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Top tips to begin your journey to a plant-based diet

    • Food Fact: Around 6.7 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every year, so keep meal portions small and be aware of what food you actually need. This not only reduces food waste, it also helps your weekly budget by making your meals go further!
    • When you’re in the supermarket, pay attention to where your food comes from and focus on responsibly sourced products.
    • When you’re switching to a plant-based diet, be patient! It can be a slow process to train your taste buds, but one or two meatless meals a week still makes a great impact

Vegetarian Chilli

This recipe is both delicious and filling and the leftovers can go on top of nachos along with sour cream and cheese for an impromptu Mexican night!

Prep: 5 mins

Cook: 15 mins

Serves: 2 (generously)

              • 400g can chopped tomatoes
              • 1 tbsp tomato purée
              • 1 tbsp garlic purée
              • chilli or cayenne powder to taste
              • 1 onion (chopped)
              • 400g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
              • 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
              • rice (and natural yogurt), or jacket potatoes (and soured cream) to serve
How to Cook:
    1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion at a medium heat and to your desired softness.
    2. Add sauce/chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, chickpeas, 100ml water and any spices you prefer (for extra flavour, add 1 vegetable stock cube).
    3. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 mins until the sauce thickens.
    4. Serve with rice or as a topper for a jacket potato.



Spicy Bean Burger

A spicy take on a standard burger that will satisfy even the most avid carnivores!

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 10 mins

Makes: 6 burgers

How to Cook:
  • Mix the remaining coriander leaves with the yogurt, lime juice and a good grind of black pepper.
  • Heat the grill to high.
  • Tip the beans into a large bowl, then roughly crush with a potato masher.
  • Add the breadcrumbs, chilli powder, coriander stalks and half the leaves, egg and 2 tbsp salsa, season to taste, then mix well with a fork.
  • Divide the mixture into 6, then wet your hands and shape into burgers (they can be frozen at this stage).
  • Place on a non-stick baking tray, then grill for 4-5 mins on each side until golden and crisp (to cook from frozen, bake at 200°C or fan 180°C or gas 6 for 20-30 mins until hot through).
  • While the burgers cook, cut the buns in half and spread the bases with the sauce.
  • Serve with sliced avocado, sliced red onion and salad leaves.

Chickpea and Potato Curry

All the spices may seem an expense now, but you can keep them in your cupboard and use for several different recipes afterwards (and a great excuse to invest in a slow cooker!)

Prep: 25 mins

Cook: 6 hours

Serves: 6

              • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
              • 1 medium onion, chopped
              • 2 garlic cloves, minced
              • 2 tsp ground ginger
              • 2 tsp ground coriander
              • 1 tsp garam masala
              • 1 tsp chilli powder
              • half tsp salt
              • half tsp ground cumin
              • quarter tsp ground turmeric
              • 400g can chopped tomatoes
              • 2x400g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
              • 1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
              • approx. 350ml vegetable stock
              • 1 tbsp lime juice
              • chopped fresh coriander
              • cooked rice
              • optional: sliced red onion and lime wedges
How to Cook:
  • In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté onion until tender for 2-4 minutes.
  • Add garlic, ginger and dry seasonings; cook and stir 1 minute.
  • Stir in tomatoes; transfer to a 2-3 litre slow cooker.
  • Stir in chickpeas, potato and stock.
  • Cook on low with the lid on for 6-8 hours, until potato is tender and flavours are all blended.
  • When you’re ready to serve, stir in lime juice; sprinkle with coriander.
  • Serve with rice with red onion and lime wedges if you want.


Vegan Meatballs

Can’t go wrong with a bit of Italian!

Prep: 25 mins

Cook: 1 hour

Serves: 4

              • 30g dried porcini mushrooms (stay with me!!)
              • 3 tbsp olive oil
              • 1 onion (finely chopped)
              • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
              • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
              • 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
              • 50g rolled oats
              • 2 tbsp brown rice miso
              • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
              • spaghetti or soft polenta, to serve

For the tomato sauce

              • 2 tbsp olive oil
              • 1 onion (finely chopped)
              • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
              • chilli flakes (to taste)
              • 2x400g cans chopped tomatoes
              • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
              • small bunch of basil, finely chopped
  • Tip the dried porcini into a bowl and cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 20 mins. 
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil a frying pan and add the onion and fry over a low heat for 10 mins or until softened and translucent.
  • Add the garlic and paprika and cook for 1 min.
  • Tip the black beans and oats into a food processor or blender and blitz until you have a chunky, textured mixture.
  • Tip the beans into a mixing bowl and stir through the miso, breadcrumbs and cooked onion mix.
  • Strain and finely chop the porcini mushrooms and add those (you can keep the liquid for soup or risottos).
  • Season and roll into 12 balls and chill in the fridge while you make the sauce.
How to Cook:
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and fry over a low heat for 10 mins or until translucent. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1 min. Stir through the tomatoes and sugar and season to taste. Simmer uncovered for 20 mins. 
  • Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil for the meatballs in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the balls and fry for 5 mins until evenly brown.
  • Transfer to a baking tray and put in the oven to cook through for 12 mins. 
  • Add the cooked meatballs to the pan of sauce and toss everything to coat, then scatter with the basil.
  • Serve with spaghetti or soft polenta. 

Blog by:

Erin McCusker

Glasgow University