Six easy, delicious and healthy plant-based meals

Research conducted by Roy Morgan found that the vegetarian trend has been growing year on year. About 2.5 million people (12.2 per cent of the population) in Australia are now eating completely, or almost completely, vegetarian.

The 2018 data shows continued growth in people choosing kinder, more sustainable meals. But while many choose to cut out meat for moral and environmental reasons, some are turning towards a veg-based diet to bolster their health.

Read: What to consider before going vegetarian

Here are a few mouth-watering vegetarian and vegan dishes to try making at home.

1. Sweet and sour Thai fried rice

Made from leftover rice and any veg you have in your fridge or veg rack, this quick fried rice dish, created by young FullOfPlants food blogger Thomas, is “the kind of food that boosts your mood and cheers you up after just two spoonfuls”, he promises. It’s super-easy to make, and has the perfect balance of sweet, salty and spicy, with a subtle tart flavour, he says.

2. Creamy curry pasta

This unusual but tasty blend of Italian and Indian by @nourishingalex only takes a few minutes longer than the 10 minutes or so you need to boil a pan of pasta, and contains store-cupboard ingredients that can easily be swapped for other vegie items stashed in your cupboard or fridge.

Read: Liven up vegetarian dinners with these meat replacements

3. Quick Turkish pizza

Another amalgam of two (or even three) different cuisines – this time Turkish and Italian/American – has made that most unusual of dishes – a healthy pizza! The Happy Pear, the dish’s creators, says that while Turkish flatbread is traditionally made with a yeast dough, their recipe has been adapted to use a quick and easy dough, so it only takes 25 minutes to make.

4. Pesto gnocchi

Whether you’re an omnivore, vegetarian or vegan, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of ‘cheating’ occasionally. This recipe by Lauren Toyota of the HotForFood blog uses shop-bought pesto on top of gnocchi made using leftover mashed potatoes. If you don’t want to buy pesto, a little olive oil and rosemary works a treat.

5. Easy potato cauliflower curry

This is a super-easy curry from @run2food that takes less than half-an-hour to make, and can use whatever veg you want to throw in!

6. Saucy vegetable stir-fry

There’s nothing better than a stir-fry to get loads of veg into you in a tasty manner – and it’s usually a dish that even veg-hating kids will eat! This recipe by @plantbasedtraveler includes a homemade sauce and home-prepared vegetables, but if you’re looking for an even quicker alternative, shop-bought stir-fry sauces are pretty cheap and tasty, and packets of fresh supermarket stir-fry veg will save lots of time.

Read: Health benefits of going vegetarian

Do you eat vegetarian? Are you trying to cut back on your meat intake? Why not share your favourite vegie meal in the comments section below?

– With PA

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Written by Lisa Salmon