It’s National Vegetarian Week, a time to go ‘cold turkey’ and give up meat for a week, or perhaps even longer.
Demand for vegetarian food is rising, even among the carnivores out there, and that is because there are so many amazing dishes to choose from these days.
We particularly like food chain Pret’s ‘not just for veggies’ campaign which is promoting the idea that you don’t need to be vegetarian to enjoy their meat-free range.
We often, when we are out and about, will order fast food with no meat in it or sit down for a meal in a restaurant and choose the vegetarian option because it is more appealing than other choices. That says a lot about the quality and choice of vegetarian food in 2016.
We create lots of vegetarian meals here in the SK kitchen, including one of our best-selling products, onion bhajis. We also make plenty of vegetable samosas, beetroot falafels, bean burgers, spring rools and sweet potato croquettes.
We can’t see what you have to lose, apart from a few pounds, by cutting out meat for seven days and even if you enjoy meat, there’s no reason why you can’t try to eat vegetarian food more regularly. Meat-free Mondays – which is backed by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney – is a good option particularly if you have over-indulged over the weekend.
Here’s a recipe for Layered Vegetable Pie. This is a simple National Vegetarian Week inspired dish which can serve 4-6 people. Serve up with some spicy crispy potatoes and char-cooked courgettes.
• 2 large red & green peppers, halved, with seeds removed
• 2 large carrots – peeled & trimmed
• 2 large courgettes – trimmed
• 400g large open mushrooms – sliced
• 1 large bag of spinach
• 150g crumbed feta cheese
• 2 packs of filo pastry
• Olive oil for cooking
• 100g unsalted butter
• Salt & pepper to taste
Making the filling:
1. The vegetables are all cooked separately and seasoned to taste. To roast the peppers, place them skin side up under a hot grill until blackened. Place in a sealed bag and leave to cool before peeling away the skin.
2. While the peppers cool, cut the carrots and courgettes into julienne strips, and slice the mushrooms. Steam the carrots or simmer in boiled water for 5 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
3. Heat a little oil and butter in a frying pan and sauté the courgettes until a little coloured. Drain and cool on kitchen paper. Repeat with the mushrooms & spinach.
Lining the tin
1. Line the base and sides of the tin with baking paper.
2. Heat up on a gentle heat some butter. Brush the lined tin with the melted butter.
3. One by one, brush the filo pastry sheets with melted butter and place them, overlapping, in the tin. Make sure that the sides are well sealed and there is enough pastry overhanging all 4 sides to form a lid. Use all the filo pastry sheets.
1. Place a layer of the courgettes into the based of the filo pastry lined tin. Then continue to add the roasted peppers, carrots, spinach, feta cheese and then finally mushrooms, pressing down firmly between each layer.
2. Fold over the overhanging pastry from all 4 sides over the vegetables so they completely cover the dish and form a sealed lid. Brush each layer with the melted butter, and then chill the finished pie in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Place the pie onto a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes at 200C/ fan 180C/ gas 6.
To find out more about the food we make at SK Chilled Foods, please click here.