Since the 2009 launch by Sir Paul McCartney I have chosen to follow the Meat Free Monday (also known as Meatless Monday) campaign with a Meat Free Monday Recipe. The essence of the campaign is summed up by Sir Paul who said "Having one designated meat free day a week is actually a meaningful change that everyone can make, that goes to the heart of several important political, environmental and ethical issues all at once."
The campaign has gained a considerable following and here are my top ten favourite Meat Free Monday Recipes.
Cauliflower cheese is a quintessentially traditional British food. A It is a great recipe as it is so easy, and versatile - it appears throughout British food in various guises; an essential side dish at Sunday lunch, a delicious filling for a baked potato and sometimes, even encased in pastry as a pasty or quiche so makes a perfect Meat Free Monday recipe.
Cauliflower Cheese Recipe
Spicy vegetable and paneer wraps are, according to Gordon Ramsay, a typical street food in India, they are also popular here in Britain. These wraps are vegetarian and a delicious Meat Free Monday recipe, however Gordon Ramsay suggests adding a little mince or spicy chicken if you prefer a non-vegetarian recipe.
This recipe is courtesy of Gordon Ramsay from his book Great Escapes.
Colcannon is a favorite Irish recipe and a particular St Patrick's Day favorite. As you can see from this recipe, it is quick, easy and simple to make.
Though Colcannon was traditionally used for predicting marriage on Halloween it has become an everyday side dish and is a favourite meat free dish when served with a fried egg on top. I love it.
Beetroot and pasta is a lovely combination, but for a change try this lovely summer recipe for vibrant, tasty pasta dish. Golden beetroot has a slightly milder flavour than the regular one and is a stunning bright yellow colour, which brings a splash of colour to any dish. Combined with fresh herb pesto and fresh spicy rocket the Golden Beetroot pasta dish is also very healthy.If you can't find yellow pasta, then use regular beetroot, be prepared though, it turns the pasta a pretty pink colour.
This Wild Mushroom Lasagna recipe makes wonderful alternative to the traditional meat lasagna. Though not a traditional British recipe, it is popular during the autumn when fresh wild mushrooms are plentiful. The rest of the year you will find lots of varieties of muchrooms which work equally well.
The fresh lasagna is not pre-cooked in this recipe as the juice given off from the mushrooms during cooking cooks it.
This Caramelized Garlic Tart recipe comes for Chef Ottolenghi's book, Plenty. It is a book about vegetables and interesting and inspiring ways to cook them, so there is plenty of inspiration for Meat Free Monday.
The tart makes a great brunch, lunch, dinner, party or picnic dish - a great all rounder. Making the Caramelised Garlic Tart takes a little worth, but is well worth the effort.
A wonderful autumn/winter dish, this Pumpkin Soup recipes is a cross between a baked pumpkin and a soup so is perfect as a Meat Free Monday recipe.
This lovely recipe from Simon Hopkinson's book, Vegetarian Option, who first encountered the recipe in the seminal book, Great Chefs of France and over the years has adapted it to a more manageable recipe for the home-cook.
This mildly spiced curry dish makes a delicious supper dish for Meat Free Monday and also doubles as a side dish for other days of the week. The vegetables listed in the recipe are a suggestion only, use whatever you have to hand to ring the changes.
Tomato and White Bean Casserole is a hearty, filling, vegetable casserole, perfect for chilly days. The casserole is packed with beans and with the addition of tomatoes is a very healthy dish as a main course or as an accompaniment to other dishes.
This tomato and white bean casserole recipe uses canned white beans but you can also use frozen beans as long as they have been precooked before freezing.
There's no denying beetroot is good for you, it has a delicate yet sweet flavour and is incredibly versatile in the kitchen. It makes everything from tasty soups and starters through to cakes and puddings.
In this Beetroot Soup recipe, the beets partner up nicely with a toasted bread crouton slathered with tasty goats cheese, a great combination but feel free to use a cheese you like; just remember it needs to be a little punchy in flavour.