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7 Day Vegetarian Menu Plan For Two

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Inspired by the amount of organic veg we bought in January and failed to eat (bok choi, we’re looking at you), we asked economy gastronomy star Kay Plunkett-Hogge (co-author of Leon Family & Friends, £25, Conran Octopus) to create a menu that will feed two people three meals a day for £50 – that’s an average of £2.38 per meal. All you need to do is buy her shopping list and then make a host of recipes listed below. Eat well!

Ingredients

  • 2 small beetroot
  • Punnet blueberries
  • 180ml crème fraîche
  • Pack of chives
  • 1kg porridge*
  • 500g pasta*
  • 2 tins tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • 1kg onions
  • 2 bulbs garlic
  • 12 large free range eggs
  • 2 lettuces
  • 1 loaf wholewheat bread
  • 2 medium pumpkins
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 300g quinoa
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 800g mushrooms, plus
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 500g bag spring greens
  • 1 bag mixed peppers
  • 1 carrot
  • 200g parmesan-style hard cheese
  • Punnet fresh tomatoes
  • 320g rolled puff pastry
  • 1 avocado
  • 250g rice
  • 1kg bag frozen peas
  • 1 leek
  • 250g bag spinach
  • 2.5kg potatoes
  • 2 bananas and 4-6 apples
  • 285g pack stir-fry veg
  • Bunch fresh thyme
  • Bunch fresh parsley
  • 2 tins cannellini beans
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1-2 red chilies
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 lime
  • 300g jar tahini
  • 1 jar ras el hanout spice blend
  • 1 bottle fino sherry*

*will last longer than a week

Please note:

Ingredients have been priced up using a cross-section of prices from three leading supermarkets, and it came in at £49.95.

This menu plan assumes that readers already have oil, butter, dried herbs and spices, salt and pepper, flour, milk and vegetable stock cubes or powder in their cupboards already.

There are also ingredients listed which will become store cupboard staple — quinoa, rice, pasta etc — which they can be carried over into the next week’s meals.

The Vegetarian 7 Day Menu Plan For Two People

Monday

Porridge and fresh blueberries

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with a Zing

Pasta with Simple Tomato Sauce and salad

Tuesday

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Rubies In The Sand Salad

Alice’s Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie and Sautéed Greens

Wednesday

Porridge with brown sugar and salt

Hummus and roasted vegetable wrap

Baked Potato with Beetroot, Crème Fraîche & Chives

Thursday

Whole-wheat toast with marmite, avocado and tomato

Leek and Potato soup with side of leftover Rubies in the Sand

Pasta All’Arrabiatta with sautéed garlic broccoli

Friday

Porridge with blueberries

Leftover Pumpkin Soup, hot toast spread with leftover hummus and a sprinkle of Ras el Hanout

Shepherds pie leftovers

Saturday

Whole-wheat toast with banana, cinnamon and sliced apples

Rachel’s Tortilla Espanola

Thai Stir Fried Vegetables with rice

Sunday

Jonny’s Fluffy Eggs

Devilled Mushroom Wellington, Peas and Mashed potato

Leftover Soup & Salad

Monday

Basic Porridge

Serves

2

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats (about 100g)

2 cups water (or milk, or a combination of the two)

salt

Method

Put the oats, water and a good pinch of salt into a pan and cook over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes, stirring as you go.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with a Zing

SERVES

4 (however leftovers can be used later on in the week’s menu)

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 pumpkin, deseeded, cut into wedges: About 1.25kg in prepared weight

3–4 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 tablespoons olive oil

725ml good vegetable or chicken stock

1–2 teaspoons ground cumin

1–2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 limes, cut into wedges, to serve

2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes, to garnish

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Step 1. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Step 2. Pop the pumpkin wedges and the thyme into a large roasting tray, coat with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until it’s really soft and tender. Note, it could take even longer – every pumpkin is individual – just keep checking on it until it’s done.

Step 3: When the pumpkin is cooked, set it aside to cool, then scrape the flesh away from the skin. If it comes away in whole slices, cut it into 2cm chunks. Then put it into a pan with the stock and blitz with an immersion blender until you have a creamy consistency.

Step 4: Add the spices and heat through for about 5 minutes. Then taste and add seasoning.

Step 5: Serve in bowls, with the lime wedges and little piles of chilli on the side.

Simple Pasta Sauce

Serves

4 - 6 (Please do freeze any leftover sauce)

Prep time

10 minutes

Cooking time

30 minutes

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Method:

Step 1. In a heavy-based pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat, then add the onion. Cook until it’s soft and sweet-smelling. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or so, or until it smells good. Add the tomatoes, then stir in the tomato purée and the dried herbs, and season with salt and pepper…

Tuesday

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Serves

2

Prep Time

5 minutes

Cooking time

5-10 minutes

Ingredients

5 medium eggs

A dash of milk

A good pinch of chopped fresh parsley, or basil, or coriander, or thyme (optional)

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Step 1. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the milk, salt and pepper (and the pinch of chopped herbs, if you’re using them), and beat them all together with a fork.

Step 2. In a heavy-based pan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it starts to foam. Pour in the eggs, and start stirring at once with a fork or a wooden spoon. Keep stirring constantly as the eggs start to come together.

Step 3: As the eggs begin to come together, start turning down the heat – they’ll keep cooking in the residual heat. Keep stirring until you’ve got them just how you like them, and serve out on to plates at once. Bear in mind, the eggs at the bottom of the pan will be firmer than the eggs you serve first – just in case some people prefer them one way or the other.

Step 4. Garnish with an extra grind of black pepper and tuck in.

‘Rubies in the Sand’ Salad

Serves

4

Prep time

25 minutes

Cooking time

25 minutes

Ingredients

200g dried quinoa

300g mixed peppers (yellow, orange, red),

deseeded and halved

2–3 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled, crushed

1 tablespoon olive oil

A good handful of fresh coriander, chopped

100g pomegranate seeds

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

The juice of 1 lime or ½ lemon

2 teaspoons ras al hanout

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Step 1. Wash the quinoa thoroughly, then cook it as per the instructions on the packet. Some bought quinoa is pre-soaked, some not, so you need to check. Once the quinoa is cooked, drain and set aside to cool.

Step 2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Step 3. Pop the peppers on to a roasting tray with the thyme, garlic and olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 20–25 minutes, or until al dente. Remove from the oven, discard the garlic and thyme, then set aside to cool. Chop the peppers into 2cm squares.

Step 4. Mix the cooled quinoa with the mixed peppers, the chopped coriander and the pomegranate seeds.

Step 5. Mix all the dressing ingredients together thoroughly. Stir into the quinoa mix. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Alice’s Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Serves

4 (please use leftovers for later in week)

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

1 hour

Ingredients

1 small pumpkin/butternut squash, weighing about 1.2kg

3 cloves of garlic

25g butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely sliced

300g mushrooms, chopped (chestnut, oyster, shiitake,

are more flavoursome than button ones)

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

200ml sherry (an amontillado or an oloroso)

2 x 400g tins of haricot beans or cannellini beans,

drained and rinsed

250g spinach leaves

25g strong cheese (e.g. Cheddar, Gruyère), grated

25g breadcrumbs

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Step 1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Step 2. Peel and deseed the pumpkin/squash, then cut it into chunks. Place in a pan with salted water to cover and cook over a low heat until the pumpkin is soft and mashable (about 15 minutes). Drain, then mash with a fork. Crush 1 clove of garlic and stir it in, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

Step 3. Meanwhile, heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, then add the onion and fry slowly until it’s coloured as brown as you like it. Chop the remaining cloves of garlic and add to the pan with the mushrooms, thyme, sherry and beans. Season well with salt and pepper and let the mixture simmer away until the sherry has reduced – about 10 minutes or so (you don’t want the filling to be too sloppy). At the last moment stir in the spinach leaves to wilt.

Step 4: Place the filling in a casserole dish and spoon the pumpkin mash on top. Mix the cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top, then give it a light drizzle of olive oil. Bake in the oven for 35–45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

Wednesday

Hummus and Veggie Wrap

Serves

4 - 6

Prep time

10 minutes

Everybody loves hummus. Our supermarkets sell it by the tonne – literally. But have you seen what’s written on the label? Try this homemade version, and cut out the additives.

Ingredients

1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained

1–2 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 tablespoons water

The juice of ½ a lemon

A large pinch of salt

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

A sprinkle of ground sumac and/or ground cumin (optional)

Method

Step 1. Just place everything except the extra virgin olive oil and the sumac/cumin in a food processor and whizz until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Step 2. Serve in a bowl, drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with the sumac and/or cumin if you like.

Step 3: Add roasted veg, and wrap in a tortilla!

BAKED POTATO

Method:

Step 1. Pick your potato – this is very important. Buy a variety that bakes well – floury

types are best. We recommend King Edwards.

Step 2. Heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.

Step 3. Wash the spuds under cold, running water. Shake them a little to remove the excess water, but don’t dry them completely.

Step 4. Roll them in some sea salt.

Step 5. Pop them straight into the oven, directly on to the shelf. Bake them for about an hour – it depends on the size of your potato. Just poke them with a skewer to test for ‘give’ and doneness.

Step 6. Take them out and let everyone admire their crispy exterior and wow at their

fluffy insides.

Beetroot, Crème Fraîche & Chives Potato topping

Simply chop some cooked (not pickled) beetroot into cubes. Spoon a splodge of crème fraîche on to the buttered potato. Scatter over the beetroot and finish with chopped fresh chives, salt and pepper.

Thursday

Marmite, Avocado & Tomato on Toast

Spread a smear of good unsalted butter on the toast. Then a smear of Marmite. Follow this with sliced avocados and halved cherry tomatoes. Finish with a good grinding of black pepper.

Leek & Potato Soup

Serves

4

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

45 minutes

Ingredients

1 leek, about 350g, cleaned and sliced

350–400g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 litre water

125ml double cream

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

freshly ground black pepper

Method

Step 1. Put the leek and potatoes into a heavy-based saucepan. Add the salt and the water and bring to the boil. Simmer until soft and cooked through, about 30–35 minutes. Then turn off the heat and, with a hand blender, whizz until smooth.

Step 2. Add the cream and stir it into the soup, then add the parsley and a few grinds of black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve with crusty bread.

Pasta All’Arrabiata

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Deseed and slice 1 or 2 red chillies

Method

Step 1: In a heavy-based pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat, then add the onion. Cook until it’s soft and sweet-smelling. Add the garlic and the chilli and cook for another 2 minutes or so, or until it smells like good times. Add the tomatoes, then stir in the tomato purée and the dried herbs, and season with salt and pepper…

Saturday

Cinnamon Butter, Banana with Sliced Apples on Toast

Mix some softened butter with a good pinch of ground cinnamon, mashed banana and a squeeze of agave nectar. Spread on the toast. Place slices of raw apple on top. Sprinkle with a final dusting of cinnamon.

Rachel McCormack’s Tortilla Española

Serves

2-4

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

30 minutes

Ingredients

125ml olive oil

100g onions, finely sliced

375g potatoes, peeled and cut into small even pieces

4 eggs

a good pinch of salt

Method

Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a non-stick omelette pan or small frying pan over a medium low heat. Add the onions and then add the potatoes to the pan and let them poach in the oil for about 10–15 minutes. You’re not deep-frying them here – you don’t want either of them to get crunchy, you want them to remain soft.

Step 2: Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large bowl.

Step 3: Once the potatoes and onions are soft and cooked, strain off the oil into a heatresistant bowl and set aside. Allow the potatoes and onions to cool a little, then stir them into the beaten eggs and season with salt.

Step 4: Return the pan to a medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of the potato/onion oil and, when it’s hot, pour in the egg mixture. Cook, shaking occasionally to see if the bottom is cooked properly, for about 5–10 minutes. (If the tortilla mix is very thick, turn the heat down a bit to make sure the middle cooks.) Use a palette knife or a saucer to round off the omelette in the pan.

Step 5: Now, if you want to be traditional, Rachel says you should turn the omelette by taking a dinner plate, putting it on top of the frying pan, then flipping it over. Slide the omelette back into the pan, using the palette knife or saucer to make sure it keeps a nice round shape as it goes back in. Cook for about 5 more minutes, then turn out on to a plate.

Step 6: However, if you find that daunting, you could finish the omelette off in the oven, preheated to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4, for 5–10 minutes. Just make sure you are using a pan with a metal or ovenproof handle.

Step 7: Turn out on to a plate and serve hot or cold with a salad, bread, tomato sauce, mayonnaise… anything you like.

Simple Thai Stir Fred Vegetables

Serves

2

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

5 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2–4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, depending on size (and how much you like garlic)

250g stir-fry vegetables

a dash of water

1 tablespoon fish sauce OR light soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

Method

Step 1: Heat the oil in the wok, add the garlic, cook until fragrant, but don’t let it colour.

Step 2: Then add the vegetables. Add a dash of water for the steam. Then the fish sauce OR light soy sauce and sugar.Keep stir-frying until cooked, about another 2 - 3 minutes. Serve piping hot with jasmine rice.

As a general rule, Thai mixed vegetable stir-fries don’t feature chilli. They’re meant to be a plain foil for other dishes. If you’d like to punch up the heat, add 1 sliced bird’s eye chilli with the garlic.

Sunday

Jonny Jeffery’s Fluffy Eggs

Serves

4

===Prep time===

10 minutes

Cooking time

8-10 minutes

Ingredients

4 eggs

4 slices of bread

small handful of finely grated cheese – Cheddar,

Parmesan, Emmental, whichever you prefer

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Step 1: Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5.

Step 2: Separate the eggs, keeping the yolks whole, and whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks.

Step 3: Lightly toast the bread, then put the slices on a baking tray. Spread three-quarters of the egg white on to the semi-toasted bread.

Step 4: Make a small well in the egg white on each slice of bread, and pop in a yolk – one yolk per slice. Season each yolk with salt and pepper, then cover with the remaining egg white, making sure the yolk is sealed in.

Step 5: Sprinkle a teaspoon of grated cheese over each, then bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden. This should give you a nice, runny yolk. If you prefer a firmer yolk, give it a little longer. Serve at once.

Devilled Mushroom Wellington

Serves

2–4

Ingredients

500g mixed mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

½ onion, peeled and finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, picked

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

a large pinch of cayenne

a large pinch of paprika

a little dash of sherry (optional)

a teaspoon of English or Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little extra

25g unsalted butter

a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

1 sheet chilled puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7.

Step 2: In a large frying pan, melt the butter and oil. When hot, add the mushrooms and sauté them for 8–10 minutes, until they are soft and cooked. You may want to do this in two batches — you want the mushrooms to release their water and for this to evaporate.

Step 3: When they are cooked, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon of any remaining liquid from the pan and set that aside, and discard the rest.

Step 4: Add the extra oil to the pan, followed by the onions and cook them until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and fry until it’s just turning golden and fragrant.

Step 5: Now return the cooked mushrooms to the pan and add the thyme, marjoram, cayenne, paprika, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and sherry, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a bubble, add the parsley and stir it through. Taste for seasoning. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Step 5: Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the sheet of puff pastry on the paper. Then place the mushroom mixture on one half of the pastry, leaving a centimetre margin all around the pastry for sealing. Brush that margin with some of the beaten egg. Fold the other half of the pastry over the mushroom mix to create a sort of pillow, sealing it tightly along the edges and tucking the seam underneath.

Step 6: Brush the whole thing with beaten egg. Make two incisions in the top with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape and ensure crispy pastry. Then pop it in the fridge for about 10–15 minutes.

Step 7: Brush with a little more beaten egg then place in the oven and cook for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed up.

Step 8: Remove from the oven and tuck in.

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