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Poli, Mery, and other vegetarians

I'm hoping to make a nice belated birthday dinner for my friend this weekend, and he's a vegetarian (no meat or fish, but eats eggs and dairy, so whatever that's called). Do you have any tried and true favorite recipes you'd be willing to share? I'm looking for a main dish or an accompanying side if there is one (aside from salad, rice, etc.). He loves all cuisines, so anything goes. :)

I might post and run but I'll be back later. Thanks in advance!



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Taco cat: Always a palindrome. ALWAYS, okay J&K?

"cool......insult my size 2 body or my natural brown hair...or the fact that my parents own a country club, I have no budget for a wedding, and I have horses. I really dont care. Its better then having roots." ~ futurepivko

Re: Poli, Mery, and other vegetarians

  • Are you looking to use meat substitutes, or just prepare a meal that happens not to have meat?  The only substitute I usually cook with is Morningstar Farms crumbles - I have a really good chili recipe using that, if you want it.

    Otherwise, I'd stick to a good old cheese lasagna with garlic bread and a nice salad...but then again, I'm not much of a cook!
  • Abbalish, that's a good question. I'd rather not use fake meat (not that it can't be tasty), I was thinking more tofu/cheese/nuts/other protein sources, which I am not that well-versed in as far as main dishes are concerned. :) But I like your cheese lasagna idea... that sounds quite tasty.



    image
    Taco cat: Always a palindrome. ALWAYS, okay J&K?

    "cool......insult my size 2 body or my natural brown hair...or the fact that my parents own a country club, I have no budget for a wedding, and I have horses. I really dont care. Its better then having roots." ~ futurepivko
  • Hey there!

    This is my all-time favorite veggie recipe to make for friends, since it seems much more complicated than it is :)

    http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=226420

    I stir-fry the tofu in a little oil instead of boiling it, I skip the shredded carrots, and add a bunch of lightly steamed broccoli. Mmmmm :)

    Otherwise:
    Lentil Dal with Garlic-and-Cuming-Infused Oil:
    http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=226762

    Best Veggie Chili ever (I double the veggies and add liquid smoke):
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/The-Best-Vegetarian-Chili-in-the-World/Detail.aspx

    Smoked-Gouda Risotto with Spinach and Mushrooms (sub veg broth instead of chicken):
    http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=225093

    Ok, I'm now officially hungry. I might make that risotto tonight!
  • The first recipe is "Fettuccine and Tofu with Finger-Licking Peanut Sauce." They mean that quite literally!
  • edited March 2010
    Oh YUM, Poli, those look amazing! Thank you. And I'm pretty sure I have all those ingredients for the first dish in my pantry/fridge. It sounds kind of like pad thai (which I love). And that risotto sounds freaking delicious. Smoked gouda is my favorite, and H would love it with the mushrooms.

    My friend texturizes tofu in a similar way that you described, except I think he freezes it first and drains the crap out of it so it gets very porous. Can I just use firm tofu, stir-fried, and be all set? I'm lazy. ;)



    image
    Taco cat: Always a palindrome. ALWAYS, okay J&K?

    "cool......insult my size 2 body or my natural brown hair...or the fact that my parents own a country club, I have no budget for a wedding, and I have horses. I really dont care. Its better then having roots." ~ futurepivko
  • Yeah, definitely no need to freeze and stuff! It makes it "meatier," but this dish really works best with any kind of tofu.

    I'd buy extra-firm if I werre you. Stick the block on about 8 sheets of paper towel, put the same amount on top, and press down gently but firmly. Do that twice or three times, and you'll have drained the extra liquid. Once you've done that, cut it into about 1" cubes and cook 5-10 minutes with a little oil on high heat in a nonstick pan until lightly golden brown. If you don't have a nonstick pan, you can probably still do it, but it sticks like crazy!
  • I'm definitely stealing these recipes. We're not vegetarian, but I've pretty much stopped cooking meat at home--it gets so expensive and I love trying out other sources of protein.

     I'll definitely drain my tofu this time--I didn't know any better the last time I made stir fry and it was a soggy mess.
  • Awesome. I'm used to cooking tofu like that, Korean-style, as a side (except I coat it in egg first, pan fry, then drizzle with soy/sesame oil/green onion sauce). I think I'm going to try the fettuccine, so I'll let you know how it turns out!

    Thanks again Poli and Abba!



    image
    Taco cat: Always a palindrome. ALWAYS, okay J&K?

    "cool......insult my size 2 body or my natural brown hair...or the fact that my parents own a country club, I have no budget for a wedding, and I have horses. I really dont care. Its better then having roots." ~ futurepivko
  • Yeah, whatever Poli said. Ha! Her recipes look so good. Lately I've been boring and cooking with a lot of fake meat (I found awesome vegetarian "chicken" cutlets) so I can't really think of anything AWESOME I make other than veggie lasagna and bean and cheese burritos or black bean tacos.
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  • Buddy and I aren't vegetarians, but we do meat-free week to two week periods pretty frequently because too much meat makes me feel uurrgh and if I don't put a flat out "ok, no meat" rule down for a little while, it's too easy to keep eating chicken and beef rather than branching out.

    We have two rules for our no meat weeks: 1, no substitute meats because I can't bring myself to eat them and 2, we will not rely on pasta and grilled cheese.

    Having SAID that, here are two recipes we like - one for pasta and one for a fancier grilled cheese. I can't even follow my own instructions correctly.


    We eat this sandwich ALL THE TIME, though it's not particularly fancy dinner food.


    This red pepper pasta was the first recipe I ever made well, like, ever, and Buddy helps out when I make it, too, because "Here, go burn these" is right at his cooking speed.
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  • TJ, I'm totally jacking the red pepper sauce recipe. That looks amazing! :)
  • Veggie Lasagna.  Instead of ground beef, I saute onions, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts.  Thaw frozen spinach, squeeze out the water, and mix into the sauteed mixture.  Layer just like regular lasagna. 
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  • Yum, yum, and yum. Thanks for all the ideas, guys! I've got some options now for future meatless meals, not just entertaining. :)



    image
    Taco cat: Always a palindrome. ALWAYS, okay J&K?

    "cool......insult my size 2 body or my natural brown hair...or the fact that my parents own a country club, I have no budget for a wedding, and I have horses. I really dont care. Its better then having roots." ~ futurepivko
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