Thursday, March 17, 2011

Simple family vegetarian meal

People often ask me for ideas for simple vegetarian family meals, so I thought from time to time I'd show you some of those we enjoy.

As you may know, I am a vegetarian (lacto-ovo - I eat eggs and dairy but no meat or seafood, since I was 15), and the Mr and kids are not. I don't cook meat for them but about once a week I cook them fish as I feel this adds something to their diet. The Mr cooks them meat occasionally on the weekends and also buys them meat sometimes for their sandwiches and when we go out for dinner. But as I am the main cook in the house I get to choose what we eat mostly :-) And of course I cook what I feel like - or anything I can make up from what happens to be in the fridge and cupboard at the time.

What was in the cupboard recently was a packet of "Israeli cous cous", the large grain version of the more common small one. So I decided to do a bit of a fridge vegie clean-out and make roast vegies with cous cous and chick peas.

When I cook roast vegies I like to do a tray of root vegetables, including anything I have.
This one included:
• carrots
• potatoes
• parsnips
• sweet potatoes
• onions
• beetroot (added after pic taken)

And also a tray of soft vegetables like:
• capsicum (peppers)
• mushrooms
• zucchini (courgettes)
• whole cloves of garlic in their skins - yum

Add a generous glug of olive oil (hey, it's good for you!) and cook in a preheated oven at about 200c until the edges start to brown and they are nicely cooked. The soft vegies will not take as long as the root vegies so add them to the oven maybe 15 minutes or so later.

The big cous cous cooked like a dream, unlike the sometimes infuriating small cous cous that can stick together - arghh! I followed the packet instructions but cooked it with a bit of stock (I like Massell brand vegetable stock cubes), then added some chopped fresh herbs, chopped green olives and some chick peas. It's also nice with some toasted chopped almonds.

My little helpers couldn't wait to sample it...

and kept coming back for more*.

The Mr and I like to spice this up with a harissa or hot sauce of some sort on top, it's also great with some natural yoghurt on the side or some crumbled fetta on top.

* Just in case you're wondering, no, they're not super-kids, they didn't eat all of the vegies, and a fair amount of cous cous got squashed into the floor ;-)


  1. That looks yum! I was vegetarian from age 14 to 28 but was turned back by bacon! I had been travelling in Central America and barely eating as everything seemed to have chicken sneaked into it. By the time I got to New Zealand I was famished and cracked when I saw a bacon roll in a bakers shop........!

  2. Hi Anita,
    I've heard a few people say that about bacon! Yes, travelling can be so hard as a vegetarian, some countries are particularly difficult. I remember spending a month travelling in France and Spain years ago and basically just living on bread and cheese (and wine ;-), which sounds great at first, but is really not great for the body & just boring! I hear India, on the other hand, is fantastic.


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