Mouth-watering vegetarian dishes

FIle photo/Angelo Marcelle
FIle photo/Angelo Marcelle

Long ago, eating vegetarian fare was frowned upon as boring, drab and cheap. Today practicing a part time vegetarian lifestyle is preferred for all the obvious reasons, vegetables, dried beans and peas and other non-meat proteins contain little or no fat, they are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals and contain lots of fibre, which all adds up to the high-fibre low fat diet that equates a healthy lifestyle. It’s economical as well to practice a part vegetarian lifestyle, and it does make for interesting menus.

If you’re preparing a proper vegetarian meal there’s no bother about defrosting or cleaning meats, preparation is much cleaner, easier and timelier as most ingredients are almost always fresh from the market.

If you’re deciding what vegetables to cook on a daily basis, sometimes it can be a bit trying, only because we are faced with the same array week after week in the market or maybe, we just tend to buy the same vegetables. But remember each vegetable shines in its own way when prepared in the correct manner.

You don’t have to convert totally to a vegan lifestyle to be healthy, but you can try and be an occasional vegetarian, which would mean eating a meatless diet just a few times per week. This may sound unreasonable to you at first, but believe me, when you become accustomed to the wholesomeness and deliciousness of a vegetarian meal you’ll embrace these meals when they do present themselves.

Here are some inviting and mouth-watering wholesome vegetarian dishes.

Veggie lo mein

Veggie lo mein 

Lo mein is a Chinese stir-fried dish made with vegetables, noodles and meat, Here is a veggie only lo mein.

2 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs sherry or rum (optional)

2 tbs oyster sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

3 cloves garlic minced

1 tbs ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp cornstarch or potato flour diluted in ¼ cup water

12 oz Chinese noodles

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 cup julienne carrots

1 cup julienned christophene

2 cups pak choi cut into thin shreds

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup baby corn

½ cup sliced water chestnuts

½ cup sliced chives

In a small bowl combine water, sherry if using, cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce.

Boil noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse.

In a wok or skillet heat oil, add ginger and garlic and stir fry until fragrant, add carrots, christophene, pak choi, mushrooms, and water chestnuts, stir and fry until vegetables are tender crisp.

Add the noodles and toss, add corn and sauce and cook stirring until noodles are coated with the sauce and heated through.

Serves 4 to 6

Curried pigeon peas pilaf

This dish is great as a main meal with a side salad.

1 cup pigeon peas

1 cup parboiled rice

1 cup coconut milk

1½ cups broth or water

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped or to taste

1 tbs curry powder

1 pimento pepper, chopped

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 tbs chadon beni or cilantro

Preheat a saute pan or sauce pan, add oil and heat, add onion, garlic, and peppers, saute until fragrant.

Mix curry powder with one-quarter cup of water, add to pot, and stir until curry comes together and most of the water is evaporated. Season with salt and black pepper.

Add the pigeon peas and stir, add the rice and toss to combine, add coconut milk and water or broth, stir to combine.

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Fluff with a fork. Sprinkle with chadon beni

Serves 4 to 6

For a lighter side, omit coconut milk and add one half cup more broth.


"Mouth-watering vegetarian dishes"

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