3 recipes that are perfect for Meat-Free Monday

October is World Vegetarian Month and it’s a great time to try out more plant-based food.

It doesn’t have to be boring. Vegetarian food can and does have a lot of flavour. It’s up to you how exciting you want to make it.

Lentil Quesadilla (Serves 4)

Lentil Quesadilla. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Ingredients

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

300g butternut, peeled and diced

60ml Lifestyle Food grapeseed oil

10ml ground coriander

3ml Lifestyle Food fine sea salt

250ml cooked Lifestyle Food quinoa

1 red onion, finely chopped

5ml chopped garlic

1 red pepper, diced

15ml ground cumin

5ml Lifestyle Food cayenne pepper

400g tin of lentils, drained and rinsed

juice of 1 lime

3ml Lifestyle Food fine sea salt

60ml Lifestyle Food roasted seeds

8 flour tortillas

500ml grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese

1 avocado, sliced

Method

Roast the sweet potato and butternut, using half the oil, coriander and salt, at 180°C for 20 minutes until tender. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the onion, garlic, red pepper and spices for a few minutes.

Add the lentils and cooked quinoa and stir well. Stir in the lime juice, salt and roasted seeds.

Lay one tortilla in a frying pan, sprinkle with cheese, the roast sweet potato mixture, the lentil mixture, then slices of avo and more cheese. Cover with a second tortilla.

Heat the frying pan to medium and cook the tortilla until lightly browned on both sides.

Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and filling. Cut into wedges and serve.

Lentil Ragu (Serves 4-6)

Lentil Ragu. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Ingredients

30ml olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 stalks of celery, chopped

5ml chopped garlic

10ml dried oregano

225g mushrooms, sliced

125ml red wine

350g cherry tomatoes, halved

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

400g tin of lentils, drained and rinsed

250ml vegetable stock

60g fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper

250ml grated pecorino cheese

250g fusilli pasta

Method

Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onion, celery and garlic for 5 minutes.

Add the oregano and mushrooms and fry for a further 5 minutes.

Stir in the red wine and cook for a few minutes.

Add the cherry tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, lentils, stock and half the basil and season with salt and pepper.

Simmer for 20 minutes until slightly thickened.

Stir in the remaining basil and grated cheese.

Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and transfer to the sauce. Serve immediately.

Black Bean Burgers (Makes 8-10)

Black Bean Burgers. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Ingredients

300g orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

45ml olive oil

salt and pepper

1 large onion, chopped

10ml chopped garlic

5ml ground cumin

5ml paprika

3-5ml ground chilli

250ml rolled oats

250ml cooked quinoa

2 x 400g tins of black beans, drained, rinsed and mashed

60ml chopped coriander

wholewheat buns for serving

sliced tomato, onion, gherkin and avo for serving

Method

Place the sweet potato in a roasting pan, drizzle with about 30ml of the olive oil and season well.

Roast in the oven at 180°C for 20-30 minutes until soft. Remove and cool. Mash roughly.

In a pan, heat the remaining 15ml of oil and fry the onion and garlic over medium heat until soft. Add the spices and cook for a minute.

Remove from the heat and cool. Pulse the oats in a blender or mini chopper until roughly chopped; the mixture should still have some texture.

Combine the sweet potato, onions, oats, quinoa, beans and coriander in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Shape the mixture into patties and place on a board. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Fry in a little olive oil until golden brown on both sides.

Serve in a bun with desired toppings.