Tag Archive for: The Part-Time Vegetarian

The #midweekmeal veggie burger recipe you’ve been after! Taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes, this plant-based burger takes less than 45 minutes to prep and cook, it’s full of flavour and a firm family favourite. Read on for the full recipe!

Taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes

Serves: 4
Preparation time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

90g/31⁄4oz/generous 1⁄2 cup red quinoa
400g/14oz can borlotti beans, drained
2 spring onions/scallions, finely chopped
5 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1⁄2 red pepper, deseeded and diced
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp dried oregano flour, for dusting
sunflower oil, for frying
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
rocket/arugula, watercress and spinach
salad, to serve

To finish
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
3 tbsp mayonnaise
4 ciabatta rolls or sesame seed buns,
split in half and lightly toasted
3 tomatoes, sliced into rounds
2 handfuls of salad leaves
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

Put the quinoa in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes, covered, until very tender (it should be softer in texture than normal), then drain.
Meanwhile, mix together the sweet chilli sauce and mayonnaise.
Tip the cooked quinoa into a food processor with the borlotti beans and process to a coarse paste, leaving some of the beans almost whole. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and stir in the spring onions/scallions, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper, smoked paprika, soy sauce and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Quarter the mixture and shape each portion into a large burger with floured hands, then lightly dust each burger in flour. Heat enough oil to coat the base of a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the burgers for 6–8 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp. (Alternatively, brush with oil and cook on a baking sheet in the oven preheated to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 25 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp.)
To serve, spread each half of the toasted ciabatta rolls with the sweet chilli mayonnaise. Top one half of each roll with the tomato, salad leaves, burger and avocado and then the ciabatta lid. Serve with salad.

Happy cooking! Don’t forget to tag @NourishBooks when you post your creations online.

Who knew #Veganuary and #TacoTuesdays were so meant to be! This recipe was taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes.

Crisp, golden, batter-coated tofu, a summery pea crema and a zingy salsa with a corn tortilla – what’s not to like? If you’re using fresh peas, don’t forget to save the pea pods; they make a flavoursome light vegetable stock.

Taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year


Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes


165g/5¾oz/scant 1¼ cups plain/all-purpose flour
2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
300ml/10½fl oz/1¼ cups light ale
4 tsp chipotle powder
4 tsp ground cumin
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
550g/1lb 4oz block of firm tofu, drained cut into 2cm/¾in wide x 1cm/½in thick fingers
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large avocado, stone removed and flesh scooped out
55g/2oz/⅓ cup cooked peas
4 tbsp crème fraîche
1 large garlic clove, peeled
juice of 1 lime
1 green jalapeño chilli, deseeded and chopped

4 vine tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 handful of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, chopped
½ small red onion, diced
1 green jalapeño chilli, deseeded and chopped
juice of ½ lime

8 corn tacos
2 Little Gem/Bibb lettuces, shredded
chilli sauce (optional)


To make the batter, sift the flour and cornflour/cornstarch into a large mixing bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Make a well in the middle and gradually whisk in the ale to make a smooth, fairly thick batter. Set aside to rest. Mix together the chipotle powder and cumin on a plate.

Blend together all the ingredients for the pea crema in a blender or mini food processor (or mash with a fork if you like a chunky mix), then season. Taste and add more lime, if needed.

Mix together all the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl, then season.

Place the tacos on a baking sheet and warm in the oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

To prepare the tofu, heat enough oil to half-fill a deep heavy saucepan to 176°C/350°F (or until a cube of bread turns golden and crisp in 40 seconds). Pat dry the tofu slices with paper towels, making sure you get rid of as  much moisture as possible, then dust in the chipotle mix until coated all over. Dunk the tofu, one slice at a time, into the batter until well coated, then lower it into the hot oil. Cook 3 slices of tofu at a time for 11/2–2 minutes until light golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat until you have cooked all the tofu.

To assemble, place some lettuce in a taco shell, top with 2–3 slices of tofu and a good spoonful of the salsa, followed by the pea crema. Finish with a dash of chilli sauce, if you like, and serve with extra wedges of lime on the side.

#Veganuary2021 is going strong with this glorious recipe! Nicola does offer a part-time variation to mix things up – swap out the tofu for white fish fillets! Cut them into bite-sized chunks, coat in the spiced flour and batter, then deep fry until crispy and golden brown. Delicious!

Light, bright and nourishing! This wholesome recipe was taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes, we’re sharing it as part of #VegetarianAwarenessMonth this October!

The broth is loaded with healthy and hearty ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and chilli, and plenty of seasonal veg. To give the broth extra flavour-infusing time, you could make it up to 2 days in advance, then leave to cool and store, covered, in the fridge – although this isn’t essential!

Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes,
plus standing time
Cooking time: 35 minutes


875ml/30fl oz/generous 3 and 3/4 cups good-quality hot vegetable stock

7cm/3in piece of fresh root ginger, sliced into thin rounds

6 kaffir lime leaves

2 large lemongrass stalks, crushed slightly with the blade of a knife

1 and a 1⁄2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 bird’s-eye chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced

250g/9oz flat udon or soba noodles

350g/12oz asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed

sesame oil, for brushing

400g/14oz can coconut milk

1 tsp ground turmeric

4 large handfuls of baby spinach

juice of 1 large lime

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

2 spring onions/scallions, thinly sliced diagonally

1 handful of coriander/cilantro leaves

1 tsp black sesame seeds


  1. Put the stock, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, soy sauce and half of the chilli in a large saucepan and bring almost to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes to infuse the stock with the flavourings. (This can be done in advance and the broth left to infuse until ready to serve. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)
  2. Cook the noodles following the package directions, then refresh in cold water and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, brush the asparagus with sesame oil. Heat a griddle/grill pan over a high heat and chargrill the asparagus for 8–10 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred in places and tender. You may need to cook the asparagus in batches. Set aside.
  4. While the asparagus are chargrilling, strain the broth, then return it to the pan with the coconut milk and turmeric. Reheat the broth, then add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes or until tender. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. To serve, divide the noodles evenly between 4 large shallow bowls. Ladle over the coconut broth and top with the asparagus, the remaining sliced chilli, spring onions/scallions, coriander/cilantro and sesame seeds.

Part-Time Variation!

Rejuvenating chicken or beef broth: Replace the vegetable stock with chicken stock, made from the bones of a roasted chicken, or a beef bone broth.

The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes is available to buy NOW!

How things have moved on since my original The Part-Time Vegetarian was published five or so years ago. The culinary climate has definitely changed for the better, with more of us choosing to eat plant-based meals on a regular basis. And to prove the point, research figures show that, impressively, one in three in the UK have cut down on the amount of meat they eat, with 60 per cent of vegans and 40 per cent of vegetarians having adopted their dietary preference over the last 5 years.

While the health benefits of a plant-based diet – the reduced risk of major chronic diseases, obesity and diabetes – are well documented, it has been the growing concerns over the environmental impact of intensive animal farming that has spurred much of the move towards flexitarianism, vegetarianism and veganism over the past few years. Recent research has revealed the hefty footprint of intensively reared meat, with the conclusion that the single most effective way to reduce our environmental impact is a global shift towards a flexitarian diet that contains only small amounts of ethically reared, good-quality meat and dairy, eaten once or twice a week with a plant-based diet being predominant.

For me, one of the most exciting aspects of the shift towards flexitarianism is how inspiring and creative plant-based cooking has become. Nowadays, no chef worth their salt would forget to include a vegetarian or vegan dish on their restaurant menu. What’s more, many openly relish the exciting culinary possibilities of plant-based cooking.

As a family, we have become more mindful of what and how we eat over the years. Like many families, our eating preferences vary and I’m constantly on the look-out for meals that both meet our differing tastes and that can be adapted if need be. Whether we eat meat just once a week; just at weekends; as part of an extended family get together; for a dinner party; or not at all, I’ve found that flexitarianism is a way of eating that can be moulded to suit our individual needs.

I’m hoping that this sense of versatility, adaptability and variety shines brightly in the recipes in this book. Importantly, vegetables always take centre stage with a focus on what’s in season. Where meat (or seafood) are included they are in cost-, eco- and health-conscious small amounts and treated as a garnish, side, topping or second to the plant-based components of the meals. At the heart of this book is the growing relevance of a mindful connection with what and how we eat.

HH Part time Veg Day 5 Osomiyaki5866

Extract from The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes

Sometimes referred to as ‘Japanese pizza’, the name okonomiyaki actually means ‘grilled/broiled as you like it’, which goes to explain the many regional styles as well as personal variations there are of this dish. Just to confuse matters, okonomiyaki  is probably more accurately described as a cross between a thick omelette and a pancake. This interpretation is based on the Osaka-style,  where all the ingredients are mixed together before cooking. Try the veggie version, or add meat or fish for non-veggie guests or family.

Serves:  2–4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

150g/5½oz white cabbage, finely shredded
6 spring onions/scallions, thinly sliced
50g/1¾oz kohlrabi or turnip, peeled and coarsely grated
110g/3¾oz/scant 1 cup plain/
all-purpose flour
½ tsp sea salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1½ tbsp sunflower oil

mayonnaise in a squeezy bottle, for drizzling
1 handful of radishes, sliced
1 handful of wild garlic leaves (and flowers) or chives, chopped
1 tbsp pink pickled ginger
1 tsp nori flakes


  • Put the cabbage, spring onions/scallions and kohlrabi
    in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and salt and stir well until thoroughly combined.
  • Mix the eggs with 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup water. Pour it into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and stir gently but thoroughly until combined. Try to keep the stirring brief as you don’t want to activate the gluten in the flour as this will produce a heavy pancake.
  • Heat half the oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and tilt the pan so it coats the base. Tip the contents of the bowl into the pan and flatten with a spatula into a thick, round pancake shape, as even as you can get it. Turn the heat down slightly as you don’t want the base to burn and cook for 5–6 minutes until light golden.
  • Turn the pancake over (the easiest way to do this is to place a large plate on top of the pan and carefully turn it over to release the pancake). At this point, add the remaining oil to the pan before sliding the okonomiyaki back into the pan. Press down with a spatula and cook for another 5–6 minutes until light golden.
  • Slide the okonomiyaki onto a chopping board. Drizzle the mayonnaise in lines over the top and pile the radishes, wild garlic, pickled ginger and nori in the middle. Serve cut into wedges.

Part-Time Variations:

There are so many variations on toppings and fillings, so feel free to pick your own or try these suggestions:

Bonito okonomiyaki
Bonito flakes (paper-thin slices of dried fish similar to tuna) are typical. Sprinkle 2 tbsp bonito flakes over the top instead of the radishes.

Bacon okonomiyaki
Put 200/7oz diced bacon in the dry frying pan and place over a medium-low heat. When the fat starts to run, turn the heat to medium and fry the lardons for 5 minutes until golden and crisp. Stir half into the batter mixture and scatter the remainder over the top. There is no need to clean the pan before adding the okonomiyaki mixture, although you may like to reduce the amount of oil to 1 tablespoon.

Smoked salmon okonomiyaki
Stir 100g/3½oz smoked salmon pieces into the batter mixture and top with Japanese pickles.


Nicola Graimes
The Part-Time Vegetarian
Available from September 2015
Pre-order the book on Amazon


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If you are planning a picnic with your family or friends and looking for the perfect dish, this delicious and refreshing salad makes the perfect dish to share.

Black rice, peanut, tofu and mango salad

Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

HH Part time Veg Day 5 Black Rice Tofu Mango Salad087

Ingredients: 175g/6oz/heaped ¾ cup black rice, rinsed; 55g/2oz/heaped ¹⁄³ cup unsalted peanuts; coconut oil, or cold-pressed rapeseed/ canola oil, for frying; 400g/14oz block of tofu, drained well on paper towels and cubed; 1 small red onion, diced; 3 spring onions/scallions, thinly sliced diagonally; 1 large red chilli, deseeded and thinly

sliced; 85g/3oz/scant 1 cup mangetout/snow peas, thinly sliced diagonally; ½ cucumber, quartered, deseeded
and diced; 1 large handful of chopped coriander/ cilantro leaves; 1 handful of chopped mint leaves; 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and flesh cubed

The contrast of black rice, orange mango, green herbs and red chilli makes a visually stunning dish, but the variation in textures – crisp, crunchy and soft – as well as flavours – hot, sweet and sour – also add to the overall appeal of this Asian salad. If you can’t find black rice, you could use brown basmati, Camargue red rice or perhaps bulgur wheat instead – ideally you want a grain that holds its shaped when cooked.


  • Put the rice in a saucepan and cover generously with cold water. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 25–30 minutes until tender. Drain and tip the rice into a large serving bowl.
  • Meanwhile, toast the peanuts in a large dry frying pan for 5 minutes, tossing the pan occasionally until they start to colour and smell toasted. Tip onto a plate and leave to cool, then chop roughly.
  • Heat enough oil to generously cover the base of a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the tofu in three batches for 5 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp, adding more oil when needed. Drain on paper towels.
  • Add the red onion, spring onions/scallions, half the chilli, the mangetout/snow peas, cucumber, half the herbs and three-quarters of the mango to the cooked rice. Pour the dressing over, then turn gently until everything is combined.
  • Spoon the dressed black rice salad onto four serving plates and top with the crisp tofu, the remaining mango, herbs and finally the peanuts.

Part-Time Variation
For an alternative to the tofu, mix together 2 tsp Thai seven-spice with 2 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed/canola oil or melted coconut oil in a large shallow dish, then season with salt and pepper. Slice 400g/14oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts into strips and add to the dish. Turn the chicken in the marinade and leave to marinate for 30 minutes, if time allows.
Heat a large wok over a medium-high heat and tip in the chicken and its marinade. Stir-fry for 5–7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and golden. Serve the chicken in place of the tofu.


Nicola Graimes
The Part-Time Vegetarian
Available from September 2015
Pre-order the book on Amazon





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feat image

by Nicola Graimes

For me, there has been an exciting shift in enthusiasm for meat-free cooking over the last few years. There’s now a significant number of us who choose to eat a predominantly plant-based diet, so the recipes in my new book have been created to satisfy this growing trend for part-time vegetarianism. Yet, unlike other books on the market it shows how some of the recipes can be adapted to include meat and fish, if you like.

So the Part-time Vegetarian is a book for those who love vegetarian food, but who may not wish to commit to a fully meat-free diet and are looking for adaptable recipes. It’s also a way I like to eat – so my meals are principally plant-based, but I occasionally include meat and fish in my diet, although the ratio on my plate is always biased towards plant-based ingredients.

The beauty of part-time vegetarianism, or flexitarianism as it is often called, is that there are no hard and fast rules. It’s a way of eating that suits everyone and can be as flexible and variable as you like. It also can vary from day-to-day, week-to-week depending on personal choice and circumstances. Ideally, the only criteria is that plant-based foods form the foundation of whatever meal you’re eating.

The 120 vegetarian recipes in the book are also for those who have a vegetarian in the family and want fresh ideas, but are maybe also looking for recipes that can be easily adapted to suit all dietary preferences at home without having to cook two meals. Likewise, there are recipes for special occasions or dinner-parties when there’s a vegetarian guest and the host is looking for a meal that will satisfy all tastes. So most importantly, the book appreciates and celebrates the diversity of a flexitarian way of eating.

This recipe for Vietnamese Crispy Tofu and Cashew Salad makes a great weekday summer meal but if you choose it can be adapted to include chicken and peanuts instead.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes
Ingredients: 125g/4½oz rice vermicelli noodles; 1 recipe quantity Vietnamese Ginger; Chilli Dressing; 2 carrots, halved crossways and thinly sliced into strips; 1 small cucumber, quartered lengthways, deseeded, and thinly
sliced into strips; 2 handfuls of shredded red cabbage; 1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced; 3 spring onions/scallions, thinly sliced; 2 handfuls of chopped mint leaves; 2 handfuls of torn basil leaves 250g/9oz crisp fried tofu pieces, halved if large; 1 Little Gem/Bibb lettuce, leaves separated; 70g/2½oz/heaped ½ cup salted
roasted cashew nuts.

HH Part time Veg Day 5 Vietnamese Tofu and cashew 019

Vietnamese Crispy Tofu and Cashew Salad

Sweet, sour, hot, spicy and salty, this vibrant salad includes all five elements that are fundamental to Vietnamese cooking. Vital, too, is the contrast in textures, from the crunch of the cashews to the crisp vegetables and soft, yielding rice noodles. Find crisp fried tofu in Asian grocers or cook
your own following the instructions below. Alternatively, try the soy-glazed chicken option,
opposite, if you are serving to non-vegetarians.

  • Put the noodles in a large mixing bowl, cover with justboiled
    water from a kettle and stir, then cover with a plate
    and leave to stand for 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain and
    refresh under cold running water, drain again and put in a
    large serving bowl. Spoon the dressing over and toss until
    thoroughly combined.
  • Add the carrots, cucumber, cabbage, pepper, spring
    onions/scallions and half the herbs to the bowl containing
    the noodles and toss until combined.
  • Heat a large dry, non-stick frying pan over a medium
    heat and cook the tofu for 2–4 minutes, turning regularly,
    until warmed through and crisped up. (If you can’t find
    crisp fried tofu, fry 250g/9oz cubed tofu in 3 tablespoons
    sunflower oil, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp.
    Drain on paper towels.)
  • Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large serving plate
    and top with the noodle salad, remaining herbs, cashews
    and crisp tofu before serving.



Nicola Graimes
The Part-Time Vegetarian
Available from September 2015





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