Dish of the Day: The reluctant vegetarian’s recipe for White pepper, spinach & Parmesan dumplings in a Yorkshire bake

Anna Barnett

dish of the day 262x300 Dish of the Day: The reluctant vegetarians recipe for White pepper, spinach & Parmesan dumplings in a Yorkshire bakeAs an impressive meat eater and someone who adores it, I thought it near impossible to enjoy a meal without a generous hunk of animal protein. Whether it be slow roasted pork belly with loads of crackling (and, let’s face it, probably the nipple too) or a bloody fillet of beef, I just couldn’t get enough. Italian smoked meats, British bangers or a classic roast chicken with bread sauce. I could go on and on. What can I say? Meat really does it for me!

Despite my attempts to eat only ‘happy’ meat, I can’t help but wonder if someone caught me sneaking in a few late-night kebabs (like I said, I really love the stuff) because I’ve now been served my comeuppance in the form of a vegetarian (not even a pescetarian!) boyfriend which has forced me to explore the world of meat-free cuisine.

There was a point when I thought that such a dietary requirement could be a deal breaker but I’ve since re-thought things and have risen to the challenge. Also, with the current meat crisis in Britain, it’s nice to know that you’re serving up exactly what you intended.

My veggie meals are tasty, varied and good enough to make you not miss meat for at least 90 per cent of the time! Give ‘em a try.

White pepper, spinach & Parmesan dumplings in a Yorkshire bake:

Feeds: Six to eight

Cooking Time: 45 mins


White pepper, spinach & Parmesan dumplings

1 x bag (250g) of fresh spinach thoroughly washed

1 x 50g bag of sage & onion Stuffing

1/2 zest of lemon

2 x tsp of white pepper

1x A handful of mixed seeds

1 x A large handful of freshly grated Parmesan

A few sprigs of fresh Thyme

Salt & pepper

Yorkshire Bake

220g of Plain flour

4 x Medium eggs

1/2 Pint of semi-Skimmed milk

3/4 Pint of water

250g of Spinach – thoroughly washed and blended

1 x Sprinkle of salt

dish 2 262x300 Dish of the Day: The reluctant vegetarians recipe for White pepper, spinach & Parmesan dumplings in a Yorkshire bakeRoasted Two Potato Mix

2 x Medium sweet potatoes cubed

2 x Medium regular potatoes – Maris Piper works well cubed

4x Sprigs of fresh Thyme

Salt & pepper

Rapeseed oil to roast

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

2 x Big bunches – thoroughly washed

Sweet Onion Gravy

1x White onion – finely sliced

2 x Vegetable stock cubes

1 x tsp of sugar

A few sprigs of fresh Thyme


Pre-heat your oven to 200.

Roasted Two Potato Mix

Cube both lots of potatoes – rinse the white ones to remove starch and add to a pan with rapeseed oil, fresh thyme and salt and pepper. Get these on first as they take the longest.

White pepper, spinach & Parmesan dumplings

Cook the spinach in a non stick pan until it wilts down (2-3mins).

Hydrate the sage and onion stuffing by adding the boiling water as per packet instructions and add the zest of lemon, mixed nuts, white pepper, handful of parmesan and cooked spinach.

Mix it all together with your hands and roll into evenish balls – ideally two per person

TIP: Wet your hands with warm water before mixing so you don’t get half the mixture stuck to your hands.

food 262x300 Dish of the Day: The reluctant vegetarians recipe for White pepper, spinach & Parmesan dumplings in a Yorkshire bakeYorkshire Bake

Add the plain flour to a bowl followed by the four eggs, salt and pureed spinach, start mixing this with a fork so you don’t whisk all of the air out of it, then gradually add in the combination of the water and milk. You’re aiming for a sloppy but still fairly gloopy consistency.

TIP: With any Yorkshire pudding mix it’s good to store in the fridge for a minimum of 10 mins before cooking or even over night and pre-heat the oil in the bottom of your pan before adding the mixture – it all helps it rise!

Oil the bottom of your dish and heat in the oven for 2-3 mins then pour in your Yorkshire bake mixture, followed by the spinach balls – cook for 25-30 minutes.

TIP: Don’t open the oven if you can help it as you want it to rise as much as possible. Check after 20-25 mins only.

Purple sprouting broccoli

Add the thoroughly washed purple sprouting broccoli (cut the bottom of the stalks off as they may be tough) to a frying pan and cook on a medium heat in a big knob of butter and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 Mins making sure they stay nice and crunchy – no sloppy veg please!

Sweet onion gravy

Cook the sliced onions and thyme in a small glug of rapeseed oil until sticky and translucent then add the veggie stock cubes plus one pint of water, one teaspoon of sugar, let it cook away on a low/medium heat for 10 mins then you’re ready to serve.

Serve the veg up in a big bowl, slice the pudding so people can help themselves and get eating.


Follow Anna on Twitter @GETINMYGOB

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  • Ducati Darmah

    Pleased to hear that you are enjoying meat free food. In case you are not aware, Parmesan is generally not vegetarian.

  • Jim Corcoran

    Clinical studies have found that casein, a protein in all dairy products, blocks the absorption of antioxidants and renders them useless to our body.

    Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis – One egg a day equals smoking 25,000 cigarettes

    Get healthier by going vegan!

  • Rachel Griffin

    Sorry to tell you, but you’re not ’serving up exactly what you intend’ at all. Parmesan is not vegetarian – the name is a protected designation and to call itself Parmesan cheese has to be made in a specific traditional way, which includes the use of animal rennet. Please don’t include Parmesan in recipes that you’re calling vegetarian, and I would also suggest that you don’t serve it to your boyfriend.

  • Oliver

    Great to see someone championing vegetarian cooking! But yeh Parmesan isn’t veggie, easily substituted though

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