I am a committed omnivore – I will eat mostly everything, with the exception of ocra which I have hated since I was a child. I did flirt with vegetarianism in my college days, on and off for about 4 years. A lot, if not all, of the credit for this flirtation has to be given to my flatmate Ulla who was, and is, a proper vegetarian. These days I live with an unapologetic meat lover, so I generally try to eat meat-free lunches during the week. My husband is of the opinion that a meal without meat or fish is a side dish. And he doesn’t believe soup (vegetarian or not) is proper food at all. Sigh.
But he may end up being a minority. Research shows that over the past 25 years the number of vegetarians has doubled in the UK and it is predicted that as many as one in four Brits will be veggie in another 25 years time. Currently, more than half of the population are actively trying to reduce their meat intake for health, budgetary, as well as ethical reasons. It seems that Linda McCartney was well ahead of the game as the company she created is celebrating its 25 anniversary. Take a look at the video below created in celebration of this landmark (you might recognise a few famous faces…)
I must say that I don’t often rely on ready-made meals but I appreciated having Linda’s Vegetarian Pulled Pork-Style Burgers and Aromatic Thai Sweet Potato Vegcakes in the freezer this week as I have been plagued by deadlines and have literally no time cook and very little time to eat. The Pulled Pork-Style Burgers are surprisingly meaty – (possibly) enough to convert even my husband. They tasted so good in my new favourite burger bun – Hawaiian Bread Rolls. The slight sweetness of the bread roll was a great counterpart to the smoky saltiness of the burger. I added avocado and a little creamy Sriracha dressing (sour cream mixed with Sriracha and a little light mayo) and served with sweet potato fries for a very satisfying dinner.
This post is sponsored by Linda McCartney’s Meat Free Challenge. Check out the website for more information about their full range and Meat free Mondays.
Hawaiian Bread Rolls
410g | 14.5oz strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
100ml | 3.3oz milk
80ml | 2.7floz pineapple juice
115g | 4.1oz unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
55g | 2oz sugar
2 level tsp fast action yeast (suitable for bread makers)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
1 egg beaten with a splash of milk
2-3 tbsp poppy seeds
1. Put the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and ground ginger in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix briefly to combine using the dough hook.
2. Heat the butter and milk in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir and heat for a further 30 seconds or until butter is mostly melted. Add the pineapple juice and eggs and stir together.
3. Add to the mixing bowl and beat together on slow speed for four minutes and a little faster for a another four minutes. The dough will be sticky but resist the urge to add more flour.
4. Cover the mixing bowl with a clean towel and let the dough rise 1.30-2h or until nearly double.
5. Dust your worktop with a little flour and tip the dough onto it. Gently press down to deflate.
6. Roll your dough into a log (dusting with a little flour if sticky) and divide into 9 equal pieces (could only squeeze 8 into my baking dish). Flatten each piece into a disk and then fold the edges in towards the centre. Flip over seam side down and place the palms of your hands around the roll. Use your hands to shape each roll it into a smooth ball.
7. Place the rolls on a large tray lined with baking paper or round greased baking dish as shown. The should be spaced slightly apart. Cover loosely with greased cling film and leave them to prove for 40 minutes until puffy.
8. Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). Brush the rolls with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes until golden. Cover with foil if they are colouring too quickly. Cool before cutting.