Below I have listed a number of ideas on what to eat, tried and tested by yours truly!
As the vegetarian diet is high in fibre I found that it passes through your system quicker and therefore I got hungry more often. It may be an idea to have healthy snacks around you so that you don’t find yourself munching on a shit load of chocolate (like I did post-Christmas).
Here are some of the snacks that I had to fend off the hunger pains.
Avocado (I am obsessed with these)
Honestly, you can have it as it is or with ANYTHING! I love Avocados! I have had it on toast, in a smoothie, in a salad, in a fruit salad and on it’s own with either a little salt, a little soy sauce or a little squeeze of lemon. So good!
Tip: Be careful with these as some cereal bars have as much (or sometimes more) sugar as a chocolate bar!
Carrots & Hummus
These are so more-ish. You can chop up any of your favourite vegetables and have it with hummus, tsaziki, guacamole or any other vegetarian dip.
Or any other fruit. Bananas are filling and contain our much needed protein. In Ghana (where I used to live) we have bananas with peanuts and it is so good! Other favourite fruit snacks of mine is Mango and Coconut.
Edamame beans (Also obsessed)
Honestly, these are so addictive! I used to buy a couple of packs of these a week from waitrose’s sushi section. I crave these more than I crave sugar most days and they genuinely take me to my happy place (alongside avocado). Once you pop, you can’t stop (or once you have a bean, you are always keen?? Yeah, you’re welcome.)
I love the collective gourmet live yoghurt – passionfruit flavour. So addictive, but it is easy to eat the whole pot so watch out.
Here are some of the recipes that I tried which were both filling and delicious.
Leek and Roast Tomato Risotto
With this one, I just followed the standard recipe on the risotto pack and threw in my own ingredients when it felt right. I tend to do that with most things I cook- I will use a recipe as a vague guideline and then do my own thing. In my risotto, I threw in Leeks right at the beginning and I roasted the vine tomatoes with a pinch of salt and drizzle of olive oil. I then threw the tomatoes in at the very end and stirred in slightly. Some of the tomatoes I left on the vine and popped them on top for a pretty presentation.
Tip: be careful which cheese you use as not all cheeses are vegetarian. Do not use Parmesan (like I did once before)!
“Throw it all in” Omelettes
With this vegetarian diet (the lacto-ovo diet), eggs are a life saver. Not only are they full of protein but also cheap and filling. My omelettes tend to be “throw it all in” omelettes in the sense that I look in the fridge and grab any and every vegetable lying around and throw it in. This is particularly good for when you need to use up veg before they go off. A typical omelette for me includes onions, peppers, mushrooms & cheese at the very least. But I especially enjoyed making it a “Spanish omelette” by adding diced boiled potatoes!
Tip: Try adding a poached or boiled egg to your salad for extra protein and to make it more filling.
Pasta with Vegetables and Tomato Sauce
This is an easy one to rustle up when you are looking for something quick. With this I use a similar rule to that of my omelettes in the sense that it is a bit of a “throw it all in” situation. I normally use an Uncle Ben’s jar of pasta sauce, but in failing that you can easily make your own. Again, fantastic for getting rid of vegetables that need to be used!
Tip: For extra crunch and extra protein, try sprinkling some crushed nuts on the top of your pasta.
Avocado and flatbread
This is great for breakfast, lunch or brunch! Just toast the flatbread, add a little butter, slice the avocados and place them on the flatbread, and to finish I add a little sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Delicious!
Caprese Salad with Avocado
This is my favourite salad ever! Sliced tomatoes, sliced mozzarella & sliced avocado. Add basil leaves to garnish and drizzle with olive oil. My secret with this one is to sprinkle a touch of sea salt and black pepper, and either a drizzle of balsamic vinegar OR pesto. If you are feeling adventurous, add a little of both! So tasty!
Tip: To make it a more filling salad, place it on a bed of lettuce or leaves of choice and add some croutons.
Diced Sweet Potato & Squash with Vegan Burgers & Stuffed Peppers
I picked these vegan burgers up from Waitrose, they were reduced and I was curious to try them. I have always been a fan of Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages and I hoped that these vegan burgers would be just as delicious.
I bought them with some stuffed peppers (£2.09 – reduced), and diced sweet potatoes/squash (£0.45 -reduced).
At first, they tasted strange; the spinach being a prominent flavour. But after another bite or two I got used to the flavour and thought they made a tasty accompaniment to squash and sweet potato mix. Beware, they are a little dry so have them with a condiment.
Stuffed Mushrooms, Fried Halloumi & Avocado with hot Spinach, Potato & Tomato Salad
Another buy from Waitrose, meaning minimal effort for me. Buying veggie doesn’t have to be expensive, either, if you are willing to be a little flexible.
I got the hot spinach, potato and tomato salad reduced to £1.90.
Halloumi is an easy option for any meal, it has a good amount of protein for what it is and less fat than some other cheeses. Overall, another healthy balanced meal.
Sri Lankan Hopper Fajitas
This was a Christmas present that I was excited to try out! They are sort of like crispy pancakes that you make out of a fermented yeast mix. There is a special pan used for cooking these and although they are normally made for breakfast, we used then as a gluten-free alternative to wraps and made some pretty delicious vegetarian wraps.
Another “throw it all in” sitch where I sliced onions, peppers, mushrooms and mangetout and placed them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Together with the Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol relish, some salsa and some sliced avocado, it was a delicious dish!
I only visited two restaurants in this month and one of the times was at the very start when I went to Chiquito’s and failed to stick to my new challenge (£5 to Animals Asia here) and the second was Dishoom where I enjoyed a Paneer Tikka & Bhel. I was particularly curious about the Bhel which consisted of pomegranate pieces, puffed rice (like rice crispies) & Bombay mix. It made a for a very different vegetarian dish!