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Vegetarian Mains?

My husband and I are meat and potatoes people, but there's a good possibility that we'll be entertaining vegetarians in the forseeable future (no formal plans yet, but I'd like to have some ideas in advance). I'm looking for suggestions for both a sit-down dinner, and for a more casual cook out type gathering. Here's the caveat...it needs to be something my husband will enjoy, so not too veggie-centric, and definitely not tofu based. Absolutely no asparagus or Brussels sprouts, please. I want something that will please everyone without me having to prepare two entrees, or our guests feeling relegated to sides and salad. Thank you!

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  1. Eggplant parmesan is a good bet, if your husband likes eggplant. Tastes meaty because of the sauce and cheese. Or vegetarian lasagne. Do a search on epicurious.com or foodandwine.com for the recipes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: AppetiteforChina

      Yeah, a cheese lasagna was my first thought...and I love eggplant, even though I'm one of those people who gets tingly-throated from it. Hubby probably wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole, though.

      1. re: AppetiteforChina

        Do you have any non-meat stuffing recipes? The two I use have crab/sausage in them...

        1. re: AppetiteforChina

          I was going to recommend eggplant parm too. Just make sure that the vegetarians are ok with parmigiano cheese. I know a few who aren't because of the animal rennet.

        2. Mushrooms, mushrooms, mushrooms! Portobellos are practically meat.

          In the salad department, you can make anything filling with enough nuts and berries and cheese.

          1. i'm probably starting to sound like a broken record, but Wild Mushroom Ragù over polenta...or a Moroccan chickpea-based dish like a stew or Chana Masala.

            or if they eat eggs, you could do a quiche or soufflé (either a large one or individul portions).

            1. Stuffed butternut squash is always a big hit, and it's not too vegetable-y.

              And there's always pasta, in a billion different permutations. You can always make meatballs and serve them separately to those who want them.

              For the cookout, vegetable kebabs are great -- and you can do a make-your-own situation, again with cubes of meat for those who want them.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dmd_kc

                Oh, I forgot: Before doing anything very cheesy, I'd check with them first. Even if they aren't vegan, a LOT of vegetarians don't like to eat big portions of cheese.

                And because they get so much of it at things like wedding banquets, I'd avoid pasta primavera. I was vegetarian for 17 years, and you wouldn't believe how many times that is the only meat-free dish available.

                1. re: dmd_kc

                  Good advice! Not vegan by far, but not a fan of the pound-of-cheese school of veg cooking. Cheese is a garnish/condiment in my book.

              2. Roasted Vegetable lasagna is a tasty dish. Veggie chili is a great casual dish and I use veggie "ground beef"- you can't really tell the difference. Veggie Sheppard's pie made with the same veggie ground beef and mushroom boullion works well too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: salsailsa

                  I will second the roasted veggie lasagna. My SO is a meat and three kind of person and I can slip roasted veggie lasagna in our rotation because he doesn't miss the meat.