I decided to look at different food allergies which is often called Free From. There are gluten, dairy, meat and various other food types that some of us can’t eat. So far, we have looked at sugar-free and dairy-free so this month we look at meat-free. We try to cut out meat from our diet at least twice a week and have reduced our beef intake preferring to eat more white meat and fish. This is for health reasons but we have many friends who are vegetarians so when entertaining, we tend to have more meat free dishes available, especially at our BBQ’s. Why not try something different.  

Buen Appettio

Vegetable Omelette

  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 3 shallots (small onions)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 6 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated nutmeg

Trim and cut courgettes, peppers and onions into small cubes. Heat the oil and sauté the onions and peppers for 5 minutes. Add the courgettes and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Spoon mixture into an oven dish. Mix together the cornflour with some of the milk to make a paste. Beat in the eggs and the remaining milk and season. Pour over vegetables and sprinkle nutmeg on top. Bake in the centre of the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until cooked, and then allow to cool slightly.

Tomato and Cheese tart

  • 200g full fat soft cheese
  • 75g butter
  • 2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 10ml mustard
  • 225g plain flour
  • 450g ripe tomatoes
  • 75ml milk
  • Rosemary
  • Salt and pepper

Beat half the cheese with butter, egg yolk and mustard. Mix into flour and then knead until smooth. Roll out pastry and line a tin, bake at 200 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until set. Meanwhile skin tomatoes and cut into wedges. Whisk together the eggs, remaining cheese, milk, rosemary and seasoning. Arrange tomatoes in flan case and pour over mixture. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Leek and Parsnip Bake

  • 350g parsnips (Cubed)
  • 350g leeks (chopped)
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 225g low-fat soft cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Boil parsnips in water until tender then drain and mash. Heat the oil and cook leeks until tender. Add half the leeks to the parsnips, stir in the flour and then the egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff and then add to the mixture. Spread the mixture in a tin and bake at 190 degrees for 25 minutes. Stir the remaining leeks into the soft cheese and heat up. Add seasoning to taste. When the bake is cooked remove from the oven and spread the leek/cheese mixture over the top. Serve either hot or cold. 

Celery and Stilton Soup

  • 40g butter
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • 45ml flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 225g stilton cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the chopped celery and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in the milk and stock. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Gradually add the stilton and stir until melted. Season to taste.

Veggie Burger

  • 100g cashew nuts unsalted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 100g mushrooms chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Flour for dusting
  • 50g breadcrumbs

Turn on oven to 180 degrees. Spread cashew nuts on baking tray and cook for 10 minutes then cool slightly. Heat olive oil in frying pan and sauté onions, carrot, mushrooms and garlic until the vegetables are soft. Chop the cashew nuts finely and add the vegetable mixture, add the soy sauce and egg yolk and mix together. Form into patties and dust with flour then refrigerate for one hour before cooking in a frying pan or on the BBQ.