National Vegetarian Week | www.nationalvegetarianweek.org
National Vegetarian Week begins today with the aim of highlighting the health benefits of meat free diets
National Vegetarian Week, sponsored by Cauldron, starts today with the aim of getting more people to try a plant-based diet. Endorsed by the Vegetarian Society, organisers have set people a challenge, the Veggie 123 Challenge, to go meat free for a week and encourage two other people to join in. Donations of £3 to the Vegetarian Society are requested.
All the details, including a 123 Challenge kit, are online plus lots more, from recipes to dietary help to celebrity advice.
Stephen Fry offers encouragement, saying: ‘I think it’s fair to say that there’s never been a better time to try cutting out meat and living a plant-based life. I’ve found it good for health and energy, and if we all joined in … well, wouldn’t the planet be pleased!’
Here’s one tasty recipe from bestselling authors and vegan chefs Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, better known as BOSH!
- Speedy BOSH! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby is out now (HQ, HarperCollins).
- Food photography credit: Lizzie Mayson Headshot credit: Nicky Johnston
Super Meaty Spag Bol
Spaghetti Bolognese is a family favourite in the BOSH! household. We all live together and we like to cook it for each other at least once a week, so we had to make a speedy version. For this recipe we blitz up some high-quality plant-based sausages, then brown them. Spring onions are quick to sauté, so we can make our bolognese sauce in the same time the pasta takes to cook. Absolutely ingenious, and a great way to satisfy the whole family after a long day! This dish was inspired by Ian’s family tradition of eating spag bol on a Monday night, but you can eat it any night of the week.
1 small carrot
4 plant-based sausages
Handful of thyme and/or sage leaves
1 tbsp of tomato purée
½ tsp of lazy garlic or ½ garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp of fennel seeds
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of nutritional yeast
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of ketchup
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
For the spaghetti
2 tbsp of fine sea salt
400g of spaghetti
Extra-virgin olive oil
Roughly chop the celery stick. Peel and roughly chop the carrot • Add both to a food processor along with the sausages and pulse until finely chopped. Add the thyme or sage leaves, tomato purée, garlic and fennel seeds and pulse a few more times.
TO COOK THE BOLOGNESE
Heat the olive oil in the frying pan. Tip in the mince mixture and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, chopped tomatoes, ketchup, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Squeeze in the juice from the orange. Stir and leave to simmer while you cook the pasta
COOK THE PASTA
Top up the water in the pasta pan with water from the kettle. Add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, following the instructions on the packet.
Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf from the bolognese and discard. Use tongs to slosh the cooked pasta into the frying pan with the sauce, bringing some of the pasta water with it as you do so. Mix everything together with the tongs, adding more pasta water to loosen, if needed. Serve with plant-based Parmesan and a drizzle of good olive oil