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How to eat more vegetables – the tasty way

Exciting recipes to help increase vegetable intake (hello, meat-free Monday!).

Vegetable Pakoras with Green Chutney
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I’m always looking for ways to increase vegetable intake for me and my family (I even made hidden veg WAFFLES!), especially when winter hits and my immune system gets tested. Whether it’s adding in a handful of spinach here or a scoop of sweetcorn there, there are definitely easy ways to eat more vegetables. But you know what? Sometimes vegetables need their solo time in the spotlight – and I’ve got the meat-free meals that do just that.

My silky, glossy and delightful carbonara is made even more epic, with a little help from some miso paste!

How to eat more vegetables

Greens deserve to be seen, my friends – especially when they’re cooked to perfection or have a knockout sauce or dressing. Whether it’s winter where you are and you’re in need of comfort (and vitamins!) or the height of summer and you need minimal time in a hot kitchen, check out these goodies. 

 

Oh, and for some meat-free ideas, don’t forget to check out my fusion pasta recipes – it’s a whole new world of no-meat dinner ideas.

Bring new life into velvety, delicate eggplant with this side dish that performs double duty as a wonderful warm vegetable salad recipe. Dive in as it is, or serve it alongside your dinnertime offerings. Drizzled with my Japanese-style dressing, it’s a wonderful blend of garlic, ginger and sesame, with pops of chilli for a lovely bit of freshness, crunch and heat.

Mashed potato in a toasted sandwich? Heck yeah. There’s spice in there too, plus curry leaves, fresh, sliced vegetables, a perky green chutney and even melty cheese. Based on Mumbai’s most famous street snack, this is one hefty sambo. In our house we call this ‘dinner’.

Feeling in need of a healthier fix? My fried rice is packed full of green vegetables and grains. And it’s as delicious as it is virtuous! Yes, the original recipe has turkey mince in, but you can easily omit it if you want to make this vegetarian.

This spicy vegetable dish heroes the humble eggplant… and boy, does it pack a punch! It leaves your mouth tingling from the Sichuan peppercorns (the numbing part) and your brow a little dampened by chilli-induced sweat (the hot part!). Try it served as is with steamed rice, or as part of a Chinese banquet-style spread.

I love this vegetarian curry that just also happens to be creamy, cheesy and totally comforting. I’ve even made the paneer from scratch to add to the wonderful flavours in this Indian spinach and cheese classic. This one serves two, or four as part of a banquet.

A simple and tasty side dish, these baby Dutch carrots are a roasted wonder. Cooked in a delicious caramel until sticky, sweet and tender, they’re then drizzled in my Vietnamese-inspired tangy dressing, before a smattering of fresh chilli and crunchy peanuts finish it off. Vegetables never tasted so good!

If you want to increase vegetable intake but don’t want to compromise on flavour, I’ve got you. And this recipe is definitely multi-layered on the flavour scale. We’re bringing Indian spices to proceedings with this simple and delightful side dish. Comforting, warming and with just enough ingredients to make you feel a little bit virtuous.

Tangy, spicy, fresh and fragrant… this veggie version of Thai laab salad is so good, you’ll be crying out for more. Cauliflower is the perfect vessel for that divine dressing, and it really soaks up all those flavours perfectly.

My version of Indonesian includes some chicken skewers for a satay-esque spin, but if you want to ditch the meat, try it the traditional way and serve it with fried tofu or tempeh. I like to offer this one up family style so everyone can help themselves to a truly celebratory salad. Oh, and if there’s any left, you can keep the leftover sauce in the fridge for up to a week – it’s just as yum tossed through noodles.

I’ve been testing make-at-home pizza recipes for ages, but I’ve finally perfected the ultimate version, from the homemade dough to the savoury, cheesy, mushroomy topping. Not just a vegetarian pizza, this is deeply satisfying, and that crusty base is light, crisp and totally moreish. Grab your pizza stone and let’s cook!

Cabbage is far from boring – it’s actually one of my favourite vegetables. This simple side dish recipe gets things nice and charry but also braised with a little bite. It’s one tasty way to embrace greens, plus pairs exceptionally well with a spicy meat dish.

I’m going out on a limb guys – I reckon this is THE best eggplant dish I know. It’s just so silky, tender and rich, with a perfect hit of chilli to tie it all together. If you’re looking to master a meat-free dish or a vegetable side, then look no further.

Who said you can’t have pancakes for dinner? My version of savoury Japanese okonomiyaki is lip-smackingly good, and it tastes just as good the next day in lunchboxes or on a weekend picnic. You could also try serving them with eggs for breakfast to get your day off to a cracking start!

Mushrooms bring serious umami goodness to the table, and this Asian hot and sour soup is no exception. Warming, comforting and packed with savoury flavours – and dumplings, too! – it’s a great starter or meal in itself.

If you’re wondering about vegetable side dishes to serve at your next gathering, wonder no more: this spicy, crispy cauliflower will go down a storm! It’s also fabulous served with steamed rice for a meat-free meal.

An easy way to eat more vegetables? This eggplant dish: no one can resist! With its crispy coating, creamy inside and sweet, sticky sauce, this vegetable side is a hero all on its own in the flavour stakes.

These gently spiced, deeply crispy Indian bites are my kind of vegetarian food, and are a fantastic way to use up leftover vegetables rattling around in your fridge or pantry. They also make a really great kids’ snack – just leave out the chilli powder and carry on as usual. Plus they’re gluten free!

Enjoy the full-on flavours of a Thai som tum salad in the comfort of your own home… wherever you live in the world! This stripped-back version uses everyday ingredients and minimal kitchen equipment – all you need is baking paper and a rolling pin. Spicy and fresh.

This super-quick and easy recipe is on the table in just 15 minutes using Marion’s Kitchen San Choy Bow kit. It’s a scrumptious vego version of this popular Asian starter and it’s great finger food for a party, too.

Speaking of spicy… this vegie side dish will knock your socks off! Hot and smoky cauliflower is the name of the game here, and I guarantee this wondrous vegetable will be a gamechanger. So good, you’ll want it all year round!

My take on Japanese okonomiyaki pancakes are packed full of greens and good stuff, and the result is a batch of fritters anyone would be happy to eat, any day of the week. These are also great served in lunchboxes or as a kid-friendly snack.

These vegie burgers use roasted beetroot and lentils to create vibrant burger patties with garam masala and smoked paprika for extra flavour. Serve on toasted buns with all your usual burger toppings and spicy sauce. A fun way to increase vegetable intake!

Taking that little extra step of roasting the cauliflower before adding it to the curry makes all the difference to this vegetarian, heartwarming curry. With plenty of protein from the chickpeas and plenty of flavour from Marion’s Kitchen Thai Red Curry kit, this meal will be on high rotation in your kitchen too.

Apple eggplants are a really popular Thai ingredient, but you can use zucchini if you can’t find them. Along with crisp snow peas and tofu, they make this vegetarian green curry a memorable meal.

Other meat-free recipes to try:

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