Veg noodles with peanut sauce Picture: Dumisani Sibeko
Veg noodles with peanut sauce Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

7-day vegetarian meal plan for anyone trying to eat less meat

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Oct 11, 2021

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October is the month for Vegetarians!

October 1, saw World Vegetarian Day arrive, which kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month – a whole month of opportunities to try something new and learn just how great a meat-free diet can be.

As more and more people are making the move to healthier and eco-friendly living, vegetarianism is making a big comeback. In fact, most of our favourite celebrities around the globe are gradually giving up on meat to opt for a balanced lifestyle. Hence, this day is observed annually to promote the joy, compassion, and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism.

The history and significance

World Vegetarian Day was established by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) in 1977 and was further endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978. A vegetarian diet focuses on vegetables, seeds, legumes, fruits, nuts, and grains. It also includes animal products such as eggs, dairy, and honey. For someone new to vegetarianism, it serves as a humanitarian option to try meatless options. A vegetarian diet also has many benefits, according to the website of World Vegetarian Day. This day aims to raise awareness about saving animals and lives and helping preserve the earth. This seven-day vegetarian meal plan will help you eat a little healthier. We outlined three meals a day for the entire week and have shared at least three recipes from these meals.

Monday

Breakfast – Muesli, fresh berries, and natural yoghurt with a handful of almonds.

Lunch – Two slices of whole wheat bread topped with cottage cheese, sliced avocado, fresh tomato, and rocket.

Supper – Lentil bobotie served with rice (can use cauliflower rice) and a cucumber and tomato salad.

Tuesday

Breakfast – Smoothie made of three green vegetables, apple juice (fresh apple juice or 100%), honey, and ginger.

Lunch – Leftover bobotie in a whole wheat wrap.

Supper – Teriyaki edamame and vegetable stir-fry.

Wednesday

Breakfast – Omelettes or frittatas made with vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, mushroom, sweet peppers, and onions – served with whole grain bread or toast and a glass of milk or fortified soy milk.

Lunch – Oriental mushrooms tacos.

Supper – Black bean tortilla pie.

Thursday

Breakfast – Smashed avocado and egg toast.

Lunch – Greek broad bean and pasta salad with rosemary dressing.

Supper – Vegetarian lasagne.

Friday

Breakfast – Smoothie made of three green vegetables, some fruit, and a touch of turmeric.

Lunch – Vegetarian burger.

Supper – Spaghetti and non-meat balls.

Saturday

Breakfast – Muesli, fresh berries, almonds, and natural yoghurt.

Lunch – Noodles with peanut sauce.

Supper – Curried red lentil chickpea stew.

Sunday

Breakfast – Tuna mayo sandwich.

Lunch – Quinoa salad

Supper – Veggie-packed curry

Oriental mushrooms tacos

Serves: 4

Ingredients

4 fresh Portobello (big brown) mushrooms, cleaned, or 500g Button or Portabella mushrooms, cleaned and threaded onto wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes.

3tbsp Korean barbecue marinade, or other barbecue marinades of your choice

1 baby cabbage, finely shredded

1 carrot, grated

¼ red onion, finely sliced

1tsp wasabi

6tbsp good quality mayonnaise

4 soft tacos (any flat-bread will work)

½ avocado, sliced handful coriander leaves, lemon wedges, grilled on the braai until caramelized, about 5 minutes.

Method

Brush the mushrooms with the barbecue marinade and place straight onto a medium-hot braai, basting with more barbecue sauce as you go, and turning until mushrooms are cooked through for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cabbage, carrot, onion, wasabi, and mayonnaise.

Toast soft tacos on the braai, a couple of seconds on each side.

Remove mushrooms from the braai, slice them into thick strips, and divide between tacos.

Top with coleslaw, avocado, and coriander. Serve immediately with grilled lemon wedges.

Noodles with peanut sauce

Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the sauce

180ml smooth peanut butter

50-60ml lime juice

30ml soy sauce

30ml honey

10ml chopped garlic

10ml chopped ginger

1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

Salt and pepper

Water to mix

60ml chopped coriander

750ml spiralised vegetables of your choice

Sesame seeds for serving

Method

Combine the peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, chilli, and seasoning to taste.

Add enough water to make a coating consistency.

Stir in coriander.

Pour the sauce over the vegetables and toss well. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.

This dish can also be served warm by heating the sauce in a pot.

Add the noodles and warm through.

Black bean burgers

Serves: 8

Ingredients

3.5 cups home-cooked or canned no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup chickpea flour

1tbps tomato paste

2 tbsp plain, unsweetened apple sauce

1 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp tamari

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

½ tsp kosher salt or coarse sea salt, plus more as needed

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

Vegetable oil, for shallow frying

Method

Use a fork to mash the beans in a large mixing bowl so they’re mushy but not totally smooth; there should still be some whole beans in the mixture.

Add the chickpea flour, tomato paste, apple sauce, chilli powder, tamari, vinegar, lime juice, salt, and pepper, stirring to incorporate. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Heat a saucepan with 1cm of the oil over medium heat, then place a generous ⅓ cup of the mixture in the centre of the pan.

Carefully press it into a round, pressing until the patty is about 2cm thick.

Repeat to form 3 or 4 burgers in the pan, working in batches to avoid overcrowding.

Cook until browned and crisp on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side, flipping them as needed so they cook evenly.

Transfer the cooked burgers to a plate, sprinkle lightly with more salt, if desired, and cover loosely to keep warm.

Recipes: IOL Archives.

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