Meat Free Monday

Get your fix of wellness and things that inspire us.

Having a few meat free meals a week can not only reduce our carbon footprint, save resources such as fossil fuels and fresh water, but evidence also suggests that a rich diet of fruit and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease and strokes. We've collected our favourite vegetarian recipes for some inspiration...

Chickpea and Caramelised Onion Falafels

¼ cup (75g) store-bought caramelised onion relish
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon tahini paste
2 teaspoons finely grated lime rind
⅓ cup (50g) self-raising flour
sea salt and cracked black pepper
⅓ cup (50g) sesame seeds vegetable oil, for deep-frying
store-bought labne, store-bought dukkah and baby (micro) mint leaves, to serve

To make
Place the caramelised onion, chickpeas, tahini, lime rind, flour, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until just combined. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls, flatten slightly and roll in the sesame seeds.

Fill a medium, deep saucepan half-full with oil and place over medium heat until the temperature reaches 160°C on a deep-frying thermometer. Cook the falafels, in batches, for 2–3 minutes or until golden and crunchy. Drain on paper towel.

Sprinkle with salt and serve with labne, dukkah and mint. Makes 12.

Source: Donna Hay.


Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce

1 cup cashews
¾ cup water (more for soaking)
½ teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon oil
4 large sweet potatoes, spiralized
2 cups baby spinach
a handful of fresh basil leaves, chives, or other herbs
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for drizzling

To make
Cover the cashews with water in a bowl and soak for 2 hours or so. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place in a food processor or blender (I got better texture with the blender) and add the ¾ cup water, salt, and garlic. Puree until very smooth. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes; toss in the pan for 6-7 minutes with tongs until tender-crisp. Remove from heat and toss in the spinach - it should wilt pretty quickly. Add half of the herbs and half of the sauce to the pan and toss to combine. Add water if the mixture is too sticky. Season generously with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and top with the remaining fresh herbs. Source: Pinch of Yum.


Cauliflower and Coconut Tart 



2 eggs
160ml coconut cream
¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
30g kale
juice of ½ lemon
½ courgette (zucchini), sliced into ribbons

For the tart case:
300g cauliflower
broken into florets
75g ground almonds
3 good gratings of nutmeg
finely grated zest of ½ lemon
a pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 egg

To make

Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3, and line a 23cm tart tin with baking parchment.

First make the tart case. Put the cauliflower florets in a food processor or blender, and blitz until they looks a bit like rice. Alternatively, chop them by hand as finely as possible. Transfer to a bowl and add the ground almonds, nutmeg, lemon zest, salt and the egg. Mix together until a dough forms.

Press this mixture into the prepared tart tin, taking up the sides, too, then bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, massage the kale with the lemon juice until it wilts. Set aside.

To make the filling, beat together the eggs, coconut cream and salt until smooth and evenly mixed.

Once the tart case is out of the oven, arrange a layer of the kale in the bottom. Cover with the courgette ribbons, then pour the egg and coconut mixture on top.

Return to the oven for 20 minutes until it is cooked through.

Source: Honestly Healthy Food.


Asiago White Beans With Farro, Kale, And Tomatoes

½ cup uncooked farro (usually found in the health foods or dry rice and beans section of the grocery store)
1½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
2 cups baby kale or spinach
½ cup Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1 cup tomato sauce 
salt and pepper to taste

To make
Place the farro in a rice cooker with the broth. Start the rice cooker, or if you don't have a rice cooker, just cook it in a small pan on the stove according to package directions. (Farro takes a minimum of 30 minutes to cook so I always use the brown rice setting on the rice cooker. Soaking it overnight does speed up the cook time, but I never think ahead to do that and it always turns out just fine as long as you cook it long enough to be soft and chewy.)

Add the white beans, grap tomatoes, kale, Asiago, and tomato sauce directly into the rice cooker or the pot on the stove. Stir it all up, season with additional salt and pepper and maybe a snip of fresh herbs, and you're done. Serves 3 (one-cup servings). 

Source: Pinch of Yum