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Aug 26, 2006 05:47 PM

a main that is not a meat, chicken, fish or pasta

does it exist?

i had a lovely french dinner last night (read: heavy). i am looking for something light as a main for dinner tonight, but i don't want to make a salad as a main.

is this a ridiculous question? if it is, i apologize.

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  1. Couscous; Grill roasted asparagus, dressed with olive oil, sea salt and lemon;

    Alternatively, grilled polenta with sliced tomato and balsamic syrup over a bed of arugula and shaved parmesan.

    1. I was thinking along the same lines - a vegetable stir fry...throw tons of stuff into your saute pan/wok, and you don't even have to use oil if you don't want, just the light spray oil stuff.

      1. How about fried rice? You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want. Dice up your favorite vegetables. You can add scrambled egg if you want. Dress it up with soy sauce or hot sauce.

        1. Soft polenta, topped with oven roasted ratatouille.

          1. Depending on your definition of salad, something grain-based can be very light. There are many variations on tabboulleh-ish dishes that can be very refreshing in summer heat and can act as good follow-up meals to the kinds of heavy dishes you probably enjoyed last night.
            Bulghur is my favorite(especially the coarse grind), but you can also use barley, quinoa, wheat berries, or any other firm grain. Israeli couscous(the larger kind) is also good ALTHOUGH it is technically pasta, but the true grains are better in my opinion. I like to make these herb-heavy affairs, with parsley, mint, basil, purslane, maybe a little lemon balm, watercress, etc. (great if you have an herb garden which at this point in the season may be a little unruly). To this i'll add a combination from the following: scallions, tomatoes, red or vidalia onion slivered very thinly, blanched peas or green beans, frizzled leeks, shallots, roasted peppers, cucumber, raisins, currants, pistachios, almonds, toasted mustard seeds, cumin, cinnamon, hot pepper, lemon juice, rice or champagne vinegar, verjus, sumac, and alot of black pepper and sea salt. You can serve this with yogurt and pita bread, a melon salad and be pretty content. A crisp, dry white or dry provençal rosé wouldn't be a horrible addition either.