Ray's three-course vegetarian dinner
Ray has no axe to grind with regard to vegetarian food and he serves up this flavourful, three-course meatless meal
I am not a vegetarian but I like vegetarian food. Apart from tasting great, I like the lightness of meatless food. I am more of what American food commentator, Michael Pollan would call a “flexitarian”. I like meat but I don’t go looking for it. And a diet light on meat is a good for you.
Apart from that I have no axe to grind with regard to vegetarian food. Like all food, I like it. The best vegetarian food is that where the dish is so good that meat is irrelevant. I don’t try and make things taste like meat. When I want meat that is what I cook but I would rather eat a tried and true traditional vegetarian dish than any amount of fake meat or vegetarian dishes that are not somehow drawing inspiration from traditional cuisines.
Like a lot of food, vegetarian food isn’t about being inferior or superior to meat meals, (unless you have ethical, environmental or economic views about vegetarianism) to the un-doctrinaire it is just about being a different sort of food to enjoy.
The thing about vegetable consumption for humans is that we are supposed to eat plenty of them so dishes rich in vegetables are obviously an efficient way to do this, rather than preparing meals that have many vegetable side dishes.
How my mother coped with serving meals night after night that were a meat dish and several vegetable dishes and having them all hit the table at the same time fills me with admiration. No wonder the veges were a bit overcooked now and again. With Michael Pollan’s other mantra in mind, “eat real food, not too much, mostly plants”, enjoy the following.
This is a thick hearty soup which is a bit like an Indian flavoured risotto. It will also do duty as a lunch dish with a salad. If you have some leftover rice use it instead of cooking it fresh. You would need ¾ of a cup of cooked rice. This soup will thicken as it sits. I like it both thick or thinner but if you want it thinner add the rice to it just before serving. Get the recipe
The fried kasha topping gives an appetising crunch and toasted flavour to the dish. Get the recipe