Once-a-week vegetarians

I’m back in the lowveld and it’s a typical day here: cold morning warming up to a hot afternoon, monkeys trying to get into the kitchen, guests showing us their game drive photos on ipads, and another handful of people who’ve decided that for the next few days, they’d also like to have the vegetarian food. Sounds odd, but according to many such guests, they’re usually craving lots of fresh, light meals after having travelled for days eating the usual roadtrip-type foods.

It’s very rare that they leave at the end of their stay as die-hard vegetarians, but more often than not they’re surprised by how satisfying and flavourful the food can be. With Meat Free Mondays gathering more and more followers as well, the range and ease of access to delicious and well-balanced vegetarian dishes are sky-rocketing.

So why not test your culinary skill and try at least one vegetarian meal a week? It’s healthy, usually quick to prepare and easier on the pocket. Best of all, it can’t really be messed up – unlike meat dishes where under- or over-cooking is something that stresses people out. It also inspires creativity – just this morning, using only beans, red onion, cashew nuts, oreganum and chilli flakes, the chef here made the most delicious meat-free hot breakfast option that went down a like a house on fire. It just goes to show, you might love something you just haven’t thought to try yet. So give vegetarian food a go this coming week and share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s a recipe that everyone asks for just to get you started:

Chickpea, brinjal and mushroom tagine – serves about 4

1 T olive oil
2 tsp crushed garlic
2 small onions, chopped
1 T cumin powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T ground coriander
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 tin tomatoes
2 medium brinjals, roughly chopped
1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
200g white button mushrooms, halved
1 cup water or prepared vegetable stock
3 T fresh coriander
Salt and pepper, one pinch of each
50 grams flaked or slivered almonds


Heat the oil in a large pot and sauté the onions until soft
Add the garlic and spices and stir for 2 minutes
Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes
Add the rest of the ingredients
Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes
Sprinkle with almonds and serve

Alternatively, swing by KAUAI for one of their many vegetarian menu options, such as a Hummus Sandwich, Mexican Burrito with veg patty, Moroccan Wrap with Fry’s veg strips or a Superfood Salad.


Image sourced from Pinterest

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