Declaring that you’re a veggie no longer conjures up ‘knit your own muesli’, Jesus sandal imagery; vegetarianism has moved on from nut roasts and bland, beige stodge to altogether cooler, more colourful associations.
Whether you’re a full time vegetarian, a ‘flexitarian’ who has a ‘part-time’ attitude to eating meat or simply want to pack in more vibrant, health-giving vegetables, pulses and plant-based protein sources, passing on meat is no longer symbolic of deprivation or piousness. There’s even a day of the week dedicated to getting creative with greens, root vegetables, beans and more in favour of meat (#MeatFreeMonday, launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney). The likes of Ottolenghi, Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall are advocates of cooking up a storm minus the meat on a regular basis, and even previously presumed meathead Arnold Schwarzenegger encouraged us to vary our diet and reduce our consumption of meat each week at the Paris UN Climate Conference in December, in order to tackle the environmental issues triggered by the meat industry.
The message and appeal of ‘eating the rainbow’ plant wise certainly seems to be getting through; in 2014 Mintel reported that 12% of UK adults followed a vegetarian or vegan diet, and this stat shot up to 20% in the 16-24 age group. Given the popularity of veg-centric bloggers, chefs and nutritional experts of late, it’s likely that even more of us are thinking outside the traditional ‘meat and two veg’ box, making plants the main players, and ensuring that they taste as good, if not better, than the animal alternative in the process.
Handy then, that we’ve just launched our flavour packed Modern Vegetarian Recipe Guide, created with nutritionist, healthy chef and yoga teacher Libby Limon . Taste, variety and creativity characterise Libby’s genius recipes, with insightful nutritional information and mouthwatering photography as standard throughout the guide. With dishes inspired by Asian, Caribbean, Italian, French, Mexican and American cuisine, to name just a few of Libby’s influences, each recipe is energising, satisfying and designed to offer you maximum health benefits.
If you need reeling in a little more, there’s chocolate for breakfast, a very clever twist on nachos and filling pasta dishes that are big on protein but lighter on stodge than you might imagine. Personal preferences and an array of protein options are catered for (you don’t need to OD on eggs or lentils if you’re not a fan) and if you’ve never tried a pina kale-ada before, you’re in for a treat. With 34 recipes to choose from, from dinner party spreads to ‘throw it together’ suppers, you’ll be sure to be getting between 7-10 portions of fruit and veg in a day, and will rarely feel the need to resort to a vegetarian sausage out of desperation. Preheat the oven for one of the most gratifying meal manuals of the year (we know we’re only at the beginning of it, but oh what a good place to start). Nab it while it’s still at its special introductory price and veg out.