Healthy Vegetarian Recipes Perfect For Weeknights

Lauren Powell

After a long day in the office, we are often looking for quick, easy, healthy and flavoursome recipes so we can create stress-free meals post-work. These three vegetarian dinner recipes from cook, food writer and stylist, Anna Jones—who the UK's The Times has dubbed “the new Nigella”—are just that. Scroll down for the recipes that are perfect for a midweek dinner. Bon appétite!

Chickpea Pasta With Simple Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

SERVES 4

4 tablespoons ground flaxseed

350g chickpea flour, plus extra for dusting

Olive oil

Pecorino or parmesan cheese to serve (optional)

Ingredients for the Sauce

2 cloves of garlic

1x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes a big bunch of fresh basil

Directions

1. Fill and boil a kettle and get all your ingredients and equipment together.

2. Mix together the flaxseed and 15ml of warm water and leave it to sit for a couple of minutes until thickened. Put the flax mixture, chickpea flour and 18ml of cold water into a food processor with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a good pinch of salt, and blitz until it forms a doughy ball. You can do this easily in a bowl by hand too. Wrap the ball of dough in a clean tea towel or cling film and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Heat a frying pan on a high heat, then thinly slice the garlic and add it to the pan with a little olive oil. Fry for a minute or two, until the edges are beginning to brown. Quickly add the tinned tomatoes and leave to simmer on a medium heat for 10 minutes until thickened and glossy. Fill a large pan with hot water from the kettle, add a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil, ready for the pasta.

4. Unwrap your dough and cut it into two pieces. Flour your work surface generously with chickpea flour. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough as thinly as you can, as it will expand a little as it cooks, then use a knife to cut the dough into 0.5cm ribbons. Place on a floured tray and repeat with the other half of the dough.

5. Once you have cut all your pasta, add it to the boiling water for 2-3 minutes—no longer or it will start to break up a bit. Don't worry if some of the pasta breaks a little, this pasta is more delicate than the regular sort. Using a slotted spoon, drain it and add it to the tomato sauce with most of the basil leaves. Toss gently to coat all the pasta, adding a little of the cooking water from the pan if it looks a bit thick.

6. Serve with a little more basil scattered over and some pecorino or Parmesan, if you like.

Seeded Halloumi and Harissa Rainbow Bowl

Ingredients

SERVES 4

150g freekeh

Coconut oil

300g (or a very big handful) cherry tomatoes

4 beetroots (I use yellow ones)

200g kale (I use purple)

1 lime

1 ripe avocado

200g block of halloumi cheese

2 tablespoons mixed seeds (I used poppy and sesame)

The juice of 1/2 a lemon

A small bunch of mint

A small bunch of dill

Ingredients for the Dressing

A bunch of spring onions

1 teaspoon runny honey

1 tablespoon harissa

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

The juice of ½ a lemon

Directions

1. Weigh out the freekeh (a type of wheat) in a mug or measuring jug, making a note of the level it comes up to, then put it into a bowl and cover with cold water. Rub the grains in your hands, then drain and wash once more in the same way. Put the freekeh into a pan. Fill the mug or jug to the same level with water and add to the pan, then repeat so you have double the volume of water to freekeh. Add a pinch of salt and a knob of coconut oil, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until soft but still with a little bite.

2. Meanwhile, finely slice and fry the spring onions in a little coconut oil until just starting to brown, then scoop them into a jug and add all the other dressing ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

3. Cut the tomatoes in half. Peel the beetroots and use a mandolin or your excellent knife skills to slice them very finely. Remove the stalks and shred the kale, put into a bowl with the juice of the lime and a pinch of salt and scrunch with your hands for a minute.

4. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone, then, with the skin still on, use a small knife to make incisions length-ways along the avocado to form slices.

5. Put a frying pan on the heat and slice the halloumi thinly. Have your seeds standing by. Put the halloumi into the hot dry pan and cook until brown on one side, which will take about a minute, then flip over and brown the other side. Scatter over the seeds and turn the halloumi in the pan until it is coated with them. Take off the heat.

6. Once the freekeh is cooked, drain it and dress with the lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Chop the mint and dill and mix through the freekeh.

7. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with all the rainbow vegetables, the seeded halloumi and generous spoonful’s of the harissa dressing.

Courgetti With Pistachio, Green Herbs and Ricotta

Ingredients

250g ricotta cheese

3 unwaxed lemons

1 good pinch of dried chilli flakes

1 teaspoon runny honey

60g shelled pistachios

Extra virgin olive oil

1 small bunch of fresh mint

A small bunch of fresh basil

3 large or 6 small courgettes (zucchini)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C/180°C fan/gas 6. Fill and boil a kettle and get all your ingredients together.

2. Turn the ricotta out of its packet on to a baking tray, grate over the zest of one lemon, sprinkle over a large pinch of dried chilli and drizzle over the honey. Put the ricotta into the oven to bake for 15 minutes until caramelised on top.

3. Put the pistachios into the oven to toast for 3-5minutes. Heat a frying pan on a high heat and thinly slice one of the unzested lemons, picking out and discarding any pips. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and fry the lemon slices until they are burnished and sticky.

4. Take the pistachios out of the oven and tumble into the bowl of your food processor and pick the mint and basil leaves in too. Add the juice of half the zested lemon and a good pinch of salt. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of cold water, pulse until you have a textured grassy green pesto, then transfer to a bowl.

5. Now for the courgettes. Use a julienne peeler or a spiraliser if you have one to make courgette noodles. To do this by hand, use a speed-peeler or a mandolin to peel the courgettes into long thin strips. Carefully stack the slices on top of each other and use a knife to cut them into thin strips. This is actually really easy and quick, so don't be put off. Place in a heatproof mixing bowl, cover with boiling water from the kettle and leave to sit for 2-3 minutes.

6. Once the fried lemon slices are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them and stir them through the pesto. Remove the ricotta from the oven.

7. Drain the courgetti well and toss with the pesto. Crumble over the ricotta and finish with more lemon zest and a drizzle of oil, if you like.

Which recipe will you be trying at home this week?

Recipes and images from A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones, ©HarperCollins 2015.

 

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