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Jan 31, 2008 04:24 PM

Dinner Party - Vegetarian Options?

We are hosting a dinner party for some of my husband's work colleagues - one of whom is a vegetarian. I want to be able to provide her with a substantial option, while not making the rest of the party eat vegetarian fare. Does anyone have any brilliant ideas? Thanks!

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  1. You could do cannelloni or manicotti or rollatini w/ a marinara or meat sauce option. Serve w/ crusty bread, some broccolini, salad, etc.

    Or, do kebabs but do hers w/ tofu or a meatless seitan or tempeh substitute.

    Do a mediterranean spread - spanokopita, schwarma, hummus, tabbouleh, dolmas, etc.

    If you wanted to do a Mexican theme, enchiladas are easy enough to vary the middles.

    These are assuming this is a "sit down, I'm making your plate for you" type of affair.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Emme

      Cannelloni stuffed with spinach, onions, pine nuts, and golden raisins w/parmesan, sauced with a bechamel sauce, always goes over like gang busters. You could serve a more substantial app with cheese and nuts and then maybe a squash or other root vegetable soup.

      Riffing on Emme's mediterranean suggestion, you could easily do middle eastern a tagine with vegetables, chickpeas, and whole wheat couscous along with a greek salad and some babba ganoush and hummus with pita. And then just buy some good baklava for dessert.

    2. How fancy do you have to be for the colleagues and what type of meat are you serving to the rest of the party?

      I would try to make the meal very vegetarian friendly, meaning meatless starch and vegetable sides for all, and instead of the meat portion, serve a very similar meatless entree to the vegetarian. For example, if serving steak to the omnivores, serve the vegetarian grilled portobella mushrooms, perhaps with grilled polenta. Eggplant scallopine for of chicken scallopine. Roasted squash with apples instead of pork roast. Wild mushroom ragout in wine instead of beef bourguignonne. That way, every one has an equal number of dishes, and the vegetarian does not feel she is eating the "side" dishes only.

      1. Last summer Mr. Suebee and I went to a wonderful vegetarian dinner party. The hosts served portobello mushroom burgers along with curried lentils and other sides I can't recall. It may be a little casual for your dinner party, but I'd suggest a stuffed portobello recipe. Very filling and satisfying...who know, maybe your other guests will covet the mushrooms! :)

        Here's some ideas:

        1. I love hazelnut or pinenut crusted goat cheese. It can be served warm (baked) on top of a bed of grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and grilled zucchini, with a vinaigarette drizzed over the top. I make them in the size of a very small hamburger, and the richness of the nuts and cheese is very substantial and filling; its like a meat substitute. Your non-vegetarian guests will love it too! (I'm not vegetarian)

          Its super quick and no-hassle. Just stick toasted nuts in food processor until they are coarsely ground. Take goat cheese and form into a pattie and press the nuts into it to coat. Then bake or pan sautee until golden brown, if desired. It can also be served with a salad of baby greens.

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