Now I’m sure at some stage many of you will have heard the term “Meat Free Mondays” before..but what the hell is it and why on earth would anyone want to eat vegetarian style once a week? Well firstly, it is highly recommended that everyone should try to have at least one meat free night a week..why? Because it’s an easy way to cut down on the “bad” saturated fats in our diet, as these fats are predominantly found in animal based products like meat!
It’s also good for the environment, as a vegetarian diet is very sustainable and cutting down on your meat consumption will help cut down on green house gases! double tick! The trick with vegetable based dishes is to make sure you include some protein based foods like legumes, nuts or in this case, textured vegetable protein (TVP) which is dehydrated soya protein that can be used like normal mince!
In keeping with the philosophy of “Meat Free Mondays” tonight I made a vegetarian friendly version of my san choy bow using some TVP instead of chicken/pork mince. And you know what..we honestly hardly noticed the difference! The TVP works really well with this dish, as it is very absorbent and takes on all the other strong flavours of the dish.
Low fat, high in protein, vegetarian friendly and packed full of veggies that provide loads of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, this dish is the perfect “Meat Free Monday” meal….and better still, the rest of the family won’t be any the wiser that there is not a skerric of meat on their plates!
What you need…(enough for 4 people)
1 cup TVP (dry)
1 cup chicken stock
1 large brown onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
1 large red chilli (chopped finely)
4 – 5 mushies (chopped)
1 large carrot (diced)
1 small tin water chestnuts
1/4 yellow capsicum (diced)
1/2 red capsicum (diced)
1/2 zucchini (diced)
handful of bean sprouts
handful of coriander (chopped)
1 tbs oyster sauce
tsp sesame oil
2 tsp salt reduced soy sauce or tamari
good sprinkle of sesame seeds
1 small cos lettuce
What to do…
Pour 1 cup of stock into a sauce pan and bring to the boil, (or you can just add 1 stock cube to 1cup of boiling water). Place your TVP in a large bowl and pour the stock over it and leave to absorb while you cut up your veggies!
Once you’ve chopped up all your veggies, heat some rice bran, peanut or canola oil in a large deep frypan or wok and then add your onion. Saute for a couple of minutes on medium heat, then add your garlic, eshallots, chilli and ginger, cooking for 1-2 mins.
Then add your mushies and saute for a couple of minutes before adding your sesame seeds, carrot, zucchini and capsicum. After a minute or so, add your TVP mince and stir through the veggies.
Now for the sauces! Add your oyster sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil and stir through until well combined. Finally add your bean sprouts and coriander and stir through. Before serving squeeze some fresh lime juice over the mince to give it a bit of zing! Serve with a plate of cos lettuce leaves and it’s time to dig in!