No beef in our flat!

A week of vegetarian dinners to feed our busy student flat!

Tegan Martin


Hi everyone! I’m Tegan and I’ve had the absolute honour of being one of the Co-Presidents of SFC this year, (alongside my wonderful “work-wife” Athena Qian). This year I’ve been living in a flat with three other girls! At the beginning of this year, we decided we wanted to take turns cooking shared dinners five nights a week (there’s simply nothing better than arriving home after a long day of uni to a yummy meal waiting for you!)

Any meal we make usually meets these three requirements:

1) vegetarian (and usually pretty much plant-based!)

2) kind to the student budget

3) quick and easy to make

There are so many benefits to eating more vegetarian meals. Industrial animal agriculture is one of the most significant contributors to environmental degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing your meat (and dairy!) consumption is one way that you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. On top of that, a can of chickpeas is much more affordable than a pack of mince, so you can save money AND the planet! It’s pretty easy to make the effort to swap out even just one meal a week for a yummy plant-based alternative so I hope this inspires you to give it a go!

This is what an honest week of dinners looks like in our flat! We are by no means experienced chefs but I hope these recipes can maybe provide some inspiration for a flattie meal or two!

Monday: Vietnamese Rice Paper rolls

Really perfect for a summery night!

  • 1 pack rice paper wraps

  • Vermicelli noodles

  • Lettuce

  • Cucumber (cut in to thin sticks)

  • Carrot (cut in to thin sticks)

  • Tofu (we used the ginger and honey marinated tofu from Bean Supreme for convenience, but you could easily marinate your own in honey, soy sauce and ginger!)

  • Avocado

  • Capsicum

Dipping sauce:

  • ⅓ cup of peanut butter

  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce/soy sauce

  • 1 ½ tbsp lime or lemon juice

  • 1 clove garlic minced

  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

  • Some water to get a good consistency- could also use coconut milk! Mint and sesame seeds (optional)

  1. Cook vermicelli noodles according to the instructions on packet

  2. Fry the tofu in a pan for about 10 minutes until desired crispiness

  3. Slice tofu into thin, 1cm width sticks

  4. Slice the veggies into thin strips and chop lettuce roughly

  5. Fill a large bowl with warm water

  6. Soak a rice paper wrap in the warm water, then fill the centre of the wrap with a mixture of ingredients and gently fold the edges of the ripe paper in. Start by folding in the top and bottom ends, then roll it up firmly. Repeat.

  7. Make the peanut sauce. Fry the chopped garlic in a little oil. Then mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. You can change the measurements based on your taste preferences. Top with chopped mint and sesame seeds if you’re feeling fancy!

Enjoy the rice paper rolls dipped in the sauce! We sometimes double the dipping sauce because it’s so good we eat it too quickly!

Tuesday: Vege Shepherd’s Pie

This is the ultimate comfort meal!

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 1 onion

  • 2 large carrots

  • 2 tbsp thyme

  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes

  • 2 vegetable stock cubes

  • 400g canned brown lentils

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 950g sweet potato/kumara, peeled and cut into chunks

  • 25g butter

  • 85g cheese, grated

  1. Heat oven to 180C fan bake, or 200C bake

  2. Heat oil in a pan. Dice onion and cook

  3. Cut carrots into small cubes. Add to the onion. Add the thyme (reserve a little thyme for topping the pie later.)

  4. Pour in 150ml water, 400g chopped tomatoes and crumble in 2 vege stock cubes. Simmer for 10 minutes.

  5. Add lentils. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes until the carrots are cooked. Add garlic powder.

  6. Meanwhile, peel and cut up kumara. Boil for 15 minutes until tender. Drain well, mash with the 25g of butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Add the lentil mixture to a pie dish, spoon the mashed kumara over top. Sprinkle over grated cheese (we added extra cheese! You measure that with your heart!) Sprinkle some thyme on top.

  8. Cook for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden!

You could make this recipe vegan by substituting the butter for vegan butter/spread and using vegan cheese or skipping the cheese. Perfect for a cold night and best followed up by a cup of hot chocolate!

Wednesday: Black Bean Burgers

Once you make the black bean patties, you can make these burgers your own by adding any toppings you like!



  • 2 cans of black beans (drained, rinsed and patted dry)

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • ½ an onion

  • ½ capsicum 3 cloves of garlic

  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ½ cup bread crumbs

  • ½ cup feta cheese (skip if vegan!)

  • 2 large eggs (if vegan, replace with ⅓ cup mashed sweet potato)

  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce

  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce

  • Salt and pepper


  • Burger buns

  • Literally anything you want in your burger! Lettuce, tomato, hummus, beetroot, fried eggs, cheese… we used what we had in the fridge! Add any condiments you like!

  1. Preheat oven to 180C

  2. Spread out black beans on a tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15 mins

  3. Heat oil in a pan and saute onion, garlic and capsicum over medium heat until the onions and capsicum are soft. Use paper towels to blot some of the moisture out.

  4. Place onion mix in a food processor (or if you don’t have one like us just use a fork and your arm muscles!) Add all remaining ingredients (spices, bread crumbs, cheese eggs, sauces and salt and pepper) Add black beans and mix everything together.

  5. Form into patties (you pick the size!)

  6. Place patties on a tray lined with baking paper and bake for 10 minutes on either side.

  7. Put the burgers together!

Would definitely be nice to add some potato chips to this meal! Slice up some potatoes, drizzle over some oil, add salt and spices and bake until golden. OOH also slice up some onions and caramelise them with a bit of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Caramelised onions make such a tasty addition to a burger *chef's kiss*!

Thursday: Falafel wraps

Honestly, this is barely a recipe. It’s pretty much cheating at cooking because we used the pre-made falafel mix. I know you can make falafel yourself (it’s probably cheaper too!) but HEY when you’re drowning in assignments sometimes you just need a quick and tasty dinner. So here’s what we did…

Apologies this is not the best photo, but you can imagine what a falafel wrap looks like!

  • Falafel mix (we used Lisa’s Mediterranean falafel mix)

  • 2 carrots

  • Wraps

  • Any veggies of your choice! We used carrots, avocado, capsicum and tomato

  • Aioli (this is absolutely essential)

  1. The main tip for this recipe is to grate up the carrot and add it to the falafel mix! This makes it go further so you save money and can eat more :)

  2. Once you’ve mixed the falafel with grated carrot, divide the mixture into balls and squash into little patties. Fry the falafel in some oil heated in a pan.

  3. Cut up the veggies

  4. Let everyone put together their own wraps with falafel and the various other toppings.

Friday: Sweet Ginger Tofu and Edamame Buddha Bowls

There are a lot of different elements involved in this recipe, but so worth it for the flavour combo! A perfect way to end the week! :)

Okay, I’m so sorry as the week has gone on clearly the photography quality and effort went downhill! I promise they taste better than this setup looks! On the right, I’ve also included the photo which was the inspiration for this dinner!


Sweet ginger tofu:

  • 250g block firm-style tofu

  • 2 tbsp cornflour

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

  • 2 tsp minced ginger

  • 1 ½ tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 tsp rice vinegar (or can sub in apple cider vinegar)

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • 2 tsp sesame oil

  • ⅛ tsp black pepper

  • 1 tbsp water

  • 1 green onion

  • Optional black sesame seeds

Edamame-rice salad:

  • 2 cups cooked rice

  • 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage

  • ½ head of cooked broccoli

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated

  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced

  • ½ a cup fresh coriander leaves and ½ a cup fresh mint leaves (optional)

  • 2 cups shelled edamame beans (we bought frozen ones and just defrosted them in the microwave)

  • 2 cups lettuce, roughly chopped

Peanut sauce:

  • ⅓ cup of peanut butter

  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce/soy sauce

  • 1 ½ tbsp lime or lemon juice

  • 1 clove garlic minced

  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

  • Some water to get a good consistency- could also use coconut milk!

  • Peanuts for topping!


Sweet ginger tofu:

  1. Slice tofu into small cubes

  2. Place tofu and cornflour in a bowl and toss until coated.

  3. Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry the tofu until crispy and golden.

  4. Combine all the other ingredients in a bowls and whisk well

  5. Remove tofu from the frying pan and clean the pan. Pour the whisked sauce ingredients from the bowl into the pan and heat until bubbling and beginning to thicken.

  6. Turn off the heat, add the tofu and stir to coat.

  7. Top the tofu with sesame seeds

Edamame rice salad:

  1. Cook the rice and the broccoli. Defrost edamame beans.

  2. Slice cabbage, grate the carrot, chop broccoli up into small pieces, slice green onion and chop lettuce.

  3. Wait for the rice to cool, then mix all of the ingredients together.

Peanut sauce:

  1. Fry the chopped garlic in a little oil. Then mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. You can change the measurements based on your taste preferences.

Put all the ingredients out so people can assemble the bowls. Eat the rice salad topped with the tofu, peanut sauce, chopped peanuts and salt and pepper to your taste!