When it comes to being a meat eater or a vegetarian, there’s a lot of people who come down firmly on one side or the other. Countless evenings have been spent with carnivores trying to tempt veggies over to the dark side and vegetarians keen to convince bacon lovers to give it all up.
Now, in honour of National Vegetarian Week, which runs from May 13th to 19th, we are pitching the ultimate battle. Which dishes would you roll out to represent the creme de la creme of your side’s cuisine? It’s OptiGrills and Veggie Pans at dawn!
The opponents shake hands…
A glancing blow from the carnivores
Chicken tikka masala is the stuff that Friday night dreams are made of and is widely recognised as one of Britain’s favourite dishes. The meat eaters firmly believe that if there’s anything to convince vegetarians on the error of their ways then it’s a bowl of delicious succulent chicken surrounded by creamy, tomatoey sauce. Try I Am A Food Blog’s seven-ingredient recipe for an easy and effective version of the classic.
The vegetarians go below the belt
Hitting the ring with something you wouldn’t expect, the veggies enter the fight with vegan fried “chicken”. That’s right, they’re not messing about! Anyone who wonders if they could live without meat may well be convinced by the texture and flavour of this ultimate party food. Check out The Spruce Eats’ version and remember that one cup is equal to 128 grams for the dry ingredients and half a cup of water is 170 grams.
The carnivores respond with a cross
Despite this surprise blow, the meat eaters are just getting warmed up and respond with chilli con carne. It’s hearty, spicy and full of flavour, can be made in advance and is generally a crowd pleasure on a cold winter’s evening or a warm, impromptu party on the patio. To get it really right, follow Swankfood’s recipe, which has extra richness with beef shin, bacon and chocolate among its ingredients. It might take eight hours to cook, but those will be eight hours well spent.
It’s a hook from the vegetarians
When it comes to robust vegetables to help you forget the meat, it doesn’t get much better than butternut squash. Team it with sage in a risotto and you’ve got a winning combo, just like A Cupful of Kale. Rice is great for filling you up and won’t leave anyone at the table saying they’re still hungry, proving you can be well-fed without having any meat on your plate.
Now the carnivores deliver a jab
Sticking with the rice theme, the meat eaters decide to counteract with that Southern favourite, jambalaya. Packed with flavour and using chicken, chorizo and prawns, the carnivores think they’ve got the vegetarians on the ropes with this well-balanced dish from The Sanctuary Kitchen.
A carefully timed uppercut comes from the vegetarians
The veggies know you can get a whole lot of flavour into a lasagne without the meat. They hit back at the carnivores with this decadent blow from The Last Food Blog, which doesn’t skimp on tasty ingredients like red wine and Dijon mustard to ramp up the richness in both the tomato sauce and the bechamel. All that crispy melted cheese on the top is also hard to resist.
… the bell rings and it’s all over.
Which dishes would you roll out to convince your friends that your style of eating is the best? We’d love to hear about your heavyweight dishes.