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complex vegetarian dish

Hi hounds! A friend and I consider ourselves fairly accomplished cooks,and would like a complex cooking project with lots of steps to keep us busy. The only caveat is, we're both vegetarians - and not big on the fake meats. All I can think of is a homemade ravioli - any other ideas?


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  1. How about molé? Many ingredients, many steps and totally worth the effort. Then some corn/green chili tamales to go with it.

    1 Reply
    1. Indian food, you've got a whole universe and array of regions to draw from and no need or desire for the fake meat things.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hill food

        We are both of Indian descent, so the spice palette is something we are both very comfortable with. I'm thinking of learning to make parathas, something like that which requires technique. Thanks for the suggestion!

        1. re: enjilico

          oops, hope I didn't sound condescending, I'd love to master pakoras and samosas myself.

      2. Thomas Keller's Curried Cauliflower Salad in Ad Hoc

        1. absolutely perfect for your adventure and my fav high maintenance dinner.... what better than a thomas keller recipe

          1. You might enjoy flipping through Viva Vegan. Lots of dishes that can be pieced together. Tamales, empanadas, etc with recipes to even make your own tortillas!

            1. I would third the tamale recommendation. I made my first batch during a snowstorm last February and it was totally worth it. The recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance is a nice place to start. I'd also recommend the Bob's Red Mill masa over the Maseca brand if you can find it. I noticed a real difference in the flavor. But if Maseca's all you've got, use that--your tamales will still be delicious.

              3 Replies
              1. re: csdiego

                oh god, talk about intensive, but tamales are worth it if you have the time (although I've only made the chorizo variety)

                1. re: hill food

                  Yeah, of course VwaV isn't the only source of tamale recipes, I just thought of it because it's vegetarian and explains the process very clearly. Actually I improvised my own vegetarian filling, as I recall. I used tiny-diced squash and baby lima beans with some ancho powder instead of the pinto beans called for in the recipe, along with the chipotle peppers. Not authentic by any means, but it worked. A real Mexican cookbook would also be a great source, if there's such a thing as a meatless traditional Mexican tamale recipe.

                  1. re: csdiego

                    I make both traditional and improv tamales. What's become a favorite is mixing some corn kernels (frozen is fine) into the masa, then using a strip of cheese about 1/4" wide, a strip of roasted green chili of a similar size, and a bit of salsa for the filling. I usually use queso fresco, but have also used goat cheese or whatever's in the fridge. Rick Bayless has several cookbooks which could be good starting points, and they may well be at your library. Happy cooking!

              2. I've always liked Deborah Madison's Greens Cookbook. Those are not simple recipes, and everything I've ever made from that book has been very tasty.

                1. Pick up a copy of "Great Chefs Cook Vegan." Some of the dishes could take 2 people several days to prepare. Beautiful book, too.