Top tips for meat-free cooking

Our expert offers up a few vegetarian alternatives

I’m trying to eat a primarily vegetarian diet. Do you have any tips for meat-free cooking?

– Melanie Rodgers, Dubai Marina

These days, it’s easy to eat well without meat – opt for interesting vegetables, protein such as tofu, eggs and cheese, and use herbs and spices for flavour and heat. Pulses are one of the best sources of protein (which can be lacking in a veggie diet); they are low in fat and calories and pack in a lot of fibre, amino acids, minerals and vitamins.

As well as quick and easy canned beans, Spinneys stocks plenty of dried pulses: the cannellini beans, chick peas, green and puy lentils pictured above are all fantastic storecupboard items, as are quinoa, pearl barley and couscous. When using dried pulses, you have to factor in soaking time – several hours, or ideally overnight.

If you’re short on time, though, canned pulses are brilliant and take on other flavours really well. Try the two types interchangeably in salads, curries, soups, pilafs, dals and casseroles, make hummus from chick peas or use cannellini beans for our Halloween crostini.

Guest Expert: Emily Shardlow-Price

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