Saturday, 28 September 2013

12 Tasty Meals Without Meat - Tasty And Cost Effective Too

We all like a change now and then or should I say for better reason we could do with a meatless meal occasionally, its not only good for our health, but its good also if you're on a strict budget it certainly helps to save the pennies.

Here are a few recipes that I have previously tried and found to be worth placing on here for you.
These are not my personal recipes, but I can vouch that they are very delicious.

Vegetable Cobbler


1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into a 3/4-inch dice
1 1/2 cups each of peeled and thinly sliced carrots, frozen peas, sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup each of broccoli florets, frozen corn kernels, diced pumpkin
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 vegetable stock cubes dissolved in 1 1/4 cups hot water
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon each of salt, celery seed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon oil,
1/2 teaspoon salt


Heat the oven to 400º. Place the potato, carrots, peas, broccoli, corn, and squash in a medium-size pot and fill it with enough water to cover the vegetables plus one inch. Lightly salt the water, bring it to a boil, then allow the vegetables to continue boiling for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse the vegetables with cold water and set them aside.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté them, stirring often, until they're soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook the mixture, stirring nonstop, another 30 seconds. Add the vegetable broth, milk, salt, pepper, thyme, and celery seed and continue to stir until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes.
Add the vegetables to the sauce and stir well. Add more salt and pepper, if desired, then stir in the Parmesan and bring the filling to a simmer. Thin it with water if its consistency is thicker than potato soup. Transfer the filling to a casserole dish.
Make the corn bread topping. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk, egg, and oil and stir until evenly blended. Spread the batter over the filling. Bake the cobbler until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbly, about 25 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly before serving. Serves 8

Orzo Salad Recipe
This can be eaten on its own or accompanied by a meat dish
1 lb orzo

1/2 cup canola or olive oil
2 avocados (if they’re ripe, they’ll dent slightly when you press them)
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
juice of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
5 oz crumbled feta cheese (French, not Greek, is creamiest)
2 Tbsp fresh oregano


In a large bowl, combine half the oil, the tomatoes, garlic, shallot, jalapeno, orange juice, lemon zest and a few generous pinches of salt (maybe 1 Tbsp).
The salt will draw out the juice of the tomatoes to form a dressing.
Let it sit while you prepare the orzo and the avocado.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and orzo.

Cook for 8-10 minutes, until al dente (don’t overcook it!).
While it’s cooking, chop the avocado into small dice .
When the orzo is done, drain with a fine strainer and add orzo, feta cheese, and remaining oil to bowl with vegetables.
Mix everything well, being careful not to smash all the avocado pieces, add oregano and salt to taste.

Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms


2/3 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped 11/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 (5-6" diameter) portobello mushroom caps
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
cooking spray
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Method :
Prepare the grill.
In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, mozzarella, 1/2 teaspoon of the olive oil, rosemary, pepper and garlic.
Using a spoon, scoop out the gills of the mushroom caps and remove the stems and discard.
In a small bowl, mix 1/2 teaspoon of the olive oil, lemon juice and soy sauce.
Using a pastry brush, brush the soy sauce mixture on both sides of the mushroom caps.
Grill the caps, stem side down first for 5 minutes on each side or until soft.
Spoon 1/4 cup of the tomato and cheese mixture into each cap, cover and grill for about 3 minutes or until cheese has melted.
Garnish with cilantro.
Serves 4.

Crustless Spinich And Feta Quiche
Number of Servings: 6
1 medium onion, diced
6-oz fresh baby spinach
4 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/3 cups non fat
1/2 cup feta cheese


Preheat oven to 200C.
Lightly grease a 10-inch quiche/tart pan (or a pie plate)
In a medium frying pan, cook diced onion with a bit of vegetable oil (or cooking spray) over medium to high heat until translucent and tender.
Add in fresh spinach and cook until just wilted.
Set aside to cool for a few minutes
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, and baking powder.
Whisk in milk, then stir in spinach-onion mixture.
Pour quiche base into prepared pan.
Top with feta cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until center is set and the outside edge is golden brown.
Let set for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

Simple Spaghetti Sauce


1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2   tablespoons sugar (please adjust to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (please adjust to your taste)

Throw it all in a saucepan, stir, simmer, cover and continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Season again to taste., toss over spegetti noodles and Enjoy!.

Lemon Pasta Extreme


3/4-1 lb pasta (linguini or spaghetti)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4-1/2 cup basil leaves, coarsly sliced
parmesan cheese (to garnish)
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted


Boil pasta till almost done; remove pan from heat
In another pan, that the pasta will fit into later, melt the butter and olive oil. 
Saute minced garlic till fragrant but not brown, about 5 minutes.
Pour the cream into the pan.
Turn heat to med-high. 
Bring butter and cream to a gentle boil. 
It may curdle but will smooth out later.
Once boiling, add the lemon juice and zest. 
Turn down heat to simmer and continue stirring until reduced by almost a third. 
Remove sauce from heat.
Drain the pasta; pour it into the sauce and gently toss pasta with lemon sauce.
Grate parmesan over top, add the basil, and gently toss again.
To serve, plate the Lemon Pasta and garnish with more parmesan and sprinkle toasted pine nuts over.

Cheesy Asparagus Bread Pudding

This is so good! it makes a wonderful dish for a brunch get together. 
Plan ahead this needs to chill for 6 hours.
You can really use any kind of cheese for this. 
Don't cube the bread slices for this, leave the bread in one slice, and use day-old bread


1 1/2 lbs fresh asparagus (hard ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces)
12 slices bread
2 3/4 cups cream (or you can use full-fat milk)
8 large eggs
2 small green onions, finely chopped
Black pepper (or use white salt)
3 cups shredded cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese


Butter a 12 x 8-inch oval baking dish (or a 12-cup baking dish).
Steam the asparagus for about 2-3 minutes or until slightly tender; drain and place in ice water or very cold water; drain well and dry with paper towels.
In a bowl whisk together cream, eggs, seasoning salt and pepper until well blended
Add in the chopped green onions.
Place 4 slices of bread in the bottom of the baking dish overlapping if necessary.
Top with 1/3 EACH asparagus then the Swiss cheese.
Repeat the layers two more times.
Pour egg mixture over the top over the top.
Cover and refrigerate for minimum 6 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake set the oven to 350 F or 175 C(second-lowest rack).
Sprinkle the top of the casserole with Parmesan cheese.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the center is set and golden.

Peanut & Sesame Noodles
Can be served hot or cold


2 cups of cooked spaghetti
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
red pepper flakes to taste (approx. 1 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons hot water
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


Cook spaghetti as directed by the manufacturer.
Combine all other ingredients, mix until peanut butter is dissolved.
Add sauce to drained pasta, toss until pasta is fully coated.
Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Serves 4.

Vegeteable Fried Rice

3 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups of package frozen mixed vegetables (or 2 cups fresh vegetables, chopped)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce


In a large pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and rice. Stir and cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and add vegetables to rice mixture. 
Cook 2 minutes for frozen vegetables and 5-7 minutes for fresh vegetables.
Spread the mixture out to the sides of the pan, leaving space in the middle for the eggs.
Add the eggs, and scramble until cooked firm.
Mix the eggs with the rice and vegetables, then sprinkle with soy sauce.
Makes 8 servings.

Wonderful Stuffed Potatoes


4 Medium baking potatoes
3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 green onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon herb seasoning
4-6 drops hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar or Parmesan cheese


Prick potatoes with fork. 
Bake at 425º F for 60 minutes or microwave on high until fork is easily inserted.
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise.
Carefully scoop out potato leaving about 1/2 inch of pulp inside shell. 
Mash pulp in large bowl.
Mix in the remaining ingredients except cheese. 
Spoon mixture into potato shells.
Sprinkle each top with 1/4 tablespoon cheese.
Place on baking sheet and return to oven. 
Bake 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. 

4 servings--Serving Size: 1/2 potato each

Vegetable Shepherd's Pie


For the lentil sauce

50g butter
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, diced
1 head of celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g pack chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp dried thyme
500g pack dried green lentils
100ml red wine (optional)
1.7l vegetable stock
3 tbsp tomato purée

For the topping
2 kg floury potatoes, such as King Edwards
85g butter
100ml milk
50g cheddar, grated


To make the sauce, 
Heat the butter in a pan, then gently fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic for 15 mins until soft and golden. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms, then cook for 4 mins more.
Stir in the herbs, then add the lentils. 
Pour over the wine and stock – it’s important that you do not season with salt at this stage. 
Simmer for 40-50 mins until the lentils are very soft. 
Now season to taste, take off heat, then stir in the tomato purée.

While the lentils are cooking, tip the potatoes into a pan of water, then boil for about 15 mins until tender. Drain well, mash with the butter and milk, then season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the pies,
Divide the lentil mixture between all the dishes that you are using, then top with mash. 
Scatter over the cheese, heat oven to 190C fan 170C normal, then bake for 30 mins until the topping is golden.

Courgette Lasagne


9  lasagne sheets
1 tbsp Sunflower oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
700g Courgettes (about 6), coarsely grated
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
250g Tub Ricotta
50g  Cheddar
350g Jar Tomato sauce for pasta

    Heat oven to 220C fan 200C normal.
    Put a pan of water on to boil, then cook the lasagne sheets for about 5 mins until softened, but not cooked through. 
    Rinse in cold water, then drizzle with a little oil to stop them sticking together.

    Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, then fry the onion. 
    After 3 mins, add the courgettes and garlic and continue to fry until the courgette has softened and turned bright green. 

    Stir in 2/3 of both the ricotta and the cheddar, then season to taste. 
    Heat the tomato sauce in the microwave for 2 mins on High until hot.

    In a large baking dish, layer up the lasagne, starting with half the courgette mix, then pasta, then tomato sauce. 
    Repeat, top with blobs of the remaining ricotta, then scatter with the rest of the cheddar. Bake on the top shelf for about 10 mins until the pasta is tender and the cheese is golden

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