This post goes out to all our friends who have ever had the worry of feeding us dinner at their place and never seem to believe me when I say salad or pasta is awesome!
So here’s our shortlist of super simple, super fucking delicious meals that we’d be stoked to devour at your next shindig, BBQ or fancy dinner party.
Pesto Pasta | Cheap, Quick, Easy & Make Ahead
This recipe is stupidly simple but amazingly delicious and is always a hit with meat-eaters too. My girlfriend makes this every single time I have dinner at hers and I’m yet to get sick of it. It’s the kind of thing you can throw anything into and the kids will smash it with pleasure. Just make sure you strip them off because pesto stains never come out!
What you’ll need:
- spiral pasta
- 90g basil pesto | home made or store bought, it really doesn’t matter but my fave is the Woolworths Basil Pesto.
- 200g danish feta cubed
- 1/2 red onion finely sliced
- raw corn kernels | run your knife down a corn cob to remove the kernels.
- green beans | cut in halves or thirds, lightly steamed.
Cook the pasta, stir in the whole jar of pesto, red onion, corn & beans while the pasta is still warm.
Let it cool before you stir through the feta.
Crunchy Garlic Roast Potatoes | Hearty, Filling, No Fuss
The thing about most vego’s is that they actually love the vegetables more than the meat these days. See, for most meat-eaters the vegetables are just the side dish to make the whole meal a little more balanced and in the case of a roast – they’re only there to soak up the gravy.
We still do roasts in our house on a Sunday evening and it’s still a treat without the side of meat so next time you want to invite us over for a roast – don’t stress, just make double the amount of veggies and we’ll skip the meat.
If you want to get a little fancy, you can make a side of Stuffing Balls to go with these Crunchy Garlic Roast Potatoes.
What you’ll need:
- enough peeled potatoes for you guests to pig out on | cut in halves, quarters or whole, there’s no wrong way here.
- Polenta | you can usually find this in the health food section of your supermarket
- smoked paprika
- minced garlic
Boil the potatoes until they’re slightly tender but not mush – remember we need to roast them still.
Drain them, chuck them in a heavy roasting pan, sprinkle over a good amount of the Polenta and minced garlic and a little smoked paprika.
Swish them around the pan the coat them evenly, drizzle them in a little olive oil and whack them in a hot oven until the outside is crunchy golden.
Vegetable & Chickpea Curry | Set & Forget
We freaking love curries in our house and will happily smash whatever curry you throw together for us. A really awesome and simple curry to whip up is a Massaman curry with potato, carrots, chickpeas and some peanuts for added crunch.
This is the kind of meal that you can cook 2 versions of easily – one with meat, one without.
Serve it with a side of turmeric basmati rice, some natural yogurt with mint stirred through and some crunch poppadoms and you’ve got an instant feast!
What you’ll need:
- Massaman Curry jar | follow the instructions on the jar
- coconut milk tins
- potato | cubed
- carrot | cubed
- green beans
- chickpeas | tinned, drained & rinses or cooked from dried
- peanuts roughly chopped
I follow the instructions on whatever jar I’ve got because they’re all slightly different and I treat the potato as the meat in the recipe. Everything else, I chuck in before I leave it all to simmer.
Fully Loaded Salad | Carby, Creamy Goodness
Fully Loaded Salad is basically a giant, kickass cunchy salad full of roast potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, onion and anything else you can find to throw in the roasting pan.
Fry up some big ass croutons in some garlic and herb oil, stack it all on top of a bed of fresh baby salad greens drizzle it all with a honey, dill and mayo dressing, plop a few poached eggs on top and watch it disappear before your eyes.
Nutmeat | Tastes better than it sounds
Yeah it sound pretty rank right? Let me assure you that this shit is the baws of meat subs. There’s so much you can do with it and there’s endless recipe ideas available on the net to get your inspired chef juices flowing.
The best way to use Nutmeat is to use a can opener on the bottom, use the ring pull on the top, run a knife around the edge and carefully push the loaf out of the tin in one piece.
Roast or Patties
Slice it and fry it in a pan or on the BBQ, or leave it whole, drizzle it with some BBQ sauce, sprinkle on some cheese and you’ve got a Nutmeat-meat-loaf-not-meat-thingo. Or to get a little fancy, coat it in a heavy layer of garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and roast is that way for a fragrant crunchy outer layer.
This shit is so crazy weird you can actually grate it to use as a meat sub in pasta dishes, lasagna, sausage rolls, pies, tacos, burritos – you get the idea. Anywhere you’ve use mince, grate up some of this pea-nutty awesomeness and chuck it in instead.
For anything like a stir fry or stew, you can cut it up into decent sized chunks and fry it off to give it some crunch. It holds together in the pan surprisingly well for quick bursts of cooking. I personally haven’t tried a slow cook method with it yet so I’m not too sure how that would go.
Mushrooms are one of the most versatile vego faves and are almost always forgotten about.
Having a meat-loving BBQ?
Marinate some portabello’s in some butter, garlic and herbs and slap it on the grill (not touching the meat obvs).
Making beef or chicken burgers?
Use the above method on the stove top or oven, or get fancy as shit with your food processor, blitz up some little buttons, mix it in with some stuffing mix, an egg, a splash of soy sauce and make them into burger patties.
If all else fails…
Generally I’m more than happy to bring my own food to your get-together. I love having the chance to share our diet with people who are usually pretty surprised at how good food can taste when it’s all just humble veggies.
And if you’re still struggling, skip the dinner part and invite us over for drinks. No one says no to drinks.