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Jun 29, 2009 01:03 PM

Great Vegetarian Recipes for Meat Lovers

My husband and I, in an effort to remain healthy and to improve our well being are planning on adding several vegetarian meals weekly to our diets. We will be attempting to eat around 2-3 vegetarian meals per week. I am looking for any main dishes, sides, soups, salads etc that will be great for our family. We will still be eating meat, simply decreasing the quantity. We both grew up in the South, so anything that simulates fried food (i.e. any "baked" dishes) or any and all spicy and ultra flavorful dishes would be our first choice but I appreciate any and all suggestions for tried and true veggie dishes. Any dish that is either elaborate or simple will work for us as we love to cook. Also, if anyone out there has a "baked" recipe for fried green tomatoes(not sure if this is possible : ) I would love to have that as well. Thanks in advance for any recipes or suggestions.

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  1. A great idea, I'm tuscan and always suggest, this time of the year at least Panzanella, it's an ancient recipe that used to be made in Tuscany and is still very popular, all you need is some stale bread, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and basil leaves. Our secret is the bread, it must be unsalted and sogged in cold water, then all you do is squeeze the water out and add all the ingredients, finally season with extravirgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt....that's all meatless, healthy and fresh....

    1. Last night I made a first course that I will now be making larger for a main course it was that good!

      I got a mixed variety of beets, roasted them and served them with farm fresh yogurt on top. Would probably be great if you added dill if you like dill (I don't).

      Served that along side a caramelized onion and tellegio cheese tart.
      rolled out square of puffed pastry with caramelized onion reduced with a little red wine vinegar and brown with tellegio on the pastry, leave a 1" edge and brush with melted butter. 350 oven for 15-20 minutes and it was GREAT. Crispy, flaky crust and great flavors.

      I also love making paninis in the summer to get the most out of produce from the farmers market - they're easy and can be made with anything. standard is artichoke pesto, goat cheese, and grilled summer squash...smushed in the panini press (usually use ciabatta rolls).

      Lastly, my summer go-to is gaspacho. I can live on this in the summer and just made my first batch.
      - tomato juice, lots of onion, lots of seedless cucumbers, peppers, jalapenos. Blend everything together with a little red wine vinegar, then serve VERY cold. Better the next day, and I add small chunks of sweet onion, cukes and peppers to the blended soup because I like the chunky bits. Great with avocado or plain yogurt on top.

      1. will chime in with more later, but "oven-fried" green tomatoes are absolutely possible, and delicious!


        3 large green tomatoes
        ½ cup flour (or GF flour substitute)
        ½ cup medium-grind cornmeal
        ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs (or sub ground flax, almond meal, or GF bread crumbs)
        1 tsp celery salt
        ¼ tsp paprika
        ¼ tsp cayenne
        ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
        2 egg whites
        ½ cup low fat buttermilk (or evaporated skim milk “soured” with 1½ tsp lemon juice)

        - Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray or parchment.
        - Slice tomatoes – you want them about ¼-inch thick.
        - Add flour, cornmeal, breadcrumbs (or substitute), and seasonings to a flat, shallow dish, and combine thoroughly with a whisk.
        - In a small bowl, whisk together egg whites and buttermilk.
        - Dip each tomato slice in egg wash, let excess drip off, dredge in cornmeal mixture, and gently shake off any excess.
        - Lay tomato slices on prepared baking sheet and mist lightly with oil.
        - Bake for 18- 20 minutes, turning once to ensure even browning.

        NOTE: this is also a terrific way to make okra!

        gratin is another favorite vegetarian dish. i love this NY Times recipe. it's always a hit, it's easy, and it's relatively low in fat...

        a couple of notes:
        - you can sub Swiss, Emmentaler, or a combo of Fontina & Parm for the Gruyère
        - if you don't like cumin, substitute a teaspoon of minced fresh thyme or rosemary and some freshly grated nutmeg.
        - try it with turnips, parsnips, or rutabaga instead of (or in addition to) potatoes.

        also do a search for quinoa & grain salads. there have been tons of threads during the past couple of years.

        2 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I get a Page Not Found on the NYTimes recipe. Can you specify what recipe you're referring to?

        2. I found this recipe yesterday for a zucchini galette and haven't made it yet, but it's on my list:

          Other meals I've made lately:
          Greek salad stuffed into a pita with hummus

          Bean and cheese burritos with a salad. Actually - a lot of bean dishes lately as my freezer was crammed with beans I made during cooler weather. Thankfully today is again cool so I'm making another batch to freeze.

          Asparagus risotto

          I made a little appetizer dinner recently: carrot sticks and stuffed celery, tiny tostada (small flour tortilla cut in thirds then fried and piled), mushroom duxelle with toast points cheese and fruit. It was an odd combo but completely satisfying and wonderfully tasty.

          Panzanella sounds great.

          I'm also going to take a whack at Buffalo and BBQ styles of tofu and different vegetables with polenta both creamy and fried.

          1. I made an easy courgette lasagne tonight which was a big hit with Mr GG - who is massively into meat. Very light and summery, and more healthy than regular lasagnes.


            1 Reply
            1. re: greedygirl

              The courgette lasagne is pretty good and well worth a try. That said, I think it needs "something" but I'm not sure quite what.

              One of my favourite "almost veggie" meals - macaroni cheese, incorporating softened onion, courgette and a smallish quantity of bacon/pancetta. When it's cooked, put in a serving dish, top with breadcrumbs, mixed with a little cayenne, and a sprinkle of cheese and stick it under the grill for a couple of minutes.

              Most of my completely veggie dishes are more autumn/winter stuff. But b=how about lentil burgers to be going on with? Cook 225g green lentils. Fry some garlic, a large onion, couple of carrots and a stick of celery. Mix the two, with some ground coriander and cumin, a lot of parsley and a juice of half a lemon (maybe more). Whizz it in a processor with an egg and 100g breadcrumbs. Make into burgers and chill for 30 minutes or so to firm up and then grill to heat through. I'd serve these without a bun but with chips and some mayo mixed with curry powder and a tomato salad. Delish, IMO.