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Need a vegetarian, wheat free main course to go along w/Beef Tenderloin at Christmas!!! Help!

stacylyn Dec 7, 2009 04:29 AM

Can anyone help w/ a tasty vegetarian, wheat free main dish to go along w/Beef Tenderloin, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus, etc, for Christmas dinner????

  1. t
    thegirlwholovestoeat Dec 7, 2009 05:55 AM

    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).

    1. l
      lexpatti Dec 7, 2009 07:58 AM

      I was going to say a nice roasted vegetable pie, or lazagna, or wrapped in phylo would be delish. Or roasted vegie stuffed peppers or stuffed cabbage, although stuffed peppers would be pretty.

      6 Replies
      1. re: lexpatti
        just_M Dec 7, 2009 12:20 PM

        Phylo is gluten free? I have never looked and had written it off as another no go. The stuffed peppers would be delicious and festive.

        1. re: just_M
          lexpatti Dec 7, 2009 01:44 PM

          I have seen a few recipes as I have friends that are gluten free, let me see if I can find it.

          1. re: lexpatti
            just_M Dec 7, 2009 02:47 PM

            Great! We are newish to GF and this holiday is, well a challenge.

            1. re: just_M
              jeremyn Dec 7, 2009 03:10 PM

              Traditional phyllo is very much not gluten free.

              1. re: jeremyn
                just_M Dec 7, 2009 04:33 PM

                Excellent!! Thank you, this will be one thing I can do with confidence in our new GF world order. Thanks again. M

                1. re: jeremyn
                  just_M Dec 8, 2009 07:47 AM

                  Ha ha ha, got so excited did not see the *not* , just the very much until I excitedly showed the Mr. and he burst my bubble. Darn that dratted reality!

        2. c
          chrischris Dec 7, 2009 08:00 AM

          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?

          1. n
            normalheightsfoodie Dec 7, 2009 10:22 AM

            All of the suggestions above + Risotto or spanakopita. If you live near a trader Joes, they have a very good already prepared one. It would save you time and it is still good.

            6 Replies
            1. re: normalheightsfoodie
              milklady Dec 7, 2009 02:00 PM

              FYI TJs spanakopita is pretty good, but it is definitely not gluten free.

              1. re: milklady
                normalheightsfoodie Dec 8, 2009 09:50 AM

                I did not know that wheat free meant glutten free, thanks for the tip.

                Whole Foods has what I think is a large glutten free section.

                1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                  milklady Dec 8, 2009 11:15 AM

                  Gluten free is a bigger category than what free, so I perhaps shouldn't have used that term. But, filo is in spanikopita, and it's made from wheat.

                  Whole Foods definitely has a lot of gluten free pastas and other foods!

                  1. re: milklady
                    normalheightsfoodie Dec 8, 2009 11:40 AM

                    We have a friend with a glutten alergy, so I always try to be sensative, whole foods even has glutten free beer. We were recently in Sedona and a pizza place offered glutten free crusts.

                    1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                      milklady Dec 8, 2009 01:04 PM

                      that is so cool!

                      1. re: milklady
                        normalheightsfoodie Dec 8, 2009 03:50 PM

                        It was called http://www.picazzos.com/ It was very good and a nice place to dine with our family.

            2. m
              milklady Dec 7, 2009 02:01 PM

              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.

              2 Replies
              1. re: milklady
                vcavett Dec 7, 2009 04:20 PM

                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.

                1. re: vcavett
                  lexpatti Dec 7, 2009 04:27 PM

                  yum, I just googled some potato tortes as I've never had one - thank you.

              2. l
                lexpatti Dec 7, 2009 04:28 PM

                or maybe even a nice spinach ricotta pie???

                1. Vetter Dec 7, 2009 05:11 PM

                  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?

                  1. nofunlatte Dec 7, 2009 05:33 PM

                    How about a vegetarian shepherd's pie?

                    1. Emme Dec 7, 2009 06:03 PM

                      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/

                      or Chicken Fried Chickpea Fritters http://www.bookofyum.com/blog/gluten-free-southern-vegetarian-menu-allergy-friendly-southern-slow-cooked-greens-and-vegetarian-chickpea-fritter-recipe-1070.html

                      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...

                      1. c
                        cimui Dec 7, 2009 07:43 PM

                        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.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: cimui
                          chrischris Dec 7, 2009 08:29 PM

                          I love the idea of a quiche. Maybe a fritatta would work, or a Spanish-style tortilla?

                          I'm not sure about the mock duck, though. I've seen it made from seitan, a wheat gluten product. Maybe there are wheat-free versions, though.

                          1. re: chrischris
                            cimui Dec 8, 2009 08:40 AM

                            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...

                            1. re: cimui
                              chrischris Dec 8, 2009 09:03 AM

                              Oh, I hadn't seen that type before. I'm going to have to be on the lookout - it looks interesting.

                              1. re: chrischris
                                Ferdzy Dec 8, 2009 02:59 PM

                                Note that seitan isn't gluten free. In fact gluten is what it is, i.e. to make it you take hard wheat flour, mix it into a dough, then wash out the starch until the gluten (protein) is what is left.

                                A useful protein source for vegetarians, providing they can eat gluten.

                                1. re: Ferdzy
                                  cimui Dec 8, 2009 05:34 PM

                                  >>Note that seitan isn't gluten free.

                                  I think that was chrischris's point, Ferdzy.

                        2. BillyP Dec 8, 2009 08:54 AM

                          How about a vegetarian cassoulet? mmm.

                          1. ChristinaMason Dec 8, 2009 09:13 AM

                            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
                            black pepper
                            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.

                            1. greedygirl Dec 8, 2009 09:19 AM

                              Stuffed acorn or butternut squash would be great. I'd steer away from stuffed peppers, personally, because it's a bit of "default" veggie dish, according to vegetarian friends. Ditto lasagne.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: agopal
                                stacylyn Dec 8, 2009 11:41 AM

                                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!

                                1. re: stacylyn
                                  j mather Dec 8, 2009 01:25 PM

                                  I've used spaghetti squash in place of lasagna noodles for a very satisfying dish. For Thanksgiving, I made a gratin with layers of potatoes, portabella mushrooms, and fontina cheese. It was received well by vegetarians and meat-eaters.

                                  1. re: stacylyn
                                    cimui Dec 8, 2009 05:37 PM

                                    roasted acorn squash would be lovely, i think, but if you serve that as a main, i might have another source of vegetarian protein on the table, too. maybe deviled eggs as an appetizer?

                                2. f
                                  Feed Me Dec 8, 2009 03:17 PM

                                  How about tempeh steaks? you can roll them in nuts and/or make a decadent sauce with mushrooms and fresh herbs

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