Despite the health benefits, meat's recent string of bad press and vegetarianism's budget busting qualities, 70 per cent of us still reckon we could never be veggie because we'd miss eating meat.
To convince us otherwise, the Vegetarian Society has launched its members' favourite recipes to prove that veggie food can be just as tasty as its meaty counterpart. Try going veggie for the day with this tasty pie:
Gail’s Butter Bean Pie
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour
Can be vegan*
1 medium sized onion
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
Decent squirt of tomato puree
1 medium sized can of butter beans
Black pepper, to taste
110g vegetarian medium cheddar cheese*
225g cottage cheese*
1 large egg*
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Chop up the onion and garlic, then sauté in a large pan with a little oil for 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato puree and simmer over a medium heat until the onion is cooked thoroughly.
3. Drain the butter beans, reserving liquid, and add to the tomato mix. Season to taste. Add a little of the reserved butter bean liquid if the mixture appears too dry.
4. Transfer this mixture to an ovenproof dish which can hold about a litre.
5. To prepare the topping*, grate the cheese, place in a mixing bowl, add the cottage cheese and mix in the beaten egg.
6. Carefully spread the topping over the butter bean mixture, place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the topping is set and golden brown.
Serve with crusty French bread or garlic bread and a green vegetable or salad.
*Can be vegan if the topping is changed to either mashed potato with a melting vegan cheese topping or, Gail’s favourite, which is 100g crushed tortilla crisps mixed with grated vegan cheese.
This recipe was created by Gail Crawford from Taunton for the Vegetarian Society’s ‘Surprisingly simple’ member recipe competition, part of National Vegetarian Week 2013.