Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Apr 1, 2009 06:02 AM

Need help with vegetarian dishes

My story starts with a purchase of a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker and a new charcuterie hobby. I love these things very much. However, I notice my meat intake skyrocketing. I'm not looking to become a vegetarian, but am seeking balance. What I want to achieve is less meat during the week, which will be offset by my meat-heavy weekends (especially smoking), in order to restore the balance.

What I need are some recipes that are vegetarian, or minor amounts of meat, but are also fulfilling.

It'll be a lot easier during the summer to think of stuff when we have loads of vegetables that taste great. But during the rest of the year, it's tougher.

Pastas, soups, I've got covered, although I'm open to suggestions.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm in the same boat. I've also got a WSM, and I'm lost in the woods when it comes to healthy veg dishes. I don't dislike veggies, but I wish I knew how to make them other than the ol' steaming solution (which isn't much of a meal).

    1 Reply
    1. re: jameskennedy

      I love vegetables, just have trouble thinking of dishes that make them a centerpiece.

    2. Here's a link to Mollie Katzen's Web site. The zuccanoes are good. I usually sub beans for the rice.

      Also, ratatouille, stuffed peppers, mushroom stew over polenta, Indian-spiced caulifower and spinach, roasted mixed vegetables (carrots, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, peppers, parsnips, onions, whatever you have).

      1 Reply
      1. re: nemo

        Along the same lines, I highly recommend a Moosewood Cookbook or two. There are some great vegetarian one-meal-salads, stews, and other main dishes in those books.

      2. I tend to eat mostly vegetarian meals and a couple of times a week I will have chicken and fish but red meat only if I eat out occasionally. Thus, my repertoire of veggie dishes has been expanding quite a lot. Some of my favourites are: pot barley risotto (and regular risotto too) with roasted butternut squash and other vegetables of your choice; chickpea burgers; kidney bean chilli; phyllo pie (with a variety of fillings); brown rice stir-fry with oyster sauce, ginger, garlic, peppers, carrots and beansprouts; sag aloo; dhal and potato and spinach fritatta to name a few.

        Vegetable bakes are a great idea too as they're easy to make ahead and re-heat.

        1. - Baked eggplant
          -Stuffed artichokes
          -barley mushroom stew
          -baked stuffed zucchini
          -stuffed baked potatoes (broccoli & cheese)

          1. Vegetarian pizza is my favorite. Make an artichoke, garlic, tomato and spinach or whatever you like pizza. Totally satisfying. Use a white sauce with ricotta cheese as the base add garlic, and basil, and the go from there.

            Egg plant parmesean, man who can turn that down? Great dinner with happy faces all around the table.

            Baked potatoes- I mean the great big ones, filled with any topping from a stew to chili or just cheese and butter/sour/cream and chives. There's a nice fricasse using mushrooms in a cream sherry sauce that's a great topping for baked potatoes.

            And stir fry veggies are the way to really make me happy I can eat buckets of it and not ever miss meat. If you want you can add small amounts of chicken to keep people happy.

            I'm so jealous of your smoker, I'm sure you're going to have a lot of fun with that!

            5 Replies
            1. re: chef chicklet

              Side note: if you're worried about the space issues, you can get a stovetop smoker! Sounds like a total joke, but we took a chance on it and we LOVE it. We have this one:


              We use it in our apartment (stovetop and in the oven) and it's been wonderful. Odd gadget, huh?!

              1. re: sfumato

                Wow that is different, and I've seen that on Iron Chef. I think for a smaller amount of fish or meat, that would certainly be a great choice. What are you smoking in it?
                You can get chicken pieces in this right? Or duck breasts? Hmmm.

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  We smoke everything- we've even fit a small (I think it was 3-4 lbs) brisket in there! It can definitely fit at least 4-6 chicken pieces. We did two huge tukey legs once. They say you can put tightly fitted foil over it and do a whole bird, but we haven't tried that. We stick to lots of meats, definitely, and we did a huge salmon piece that was the first time I'd ever really liked cooked salmon. Haven't tried many veggies or cheeses yet. We had friends over and they loved it so much, they bought one, too!

              2. re: chef chicklet

                I'm having a blast with the smoker. Too much, in fact. It's all I think of during the week, what I'm going to smoke that weekend. And the smaller Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) has plenty of capacity for a normal sized family, so you always cook plenty. Therein lies the problem with my meat consumption.

                That stove top one looks good. If you're in an apartment, make sure you have a good hood vent. My old condo had one, but it just sucked the smoke up into a filter, which really didn't do much. I've seen videos of making turkey pastrami (probably could do regular pastrami) using one of those things.

                1. re: grandgourmand

                  Very true. We've been careful to make sure the lid fits tightly on and hasn't warped, so there is very minimal smoke escapage- just smells like normal-pungency cooking scents.