7 Ways: 3 imaginative vegetarian meals from Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook

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Weekday meals starting to feel a bit samey? Take the pressure off menu planning with these tasty, quick-as-you-like meals from Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook 7 Ways.

Between balancing working from home, squeezing in a quick lunchtime workout and nipping to the supermarket after we clock off, there are some days when we feel as though we don’t have a minute to spare – and that’s without coming up with a satisfying meal at the end of it. 

Whatever your culinary skills, weeknight meals can be challenging when we’re all leading busy lives. Which is why having a few back-up recipes that you can throw together when your tank is empty is always a good idea.

You’ll find plenty of ideas in Jamie Oliver’s new no-nonsense cookbook 7 Ways: Easy Ideas for Every Day of the Week, out now. Inspired by 18 of the most popular supermarket staples we buy week in, week out – think chicken breasts, aubergine, eggs, potatoes and salmon fillets – the cookbook contains seven simple ways to remix each hero ingredient, giving you tasty, nutritious meals for every day of the week.

So, if your midweek meals have started to feel a bit samey, or you’re looking for new ways to reinvent the ingredients in your fridge right now, we’ve three delicious vegetarian recipes from 7 Ways to help you mix things up in the kitchen.

Oliver’s harissa cauliflower traybake, filled with peppers, tomatoes, fluffy couscous and mint-rippled yoghurt, is a hearty one-pan meal that’s sure to satisfy everyone. His vibrant aubergine salad with feta cheese, olives and a lemon and honey dressing, meanwhile, is perfect for warmer days.

Lastly, his Asian-inspired sticky miso peppers with tofu, pineapple and rice noodles is beautifully colourful dish to spice up Netflix nights on the sofa. Menu planning pressure = lifted.

  • Harissa cauliflower traybake

    Peppers & tomatoes, fluffy couscous & mint-rippled yoghurt

    Serves 4

    Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1 head of cauliflower (800g)
    • 3 mixed-colour peppers
    • 400g ripe tomatoes
    • 1 bulb of garlic
    • olive oil
    • red wine vinegar
    • 2 heaped tablespoons rose harissa
    • 300g couscous
    • 1 bunch of mint (30g)
    • 8 tablespoons natural yoghurt

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Click off and discard only the tatty outer leaves from the cauliflower, then cut it into quarters. Quarter the peppers and halve the tomatoes, removing and discarding the seeds. Break the unpeeled garlic bulb into cloves. Mix it all in a large sturdy roasting tray with 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and red wine vinegar, the harissa, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper and a good splash of water. Cover the tray tightly with tin foil, put it on a medium heat on the hob, and when it starts to sizzle, transfer it to the oven for 40 minutes.

    Get the tray out of the oven, remove the foil, tilt the tray and spoon all the delicious juices into a little jug for later. Return the tray to the oven for 20 minutes, to get golden. Place the couscous in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper, then just cover with boiling kettle water, and cover. Pick most of the mint leaves into a blender, blitz with 6 tablespoons of yoghurt until smooth, then ripple it back through the remaining yoghurt. Fluff up the couscous. Warm the reserved juices. Squeeze the soft garlic out of the skin. Serve it all together, sprinkled with mint leaves.

    Energy: 513kcalFat: 14gSat fat: 2.7gProtein: 18.9g | Carbs: 82.4g | Sugars: 19.2g | Salt: 1.4g | Fibre: 10.8g 

  • Moreish aubergine salad

    Feta cheese, mint, olives, almonds, lemon & honey

    Serves 2

    Total time: 55 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 2 aubergines (250g each)
    • 1 bunch of mint (30g)
    • 20g skin-on almonds
    • 1 lemon
    • 1 tablespoon runny honey
    • extra virgin olive oil
    • 8 mixed-colour olives (stone in)
    • 40g feta cheese
    • 100g bag of mixed salad

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Place the whole aubergines directly on the bars of the oven and roast for 50 minutes, or until beautifully soft, tender and juicy.

    Pick the baby mint leaves and put aside. Pick the rest of the leaves into a pestle and mortar, then add the almonds and roughly crush and pound together. Finely grate in the lemon zest, squeeze in the juice, and muddle in with the honey and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Squash and destone the olives, tear the flesh into the mix, and crumble in the feta. Mix it all together, then season to perfection with black pepper. Divide the salad and baby mint leaves between your plates.

    Slice the soft aubergines down the middle and place on top, then smother with the incredible, moreish pesto-style dressing. I like to attack the whole thing, chopping, tossing and mixing everything together as I tuck in. Delicious hot or cold.

    Energy: 340kcal | Fat: 24.1g | Sat fat: 5.3g | Protein: 9g | Carbs: 25.1g | Sugars: 15.7g | Salt: 0.8g | Fibre: 9.3g 

  • Sticky miso peppers

    Tofu, pineapple, rice noodles & crushed wasabi peas

    Serves 2

    Total time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1 x 220g tin of pineapple rings in juice
    • 280g extra firm tofu
    • 2 mixed-colour peppers
    • olive oil
    • 4 spring onions
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • 90g rice vermicelli noodles
    • 20g wasabi peas
    • 2 heaped teaspoons red miso paste

    Method

    Place the pineapple rings (reserving the juice) in a large dry non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. Cut the tofu into four chunks and add to the pan. Let it all gently char for 4 minutes, then turn, char on the other side and remove, leaving the pan on the heat. Deseed the peppers, chop into 2cm chunks and place in the pan with ½ a tablespoon of olive oil, then reduce to a medium-low heat. Trim the spring onions, chop the white halves into 2cm lengths and add to the pan, reserving the green tops. Peel, finely slice and add the garlic, then cook it all for 10 minutes, or until soft and charred, stirring regularly. Meanwhile, finely slice the green halves of the spring onions. In a heatproof bowl, cover the noodles with boiling kettle water. In a pestle and mortar, pound the wasabi peas until fine.

    Mix the miso paste into the reserved pineapple juice, then pour into the pepper pan with a splash of water. Let it sizzle for a minute, then return the tofu and pineapple to the pan to glaze. Drain the noodles, divide between your plates and spoon over the sticky miso peppers, followed by the tofu and pineapple. Sprinkle with the sliced green spring onion and crushed wasabi peas, then tuck right in.

    Energy: 459kcal | Fat: 12g | Sat fat: 2.1g | Protein: 18.4g | Carbs: 68.2g | Sugars: 25.2g | Salt: 1.5g | Fibre: 4.7g 

    7 Ways by Jamie Oliver is published by Penguin Random House © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Ltd (2020 7 Ways) 

Photography: Levon Biss

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.