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Jul 9, 2007 05:05 PM

Vegetarian Anniversary Dinner? What to make?

I'd like to make a vegetarian anniversary dinner, something special BUT it'll be a work night, so nothing that takes too long to prepare would be ideal.

I could do a pasta or some sort but that seems to...standard.

Any thoughts or suggestions (pasta or otherwise) would be GREAT!


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  1. My standard "special" dinner is roasted garlic mashed potatoes, tofu breaded in seasoned cornmeal and pan-fried, greens braised with leeks and white wine, and veggie gravy. It's delicious, filling, and impressive-looking, but doesn't take forever to cook--I've made this meal on weeknights many times. To cut corners you could roast the garlic and make the gravy a day in advance - or even make the mashed potatoes in advance, then plop them in a casserole dish and heat them up in the oven until the top turns golden brown.

    4 Replies
    1. re: lilaholland

      That sounds delicious! I've never made braised greens...have a recipe you can share? How do you make veggie gravy?

      1. re: lilaholland

        Could you share the gravy recipe? Thanks.

        1. re: MplsM ary

          my family loves this vegan gravy recipe and they aren't even vegetarian. i prefer it with less balsamic, but they like it as written.

          1. re: MplsM ary

            Whoa, haven't checked on this in awhile - sorry! My gravy recipe is a very mutable thing, but here's the basics:

            Heat some olive oil in a thick saucepan, then add a couple spoons of flour and stir to make a roux. Stir over low-medium heat until it's light brown, being careful not to burn, then alternately add small amounts of tamari and veggie broth, whisking thoroughly each time to avoid lumps. That's it for the basic recipe, but to get fancier I'll add any or all of the following: black pepper, cloves, bay leaf, red wine, chopped carrot/garlic/green onions. Let all that stuff simmer for as long as you want, adding more liquid as neccessary, then strain out the chunks and reduce to the desired thickness. The basic style is great, but the fancy version is well worth the extra time. Play with seasonings as you wish.

            For braised greens, I get a bag of mixed baby braising greens or chop up some regular greens (kale, chard, escarole, etc.). In a large pan, saute any combo of chopped onions, garlic, and leeks in olive oil, then add the greens and a splash of white wine and/or veggie broth. If they don't all fit at once, let half wilt and then add the other half. Cover and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy. Add salt & pepper and a splash of tamari or Bragg's, stir and serve. The more leeks, the merrier.

        2. Someone just sent me this recipe for a mushroom loaf. It looks great. It does take long to make, but you could do the prep the night before and bake when you get home. Alternately, you could bake mini-loaves in muffin tins that would be much faster.

          Again, I can't vouch for it, but it seems like a lovely change of pace. Then, you could do Lilaholland's potatoes (or any other favorite recipe) and greens.

          1. You could do a risotto with something special in it?

            For an appetizer/salad you could do julienned roasted beets with little orange supremes and some chopped mint/basil with a drizzle of balsamic/other vinaigrette. Maybe some toasted nuts. (that's all really just assembling, pretty quick)

            Or a roasted portabello with goat cheese

            Eggplant roulade - grilled eggplant slices (you could do this in advance) - then put a slice of fresh mozzarella, sundried tomato, piece of roasted red pepper, and a bit of pesto and roll the whole thing up. Stuff a small baking dish with the little rolls, then cover with either a tomato sauce (with some spice would be good) or a goat cheese cream sauce. Or you could do a mint pesto for the summer!

            Or a veg Mexican theme - stuffed poblanos, tamales, roasted/grilled veggies

            1 Reply
            1. re: laurendlewis

              PS to the eggplant: After topping with sauce, bake for a little while to get everything nice and hot.

            2. One of my favorite things in the world is a homemade vegetarian stroganoff. Just use any standard stroganoff recipe, but omit the meat and double the amount of mushrooms. Then, make a few substitutions: use Chantrelles (if you can afford them) and any other mushroom you like and lots of dry white wine for the sauce. Fresh egg noodles and TONS of freshly chopped parsely (well, okay, if you're like me and love parsely) and cracked black pepper. I serve this with simple crusty grain bread and butter, and a salad of frisée & radish (and whatever else) tossed in lemon juice and drizzled with oil. Maybe a simple dessert of high quality chocolate bars and cut fruit (hot stuff to feed eachother :-) he he) and coffee.

              4 Replies
              1. re: femmenikita

                i was about to suggest stroganoff! the one thing that makes it extra-special is a little drizzle of truffle oil at the end. mmm...

                1. re: arifa

                  What a fabulous suggestion. Why hadn't I thought of that yet? I have some truffle oil sitting on a shelf at home and was recently thinking that it's going to waste because I never use it... Dammit, now I'm getting hungry and really wish I hadn't already made dinner plans for tonight. That sounds so good!

                  1. re: femmenikita

                    These all look great! Wish I liked mushrooms!!! But my hubby loves them...

                    1. re: sds

                      For special occasions I make all kinds of vegetarian strudels using Dufour puff pastry sheets.
                      I recently made one that turned out really good (surprisingly)--with a sort of north african inspired cauliflower filling and fresh goat cheese.
                      Basically, I sauteed onions and finely chopped cauliflower in olive oil with a few pinches of cinnamon and about 1/4 cup of pinenuts and I added raisins and some water to keep it moist. Once the sautee was sort of golden I cooked off all the liquid and let it cool.
                      To strudel it up, I lightly rolled out the puff pastry dough and spread goat cheese on it, then the cauliflower filling and rolled it up. Bake seam side down for about 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.

              2. One of my favorite dinners... Pistachio encrusted tofu with topical fruit salsa and black beans. If this sounds interesting to you, let me know and I will type the recipe for you :)

                2 Replies
                1. re: hollyeve

                  I would do a sweet corn "risotto" - basically a fresh corn kernals slow cooked and added cream. Rich and fantastic. Only small servings needed if your corn is rich and sweet (if you like sweet corn). I would serve a grilled veggie stack (or broiled) for the main - eggplant, squash, peppers - whatever looks good. Perhaps with grilled polenta on the bottom, and then topped with a red pepper cream sauce (hey you said this was a special dinner, and you don't need much cream in either dish). Then I would serve a nice summer salad - you could do the watermelon, feta, olive salad, or you could do a nice green salad.

                  1. re: hollyeve

                    hollyeve, I would love the recipe for the pistachio encrusted tofu meal!!