If you decided to go vegetarian for the month, here's how you can still enjoy tasty meat-free dishes.

October is Vegetarian Awareness month.

Here are 5 tips on ways to make delicious vegetarian dishes. 

Sweet, sour, salty, umami flavours 

  • When creating dishes, look to create these sensations in the mouth in order to tantalize your taste buds.
  • The sweet flavour can come from using fruit, honey, palm sugar, coconut sugar or sweet tasting vegetables.
  • Sour foods come from using lemon juice, tamarind, tomatoes (can be sweet or sour), apple cider vinegar.
  • The salt flavour may come from foods such as seaweed, soya sauce, Tamarin sauce, Himalayan salt.
  • Lastly, umami flavour comes from certain foods such as mushrooms, asparagus, sweet potato, Chinese cabbage, carrots, avocados, soya beans. 
  • An example would be when cooking a Moroccan curry, the sweetness comes from using coconut milk.
  • Adding in preserved lemon can increase the sourness as well as the salt and adding vegetables like mushrooms and sweet potato creates that umami experience. 

Where is the texture? 

  • Are you in the mood for something with a smooth texture or crunchy? 
  • Adding variety to a meal is important as it gives you different sensations in the mouth. 
  • Add some power and improve satiety 
  • Bring in protein-based foods and healthy fats. 
  • Tossing in protein-based foods such as beans, pulses, legumes, tofu etc. and healthy fats including avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil creates a lovely mouthfeel, but also increases satiety. 

Toast the seeds to give variety

  • Make an avocado and lemon dressing and add to a delicious, crunchy salad. 
  • Roast, griddle, bake, pan fry 
  • Using different styles of cooking can add to the deliciousness of the food. 
  • Try roasting your veg then tossing in the chickpeas and toasted seeds or griddle your aubergine to enhance the flavour of the dish. 

Spice or herb it up

  • Spices and herbs create so much flavour in a dish. 
  • Adding spices such as cumin, coriander, cardamom, chili, turmeric, fenugreek or paprika will make a worthwhile vegetarian meal.