Need a vegetarian, wheat free main course to go along w/Beef Tenderloin at Christmas!!! Help!
Not sure if this is very "Christmas-y" but my sister is on a GF diet and she really appreciated when I made her eggplant parm with GF bread crumbs (made from rice) since it is hard for her to find that anywhere else. Also a vegetable lasagna with rice noodles would be a good main dish (spinach or butternut squash, etc).
Acorn squash stuffed with quinoa (or rice) and veggies could go nicely with the rest of your meal.
Tamales are great, can be made vegetarian and gluten-free, and are traditional at Christmas.
Or, maybe a Thai-inspired dish with rice noodles, or a curry with rice?
An entree salad with quinoa, black beans and lots of veggies?
I think I would follow other posters' lead and stuff something -- a squash or peppers. That would work well with the other sides, and would feel main dish-y. Fillings could be made out of lentils, rice, quinoa, soy meat, veggies or a combo. it sounds like dairy is okay, so topping with cheese would be lovely.
If you don't want to make it seem like a 'separate' dish for the GF/veg, I'd suggest trading the mashed potatoes for a potato torte - for winter, I love one layered with butternut squash and feta/goat cheese (any cheese, but that's just me...) We eat this regularly with whatever veggies are rattling in the crisper both as a side and a main.
This isn't very fancy, but you know what I appreciate so much more now that I'm GF? A really lovely mac and cheese. I highly recommend the quinoa and corn based pasta; TJ's brown rice penne also works (don't overcook!!!).
Also, a gorgeous veggie gratin is nice. Maybe butternut squash with gruyere and all the wintry herbs and just enough cream?
Echo the recs for stuffing things... Stuff Portabello Mushrooms provide a nice steaky texturous option. OR http://www.wheatfreemeatfree.com/2009/09/tempeh-spinach-stuffed-peppers/
These lentils look great... http://www.grouprecipes.com/15066/tangy-red-lentils.html
Here's a Lentil Loaf recipe that you could liven up with more veggies (mushrooms, spinach, etc.) and herbs... http://vegetarian.about.com/od/gluten...
I love lexpatti's stuffed peppers idea. Red and green peppers would be so pretty! It would be thoughtful of you to do a high protein stuffing so the dish really does function as a main course rather than a side. Ideas for the stuffing include wild rice with dried fruit, nuts, and roasted vegetables. If your vegetarian enjoys mock meat, you could include chunks of smoked or teriyaki / five-spice flavored oven-dried tofu, which tastes great and has a very 'meaty' texture. As other posters have mentioned, quinoia is also very high in protein and can be prepared deliciously like a tabbouleh or wild rice salad with nuts and used as filling.
If your vegetarian isn't vegan, maybe he/she would enjoy gluten free quiche. Either make the quiche crustless or use a rice or rice flour based crust. (I've also seen mashed potato or potato flour crust recipes out there.)
Finally... this sounds rather low brow, I know, but I happen to really enjoy it: tortilla "lasagna". Layer corn tortillas with pasta sauce, cheese, tomato slices and, for the holiday, roasted green peppers. (You can also use a variety of other vegetables including, among other things, roasted eggplant, portobella mushroom, zucchini, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, poblano peppers etc... Top with mozzarella and bake. If you want an Italianish spin, serve topped with basil leaves and parm sprinkled on top. Or for a Mexican-esqe spin, top with cilantro and sour cream.
ETA: One more idea! Since it looks like you might be in the Chicago area with its sizeable Chinese-American population, you might be able to just find and purchase vegetarian duck made out of tofu 'skin' and dongu / shiitake mushrooms. It's substantial, relatively high in protein, delicious (if it suits your vegetarian's tastes, of course) and looks like a main course on the plate.
A Spanish tortilla with red and green peppers cut in would look great, Chris! And no mucking about with the crust -- good idea.
The Chinese mock duck I've seen has always been made out of thin layers of bean curd sheets (dofu pi), but I think I know what you're talking about. I've had mock duck in vegetarian Thai curries that were made out of compressed tofu or seitan -- something much thicker and harder than dofu pi (and not very delicious IMHO). Something like this is what I'm talking about: http://dharmafolk.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/cvc121.jpg
Or this from our own Peter Cherches's blog: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zztJlWAZWvM...
My friend gave me this recipe for a mushroom-greens torta. It looked absolutely gorgeous and sounded delicious. Here you go:
This recipe is adapted from NYTimes health food writer Martha Rose Schulman, Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World’s Healthiest Cuisine (Rodale).
He used this whole-wheat yeasted olive oil pastry from NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/22/sci...). You would obviously have to sub gluten-free pie crust.
2 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3/4 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 lbs greens, whatever you have on hand (I used ½ collard, ½ chard
1 t fresh thyme, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 large eggs
1/3 c skim milk
1/3 c grated, densely packed baby swiss cheese
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Divide the dough into roughly 2/3 and 1/3, and roll out the larger portion and put in a 9-inch spring-form pan. Roll out the other portion and refrigerate both to prevent the dough from tasting too bready.
2. Bring water to boil in a large pot. Salt liberally and boil the greens. (I boiled the collards for about four minutes, and the chard about one minute.) Place in a bowl of ice water, then remove and squeeze out the water. Chop coarsely.
3. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium. Saute the shallot until it begins to soften, about three minutes. Add the mushrooms, stirring frequently, cooking for about eight minutes. Add the salt, pepper, thyme and garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, about one minute. Add the greens, cooking for another minute. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat.
4. In a bowl, beat the eggs and milk. Stir in both cheeses. Combine with the mushroom-greens mixture, then scrape into the spring-form pan. Top with the other rolled-out dough, cutting a few breathing holes.
5. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until pastry is browned nicely.
Seriously a wealth of info here.....thank you so much. I really like the idea of the roasted veggie gratin. I also thought about a Butternut Squash Lasagna, but fear that rice lasagna noodles wouldn't be too tasty. Thoughts?
Also, a side note: I have had a lovely roasted Acorn Squash at a Houston's Restaurant many years ago. I think it had butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar on it, then topped with toasted pistachios (or was it walnuts??). Does that sound "hearty" enough??? Hmmm.... so many choices now!