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Superb Vegetarian Recipes?

I'm having a houseguest next week who's a vegetarian, but a (young) chowhound. I'd love to have your favorite chowish vegetarian recipes!

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  1. Hope you'll try this awesome recipe posted by GretchenS on this board ... Gingered Greens with Tofu...we just had it again tonight and it is SO good!! Make sure to drain the extra firm tofu and place between a plate and a heavy pot with paper towels, really helps (also, I like adding thinly sliced red bell pepper to this for color):


    2 Replies
    1. re: Val

      Being half Japanese, I've always opted for the time intensive traditional means of preparing tofu for frying by weighting and draining, but, try it one time. If you slice the tofu to the desired shape, set a pan of water to boil, and tenderly drop in the tofu for 3 minutes and drain, you have beautifully prepped tofu for frying.

      1. re: rcallner

        Thank you...seems like more work involved and for this particular dish, I like weighting it while I chop up the kale or bok choy...but I will try it sometime! Am cooking more and more tofu these days.

    2. Go to the library (or bookstore) and find The Greens Cookbook or anything written by Deborah Madison for wonderful, fancy veggie cooking.

      4 Replies
      1. re: DivaDog

        Although we are not vegetarians, we love most of the recipes in Anna Thomas' Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two.

        1. re: Anonimo

          Yes, yes, yes! Tonight I'm making Conchiglie Tutto Giardino - sort of a vegetable stew in a creamy tomato sauce that cooks down and is totally luscious! Her recipes do not stint on the fat, but boy, are they worth it! Even the relatively simple Penne Al Cardinale is fabulous too - please do not omit the key ingredient in this sauce that give it the extra zing - brandy!

        2. re: DivaDog

          The Bresse Mushroom Soup in Greens is great stuff. It's worth the two steps of making mushroom broth first...

          1. re: DivaDog

            Love her risotto recipes as well as her stwes. Good stuff. Also a big fan of the Moosewood cookbook. Not fancy but comfy warm tasty food.

          2. I recently found a recipe for curried lentils on whfoods.org which tasted so good I've made it several times since. Some of the other ingredients include carrots, garlic, celery, kale, and diced tomatoes. Very tasty!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Phoebe

              That recipe is one of my favorites! So fast, easy to modify, and really healthy.

              1. re: Mmmonica

                I agree about it being fast and easy. I've also done a lot of different variations with whatever veggies I had on hand at the time.

            2. I love the Miso Glazed tempeh in the Esalen cookbook. Super yummy!

              1. One of my favorite recipes is the Otsu soba recipe from a restaurant called Pomelo in San Francisco. The trick to this dish is being patient when cooking the tofu. Make sure it browns nicely.


                Ginger-sesame dressing:
                zest of 1 lemon
                1 1/2 oz. cleaned ginger, thinly sliced
                1 T. granulated sugar
                3/4 t. cayenne
                3/4 t. salt
                1T. fresh lemon juice
                1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
                1/3 cup soy sauce
                2 T. canola oil
                2 T. pure sesame oil

                In a food processor (or with mortar and pestle), combine lemon zest, ginger, sugar, cayenne, and salt and process to a smooth puree; add lemon juice, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Blend well. Slowly add canola oil and sesame oil until well combined.

                Soba Noodle Salad:
                8 oz. portion frozen soba noodles, thawed and softened in boiling water and rinse in cold running water (or equivalent dry soba noodles, cooked according to package instructions)
                1/5 block (3 oz) firm tofu, cut to 1/2" cubes
                2 T. canola oil
                1 T. chopped cilantro
                1 scallion, green and white part, cleaned and thinly sliced
                1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut in half lengthwise then cut across into thin half-moons
                Sprinkle sesame seeds + cilantro sprigs for garnish

                Add tofu to a large non-stick skillet without any oil and toss over high heat until all water has evaporated; add canola oil, reduce heat to medium-high and fry, tossing frequently until tofu is firm and bouncy; beware of possible splattering; drain over paper towels; in a large mixing bowl combine drained soba noodles, cilantro, scallions, cucumber and 2-3 oz dressing, toss well; arrange salad in center of large plate and top with fried tofu. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Mmmonica

                  I have a question, what does 1 1/2 oz of ginger look like? I've tried converting it, but i'm just not sure. thanks for your help.


                2. At a party last weekend, we were served this wonderful squash and spinach phyllo pie. It was presented as an appetizer, but would make a good main course as well.


                  This dish is fussy to make, but well worth the effort. Note that it's vegan as well as vegetarian, because it has no eggs or dairy. (But our hostess used butter instead of olive oil in her version, bumping it well out of the vegan category.



                  1. paula wolfert's books also have plenty of veggie options.

                    1. I'm creating a veg lasagna that so far will have roasted sliced, seasoned zucchini, and roasted yellow, red and orange peppers; roasted corn grains, mushrooms; for the cheeses, requesón subs for ricotta, enriched wth Mexican crema, seasoned with s&p, epazote, nutmeg, and containing eggs.
                      The other cheeses, besides sliced mozzarella, are shredded smoked provolone and a parmesan type cheese.
                      I made the sauce last week by slow baking a lot of Roma tomatoes with some whole heads of garlic, drizzled with evoo, and a little thyme.
                      I may have some pics later.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Anonimo

                        Speaking of lasagne...there's a great recipe on line at the most famous website for Gourmet foods....it's made with squash and, I think, hazelnuts and other good stuff. A deelish dish.

                        Also, a casserole-type dish of chiles rellenos is always great.

                        For a simpler meal, try a lentil or squash or leek and potato soup with a broth flavored with one of those Mushroom essences in a jar (most markets here in SF Bayarea have this) and serve with a wonderful cornbread with flavoring such as chopped green chiles, cheese, green onions, chopped red peppers or all of the above.

                      2. Maybe not gourmet enough, but I love tomato soup and grilled cheese... obviously you can fancy up grilled cheese in many, many ways, but this is my favorite tomato soup recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip... (It sounds so good right now and it's 9:30 AM here!)

                        1. Many veggies I know (myself included) feel uncomforable at a dinner party if the host or hostess makes too much of a fuss about an entirely separate menu for them.

                          Also, cooking a whole separate meal can make it a rather stressful event for you!

                          What isthe rest of the menu? If you are planning to serve a meaty main course with vegetables as sides, an easy and yet thoughtful way to feed your veggie quest is simply to have plenty of interesting vegetable sides (rather than just the usual potato/veg combo), that they can fill their plate with. Another option would be to make something simple and familiar to you to replace the meaty-party of the entrée, and serve them the same side-veggies, (e.g, if the menu is italian, a hearty portion of eggplan parmesan, or if it is spanish, a nice chickpea dish, indian, a dhal, etc).

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Sam Ottawa

                            I got the feeling that the OP was having someone over for a whole week or so and was looking for ideas on what to fix them while they were staying with them, not an actual dinner party, though I could be wrong... it's been known to happen! :-)

                            1. re: Katie Nell

                              No, you're right. The rest of us are happy to eat veggie for awhile, I'm just looking for some inspiration to lift the food above the ho-hum (and there are lots of great ideas popping up here).

                          2. I like to serve Spanikopita made into individual Filo bundles on top of marinara sauce. I had this for a work lunch at Coppola winery and it was a beautiful presentation and made the Spanikopita more entree-like with the Marinara. I also do wild mushroom risotto, but I really like the Spanikopita.

                            1. Here is an unusual toasted angelhair pasta dish. Very delicious silky noodles, but sometimes young people don't like mushrooms, so check on that. My daughter makes it without mushrooms at all and increases the greens, but I wouldn't do that.

                              This dish is fairly quick and easy to make.


                              1. Don't forget about this veggie dinner thread either... http://www.chowhound.com/topics/329462 LOTS of good ideas in that one, although I did recommend the same meal I did here... oh well! :-)

                                1. Although I am not vegetarian, I do love most dishes, preferring them often to those that have meat. I will make Roasted Vegetable Quiche, with leek, mushroom, garlic, and spinach or asparagus. The other one is what I call egg foo young supreme, made with egg whites, sprout, carrot, green onion,sugar pea and garlic with a sauce. And or a french onion soup in the oven with baquette and cheese...

                                  1. Stuffed peppers with bulgar wheat, onions, tomato sauce and soy sausage are great. You can also do moussaka with the fake ground beef.

                                    Vege sushi and miso soup complement each other. Maybe do a little salad.

                                    Also, Vietnamese spring rolls can be filled with anything and are super fast and easy. Just dip in hoisin sauce.
                                    Served with a curried carrot soup and you would have a tremendous meal.

                                    1. Get a hold of Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone." Not a clunker in the bunch, she is one of my cooking Goddesses.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: missclaudy

                                        I second this one. All very easy to prepare, everyhting I have made has been really good. I recommend this to many people.

                                        1. re: prunefeet

                                          Another Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone fan here. I also like her Vegetarian Suppers cookbook. One of my favorite dishes from her is in that book--lentils and pearl onions braised in red wine, served with greens, over toast. A wonderful winter dish. Rich, warm, hearty.

                                          1. re: debbiel

                                            Deborah Madison is amazing. This is a wonderful book.

                                            1. re: jcanncuk

                                              Add my voice to the chorus lauding Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone (and Greens, mentioned upthread). Both are chock full of recipes for delicious food. You should be able to plan multiple menus for your friend's visit that even the meat-eaters will enjoy. And long after your guest leaves, you'll have a great resource for side dishes every bit as interesting as the meat entrees you serve.

                                      2. Oh! I must must must have the recipe...Oakjoan!!!

                                        "Speaking of lasagne...there's a great recipe on line at the most famous website for Gourmet foods....it's made with squash and, I think, hazelnuts and other good stuff. A deelish dish"

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: lollya

                                          I think Oakjoan is talking about the Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Lasagne on epicurious.com. It is very good.

                                        2. thank you soooo much pikawicca!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. Indian Food - Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian is awsome! This way ALL the food is veg, the vegetarian doesn't feel singled out and everyone has a great dinner. You can make it easy by ordering Naan bread and samosa's from your local Indian resto, buying pappadums and chutneys from your local asian grocer and almost all the curries/dals can be made ahead.

                                            1. I have to heartily thank all hounds who posted such outstanding suggestions. I have lots of things to cook for the visiting veggie chow pup, plus many more to try when she is gone. Thank you so much!

                                              1. Don't forget soups!! Check Mollie Katzen's site. She has a lot of great soup recipes as well as other great vegetarian dishes.


                                                This Eggplant Involtini is great and a real crowd pleaser (it might require registration, e-mail me if you need to misty1_tl @yahoo.com):


                                                My current vegetarian fav is Morrocan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew. It is especially good as leftovers.


                                                The sqaush hazelnut lasagna that oakjoan refers to is incredible too and I highly recommend it.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                  I second the eggplant involtini! Exactly wht I was going to suggest.

                                                  I amke the one from Nigella's "FEAST".


                                                2. My suggestions....

                                                  I'm a big fan of rice dishes. A wild mushroom risotto would be great, esp. this time of year. Just follow a normal risotto recipe, maybe using a little mushroom soaking liquid (if you're using any dried mushrooms) in addition to the broth, and saute the mushrooms separately with some garlic / wine / salt / pepper. I like a mixture of chanterelles (fresh, if you can get them), morels (probably dried, unless you're really lucky), plus you can mix in some cultured mushrooms like cremini or oyster if you want. I like making mine milanese style w/ some saffron dissolved in a little of the broth. Make your own stock if you can, but if not, the green "Kitchen Basics" stock isn't half bad.

                                                  The book mentioned below has a recipe for risotto w/ sage and butternut squash, which is also pretty good.

                                                  I don't know if this whole link will work (this site seems to sometimes truncate links), but here's a veg Paella recipe I posted to rec.food.veg.cooking a while back. It should also have carrots in it, which I forgot to put in there.


                                                  You really need to have a paella pan for that, though, or at least a very large cast iron skillet.

                                                  You didn't mention if your guest eats dairy (I'm assuming they do) - a veg lasagne might be pretty good if they do, using either veggie meat or just chopped, sauteed mushrooms for the meat part.

                                                  Since it's near Chanukah, maybe latkes? There's a recipe pretty close to the one I make posted on this site, actually...

                                                  Polenta (grilled or something), topped with grilled vegetables or wild mushrooms and greens would be good. I assume your guest is already there, or almost there, but you might also want to check and see if they have any favorite (or hated) vegetables, and try to work around that.

                                                  I think someone else kind of said this, but try and just think about the stuff you'd usually want to make, and then see how you can adapt that. Of course some stuff (steak, pot roast, etc.) don't really adapt too well, but you get the idea.

                                                  Great inspiration, even though it's not a veg cookbook per se... Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters.

                                                  1. I made a kick'a$$ vegan strudel a while back. I stuffed it with roasted veggies, and had it on a bed of truffle-scented sweet potato purée, with port braised mushrooms on top. It was actually awesome.


                                                    1. a friend introduced me to emeril lagasse's vegetarian chili and it's my favorite veg chili around. i threw out my other recipes:


                                                      1. If you're cooking for lacto-ovo vegetarians, I find that people respond well to stratas made with different vegetables and cheeses. One I made last Christmas for brunch with spinach, mushrooms and Gruyere cheese went over well wih everyone, carnivores and veggies alike. Even our carnivorous Pop-pop didn't miss meat at that meal.

                                                        It's from the Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe cookbook.