Vegetarian Chinese pancakes

A cliche, I know, but I have resolved to eat healthier food this year. In my house, Jules does the majority of the cooking but in his own words he is a ‘recovering vegetarian’, which basically means he is making up for not eating meat for seventeen years by now eating meat with every single meal. This causes a bit of tension between us because I’m not mad about meat and in many ways I think it makes our meals higher in fat and calories (plus I worry about the environmental and ethical issues involved in eating meat). Therefore, I have decided to take a bit more control in the kitchen and do the majority of the cooking this year. I am really pleased to be getting involved in the #EatWell campaign with Robert Welch this month and taking part in their meat-free Monday challenge – a gentle push for Jules to try more meals without meat and my chance to convince him that they can be delicious as I think he has suffered really poor vegetarian food made up mainly of wishy washy tomato based sauces and pasta with pesto.

I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Waitrose Cookery School last month with the lovely Robert Welch team, who supply the knives, cooking utensils and cutlery at the schools, to learn a new vegetarian recipe that was delish! It was also a really fun evening and I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to learn new recipes or it would be a great thing to do with a friend. You can enter to win a voucher for the cookery school here.

#EatWell with Robert Welch | Waitrose Cookery School | Apartment Apothecary

The chef at the school does a demonstration of the recipe and then you get to taste what they make. That evening we were making butternut squash, duxelles and goat cheese pies with a chestnut cream and seared lettuce – so yummy and I now want seared lettuce with everything!

#EatWell with Robert Welch | Waitrose Cookery School | Apartment Apothecary

We were then set loose in the kitchen and I partnered with lovely Holly who is running the #EatWell campaign for Robert Welch and we didn’t do a bad job.

#EatWell with Robert Welch | Waitrose Cookery School | Apartment Apothecary

We then sat down together and ate the dinner we had made – such a lovely evening!

#EatWell with Robert Welch | Waitrose Cookery School | Apartment Apothecary

It inspired me to conjure up my own meat-free recipe (that was actually inspired by a beef recipe by Nigella Lawson that I made for a dinner party before Christmas and I used the same combination of flavours for the marinade). My best friend has also decided to go vegan so I had her in mind when I tried out this recipe.

This is what I look for in a healthy week night meal:

– it has to be quick

– not too many ingredients

– easy to source ingredients

– not too high in fat or calories

– I don’t like using too many pots and pans (I hate too much cleaning up!)

My recipe for vegetarian Chinese pancakes ticks all of these boxes and and it is flipping delicious.

#EatWell with Robert Welch | Vegetarian Chinese pancakes | Apartment Apothecary

My Robert Welch Signature Cook’s Knife is perfect for meal prep.

Ingredients:

(to make about 8-10 pancakes)

400g mushrooms – choose any mushroom that you like but you can’t go wrong with bog standard button or chestnut

2 tbsp rice wine – you can buy this from any supermarket and it’s a great thing to have in your cupboard for other Asian inspired recipes.

5 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp five spice

1 tbsp sesame oil

To serve:

Chinese pancakes – I bought mine from Waitrose via Ocado and they only cost £1 for 10.

Lettuce – I prefer little gems or iceberg for this recipe.

Spring onions

Cucumber

Hoisin sauce – you will need about half a teaspoon per pancake.

Vegetarian Chinese pancake recipe | #EatWell with Robert Welch | Meat free Mondays | Apartment Apothecary

Method:

1. Place the rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and five spice powder into a large bowl. Slice the mushrooms and add them to the marinade. Make sure they are all covered and then cook in a large frying pan on a high heat. You need to cook the mushrooms for a good ten minutes until the sauce and the liquid from the mushrooms themselves has gone and the mushrooms begin to dry out and caramelise. Take them off the heat at this point and they are ready to be served.

2. Slice the spring onions and cucumber lengthways and chop up the lettuce. Serve in individual bowls with a bowl of hoisin sauce. Heat the pancakes according to the instructions on the pack (usually just a few secs in the microwave).

3. On each pancake spread a thin layer of hoisin sauce, lay a few pieces of cucumber, onion and lettuce and then add the mushrooms. Roll it up and enjoy!

These make a great light evening meal or would be perfect for a dinner party starter. The best thing is that Jules was actually excited about trying them because they don’t look like the bowl of ‘vegetarian sludge’ he often refers to. Will you join us in trying out meat-free Mondays? Do you have any great veggie recipe ideas? If you need more inspiration check out the Robert Welch blog for upcoming recipes and search the #EatWell and #RobertWelch hashtags.

Happy weekend everyone!

Katy x

P.S. All photos taken on my iPhone – I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but cooking and photography don’t mix too well in my world 😉

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17 Comments

  1. Agnes Woolley 8th January 2016 / 10:05 am

    De-Licious!
    I am going to make these this very weekend.
    Thanks Katy.

    • Katy 8th January 2016 / 2:52 pm

      Oh good! Hope it goes well. Let me know x

  2. Abi | These Four Walls blog 8th January 2016 / 10:14 am

    Such a delicious-looking recipe. I’ll have to give it a go. I too am a ‘recovering vegetarian’ (I didn’t eat meat for 13 years, but then I lived in Spain for a while and fell for the temptation of chorizo…). I don’t use meat in cooking much, though – I just eat it when in a restaurant and I know it’s been well-sourced – so it’s always greay to have healthy recipes to try at home x

    • Katy 8th January 2016 / 2:54 pm

      Mmmm chorizo! That’s the sort of process meat I can definitely do without – so much salt and fat (which is why it’s so delicious!). When I lived alone I would eat a vegetarian meals and then just eat meat when I ate out, which would be my preference, to be honest. I *might* pose that to Jules and see how far I get x

  3. Slummy single mummy 8th January 2016 / 12:10 pm

    Now I know I was meant to be looking at the recipe, but I admit I got rather distracted by the Robert Welch knives – Robert Welch is my very favourite cutlery brand! I have a set of sporks that I treated myself too last year, but I’d love more. Cutlery dreams…

    • Katy 8th January 2016 / 2:55 pm

      The knives are sooo good and I have to say I am VERY tempted by a new cutlery set – don’t tempt me!! x

  4. Molly 8th January 2016 / 2:34 pm

    My mouth is properly watering after reading this post! My husband is also a huge meat eater. Although I love meat, I would really like to itnroduce more veggies into our diet and have at least a couple of meals a week that are vegetarian. Perhaps these pancakes will help to convince him to give it a go!

    • Katy 8th January 2016 / 2:56 pm

      So much cheaper not having meat with every meal, too. You should definitely try them and let me know how well they go down x

  5. Candy Pop 8th January 2016 / 2:35 pm

    They look amazing and I laughed at ‘recovering vegetarian!’ The cookery school looks like great fun, I could certainly do with some motivation when it comes to cooking! x

    • Katy 8th January 2016 / 2:58 pm

      I thought it was funny the first time but I now HATE it when he uses that term – such an annoying narrative but I do understand the negative connotations of vegetarian food. Just got to keep on trying to change his mind as I really don’t want to get into a situation of cooking and eating separate meals x

  6. Claire 8th January 2016 / 8:08 pm

    Off to the kitchen right now Katy. What a good idea. They look special, which is half the battle. If they are ‘healthy’ too that is fantastic!
    I envied your evening with Robert Welch. Lucky you!

    • Katy 11th January 2016 / 1:04 pm

      It really was very fun, I’d recommend it! x

  7. Lia 8th January 2016 / 10:13 pm

    They sound amazing! I’m going to try & pick up some pancakes and make those tomorrow!! I laughed at ‘recovering vegetarian’ – haha!

    • Katy 11th January 2016 / 1:05 pm

      Oh good – hope you enjoy them! x

  8. Laura 10th January 2016 / 6:29 pm

    Oh wow I bet the Cookery school was an amazing experience and these healthy Veggie pancakes truly sound divine and would be perfect for a dinner party or even a family friendly supper

    Laura x

    • Katy 11th January 2016 / 1:06 pm

      Yes, I’m definitely going to remember this the next time we have vegetarian guests for dinner as I hate making a veggie and non-veggie option x

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