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It’s never been easier to explore the wonderful world of veggie and vegan cuisine.

Eating a more vegetarian or vegan diet doesn’t have to be difficult! Whether you’d like to try a meat-free twist on your favourite recipe, discover new ingredients or see if you feel healthier by introducing more vegetables to your diet, we’ve got top tips on how to get started.

What are alternative proteins?

Protein is essential for a healthy diet, contributing to a growth in muscle mass. Although it’s most commonly found in meat, it’s also found in veggie foods like tofu, grains and pulses, beans, nuts and seeds, and eggs.  

Eating vegetarian sources of protein can often be a nutritious and affordable alternative. For instance, as well as containing protein, lentils are also a source of iron and low in saturated fat. Why not try them out in this super-speedy Spicy lentil salad with roasted asparagus, tomato & croutons which is ready in just half an hour?

Great veggie swap ideas

Eating more veggie food doesn’t have to mean learning lots of complicated new recipes. Swapping the meat in your go-to meals with a vegetarian alternative is an easy way to save a few pennies.

The next time you cook a stir-fry, why not try replacing the meat with aubergine, mushroom or even butternut squash? Their meaty texture makes them an ideal substitute, and it’s a delicious way to get closer to your five a day.

At breakfast, if you’re partial to a bacon sandwich, shake it up with a few slices of tasty halloumi instead, and top with grilled tomatoes and a fried egg if you’re feeling fancy.

For main meals, lentils make a notoriously good replacement for the mince in a spag bol, moussaka or chilli, while beans are the perfect substitute for meat in Mexican dishes like tacos and enchiladas.

Weeknight veggie recipes

Why not try a twist on your usual meals with one of these simple veggie recipes? Taking just 35 minutes or less, they’re perfect for a midweek dinner.  

  • This comforting lentil chilli is a source of protein, and is delicious served with a dollop of Greek or vegan yogurt alternative. Plus, it’s great reheated for lunch.
  • Stilton, spinach and walnuts help give this mushroom gnocchi plenty of flavour – and it’s ready in just 15 minutes!
  • Try something different with these vegan Thai-inspired tacos, packed with roasted veg and lots of zingy lime.
  • These veggie tagine pots with chick peas and tomatoes are a perfect way to cut food waste by using up leftover veg. Just scatter with parsley and serve.
  • Indian rice bowls with golden turmeric eggs is the perfect dish to brighten up your weeknight, and comes topped with crispy onions and flaky almonds.

Vegan treats for all the family

We’re proud to stock a wide range of delicious vegan alternatives, and in 2020 we launched our dedicated plant-based brand GRO — so now it’s even easier to pick up an indulgent vegan treat or two at our stores.

Did you know that our Co-op Jam Doughnuts & Co-op Custard Doughnuts are 100% vegan? They’re perfect with a cup of coffee as a mid-morning snack, while our Sweet & Salted Popcorn is just the thing for a film night at home, and still completely vegan. We also stock other delicious treats from vegan brands like this Northern Bloc Vegan Chocolate & Orange Blossom Ice Cream.

For a tasty breakfast, why not try a GRO Mango & Passion Fruit Bircher, or if you’re thinking ahead to an after-dinner dessert, our GRO 2 Chocolate Cupcakes and GRO Sticky Toffee Pudding are delicious and both completely vegan. Serve with some vegan cream alternative to make it extra-indulgent!

Kevin Sargent
Senior Product Developer

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Great ideas. I would never go completely vegetarian, but I could see limiting meat.


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