Main meal dishes which do not include meat can certainly be just as nutritious as those which do, and are often much cheaper. There are many different types of beans, other pulses and nuts which can be used.

If you find a recipe that you like, most of the pulses can be exchanged for others, so that, for instance, lentils can be replaced by split-peas, black-eyed beans etc. to provide more variety.

Different types of beans

Aduki, black-eyed beans, butter beans, chick peas, field beans, haricot beans, lentils, mung beans, dried peas, pinto (borlotti) beans, red kidney beans and soya beans.

Scotch Eggs

scotch eggs



  • 6oz continental lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 4oz walnuts, ground
  • 4oz wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 egg for binding
  • Flour for coating
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 eggs beaten with 2 tbsp cold water


  1. Soak lentils, then rinse them and place in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover
  2. Simmer for about 40 minutes and drain off any liquid
  3. Fry onion and garlic in oil for 10 minutes until lightly browned
  4. Remove from heat and add lentils, walnuts, breadcrumbs, tomato puree, parsley, egg and thyme
  5. Mix and season, leave to cool
  6. Dip hard-boiled eggs in flour, then in beaten egg and press some of the lentil mixture around them
  7. Dip the covered egg in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumbs.







  • 4oz chick peas, soaked overnight
  • 4oz cooking liquid from chick peas
  • 4tbsp tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Drain chick peas and place in a pan covered with water
  2. Cook for about 2 hours until soft
  3. Drain and reserve 4oz of the cooking liquid
  4. Blender method – Place chick peas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and reserved liquid in a blender and blend until soft and creamy
  5. Season to taste
  6. Without Blender – Mince chick peas and add remaining ingredients and beat well
  7. Check seasoning
  8. serve with biscuits, toast or as a sandwich filling



Vegetable Lasagne

vegetable lasagne


  • 8oz carrots, sliced
  • 1lb leeks, trimmed
  • 4oz dried lasagne
  • 4 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 8oz frozen broad beans


  • 1 1/2 oz polyunsaturated margarine
  • 1/2 pint vegetable stock
  • 12oz mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 11oz white flour
  • 1/2 pint skimmed milk
  • 4oz low fat cheddar-type cheese
  • 12oz can sweetcorn, drained


  1. Set oven to 400 digs Fahrenheit, 200 digs Celsius, Gas Mark 6
  2. Place carrots, celery, leeks and broad beans in a large pan and cover with boiling water
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are tender
  4. Drain off water, reserving 1/2 pint for sauce
  5. Melt margarine in pan, stir in flour
  6. Cook gently for 1 minute
  7. gradually add milk and vegetable stock, stirring continuously until sauce comes to the boil and thickens
  8. Stir in cheese, cooked vegetables, mushrooms and sweetcorn
  9. Cook lasagne according to the pack
  10. Drain and refresh in cold water to prevent over-cookin
  11. Leave in shallow ovenproof dish, alternating with the vegetable sauce]Finish with sauce and bake in centre of oven for 30 mins.

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