Vegetarian recipes have never been so appealing, especially with the 'Meat-free Mondays' trend sweeping the nation. There is now an array of healthy meat alternatives that can ensure that even the most carnivorous of individuals are satisfied.In addition to the meat-free versions of our favourite chicken or burger treat, veggie lovers can use halloumi, falafel, paneer, tofu and seitan as part of their dinner. For an exotic vegetarian option, Arabian falafel is a great source of omega 3 and high in fibre and goes perfectly in wraps, salads, burgers and sandwiches. This excellent brain food is also known to promote healthy bones, thyroid function and is high in protein.
If a low sodium alternative is desired, cholesterol-free tofu makes for one of the most used meat-free ingredients on the market. The beancurd meat alternative is fantastic in soups, lasagne or a traditional Asian stir-fry. Lesser known ingredient, seitan, is made from wheat gluten and has been popular in Japan and China for centuries. Practically fat-free and conatining a whopping 26 grams of protein per four ounce serving, seitan is the superfood of meat-free alternatives as it also contains 20% of the recommended daily intake of iron. Brown and chewy in texture, seitan is the perfect ingredient for fajitas, chow mein or stews.Halloumi is a cheese known for its salty and meaty texture and is rich in protein and calcium. One of the most versatile vegetarian ingredients, it can be fried or grilled in burgers, tossed into salads and is perfect with pasta.Another member of the dairy family, paneer, is highly popular amongst the 40% vegetarian population of India. Ideal as an ingredient for a good curry or roasted on kebab-style skewers, paneer can even be used in desserts. As well as being a fantastic source of protein and calcium, paneer can help with stomach upsets and lower back and joint pain.