It's National Vegetarian Week - will you take the challenge?

It's National Vegetarian Week  and a theme that's close to my heart. I turned veggie many years ago - in fact when I was 15 - much to the horror of my dad. A farmer! Many years seeing the lambs and pigs heading off to market and then staring down at my bacon sandwich or lamp chop did it for me. My dad however simply said I was too lazy to chew!!! But he came round eventually and even asked for second helpings of a veggie shepherds pie...

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How times have changed since I first stated my intention to go meat and fish free. The range of food you can now get is amazing and Meat Free Mondays and Meat Free May are a great idea. Obviously its a personal choice but I bet even those of you who love your meat can find a veggie recipe on Love Food Hate Waste to suit.

Here are my top 5 new favourites:

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Potato Casserole - I'm just using up the last of my very sprouty potatoes from last years allotment harvest and this dish is perfect for using them up. Cheap and easy - add fresh herbs or spices to customise the recipe, or stir in extra leftover cooked vegetables to ring the changes.

Beetroot and cumin dip - as I stare at the tiny beetroot seedlings in my garden I'm willing them on so that i can make this really tasty starter

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad - a delicious salad combination that is easily adaptable to suit whatever is in the fridge!

Tray Bake Vegetable Pizza - You can make the most of a host of leftover ingredients in your fridge to top this easy but delicious pizza. From peppers to tomatoes and ham to cheese, you can really make this dish your own to suit the tastes of you and your family. And its quick!

and finally Baked Vegetable Biriyani - This one pot rice dish is a great way to use frozen or leftover vegetables. You can almost use any combination of vegetables and if you like your curry really hot, just add a little more spice. It's a life saver mid-week when I just get my frozen rice and veg out of the freezer and a quick easy dish arrives that suits anyone and everyone.

I'm currently making an attempt to go vegan but it's not working very well. If there was a day of the week starting with a 'C' I'd go for a 'cheese free XXXday'. Instead I just try and make sure my lunches are vegan as it's a start. That really would have horrified my dad...

Give meat-free a go this week...what have you got to lose?

Read the original article here.

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