A Trio Of Healthy Vegetarian Recipes

From easy-to-eat bowl food to dishes cooked in a single pot, try your hand at these mouth-wateringly good, and nutrient packed, vegetarian recipes from Fresh Veggie Kitchen by David and Charlotte Bailey.

Inspired by their travels around the world, start your day off with a delicious honey roasted carrot salad for lunch and finish with a generous serving of Sri Lankan curry, topped with cashews and pol sambol. Top it off with a freshly baked blueberry cobbler with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side. It’s the only inspiration you’ll need to start a healthier lifestyle…

Honey Roasted Carrot Salad With Bulgur Wheat, Walnuts, Pomegranate Seeds And Labneh

Heirloom carrots are a beauty to behold, especially if you can get them in different colours. But ordinary carrots are also delicious in this recipe. Labneh is a favourite ingredient of ours, a strained yogurt widely used in eastern Mediterranean cuisine. Super thick and with a bold tang, it’s well worth hunting down, but if you struggle to find it, natural yogurt also works well.

This Middle Eastern cheese is a fantastic and versatile ingredient but it can be a little hard to track down. But don’t let that put you off! It’s actually super easy to make at yourself at home. It just needs to be left for 24 hours, so does need a little forward planning, but it’s well worth it and is delicious served with salads, as part of a mezze platter or enjoyed on its own with a basket of warm pitas.

HONEY ROASTED CARROT SALAD WITH BULGUR WHEAT, WALNUTS, POMEGRANATE SEEDS AND LABNEH

SERVES 2

YOU’LL NEED…

  • 500g heirloom carrots, cut in half lengthways (if using regular carrots cut into finger-length batons)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves plucked
  • Sale and black pepper
  • 4 tsp runny honey
  • 125g bulgur wheat, cooked and cooled
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp labneh
  • 50g walnuts, toasted
  • Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate

For the labneh (makes 500g):

  • Muslin cloth
  • Pinch of salt
  • 500g natural yoghurt
  • String or elastic band

HERE’S HOW…

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Line a roasting tray with greaseproof (waxed) paper.
  2. Put the carrots in a mixing bowl, add 4 teaspoons of the olive oil, the thyme leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Transfer to the lined roasting tray and roast for about 40 minutes, turning them around occasionally until they’ve started to take on some colour. Drizzle over the honey and roast for a further 10 minutes or so.
  3. Meanwhile, place the cooked bulgur in a mixing bowl and combine with the parsley and mint, the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil, the lemon juice and a touch of salt and pepper.
  4. Place the bulgur mix in a serving bowl and top with the carrots, labneh, walnuts and pomegranate seeds.

Vegan option: Use agave in place of honey and a plant-based yogurt in place of labneh.

HERE’S HOW TO MAKE THE LABNEH…

  1. Line a bowl with a piece of muslin cloth. Stir the salt into the yogurt before spooning it into the muslin-lined bowl. Bring the edges of the muslin together and tie into a tight bundle using string or an elastic band.
  2. Hang the bundle over the bowl or hang it from the kitchen tap and leave it to drain for about 24 hours. By this time, most of the liquid will be lost and the resulting labneh will be beautifully thick and creamy.
  3. Transfer from the muslin into a suitable container and store in the fridge, as you would yogurt, until ready to use.

Sri Lankan Curry Bowl

We fell completely in love with Sri Lanka on a recent visit and were determined to recreate some of the fabulous food we had enjoyed as soon as we got home.

This curry is based on one we were shown by one of our hosts; it’s just a shame we can’t go and pick fresh curry leaves straight from the jungle as he  did, nor pop to the garden for a coconut. It’s a great dish on its own, but the sambols traditionally served alongside were also to die for and if you’ve got time to make up our simple recipe for pol sambol, it really elevates this dish.

SRI LANKAN CURRY BOWL

SERVES 4

YOU’LL NEED…

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp rapadura sugar or unrefined brown sugar
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • 250ml water
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 125g okra, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamari
  • Handful coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime

For the pol sambol:

  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 600g desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • Juice 1/2 lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper

To serve:

  • Wholegrain basmati rice, cooked
  • 100g cup cashews, roasted
  • 1 batch pol sambol (optional)

HERE’S HOW…

  1. In a hot dry pan, lightly toast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds until they’re fragrant. Transfer to a pestle and mortar, add the turmeric and chilli powder, and grind to a powder.
  2. In the dry pan, over a medium heat, lightly toast the mustard seeds until they release their aroma. Add the coconut oil and once it’s melted add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes or so until translucent. Add the garlic, sugar and the powdered spices. Turn the heat down to low and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Add the coconut milk and curry leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Add the sweet potato and the water, cover with a lid and turn the heat up to high until it comes to the boil, and then down to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Add the cauliflower, okra and tamari and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Add the chopped coriander and lime juice and serve over basmati rice with a few cashews and a little pol sambol, if using.
  4. For the pol sambol, put all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands.

Blueberry Cobbler With Lime And Coconut

This is a brilliant recipe to make in a cast-iron skillet, ideally one that’s about 25cm/10in in diameter, but it can also be made in a baking tin greased with a little butter. It’s super-easy to make and the ideal comfort food on a wintry day. It’s definitely best served while still warm from the oven.

BLUEBERRY COBBLER WITH LIME AND COCONUT

SERVES 6

YOU’LL NEED…

  • 240g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 45g desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g light muscovado or other unrefined brown sugar
  • 115g unsalted butted
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1.2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 150g blueberries
  • Cream or ice cream, to serve (optional)

HERE’S HOW…

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
  2. Put the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and add the coconut, salt and 85g of the sugar. Melt the butter in the skillet, then add it to the bowl along with the lime juice and zest, the vanilla and the milk. (Don’t clean the skillet as the trace of butter will prevent sticking.) Mix thoroughly and transfer the mixture to the skillet.
  3. Put the blueberries in a bowl and mix with the remaining sugar. Add the sugared blueberries to the skillet and place in the oven.
  4. Bake for 35–40 minutes until golden brown around the edges. You can check whether it’s cooked by poking it with a toothpick or skewer: if it comes out clean, it’s ready. Serve with cream or ice cream.

Recipes taken from Fresh Veggie Kitchen by David & Charlotte Bailey (@buddhabowlvan @PavilionBooks). Image credit to HaaralaHamilton (@liznmax)

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