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Vegetarian Favorites


sparkycom
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Folks,

I need to get your recipes for tried-and-true tasty vegetarian dishes. My new neighbors just had a baby and I want to whip a few things up for them. They are not strict, and would probably be ok with chicken-broth-based or fish-broth-based dishes. (Does that make sense?) I'm going to do a roasted zucchini dish and was thinking about stuffed shells but I'd love for y'all to weigh in. Thanks in advance for your help!

Edited by sparkycom
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I'm a meat eater, but I cook a lot of vegetarian dishes for my husband. I just make them up as I go along and often modify a dish by omitting the meat or using a vegetarian meat substitute. But, in case it helps give you some ideas, I can tell you some things I cook.

-Vegetarian chili (beans, tomatoes, onions, peppers, I also throw in textured vegetable protein if I have it. It comes in dried bits and makes it seem like you have little bits of chicken in your dish)

-Vegetarian lasagna

-Lentil soup

-Vegetable stew

-Mushrooms and garlic sauteed in olive oil with parmesan cheese mixed with pasta

-Spinach and feta cheese pie (like spanakopita)

-Dishes with Morningstar Farms fake chicken strips (comes frozen) -- these are actually pretty good, and I use them to substitute for chicken in dishes like chicken fajitas, chicken stir fry, chicken enchiladas.

-Morningstar Farms burger crumbles (comes frozen) -- These are also pretty good for fake beef, and I use them to make tacos or stuffed peppers.

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I just made one of my favorites last night--a veggie curry stew out of Jump Up and Kiss Me--Spicy Vegetarian Cooking. (This looks like a very good cookbook, but I've owned it for years and have only made this stew. I don't know why.) From the best of my recollection...

Sautee 2 teaspoons of ground cardomom, a couple of chopped carrots, a chopped medium onion, and a few mined cloves of garlic in some olive oil until fragrant. Stir in some chopped zucchini and yellow squash, cauliflower florets, a can of garbanzo beans, about 1/2 cup of raisins, some green olives (optional), and a chopped potato (optional). Add 1 can of tomatoes, 1 can of tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 2 tablespoons of honey, and cayenne to taste. Simmer over med-low heat for about a half an hour, adding water if it gets too dry. Serve over couscous with a dollop of yogurt (optional) and chopped mint (optional) on top.

I love meat, and even I think this stuff is awesome. I think the cardomom is the sacred secret, but everything else can be played around. You can really use whatever veggies you've got around and fiddle with the spices--I omit the cayenne, reduce curry powder to 1t and add 1t spicy garam masala. It freezes beautifully, and couscous takes all of five minutes to make. The yogurt and mint on top are optional, but are great for the same reason that loading stuff on top of chili is great.

Good luck!

Edited by Connave
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Other thoughts:

Mac and cheese (can be put in casserole and the new parents can easily reheat. Filling comfort food.)

Savory tarts are great, there are lots of combinations that make a good one, they travel well, can be served at room temp. Caramelized onions, cherrys toms and gruyere. Mushrooms with a bit of egg custard. Roasted red pepppers, tomatoes and caramelized onions. Spinach and feta. Lots of possibilities, really just limited by your imagination.

I recently made a "mexican lasagna" from everyday cooking (found it on a website--is there an everyday cooking show?). Easy to make, reheats well, contains all of the major food groups (ok, no chocolate :lol: ).

You're a good neighbor/friend for doing this!

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Stuffed shells would be good; I would consider any stuffed pasta a tried-and-true vegetarian dish. To get a little fancy sometimes I spread filling on individual lasagna noodles and then roll them up in little spirals, place them in the dish so the spirals show (like cinnamon rolls) and pour the sauce over.

Have also made some pretty tasty enchiladas with the meatless crumbles, I think they were Morningstar Farms. Just season them like you would taco meat, probably with extra onion to add moisture and texture contrast.

Curried things are good. Masaman usually has potatoes, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes or butternut squash, and is therefore a good, filling dish, especially over rice.

Quiche.

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The spaghetti squash casserole recipe from Moosewood Cookbook is quite good. It's posted online in several places. This site has it, plus some other interesting looking recipes. (When I make this in the winter, I tend to go with plum tomatoes and use 1-2 more than the recipe calls for).

Edit because it only occurred to me after the fact to check the recipe in that link against my copy from the book :lol: . They changed it a little bit. This is the list of ingredients as I have it:

1 8-inch spaghetti squash

1 cup chopped onion

2 medium cloves crushed garlic

2 fresh tomatoes (medium-sized)

1/2 lb. fresh sliced mushrooms

1/2 tsp. oregano

salt and pepper

1 cup cottage or ricotta cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella

1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

1 tsp. basil

dash of thyme

1 cup fine bread crumbs

butter for sauteeing

Parmesan for the top

Edited by Pat
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I like lasagna. I like Quiche. Eggs. Never underestimate the power. Mushroom, eggs, cream, cheese, spinach...stuff like that. Goog around a bit, but there are some decent quiches out there that will serve your purposes, I think. Good luck. I for one need some ham.

Edited by Meaghan
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Thanks folks, I knew you would come through! I wound up doing a tortilla soup from epicurious (darned tasty, if I do say so myself) and sent that over with mixed greens and bread. (They loved it!) This weekend I'm going to attempt the stuffed shells and the veggie curry stew that sounds so yummy. Might even attempt the spaghetti squash casserole. I will report back, sorry for the delay. And thanks again for the wonderful suggestions!

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I just did an inventory of my pantry and discovered: 3 bags of brown lentils, 1 bag of green lentils, 1 bag of split green peas, and 1 bag of white beans. (The only explanation I can come up with: I was preparing for Y2K.)

I found a recipe for lentils and bulger. But that only takes care of 1/3 bag of the brown lentils. What to do? What to do? Any suggestions for how to use the rest of the lentils/peas/beans?

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I just did an inventory of my pantry and discovered: 3 bags of brown lentils, 1 bag of green lentils, 1 bag of split green peas, and 1 bag of white beans.  (The only explanation I can come up with: I was preparing for Y2K.)

I found a recipe for lentils and bulger.  But that only takes care of 1/3 bag of the brown lentils. What to do? What to do? Any suggestions for how to use the rest of the lentils/peas/beans?

the first part of this sounds like it's leading up to an SAT question.

i would use them in soup.

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I just did an inventory of my pantry and discovered: 3 bags of brown lentils, 1 bag of green lentils, 1 bag of split green peas, and 1 bag of white beans.  (The only explanation I can come up with: I was preparing for Y2K.)

I found a recipe for lentils and bulger.  But that only takes care of 1/3 bag of the brown lentils. What to do? What to do? Any suggestions for how to use the rest of the lentils/peas/beans?

Dal party!

Dal is this carnivore's favorite non-animal protein dish, and I think it would be fun to make one green and one brown. I'm also quite partial to Madhur Jaffrey's recipe for dal mixed with cumin-sauteed cabbage.

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