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Yikes, a vegan for dinner

OK, I've got my go-to menus for vegetarians, but now I've got a vegan coming. It's just three of us so I'm willing to do the menu around him. Does anyone have some great dinner ideas? I just can't think of anything that doesn't involve a little butter or cheese.

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  1. You can do a vegetarian chili with beans, quinoa or bulghur, etc. You can leave it as is for everyone, or you can serve shredded cheese and sour cream on the side for the non-vegans. You should also be able to find vegan cheese and sour cream or yogurt if you want to try those (I have personally never been fond of these items).
    You can serve with a nice tossed salad - you can embellish the salad a million ways -
    beets, hearts of palm, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.
    If you go to a local health food type store, you should be able to find vegan wraps, etc. that you can serve alongside the veg chili.

    A chinese hot pot is also a good option - I like this version - fill a large soup pot about halfway with water - add about a cup of sweet chili sauce and a cup of light soya sauce and about a 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice. You can add tamarind or miso if you have. add a variety of dried mushrooms of your choice - straw mushrooms are also nice - add cut up bok choy - add cubed extra firm tofu - add finely chopped green onions - bring to a boil and let simmer for about 30 min - add about 3 cloves freshly chopped garlic and about a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger - put in bowls topped with freshly washed bean sprouts, cilantro and an extra splash of lime juice

    1. How about Indian? Plenty of vegan tradition there, so you have a zillion choices. A rice dish, a dal, a vegetable, a couple of chutneys, a salad and you're done.

      1 Reply
      1. re: alanbarnes

        Yes, I was thinkingof a recipe from Yamuna Devi's Indian cookbook that's a stew of chickpeas, tomatoes, and spinach. Really good and vegan.

        My favorite weeknight pasta dish is also vegan: saute some garlic (minced or left whole) in olive oil till it starts to brown. Add 1-inch cubes of eggplant, and turn till they color and go soft. Add canned tomatoes, season with salt and a little dried chili, let simmer down till it's the consistency you like, serve with penne or tortiglioni. Serve grated cheese on the side for those who want it. Serve a salad and maybe some green beans as a side?

      2. I love chickpea eggplant stew over couscous in cold weather.

        http://www.seasonalchef.com/recipe35....

        You can be creative with it, add squash, zucchini (summer time), celery, carrots, etc.

        1. i often make peppers stuffed with spanish rice and black beans for vegans and vegetarians (I add cheddar cheese on these). A nice green salad with interesting additions, some decent bread and margarine make a nice meal.

          1. If part of the problem is that you can't think of anything butter-free, you could probably just sub in olive oil instead.