Delicious vegetarian plant-based recipes to try

Banyalla vegetarian stuffed capsicum


Posted August 17, 2023

Considering reducing your meat intake and incorporating more vegetables into your diet? More and more Australians are going vegetarian or vegan in the hope of boosting their health and wellbeing and saving money on their grocery bills.

Vegetarianism has been around since the time of Pythagoras, but the practice has grown in popularity in modern times thanks to growing awareness of the health benefits of eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes and less meat and dairy.

The growing interest in meat and dairy substitutes, particularly plant-based milks, is also reflected in latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data, which shows we are spending more on these products at supermarkets and other food retailers.

Add to that the possibility of saving money, and it’s easy to see why the plant-based diet has gained traction. A 2021 study by the University of Oxford found that households in high-income nations such as Australia could cut their grocery bill by more than 30 per cent by adopting a vegetarian diet, and 34 per cent going vegan.

Catering for the plant-based demand

RACV chefs are responding to the demand for plant-based meals by adding enticing vegetarian dishes to the menus at all dining venues at RACV Club and RACV resorts.

For the winter menu at Healesville Country Club & Resort's signature restaurant, Banyalla, Chef de Partie Alex Huser created a dish (pictured above) that was a cut above the standard pasta or salad.

“Our vegetarian dish is stuffed capsicum, which is filled with creamy mashed potato flavoured peas, cumin, herbs, and lemon zest. It’s served on a tomato sugo, and tempura battered shimeji – that’s a type of mushroom – goat’s cheese and a fried sage garnish.”

Huser says stuffed capsicum dish can be vegan, if requested.

“We try to do something different for each seasonal menu, using ingredients that are locally produced and in season," he says.


You could cut your grocery bill by a third by eating a plant-based diet. Image: Getty. 

Types of plant-based substitutes

Plant-based substitutes are vastly expanding beyond tofu and soy milk to diverse alternatives, such as vegan burgers, sausages, and cheese, that mimic the taste and texture of animal products in a bid to win over the average meat-eating consumer.

The trend towards plant-based diets and dining has even given rise to new businesses and industries ready to cater to growing consumer demand for new dietary and dining preferences, such as Kynd Butcher – Victoria's first plant-based butchery based out of Ascot Vale.


Victoria's first vegan butcher in Ascot Vale, in Melbourne's inner north west


Vegetarian recipes to try

If you’re looking for ways of including more vegetables and legumes in your diet, then try these vegetarian recipes from the RACV Club kitchen.

Best simple hummus recipe

Hummus is a versatile and delicious dip that makes a healthy snack or substitute for butter. This best simple hummus recipe is easy to make at home. Pair it with this recipe for rosemary focaccia.

Vegetable Thai green curry

Vegetarian dishes can be a thrifty way to create a satisfying meal. Our vegetable Thai green curry recipe is easy to make and contains your daily serve of vegetables.

Spaghetti with Mediterranean vegetables

Here’s an easy mid-week recipe, using one of the most popular forms of pasta. Tinned tomatoes are a great pantry staple and form the base of this spaghetti with roasted Mediterranean vegetables recipe.

Sweet potato and red kidney bean hot pot

Sweet potato and red kidney bean hot pot is a hearty meal that will taste just as good the next day. Kidney beans are high in fibre and a great source of plant-based protein.

Moroccan vegetable tagine recipe

Easy and cost effective, this recipe for Moroccan vegetable tagine gives potato, sweet potato, and carrot into mouth-watering flavours. It’s a hearty family meal and any leftovers keep well in the fridge for a day or two.

Mediterranean chickpea salad recipe

Mediterranean chickpea salad is perfect as a tasty side dish or as a delicious meal on its own. You can use canned chickpeas or soak dried chickpeas overnight and cook them until tender the next day.

Zucchini pasta with mushroom sauce

Making zoodles (zucchini pasta) can also be oodles of fun. Try this gluten-free zucchini pasta with mushroom and tomato sauce, which is suitable for celiacs and the whole family.

Vegetarian lasagne

This crowd-pleasing vegetarian lasagne combines layers of pureed pumpkin with a sauce of ricotta cheese, cream, parmesan cheese and spinach.

Stuffed spiced butternut pumpkin

Filled with spices, herbs, and dried fruit, this stuffed spiced butternut pumpkin recipe means vegetarians don’t miss out on festive food at Christmas, or any other special occasion.

Mashed potato or crispy fries?

Don’t forget your sides. For creamy, lump-free mash, check out this restaurant-style mashed potato or find out how to make crispy golden fries with these recipe tips.

Best egg recipes

Take your breakfast to the next level with a perfect poached egg or our best light and fluffy pancakes, which are easy to make with children.

Decadent vegetarian desserts

Even vegetarians and vegans like treats. Whether it’s for afternoon tea, dessert or a special occasion, this vegan chocolate cake recipe ticks all the boxes for easy baking, maximum taste, and light texture. You can also try your hand at making apple crumblebread-and-butter puddingchocolate babka or fluffy scones with jam and cream.

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