

Get recipe here: Tinned Tomatoes

 

Cajun Spiced Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burgers

Cajun spiced black bean and sweet potato burgers

These are so easy. Bake the potato, then just mash all the ingredients together in and bowl and form into patties. Once cooked, serve in a toasted bun with salad and slices of ripe avocado.

Get the recipe here: Tinned Tomatoes

 

Conchiglioni Pasta Salad with Sautéed Mushrooms and Goats Cheese

Conchiglioni Pasta salad with mushrooms and goats cheese

I do love a good pasta salad and this one is particularly good with the rich flavour of sautéed mushrooms, the creamy tang of goats cheese and a crisp fresh crunch from the cucumber.  Make a batch and serve cold. It’s great for lunch, dinner, picnics and barbeques.

Get the recipe here: Tinned Tomatoes

 

Puy Lentil, Beet and Mozzarella Salad

Puy Lentil, Beet and Mozzarella Salad

Puy lentils are great in a salad and they really work well with the creamy mozzarella and the pickled baby beets in this salad. Easy to put together and so, so tasty.

Get the recipe here: Tinned Tomatoes

 

Creamy Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup

Creamy Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup

Butternut squash and onions are roasted to give the base of this creamy soup a wonderful flavour. Rich and creamy, but not calorific.

Get recipe here: Tinned Tomatoes

 

Bulgur, Couscous and Puy Lentil Salad

Bulgur, couscous and puy lentil salad

This is a fresh take on a traditional tabbouleh made with bulgur wheat and couscous with the addition of puy lentils to make It a heartier dish.

Get recipe here: Tinned Tomatoes

 

Jacqueline Meldrum is a freelance food writer and recipe developer. Jacqueline blogs at Tinned Tomatoes.

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