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New Recipe Ideas For Vegan(ish) Mother

My mother is more or less a vegan except she eats some fish. Mainly salmon or halibut, but other than that, she is a pretty strict vegan. I have a challenge each time she comes to visit. I usually make salmon, mushroom risotto, or a pasta dish like a lasagna. I'm looking to shake things up and make something interesting. I would really like a dish that will wow her. Anybody have any ideas for me? Thanks

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  1. People have been raving about Veganomicon's chickpea cutlets. I personally haven't tried it as the amount of gluten in it is too much for me. The recipe is on chow.com.


    1. Is she vegan or vegetarian - I ask because lasagna almost always contains dairy and most vegans would not eat fish. I am not vegan but there are plenty of dishes which happen to be vegan we eat a lot: Falafel, daal, lentil salad or soup, polenta with mushrooms, white beans or with ratatouille, sesame noodles, vegetarian sushi, eggplant cutlets in tomato sauce, socca, thai curries...

      3 Replies
      1. re: jsaimd

        I have made lasagna in the past that does not contain dairy. She is a vegan who occasionally eats some fish. Feel free to tell me the right term for that.

        Like I said, I am looking for a wow meal. I want to impress. Each of the ideas you gave seem good for an every day meal, but I am looking more for a meal to impress.

        Any other ideas?

        1. re: JonH

          No recipes, but maybe you could get some inspiration from the vegan dishes at this LA restaurant?


          1. re: JonH

            Several of these can be quite impressive given the presentation. There are a lot of tart or filo based recipes. I can't have wheat, so I don't know them but the roasted veggie tart comes to mind.

            Another idea is somethign I saw on an old Julia child show - not vegan originally but easily made so...

            Thinly and evenly slice large potato and cut into rectangles that mimic lasagna noodles. Bast in fat of choice season and roast. Make a wild mushroom filling - with herbs of choice. Can make a cashew ricotta to spread on it if you want. I have never been wild about nut cheeses, but some are. Layer as you would lasagna and top with garlic, herb infused olive oil. I would serve with microgreens and perhaps roasted fruit.

            My SIL who is sometimes vegan sent us Veganomicon for Christmas - it is an interesting book and may have some recipes. Lentil and chestnut pate comes to mind.

        2. The Real Food Daily cookbook has some good recipes.Ideas-Butternut squash,corn,and cilantro phyllo rolls-Seitan enchiladas with salsa verde, Seitan tacos,Tofu quiche with leeks and asparagus and Tempeh meat loaf.My daughter is vegan.We tried these recipes and loved them.To long to write the ingredients but maybe you can find it online.

          1. Does she eat honey (vegans don't)? If so, this salmon recipe http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Baked-Di... always gets raves.

            What about something like cheeseless sweet potato burritos w/ rice and what not... i have a good recipe if you're interested.

            Halibut chunks blackened and served as fish tacos.

            Halibut Mango Ceviche http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Halibut-...

            Instead of mushroom risotto, what about a butternut squash, sage, caramelized onions, sundried tomatoes risotto?

            And, if she eats scallops... I do seared scallops, then deglaze the pan with orange juice, toast black lentils til crispy but cooked enough to eat, then plate the lentils as a bed, top with scallops, drizzle with orange reduction and parsley oil.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Emme

              I'm not sure if she eats honey or not. I'm guessing not. I was thinking about searing some salmon and then making a port reduction sauce. Maybe add some thyme, maybe some jam like blackberry.

              I like the fish taco idea and the risotto idea sounds tasty too.

              She is allergic to all shellfish so scallops are out. Thansk for the ideas though.

            2. You didn't mention any desserts, but their is a new vegan dessert cookbook out

              The author also has a blog so maybe you could get recipes there too. Sorry I don't know the address of the site.

              my blog http://www.dinnersforayear.blogspot.com

              1 Reply
              1. re: eatmyfood

                I second that on My Sweet Vegan, it is awesome for dessert! Her blog is http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/.

                I wish I had the recipe written down, but basically, my husband lightly breads a nice fillet of cod and just pan fries (not deep fries) it for the most tender, flaky and delicious fish I have ever had.

                In terms of vegan meals, I recommend looking at http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/. Out of control with recipes, ideas, and photos.

              2. A twist on the usual risotto would be to use farro instead with wild mushrooms (fresh or dried.) Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" has great vegan recipes, as well as excellent recipes for the non-vegetarian or flexitarian.

                  1. Hey, JonH

                    Google Vendy Awards 2007 and you will find a guy who either won or came close to winning for his vegan dosas. "Vendy" is the city award for the best fast food vendor. A dosa is a thin vegan crepe that can be filled with all sorts of wonderful things. The hard part would be making the crepes because they're 18-20 inches across, crispy, rolled like a burrito. I'm guess you could make smaller ones. I think the batter is key, and I'm off to find out if it's lentil based or chickpea flour or what.

                    Fill with curried potatoes, spicy chick peas, cauliflower and spinach, tomato stew.
                    Have sauces on the side.

                    The only problem I see is that they can't be made ahead. So have your mother sit in the kitchen and as you make a dosa, slice and serve and go on to the next one. Hot and crispy and made to order. That's gotta be a wow.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: nemo

                      I make dosas at home all the time. I usually buy the batter from the Indian grocery store, because you have to ferment the batter at the right temp or it doesn't work...the batter is made with urad dal and rice. I add a touch of fenugreek. They take a bit of practice, but are fairly easy to make. The key is to keep the pan at the right temp. To hot and the batter sets up too fast and you can't get them thin enough, not hot enough and it doesn't cook right. Google though and there are several utube videos on how to make dosa. Must be made fresh definitely!

                      1. re: jsaimd

                        Thanks for the suggestion, jsaimd. I see there are mixes available, but I'll try my local Indian grocery first for the batter. Is there a special tool to spread the batter?

                        1. re: nemo

                          I use the back of a ladle. I make small dosas in a cast iron or non-stick pan - NO OIL ON THE PAN. I ladle in about a 1/4 cup of batter, then use the back of a ladle to spread it out in a circular motion. Then allow to set up - when I start to see browning I spray with oil around the side - more traditional is to spoon oil. I don't always use the oil for subsequent dosa. Wait until brown on the bottom (you will learn to tell), peel off, and roll immediately. Do not flip.

                          1. re: jsaimd

                            jsaimd: Thank you for the suggestion to watch the videos on You Tube. Great information on technique. My Indian grocery store does not carry frozen or fresh batter, so I will try the powdered mix first, and then try making the batter from scratch.

                            Here's a link to the guy who won the 2007 Vendy Award which got me interested in these crepes to begin with. I can't wait to try them!


                            I hope the OP comes back to read this thread. I think this would be a wonderful way to feed and entertain his mother all at the same time!

                    2. I am not vegan but enjoy a challenge and cook for vegan friends. When I cook vegan, I usually make ethnic recipes that traditionally don't call for meat rather than adapting american foods. You can easily make a korean BBQ and use marinated portobellos and tofu instead of beef or fish.
                      Korean BBQ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_c...

                      It is a fun way to have a nice meal as you use lettuce leaves to make a wrap and apply a hot sauce and rice. Also Korean meals are usually accompanied by a range of pickled veggies and small dishes which can be purchased at an asian market. The nice thing I find about cooking Korean food as well is that to create the flavor profile you only need a few ingredients including toasted sesame oil and red chile paste. Many of the foods can be purchased or prepared in advance--just be sure you carefully check ingredients lists to make sure there are no seafood additives (some kinds of kim chee have oysters, etc.


                      Sample menu
                      pa jun (pancake with veggies using Ener-G egg replacer instead of eggs)

                      Buckwheat noodles with cucumber (don't put in the egg

                      Marinade for the veggie/tofu

                      I have used all of the above recipes with good results.

                      Also -- my absolute go to vegan dessert is the chocolate bomb cake on PPK. It is ****ing amazing.