It seems many Kiwis are keen to cook more vegetarian meals and eat their five plus a day, but just don't quite know how to go about it.
That's according to a new study from the researchers with meal-kit provider HelloFresh, who surveyed more than 1000 New Zealanders - and more than half were keen to go meat-free.
Reasons for turning to vegetarian meals included wanting to improve their health (58 percent), save costs (43 percent) and save the planet (37 percent), while a small percentage were inspired after watching plant-based documentaries.
But while Kiwis are keen to increase their vegetarian cooking, many struggled when it came to putting a meat-free meal together. Only one in 10 said they know how to make a nutritionally balanced vegetarian meal, and more than half have no go-to recipes they can rely on.
HelloFresh is keen to help and has provided us with a couple of their most popular vegetarian recipes so you can whip up a delicious and nutritious vegetarian meal at home, perfect for meat-free Monday.
Goat cheese and pesto spaghetti
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
- 1 packet pine nuts
- 1 packet spaghetti pasta
- ½ lemon
- 1 bag baby spinach leaves
- 1 tub traditional pesto
- 1 packet goat cheese
- 1tbso olive oil
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
- Place the cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and olive oil on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Toss to combine and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast on the top rack for 15-20 minutes, or until blistered. In the last 4-5 minutes of cook time, add the pine nuts to the side of the oven tray to toast.
- Add the spaghetti to the saucepan of boiling water and cook for 8 minutes, or until 'al dente', stirring occasionally to ensure the pasta doesn't stick. Drain, return to the saucepan and add a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Using your fingers, tear the goat cheese into small chunks. Once the spaghetti is back in the saucepan, add the traditional pesto and torn goat cheese and toss to combine. Add the baby spinach leaves to the spaghetti and toss until slightly wilted. Season with a good grind of pepper.
- Add the pine nuts and roasted cherry tomatoes (and any tray juices) to the spaghetti. Gently toss to combine. Add a small squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. TIP: Seasoning is key in this dish, so taste and add a little more lemon juice, salt or pepper if you like.
Halloumi and dukkah couscous with roasted veggies and lemon yoghurt drizzle
- 1 beetroot
- ½ red onion
- 1 packet peeled and chopped pmkin
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ sachet vegetable stock
- 1 packet couscous
- 1 packet currants
- 1 block halloumi
- ½ lemon
- 1 container Greek yoghurt
- 1 packet walnuts
- 1 sachet dukkah
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup water
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Cut the beetroot (unpeeled) into 1cm cubes. Slice the red onion (see ingredients list) into 2cm wedges. Place the peeled and chopped pmkin, beetroot and onion on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer and roast until tender, 25-30 minutes.
- TIP: Beetroot retains a lot of its firmness when cooked. You can tell it's cooked when it can be easily pierced with a fork.
- While the veggies are roasting, finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). In a medium saucepan, add a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the water and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Add the couscous, currants and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir to combine, cover with a lid and remove from the heat. Set aside until all the water is absorbed, 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork.
- Cut the halloumi into 1cm slices (you should get 3 slices per person). Place the halloumi slices in a small bowl of cold water and set aside to soak for 5 minutes. Slice the lemon (see ingredients list) into wedges. In a second small bowl, add the Greek yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
- TIP: Soaking the halloumi helps mellow out the saltiness.
- Heat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and toast, tossing, until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Return the frying pan to a medium-high heat and add the dukkah. Toast, tossing occasionally, until golden and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Roughly chop the parsley leaves.
- When the veggies have 5 minutes cook time remaining, return the frying pan to a medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Pat the halloumi dry with a paper towel and add to the pan. Cook until golden brown, 2 minutes each side. Just before serving, stir the roasted veggies, parsley and toasted dukkah through the couscous.
- Divide the dukkah couscous between bowls. Top with the halloumi and toasted walnuts. Spoon over the lemon yoghurt and serve with any remaining lemon wedges.