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Chris baber’s veggie recipes

Filled with veggie goodness and fresh flavour, these vegetarian recipe ideas by chef Chris Baber will be a hit with all the family
Za’atar roast cauliflower with herby couscous salad

Za’atar roast cauliflower with herby couscous salad

“Middle Eastern flavours take centre stage in this quick veggie recipe – I’ve paired tender roasted cauliflower with a fluffy couscous salad and added some aromatic za’atar seasoning”
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"This is a great vegetarian dinner to brighten the darker evenings at this time of year. Made with cauliflower grown on the fertile soils of Lincolnshire by M&S Select Farmer George Read, herby couscous salad and a dash of M&S tamarind and chilli ketchup, it’s packed full of colour and flavour”

Serves 4
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

    • 1 cauliflower, cut into large florets
    • 3 tbsp M&S za’atar seasoning
    • 1 jar (280g) M&S roasted peppers
    • ½ vegetable stock cube
    • 500g couscous
    • 1 lemon, zest and juice
    • 1 red onion, finely sliced
    • 1 tin (400g) chickpeas, drained
    • 25g fresh parsley, roughly chopped
    • 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
    • 2 tbsp M&S tamarind and chilli ketchup
    1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7.
    2. Put the cauliflower florets into a roasting tin, drizzle with oil and scatter with 1 tbsp za’atar seasoning. Mix, then add 100ml water to the tin.
    3. Bake for around 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until caramelised and tender.
    4. Remove the peppers from the jar, reserving the oil, and roughly chop.
    5. Mix half of the vegetable stock cube with 450ml boiling water.
    6. Put the couscous into a large mixing bowl. Add the peppers, lemon zest and red onion and mix everything together.
    7. Pour over the stock. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave for 8-10 minutes until the stock has been absorbed, then mix well with a fork.
    8. Add the chickpeas, the parsley and the juice of half the lemon along with 4 tbsp oil from the jar of peppers and stir.
    9. Divide the couscous mix between serving dishes and top with the roasted cauliflower. Scatter with the remaining za’atar seasoning and drizzle with the yogurt and the tamarind and chilli ketchup.
Ultimate Mexican bean tacos

Ultimate Mexican bean tacos

“Tacos are the perfect Friday-night family meal – my veggie version stars hearty sweet potato strips and kidney beans, with red salsa and chimichurri adding a spicy kick”
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“I’ve always loved making tacos, and this recipe is one of my favourite ways to enjoy them. Sweet potatoes, kidney beans and avocado are brought together by M&S red salsa and chimichurri, which add a lovely hit of Mexican spice. It’s all perfectly finished with a sprinkling of mature cheddar – yum!”

Serves 4
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

    • 3 sweet potatoes, sliced into strips
    • 1 onion, roughly chopped
    • 2 tins (400g each) red kidney beans, drained
    • 3 tbsp M&S red salsa
    • 15g fresh coriander
    • 1 lime, juice only
    • 1 pack (8) M&S soft tacos
    • 4 tbsp M&S chimichurri
    • 1 little gem lettuce, shredded
    • 1 avocado, smashed
    • 80g M&S lighter mature cheddar, grated
    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
    2. Place the sweet potato strips on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
    3. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over a medium-high heat and fry the onion for 2-3 minutes, until soft.
    4. Add the beans and stir fry for 1-2 minutes before adding the red salsa and 100ml water to the pan.
    5. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the coriander and the lime juice.
    6. Heat the tacos and spread each with ½ tbsp chimichurri, then layer the beans mixture, lettuce and avocado on top.
    7. Finish with the grated cheese and serve with the sweet potato fries.
Lentil and mushroom shepherd’s pie

Lentil and mushroom shepherd’s pie

“With an abundance of seasonal veg, this meat-free twist on a classic makes for a warming family meal in the winter”
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“For me, this really is the perfect vegetarian meal during the colder evenings of the year. It’s so nutritious and full of flavour – the hero ingredient is those delicious mushrooms, grown in Yorkshire by M&S Select Farmers”

Serves 4
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

    • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
    • 4 sprigs thyme
    • 2 onions, finely chopped
    • 2 carrots, finely chopped
    • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
    • 300g white mushrooms, finely sliced
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
    • 350ml vegetable stock
    • 1 tin (300g) green lentils, drained
    • 2 packs (450g) M&S mashed potato
    • 350g green beans
    1. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic, thyme, onion, carrot and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until the veg begins to soften.
    2. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes, then stir in the tomato purée and cook for another 30 seconds.
    3. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock and lentils. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low.
    4. Cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes, until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add a splash of water if the pan becomes too dry.
    5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/gas mark 4. Heat the mash according to the packet instructions.
    6. Transfer the lentil mix to an ovenproof dish (or keep in the pan if it’s ovenproof). Spread the mash evenly over the lentil mix, then fluff it up with a fork. Season with salt and pepper and cook in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until crispy.
    7. Divide between serving dishes and serve with a side of green beans.
Spicy Tenderstem® broccoli omelette

Spicy Tenderstem® broccoli omelette

“This Asian-inspired dish mixes vibrant, best-in-season Tenderstem® broccoli with our Korean-style paste and the magic ingredient: fresh, free-range eggs”
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    • 1 bunch spring onions
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced or crushed
    • 350g Tenderstem® broccoli
    • 1 jar (190g) M&S Korean BBQ paste
    • 250g microwave wholegrain rice, cooked as per pack instructions
    • Handful coriander, chopped
    • 6 free-range eggs, whisked
    • 4 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
    • 1 lime, zest and juice
    1. Finely slice the spring onions, reserving a handful of the green tops to garnish the finished dish.
    2. In a small frying pan, sauté the garlic and spring onions in 2 tbsp vegetable oil.
    3. While the onions are cooking, cut the tips of the Tenderstem® broccoli off and reserve. Slice the broccoli stalks and add them to the onion and garlic mix. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
    4. Add half of the Korean BBQ paste, the rice and half of the chopped coriander to the pan and mix thoroughly.
    5. Add the contents of the pan to the egg and mix well. Clean the pan and then add a little oil. Pour the egg mix back into the pan, cook for 3-4 minutes on a low heat, then carefully flip the omelette onto a plate and slide it back into the pan to finish cooking.
    6. Meanwhile, blanch or steam the broccoli tips for 2-3 minutes.
    7. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime zest, 1 tbsp lime juice, half the leftover coriander and 1 tbsp Korean BBQ paste.
    8. Turn the cooked omelette on to a plate and top with the warm broccoli tips, drizzle with the zesty mayo and garnish with the remaining fresh coriander and spring onion. Cut into slices and serve.
Roast squash and ricotta pasta with burrata

Roast squash and ricotta pasta with burrata

“You can’t beat comforting bowl of pasta, especially when it’s finished with creamy burrata – a real touch of M&S magic. This is one of my favorite veggie pasta dishes, the squash and ricotta work so well together, while the lemon and basil bring such a fragrant, fresh kick”
See the recipe

Serves 4
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

    • 2 packs (400g each) M&S butternut squash slices, diced into 2cm pieces
    • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
    • 400g farfalle pasta
    • 50g ricotta
    • 25g basil, roughly chopped
    • ½ lemon, zest and juice
    • 60g rocket
    • 40g M&S Italian burrata
    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.
    2. Place the squash and garlic onto a baking tray, season and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and toss together. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes until golden, turning after 15 minutes.
    3. With around 10 minutes of the squash’s cooking time remaining, cook the pasta according to the pack instructions in a large saucepan of salted water over a medium-high heat.
    4. Transfer ⅔ of the roasted squash into a mixing bowl and mash until smooth.
    5. Add the ricotta to the squash along with 1 tbsp olive oil, and mix evenly until combined.
    6. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, preserving some of the cooking water, and return to the pan. Add the ricotta mixture along with most of the basil and the lemon juice. Mix together, adding 1 tbsp of the pasta cooking water to loosen if needed.
    7. Divide between serving dishes. Top each portion with some of the remaining squash pieces, some rocket leaves, lemon zest and a torn piece of burrata.