A real explosion of colour, taste and variety, Jamie Oliver wants to get us switched on to just how tasty and comforting veggie meals can be, leaving people feeling full, satisfied and happy - and not missing meat from their plate. Whether it's embracing a meat-free day or two each week, living a vegetarian lifestyle, or just wanting to try some brilliant new flavour combinations, this book ticks all the boxes.
Amazing veggie chilli, comforting black rice, zingy crunchy salsa chilli-rippled yogurt
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 2 red onions
- 2 sweet potatoes (250g each)
- 3 mixed-colour peppers
- 4 large ripe tomatoes olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 lemon
- 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans
- hot chilli sauce
- 250g black rice
- 1 bunch of fresh mint (30g)
- 4 small flour tortillas
- 4 tablespoon natural yoghurt
1. Preheat a griddle pan to high. Peel the onions, scrub the sweet potatoes and deseed the peppers. Cut off a small chunk of each and put aside with one tomato (this is for the salsa later). Roughly chop the rest of the veg into 4cm chunks and halve the remaining tomatoes, then chargrill, working in batches.
2. Drizzle one tablespoon of oil into a large casserole pan over a medium-low heat and stir in the cumin and paprika. Peel, roughly chop and add the garlic, finely grate in the lemon zest, and add the grilled veg bit by bit as they're ready, stirring regularly. Tip in the beans (juices and all), and 11/2 tins' worth of water, then add around one tablespoon of chilli sauce (or to your liking). Season with sea salt and black pepper and simmer for 30 minutes, or until thickened and reduced. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions. Pick 2 sprigs of mint leaves and very finely chop with the salsa veg, then toss with the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Warm the tortillas on the griddle and ripple a good few shakes of chilli sauce through the yoghurt. Serve the chilli with the black rice, salsa, yoghurt and tortillas, and pick over the mint leaves. Enjoy!
Tip: Using veg raw to make a salsa as well as cooking it in the stew is incredibly resourceful and delicious.
Nutritional value per serve: Energy 636kcal, fat 9.1g, sat fat 2.6g, protein 18.3g, carbs 121.2g, sugars 26.4g, salt 1.4g, fibre 15.3g.
Greens mac 'n' cheese, leek, broccoli and spinach, toasted almond topping
Total time: 1 hour
- 1 large leek
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 400g purple sprouting or tenderstem broccoli
- 40g unsalted butter
- 1/2 a bunch of fresh thyme (15g)
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 litre semi-skimmed milk
- 450g dried macaroni
- 30g Parmesan cheese
- 150g mature Cheddar cheese
- 100g baby spinach
- 50g flaked almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Trim, halve and wash the leek and peel the garlic, then finely slice with the broccoli stalks, reserving the florets for later. Place the sliced veg in a large casserole pan over a medium heat with the butter, then strip in the thyme leaves and cook for 15 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Stir in the flour, followed slowly by the milk, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until thickened, stirring regularly. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then drain.
2. Grate the Parmesan and most of the Cheddar into the sauce, and mix well. Tip into a blender, add the spinach and whiz until smooth - you may need to work in batches. Season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper, then stir through the pasta and broccoli florets, loosening with a splash of milk, if needed. Transfer to a 25cm x 35cm baking dish, grate over the remaining Cheddar and scatter over the almonds. Bake for 30 minutes, or until beautifully golden and bubbling.
Tip: To make vegetarian: swap Parmesan for vegetarian hard cheese. Swap spinach out for any kind of exciting fresh or frozen greens, discarding any tough stalks. I also sometimes add breadcrumbs to the top for bonus crunch. Tasty!
Nutritional value per serve: Energy 619kcal, fat 25.1g, sat fat 12.4g, protein 29g, carbs 75.1g, sugars 12g, salt 0.9g, fibre 6.4g.
Angry bean salad, warm arrabbiata dressing, chilled baby mozzarella, fresh mint
Total time: 20 minutes
- 400g ripe mixed-colour cherry tomatoes
- 400g green and yellow beans
- 4 sprigs of fresh mint
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 fresh red chillies
- olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
- 8 bocconcini mozzarella (150g)
- 4 slices of rustic bread
1. Carefully plunge the tomatoes into a pan of fast-boiling salted water for exactly 30 seconds, scoop out with a sieve and run under cold water. Line up the beans, remove just the stalk ends and place in the boiling water for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, pick the mint leaves, putting the baby leaves aside for garnish. Peel the garlic, then finely slice with the chillies. pinch and peel away the tomato skins, reserving the flesh (it's a bit of a faff, but it's worth it).
2. Drain the beans, placing the pan back on a medium heat. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the garlic, chilli and mint leaves. Fry for 2 minutes, add the tomatoes, vinegar and beans and simmer for 4 minutes, stirring regularly to break up the tomatoes. Taste and season to absolute perfection with sea salt and black pepper, then spoon on to a platter along with any tasty juices.
3. Scatter over the mozzarella and reserved mint leaves, and serve with hot toast.
Tip: Lovely served warm on the day - and any leftovers are great cold in a lunch box.
Nutritional value per serve: Energy 296kcal, fat 11.9g, sat fat 5.8g, protein 13.8g, carbs 33.4g, sugars 7.2g, salt 1g, fibre 5.6g.
Brilliant bhaji burger, coriander yoghurt, mango chutney, crunchy poppadom sprinkle
Total time: 40 minutes
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 fresh green chillies
- 1 big bunch of fresh coriander (60g)
- 75g paneer cheese
- 200g butternut squash
- 4cm piece of ginger
- 100g plain flour
- 1 lime
- 2 teaspoon rogan josh curry paste
- olive oil
- 75g natural yoghurt
- 1 baby gem lettuce
- 4 soft burger buns
- 2 uncooked poppadoms
- mango chutney
1. Peel and very finely slice the onion and garlic, deseed and finely slice the chillies, finely chop the coriander stalks, reserving the leaves, then place in a bowl. Coarsely grate in the paneer and squash (deseed if needed), then peel and finely grate in the ginger. Sprinkle in the flour and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then squeeze over the lime juice. Add the curry paste and 50ml of water, then mix.
2. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into a large non-stick frying pan over a medium- low heat, then roughly divide the mixture into 4 portions and place in the pan, flattening them out into rough rounds, about the width of the buns (don't worry about wispy edges, it'll mean bonus crunch later!). Fry for 16 minutes, or until golden and cooked through, turning every few minutes. Meanwhile, pound most of the coriander leaves to a paste in a pestle and mortar, muddle in the yoghurt, then season to taste. Finely shred the lettuce, halve the burger buns (warm first, if you like), and puff up the dry poppadoms in the microwave for 30 seconds each.
3. Divide the coriander yoghurt between the bases and inside bun-lids, then break up the poppadoms and sprinkle over. place a crispy bhaji burger on top of each bun-base, add a dollop of mango chutney, a few coriander leaves and the lettuce, then pop the tops on and press down lightly.
4. Serve with a cold beer and extra fresh chilli if you love a bit of heat (like me!).
Tip: You can have a lot of fun with this recipe by mixing up not only the veg you choose but also the curry paste.
Nutritional value per serve: Energy 493kcal, fat 15.4g, sat fat 4.8g, protein 17g, carbs 75.2g, sugars 20.7g, salt 1.9g, fibre 6.2g.
Veg, by Jamie Oliver. Michael Joseph, $49.99. (c) Jamie Oliver Enterprises Ltd (2019 Veg) Photography: David Loftus