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Favourite vegetarian main dish?

t
thatchick Dec 9, 2010 05:01 AM

Hi all,

My boyfriend and I are gently trying to introduce his family to vegetarian food. After a few moths though, we're running a bit low on inspiration. Problem is they eat fairly unadventurously, and are of the belief that something like salad/ soup does not a proper meal make (no matter what you throw in there), so a lot of things I'd normally make are out/ not popular.

If anyone has simple,go-to veggie recipes for a main meal you wouldn't mind sharing, be most obliged!

  1. Kate is always hungry Oct 11, 2013 04:25 PM

    My favorite vegetarian dishes are vegetable lasagna, made with spinach, marinara, ricotta, mozzarella, carrots, mushrooms, and zucchini. The other is ratatouille topped with Swiss or Gruyere cheese--possibly wrapped in a crepe.

    1. c
      cathyeats Apr 5, 2011 07:31 AM

      I recently made my Moroccan Vegetable and Chickpea Stew again, and it reminded me how much I love this dish! It's pretty, too: http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010...

      Moroccan Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

      2 T. extra virgin olive oil

      2 c. chopped onions

      3 cloves garlic, minced

      1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch half-moons

      1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets

      1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

      1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups

      )

      1 t. turmeric

      1 t. coriander

      1/2 t. salt

      1/4 t. cayenne pepper

      1 t. paprika

      pinch cinnamon

      1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained

      1/2 c. raisins

      2 c. vegetable broth (use gluten-free broth if you are gluten-sensitive)

      2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (recommend Eden brand – bpa-free cans)

      1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted

      Harissa, purchased or homemade

      Whole wheat couscous (or rice if you are gluten-sensitive)

      Heat the oil in a dutch oven. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic, spices and salt and cook for 2 minutes more. Add all of the vegetables and stir to coat. Add tomatoes, raisins, broth and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, partially covered. Add a bit of extra broth if the stew gets too dry. (It will need more if the stew sits and thickens after you cook it.)

      Serve the stew on whole wheat couscous, topped with the toasted almonds and a dab of harissa.

      1. tazia Mar 24, 2011 01:41 AM

        I think it has to be my smoked tofu and cashew stir-fry. My husband says it is the best thing he's ever eaten and requests it ALL the time. I think I make it once a week at this point.

        Heat up a large skillet or wok until it is screaming hot (I use setting 9 on my stove). Add 2 TBSP of peanut oil. Toss in 1 large onion (halved then thinly sliced)...warning, it will splatter wickedly. Cook this until the edges start to brown/blacken. Then add mixed veggies of your choice. A bag of Trader Joe's mixed veggies work very well for this, but fresh is better if you have it. Cook these until they are soft and begin to blacken/brown. Remove them to a bowl.

        Add 1 TBSP of peanut oil to the skillet. Add to this 4 cloves of crushed garlic and 1.5 TBSP of crushed ginger root. Let this get fragrant, but don't burn it (this will happen quickly...just a few seconds). Add to this 8 oz. of small slices of smoked tofu (I'd say my pieces are no larger than 1/4 inch across). Cook until they start to brown. Then, add 1/3c of mirin, 1/2c of strong veggie stock (I use 1 tsp of better than bullion to 1/2 c) and cook this liquid down to about half volume. Then add your removed veggies, a couple handfuls of toasted cashew pieces, a few good glugs of soy sauce, and a few dashes of toasted sesame oil.

        It's fantastic, quick and nutritious. We usually serve it over brown rice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tazia
          invinotheresverde Apr 5, 2011 09:51 PM

          That sounds awesome. Thanks!

        2. Delucacheesemonger Mar 17, 2011 02:09 AM

          Eggplant Parm

          1. n
            noodlepoodle Mar 16, 2011 01:34 PM

            This is a tasty casserole that I got from Chow.

            MEXICAN LASAGNA

            1 onion
            1 jalapeno pepper seeded
            1 green bell pepper
            1 T oil
            1/2 C fresh or frozen corn
            1 T ground cumin
            9 6-in corn tortillas
            1/2 C salsa
            1 tomato sliced (or equivalent cherry tomatoes halved)
            1 16 oz can vegetarian fat free refried beans, or equivalent pureed home-cooked beans
            with a pinch of salt in the FP
            8 oz shredded chesse of your preference (I used the Mexican shredded in the bag)
            Cilantro for garnish (I didn't use it)

            Slice onion and peppers; saute in oil over medium heat until softened but still slightly
            crisp 5-7 min. Add corn and heat through. Season with ground cumin and a pinch of salt. Remove from heat.

            Using 8 x 10 in. pan cut 3 tortillas to cover bottom of pan which you've greased.

            In small bowl combine salsa with refried beans. Spread bean mixture over tortillas and top with half the cheese. Top with another layer of tortillas and green pepper/onion mixture. Top with final layer of tortillas, and thinly sliced tomatoes. Cover with remaining cheese.

            Bake, covered with aluminum foil for 20 min. Uncover and continue baking another 20 min. until the top is golden brown.

            Garnish with cilantro if you wish. I didn't. The leftovers reheated very well later in the week.

            1. t
              twilight goddess Mar 16, 2011 11:35 AM

              This is delicious and incorporates bold flavors with squash and greens, tomatoes and bell pepper.

              Harvest Squash Casserole -- mmmm, brimming with yumminess and veggies!

              1 large butternut squash, 2pounds or more
              1 large onion, chopped
              1 large red bell pepper
              1 medium zucchini
              4 garlic cloves, minced
              1 medium jalapeño, minced
              1 tsp dried oregano
              1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
              3 tomatoes -- 2 chopped, 1 sliced
              1 cup chopped kale
              1 cup sour cream
              1 tsp salt
              1 tsp cumin -- toast the seeds and grind yourself for more flavor
              1 tsp chili powder
              1/2 tsp ground coriander
              pinch of ground cloves
              pinch cayenne
              1 1/2 cups grated jalapeño pepper Jack -- 6 ounces
              Paprika

              Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Roast on a cookie sheet or shallow baking pan at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or until soft.

              Remove squash and set aside to cool; reduce oven to 375.

              Heat a little olive oil and sautée onion, bell pepper, zucchini, garlic, jalapeño and oregano about five minutes. Scoop out the cooled squash and smush it a little until smooth. Stir in your sautéed veggies. Add the basil, tomatoes, kale, sour cream, salt, cumin, chili powder, coriander, cloves, cayenne, and 1/2 cup grated cheese.

              Transfer to a casserole. Top with sliced tomatoes, the remaining cup of grated cheese, and a few good dashes paprika. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 until bubbling and golden. Serve immediately.

              YUM!

              1. Veggie Liv Mar 16, 2011 05:55 AM

                I've been a vegetarian for a long time, so I have some old standbys that I can do quickly and easily:

                I'm on a HUGE breakfast burrito kick with Soyrizo and greens (like arugula)
                enchiladas
                pizzas (broccoli white, Asian style, tomato and balsamic, or really any kind)
                quinoa stir fry is so fast and easy (and filling!)
                Veg Shepherd's pie
                Cream cheese pasta with greens
                Veggie frittata
                Southwestern orzo pasta
                Green bean risotto
                Cauliflower Gratin
                Lemon and Leek Pasta

                Let me know if you want any of the recipes I use for these!

                3 Replies
                1. re: Veggie Liv
                  the_MU Mar 16, 2011 12:49 PM

                  Field Roast veggie chorizo is spectacular. Really great with black beans and kale.

                  1. re: Veggie Liv
                    t
                    thatchick Mar 16, 2011 07:27 PM

                    Thanks Liv - would love the leek pasta one if you have it to hand

                    1. re: thatchick
                      Veggie Liv Mar 17, 2011 06:00 AM

                      Sure!

                      Ingredients
                      1 large lemon
                      3 tbs olive oil
                      1 leek (white parts)
                      1/2 yellow onion
                      1 shallot
                      2 cloves garlic
                      1/4 cup white wine
                      2 tbs flat leaf parsley
                      8 oz whole wheat pasta
                      1 ear of grilled corn
                      1 diced roma tomato (or about 5-8 cherry tomatoes, halved)
                      1 tsp red pepper flakes
                      garlic powder
                      salt and pepper to taste

                      (You can serve this hot or cold, but I always eat it hot.)

                      Cook pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water until almost al dente.

                      Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, shallot, and leek and saute for about 6-8 minutes. Then add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Slowly add in about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and the wine. Then add the corn (removed from the ear), parsley, tomatoes, and seasonings. Add the pasta and toss. Right before serving, add the juice from the lemon.

                      Garnish each plate with lemon zest, and lemon wedge, and parsley.

                      You can see a picture of it here: http://veggieliv.blogspot.com/2011/01...

                  2. chef chicklet Mar 16, 2011 03:49 AM

                    If cheese okay, then my favorite is chile rellenos - good ones!
                    and French Onion soup, the way I make it that and a salad is all you need.

                    1. a
                      Alica Mar 16, 2011 01:57 AM

                      For St Patrick's Day vegetarian Shephards Pie. I use vegetarian ground beef seasoned with a little soy, corn and I make mashed cauliflower instead of potato.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Alica
                        b
                        bear Mar 16, 2011 02:11 AM

                        Good idea. Shepherd's Pie is also delicious with seasoned lentils as the protein.

                        1. re: Alica
                          Veggie Liv Mar 16, 2011 06:03 AM

                          I use soyrizo! Delicious!

                        2. b
                          bear Mar 3, 2011 11:56 AM

                          We just finished Giada De Laurentis' Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese for dinner tonight. It was really good. The dried mushrooms added a real depth of flavor, and the mascarpone at the end added enough richness to really satisfy. Definitely a keeper.

                          I made the recipe pretty much as is, but instead of the 5 oz. mixed fresh mushrooms, I used 8 oz. creminis because I wanted to use them up. Terrific.

                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bear
                            a
                            Alica Mar 4, 2011 12:28 AM

                            I made this recipe also and we loved it! Giada has quite a few great recipes!

                          2. t
                            twilight goddess Feb 20, 2011 05:55 AM

                            Here's an excellent chickpea curry with a touch of tomato and some cozy heat (I also add spinach) -- just delightful. You do need to amass the Indian spices if you don't yet have them, but once the pantry is stocked this is such a *snap* to put together. It's also really affordable, after that initial investment as you compile the spices. You can make your own chai too with these spices-- great hot or iced.

                            This is so much better than any recipe calling for "curry powder" and it just pops with flavor. I toast and grind my own garam masala (and I can provide a recipe, if you like). I added about 5ounces spinach at the end of cooking time, right before stirring in the yogurt and cilantro.

                            http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: twilight goddess
                              t
                              thatchick Mar 16, 2011 07:36 PM

                              Ooh this sounds great, will definitely give it a go. Just got your masala recipe off another thread - thanks! Been thinking of making my own for a while, maybe this can be the test piece :)

                            2. chefematician Feb 20, 2011 03:55 AM

                              I've recently started experimenting with Thai curries. I made an eggplant and potato Thai red curry that I served with basmati rice. It's filling and flavorful and the eggplant tastes "meaty."

                              1. mamachef Feb 20, 2011 02:32 AM

                                My favorite USED to be Pasta ala Norma: Sauteed eggplant, tomatoes, and onion, tossed with hot pasta. However, Harters turned me onto a root veggie "cobbler" that lately has supplanted that: cubed root veg and lentils topped with cheesy cobbles. Delicious, easy, heartwarming, fantastic, and my new "go to" veggie dish.

                                1. m
                                  magiesmom Feb 12, 2011 12:58 PM

                                  I just made farro and mushroom "risotto" with chard from the flexitarian table. It is really a wonderful dish.

                                  1. s
                                    slopfrog Feb 12, 2011 12:54 PM

                                    For me the problem with most vegetarian meals is that they leave me hungry and then craving meat two or three hours later. There are a couple meals that absolutely fill me up and satisfy:

                                    Paneer Tikka Masala is one. This stuff is really hearty. I like the Raghavan Iyer recipe in "660 Curries" but there are lots on the internet. It's really not that hard to make.

                                    "Lisa's Mushroom Burgers" are really good too. The trick is the chopped mushroom that is then made like a meatball/meatloaf. Those grilled portobello mushroom caps passed off as burgers are disgusting to me because they always get soggy and slide off the bun. You can see the recipe at http://www.weheartfood.com/2008/10/li...

                                    1. t
                                      twilight goddess Feb 12, 2011 05:16 AM

                                      Creamy quinoa mushroom casserole

                                      Just tried a new one this week: a creamy quinoa mushroom casserole with spinach, dill, lemon, and a crunchy Parmesan top. Mmmmm! This is delicious! Sautee 3/4 pound chopped mushrooms with one large onion (chopped) and 3 to 4 minced cloves of garlic, and about 5ounces spinach in the last two minutes. Remove from ehat. Combine with 3 cups cooked quinoa (cook in broth for more flavor). Add 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup cottage cheese, 2 Tbsp fresh dill, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, lots of black pepper, a little salt, a little Aleppo chile if you like some heat, and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. put in 2 quart glass baking dish. Dust with paprika and grate on more Parmesan cheese.

                                      Bake at 350, covered for 25 minutes then uncovered until top is browning and casserole bubbles.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: twilight goddess
                                        n
                                        noya Mar 16, 2011 12:59 PM

                                        holy moly does this sound good. thanks for sharing!!

                                        1. re: twilight goddess
                                          n
                                          noya Mar 22, 2011 09:40 AM

                                          tried this over the weekend--and it was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! Loved the texture and flavors. Thank you so much!!!

                                          1. re: noya
                                            t
                                            twilight goddess Mar 22, 2011 09:52 AM

                                            noya! I am sooo glad that you loved it. ♥ I felt the same way upon trying this... and this recipe is actually my own creation, so I'm even more thrilled that you liked it ;-)

                                            1. re: twilight goddess
                                              n
                                              noya Mar 22, 2011 10:44 AM

                                              wow. I give you a ton of credit--I was sure this must have come from a cookbook. You should write your own ;-)

                                              1. re: noya
                                                t
                                                twilight goddess Mar 23, 2011 10:49 AM

                                                blush. thank you! ;-) I am actually considering that!

                                        2. a
                                          Alica Feb 4, 2011 01:33 AM

                                          I make all sorts of vegetarian "sushi" rolls, vegetarian pad thai, edamame, makes great dinner party.

                                          1. lilgi Jan 19, 2011 05:48 PM

                                            Can never get enough spanakopita.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: lilgi
                                              t
                                              thatchick Feb 1, 2011 09:16 PM

                                              Spanakpoita ftw! - that's been one of our few positive reviews on vegetarian night :) will definitely revisit.

                                              1. re: thatchick
                                                lilgi Feb 2, 2011 04:06 AM

                                                My go to is Amy Sedaris' recipe; I've tried many good ones and hers is just stellar. And absolutely yes to the fresh dill and fennel (optional in the recipe). The frozen spinach works better here (squeeze it all out). Whenever I make this the numbers 3, 8, and 2 stick and I'm golden: 3 packs frozen chopped spinach, 8 oz. each small curd cottage cheese, crumbled feta, cream cheese, and 2 bunches scallions. I always have the herbs, phyllo and lots of eggs. I'll post the recipe if you like.

                                              2. re: lilgi
                                                t
                                                twilight goddess Feb 2, 2011 12:19 AM

                                                Yay for phyllo treats! the mushroom strudel I make is a creamy mushroom-dill filling wrapped in phyllo dough. Divine. I bring it to holidays and everyone coos. I can provide the recipe.

                                                1. re: twilight goddess
                                                  lilgi Feb 2, 2011 04:07 AM

                                                  twilight that sounds deelish, will you please post recipe?

                                              3. p
                                                plantainchips Jan 19, 2011 05:32 PM

                                                Here's another pasta recipe, from the NY TImes, Linguine With Asparagus, Peas and Prosciutto.
                                                http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/18/din...

                                                I never add the prosciutto and like the recipe because it's simple and uses a whole bunch of asparagus to make a creamy pale green sauce.

                                                1. d
                                                  DishDelish Jan 19, 2011 05:19 PM

                                                  -Peanut Noodles: w/ gingered vegetables, tofu, and cashews. Not something I've made but a mouth watering fav at a local restaurant.
                                                  -Lasagna w/ roasted mushrooms and other veggie of choice (I did onions), soooo yummy! I got this from my Italian cooks illustrated and can supply you w/ recipe is you like.
                                                  - Pumpkin or butternut squash ravioli
                                                  -Chili, yes a stew, but you can make it look great w/ tortilla chips rimming bowl, avocado, green onions, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and fresh lime wedges.
                                                  -Bean and roasted veggie burritos w/ festive sides and fillers.
                                                  -Potato pancakes w/ sides or choice. My Dad makes a simply divine recipe ... I could get from him if you like.
                                                  -Agree on the enchiladas, yummy! Make your own noodle crepes though ... it's as simple as pancakes.
                                                  - Homemade tomato soup w/ toasty cheese sandwiches (everyone loves this, right?)
                                                  -pizza and calzones. Make it a margherita w/ fresh sliced tomato and basil and they'll never miss the meat. Mmmmm!

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: DishDelish
                                                    d
                                                    DishDelish Jan 19, 2011 05:26 PM

                                                    One more soupy (but a main dish in our house) one I love is Split Pea, use enough chipotle peppers or chipotle tobasco to add smokey flavor and they will never miss the ham flavor. I cook mine long so it is thick and stew like.

                                                    1. re: DishDelish
                                                      t
                                                      thatchick Feb 1, 2011 09:15 PM

                                                      Thanks for all the suggestions. Would love the potato pancake & lasagne recipes if you're happy to pass them on. Sounds delish :)

                                                      1. re: thatchick
                                                        d
                                                        DishDelish Feb 18, 2011 01:50 PM

                                                        Okay my Dad is out of town right now but as soon as he gets back I'm asking for the recipe. I'll post the lasagna recipe soon too!!

                                                        1. re: DishDelish
                                                          t
                                                          toveggiegirl Feb 19, 2011 04:23 PM

                                                          Is this the right lasagne recipe?
                                                          http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/2191...

                                                          1. re: toveggiegirl
                                                            d
                                                            DishDelish Aug 29, 2011 09:43 PM

                                                            yes it is!! sorry for the late reply. life has been very hectic ... moving and new baby. :) I hope you went ahead and tried it.

                                                    2. s
                                                      sushigirlie Jan 19, 2011 04:42 PM

                                                      How about pasta with pesto?

                                                      1. Euonymous Jan 19, 2011 04:09 AM

                                                        Two I've been making often recently include dolmades and pa jun.

                                                        The dolmades recipe is here: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/cgi-bin/list_nut_edit.pl
                                                        Just substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock to make it vegetarian.

                                                        The pa jun recipe is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/28/din...
                                                        Just leave out the optional shrimp to make it vegetarian.

                                                        1. JungMann Jan 19, 2011 03:34 AM

                                                          Roast eggplant tortilla
                                                          Spinach and dill pie
                                                          Stuffed eggplants or zucchini
                                                          Zucchini pancakes

                                                          1. c
                                                            Chowrin Jan 19, 2011 01:41 AM

                                                            Mac& Cheese
                                                            Pizza
                                                            Soup and Bread
                                                            meatless chili.
                                                            Beans and Greens and Cornbread.
                                                            Mashed potatoes. (what? it's my supper!)

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Chowrin
                                                              b
                                                              BronxBree Feb 13, 2011 04:29 AM

                                                              Mac and Cheese for sure. Here's my go-to recipe. Too much of this stuff will kill you, but it's worth it. Serve it with a nice green salad or tomato bruchetta to help cut through the richness of the cheese: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...

                                                              Also, stuffed pasta shells (I do versions with both cheese and and cheese with veggies), top-your-own corn tostadas or bean burritos, top-your-own pizza, eggplant parm, spicy tofu stir fry, (get the General Tsao's sauce at Trader Joe's) with steamed veggie dumplings and veggie egg rolls, (frozen at Whole Foods).

                                                              BTW, I'm totally trying that squash pasta thing. Looks great!

                                                            2. t
                                                              themags Jan 19, 2011 01:36 AM

                                                              Gotta pipe up and say if you're a strict vegetarian than parmesan is no-go (about half the above suggestions use parm!) - made with animal rennet (= stomach enzymes). There are other "hard italian cheeses" that can sub

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: themags
                                                                s
                                                                slopfrog Feb 12, 2011 12:59 PM

                                                                I'm sure that real Parmigiano Reggiano is made with animal rennet, but there are vegetable/microbial rennets available on the market. I bet there are hard grating cheeses similar to it that are made with them instead. I'm not a strict vegetarian so I am not sure though.

                                                                1. re: slopfrog
                                                                  t
                                                                  themags Feb 12, 2011 01:52 PM

                                                                  If it's called Parmigiano-Reggiano then it's protected under EU law (protected designation of origin) and has to be traditionally made which includes animal stomach rennet. I am an omnivore now but was a vegetarian for 20 years and did not eat cheese that was made with animal rennet. Similarly true Parmesan cannot be kosher. I just think it shows guests with religious or ethical preferences respect when a host/ess is clued up about these things. It would just be helpful when recommending vegetarian dishes if a recipe said "parmesan-style-vegetarian/kosher-hard-italian-grating-cheese". Of course this does not have the same "ring" as simply "Parmesan" but it does raise awareness of what is actually in what one eats.

                                                                  1. re: themags
                                                                    the_MU Mar 16, 2011 12:42 PM

                                                                    I've bought kosher Parmesan from Italy that had the typical parm markings on the outside and everything -- costs about 30% more but if it's not the real thing it's pretty convincing.

                                                                    Aside from this, I have been unable to find any other Italian-style grating cheese that's kosher. Certainly there's no kosher peccorino. Locatelli is right out. There are some US producers of Asiago that are veg, but it's not really comparable.

                                                                    1. re: the_MU
                                                                      g
                                                                      GilaB Apr 5, 2011 06:51 AM

                                                                      I've bought kosher Pecorino Romano and Parmesano-Reggiano (the real things, as far as I can tell) from Fairway in NYC. Kosheritalia.com also carries them, and I think they're the same brands as Fairway has.

                                                                      One can use animal rennet to make kosher cheeses, but it needs to be from a kosher-slaughtered cow. To quote from the website of the OU, the world's largest kosher-certifying agency:

                                                                      Animal rennet and lipase can be kosher, however. If the kosher source animal is slaughtered, de-veined, salted and processed according to kosher law, its rennet and lipase are fine for kosher use. (There is no halachic problem with using animal-derived enzymes in cheese [mixing meat and milk] since the amounts used are miniscule. Moreover, the enzymes are not cooked with the milk, and they are flavorless. Also, the davar hama’amid principle cited earlier only applies to non-kosher substances, and the enzymes are actually kosher.)
                                                                      Taken from here: http://www.oukosher.org/index.php/com...

                                                                      1. re: GilaB
                                                                        the_MU Apr 5, 2011 09:35 AM

                                                                        Sigh. That probably means that the very awesome Garden of Eden sheep feta from Israel... not veggie. Sob.

                                                              2. kellylee Jan 19, 2011 01:27 AM

                                                                Several folks have already mentioned Butternut Squash. Here's a variation on that theme:

                                                                Butternut Squash Baked Pasta

                                                                1 lb dried pasta (Shells or Rigatoni)
                                                                2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
                                                                4 tbs freshly chopped Rosemary (reserve 1 tbs for bread crumb topping)
                                                                3 tbs Olive Oil
                                                                3 tbs Butter
                                                                3 cloves garlic, minced
                                                                1-2 tsp black pepper
                                                                1-2 tsp kosher salt
                                                                1 box frozen pureed winter squash
                                                                1/2 cup Mascarpone Cheese (sold in tubs near Ricotta)
                                                                1 cup of the pasta water (from boiling the pasta)
                                                                1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for bread crumb topping)
                                                                2 cups fresh bread crumbs

                                                                Bring large pot of salted water to a boil for cooking the pasta. You will be saving 1 cup of the cooked pasta water to thicken the sauce. I like to put a 1 cup measuring cup into the collander so that I don't forget to save a cup!

                                                                Combine the bread crumbs, 1 tbs. chopped Rosemary and 1/2 cup grated parmesan--set aside.

                                                                Melt the butter and oil together in a large sauce pan. Add the onions and 3 tbs of chopped Rosemary. Caramelize the onions until soft and brownish--takes about 10-15 minutes over med high heat. Turn off the heat and add the minced garlic, frozen squash, the mascarpone, the salt and pepper. Let this sit and melt together. When the pasta is finished cooking, save 1 cup of the pasta water and add it to the squash/onion mixture. Stir the squash mixture over low heat until it is fairly uniform. Add the 1 cup of parmesan to the sauce and stir to combine. Put the cooked pasta into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Add the squash/onion sauce to the pasta and combine. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes--until the bread crumbs are crispy.

                                                                1. c
                                                                  chefathome Jan 18, 2011 09:33 AM

                                                                  Lentil and red wine stew is a favourite at our house, as are various homemade pastas.

                                                                  Have you tried spaghetti squash roasted in the oven, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with Parmesan and seasoned with S&P? Yummy.

                                                                  1. m
                                                                    missykg Jan 18, 2011 08:27 AM

                                                                    My absolute favorite is lentil tacos. I eat them burrito style, rolled up in a wheat tortilla with all the fixins. I was really skeptical before trying it - but as huge meat lovers in this house, we didn't miss the hamburger one bit. It's now a weeknight staple. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Tasty-Le...

                                                                    1. invinotheresverde Jan 18, 2011 07:05 AM

                                                                      My favorite winter veggie dish is polenta (I prefer it soft, with a bit of cream, veg stock, any herbs you like and whichever cheese you have on hand), topped with a mixture of caramelized onions and butternut squash cubes. Orgasmic.

                                                                      1. t
                                                                        twilight goddess Jan 18, 2011 06:39 AM

                                                                        *Mushroom strudel -- in phyllo dough
                                                                        *Spaghetti squash casserole
                                                                        *Crispy baked eggplant with blue cheese sauce
                                                                        *A simple casserole of roasted eggplant, chickpea, sauteed onion, tomato, fresh basil
                                                                        *Eggplant and spinach curry -- I like my version better than one that I have tried in a restaurant
                                                                        *Roasted butternut squash risotto

                                                                        Grab The Moosewood Cookbook and any of Mollie Katzen's books from the library to get you started on an endless stream of ideas.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: twilight goddess
                                                                          p
                                                                          pitterpatter Mar 17, 2011 05:34 AM

                                                                          Yay for the mushroom strudel, the dinner party dish from college 35 years ago. I still make the filling, but add hydrated porcini mushrooms with the reduced soaking water. I use it to make filo triangles for finger food, and as a filling for mushroom lasagna. For the lasagna, I buy roasted yellow tomatoes in oil at Wegman's, drain off the oil, then puree them and pour the sauce on top. Top off with some grated Parm and voila. This is perhaps my most requested recipe when I cater parties, and I am embarrassed to reveal how simple it is.

                                                                        2. greygarious Jan 18, 2011 05:11 AM

                                                                          Mujadarra - between the lentils and the caramelized onions, there's plenty of umami to satisfy meat-eaters like me, and the rice makes it filling. It can be served hot, cold, or room temp, on its own or as a side, easily customized with added meat, or as a bed for poached eggs if the family insists on something heartier. Equally good basic or with added spices.

                                                                          1. t
                                                                            thatchick Dec 14, 2010 06:37 PM

                                                                            Ooh thank you so much! So many good ideas here - cannot wait to try them out. The wild mushroom lasagne for one sounds amazing. Perhaps eggplant parm will be next on the list - never had it so was hesitant to try, but if its a favourite.. And thanks for the lo mein instructions - watch out family, here it comes!
                                                                            :)

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: thatchick
                                                                              davmar77 Jan 18, 2011 02:22 AM

                                                                              portobello mushrooms are a great hearty ingredient. we don't eat red meat and we have served this to meat eaters who came back for more. we like to serve sweet potato fries with it. YUM!

                                                                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ra...

                                                                            2. Helvella Dec 9, 2010 03:14 PM

                                                                              My favorite is lo mein, with good fried chewy noodles and loads of vegetables. I started out using the recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking, and I still refer back to it occasionally, but mostly I wing it. It may not be simple, but it's my go-to vegetarian main dish:

                                                                              Cook everything on high heat.

                                                                              If you can, get fresh wheat noodles from an Asian market.

                                                                              Prep your vegetables. I like using: lots of green onions and/or Chinese leeks, and a brassica or two - cabbage or Chinese cabbage, bok choy, choy sum, tender broccoli, etc. I'll add to that all sorts of things such as shredded carrot, shiitake mushrooms, celery, spinach or chard, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, whatever looks best at the time. I prefer using a variety of things with smallish quantities of each. Whatever you pick, cut all the vegetables long and thin and not too much wider than the noodles. You want all the vegetables to reach the same degree of doneness at the same time, so keep than in mind when cutting and parboil if you need to.

                                                                              Prep the sauce - I use a lot of soy sauce, a little sugar or brown sugar or honey, maybe some mirin or vermouth or other sweet wine, sometimes a little sesame oil or a good dose of white pepper. I always leave red pepper for people to add on their own afterward. My husband DOES NOT like cornstarch so I don't use it, although I would.

                                                                              Boil some water. Cook the noodles a few minutes with lots of stirring and checking until they are al dante, then cool in cold water and drain really well. Don't leave them unattended.

                                                                              Heat up the wok or skillet and stir-fry the vegetables in a little oil, adding just a pinch of sugar if they need it. Cook hot and fast with lots of stirring so they caramelize a bit on the outside but are still crunchy. Take out of the wok and set aside.

                                                                              Heat some oil. You want to basically make a big noodle fritter in your wok or skillet so don't skimp on the oil. Dump in the noodles and flatten out . Once they're flattened try not to disturb the underside, like making a hash brown or delicious latke. You want to fry until the underside is golden. Flip over and fry the other side.

                                                                              If it's just for my family, I wouldn't normally use the method I just described. I'd use a lot less oil and just fry the noodles around a bit, and it wouldn't make a wonderful crunchy noodle fritter. But I would do the noodle fritter for a special occasion or company.

                                                                              Then you dump in the sauce, cook for a little bit, and dump in your vegetables. Stir around with a spatula, breaking up the noodles by cutting with the spatula, until everything is mixed well. Serve immediately.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Helvella
                                                                                g
                                                                                GilaB Jan 18, 2011 08:19 AM

                                                                                For veggie stir fries, I sometimes make it with a peanut sauce and top with crushed peanuts to increase the protein content without adding tofu, seitan, or other vegetarian meat replacements. I find that people who are hostile to tofu tend to be very happy to eat peanuts.

                                                                              2. s
                                                                                sushigirlie Dec 9, 2010 12:15 PM

                                                                                The best vegetarian dishes are Indian, in my opinion. However, for unadventurous people, I would make Marcella Hazan's spaghetti with caramelized onion sauce (in her book Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking).

                                                                                http://www.food.com/recipe/pasta-with...

                                                                                Ingredients are crucial since this is such a lightly seasoned dish. Only very good parmesan, butter, and olive oil will do!

                                                                                1. ipsedixit Dec 9, 2010 10:35 AM

                                                                                  While not adventurous, my favorite vegetarian dish is pasta.

                                                                                  A simple spaghetti prep along the lines of Scott Conant's famous "Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil" -- i.e., make a sauce with some sauteed tomatoes, garlic, EVOO, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, then toss the spaghetti in the sauce and serve garnished with some fresh basil. I omit the cheese simply because I don't like cheese.

                                                                                  1. j
                                                                                    just_M Dec 9, 2010 09:42 AM

                                                                                    Casseroles hide a multitude of delicious oddness and present it in a homey package, maybe its the cheese on top? Try casseroles around the world.

                                                                                    Enchilada casserole made w/anything from roasted veg and/or black beans to tvp or lentils, serve w/refried beans and spanish rice if they need it.

                                                                                    Tamale pie or tamales filled with what ever you like
                                                                                    moussaka w/a cucumber or greek salad
                                                                                    shepherdess pie
                                                                                    pastas of all kinds

                                                                                    1. meatnveg Dec 9, 2010 09:18 AM

                                                                                      The dishes that even I, who hasn't had a fully vegetarian meal in about 15 odd years, cannot resist are:

                                                                                      1. Rajma (Indian red kidney beans) - made with un-ground spices and served with plain steamed basmati rice

                                                                                      2. Aaloo ki Launji (potatos in a 'sweetly sour' gravy) - This is an extremely simple dish of potatoes cooked in a gravy that has a base of ground tamarind. It is traditionally had with Puri (fried, puffy flat bread) and amritsari cholle (chickpeas in a spicy gravy). The two dishes play off wonderfully as the sweeter taste of the potatoes matches with the spicier taste of the chickpeas

                                                                                      I would be happy to post recipes if you want.

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: meatnveg
                                                                                        t
                                                                                        Theresa Jan 17, 2011 10:50 PM

                                                                                        I would be interested in the recipes - any chance you could post them? We're always looking for good veggie recipes so we can try to ease up on the meat intake during the week! Thanks

                                                                                        1. re: Theresa
                                                                                          meatnveg Jan 18, 2011 04:46 AM

                                                                                          Sure. As with any recipe, there are variations from one home to another, but the links should give you a good idea for both.

                                                                                          Rajma:http://www.indianfoodforever.com/bachelor-cooking/simple-rajma-curry.html
                                                                                          There are more involved recipes than this one, but this is good if you are a beginner. The garam masala used can also be found on that site.

                                                                                          Aaloo Ki Launji: This is a dish from Amritsar in Punjab. Again really simple to prepare. I suggest eating it with Puri (deep fried Wheat roti), raw onions and mango pickle.
                                                                                          http://www.indianfoodforever.com/punj... Sub-in tamarind for the Annardana powder (dried pomegranate powder)

                                                                                          1. re: meatnveg
                                                                                            t
                                                                                            Theresa Jan 18, 2011 09:16 PM

                                                                                            Thanks a lot for these. If there are more complicated Rajma recipes, I'd be interested too, as I enjoy cooking Indian food.

                                                                                            Also - you mentioned in your earlier post that the potato dish goes really well with a chickpea one - the name of the dish you've given us a link to looks like a combination of the two. Is there a chickpea recipe you have a link to which goes with this? Thanks again - I'll have a go at these soon.

                                                                                            1. re: Theresa
                                                                                              meatnveg Jan 19, 2011 03:25 AM

                                                                                              The chickpea recipe: (since you asked for a complex one)
                                                                                              http://www.sawf.org/bin/swaf.exe/getr...

                                                                                              Some ingredients that may be mysterious:

                                                                                              dal chini = cinnamon
                                                                                              elaichi = whole cardamom pod
                                                                                              dhania = coriander
                                                                                              jeera = cumin

                                                                                      2. c
                                                                                        Christnp Dec 9, 2010 08:46 AM

                                                                                        There are lots of great vegetarian Italian options: Lasagna, risotto, various stuffed pasta (ravioli, cannelloni, tortellini), pizza.

                                                                                        Other ideas:
                                                                                        Vegetarian chili, veggie quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas
                                                                                        Crepes
                                                                                        Falafel
                                                                                        Assorted vegetarian Spanish Tapas, including tortilla (made with potato)
                                                                                        Lots of Indian options.

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Christnp
                                                                                          oakjoan Dec 9, 2010 09:01 AM

                                                                                          I'd vote for Ottolenghi's Very Full Tart, a tart made up of all kinds of roasted vegs - eggplant, zukes, tomatoes, parsnips, onions, garlic, peppers, etc. The vegs are roasted with olive oil first and then mixed together and put into the tart shell. Globs of feta and ricotta are pushed into the pie and the whole thing is baked again. The shell is a butter crust. This is just great.

                                                                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                            mebby Dec 9, 2010 01:45 PM

                                                                                            I second this -- so delicious and gobs of flavor!

                                                                                            1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                              mcel215 Jan 18, 2011 08:52 AM

                                                                                              Joan, can you post a link to the recipe please?
                                                                                              Thanks

                                                                                              1. re: mcel215
                                                                                                t
                                                                                                toveggiegirl Feb 4, 2011 01:10 AM

                                                                                                Here you go!
                                                                                                http://www.food.com/448108

                                                                                                1. re: toveggiegirl
                                                                                                  mcel215 Feb 13, 2011 02:22 AM

                                                                                                  Thank you.

                                                                                          2. BobB Dec 9, 2010 03:54 AM

                                                                                            I rarely cook vegetarian, but one dish I've had a hit with when serving vegetarian friends is wild mushroom lasagna. There are quite a few variations on this - they all start with good mushrooms (porcini are great for this dish), bechamel and a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and some add meltable cheeses like mozzarella or fontina, and/or tomato, but I like the more basic version as it lets the mushroom flavor shine.

                                                                                            1. SilverlakeGirl Dec 9, 2010 02:50 AM

                                                                                              For many years, the Eggplant Parmigiana from the "Vegetarian Epicure's" book. I totally forget has no meat.

                                                                                              And it never fails to get rave reviews.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                                                                                                s
                                                                                                Snorkelvik Dec 9, 2010 10:27 AM

                                                                                                I'd second eggplant parmesan of any kind.

                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                SandyCat Dec 9, 2010 02:49 AM

                                                                                                This is a good thread to start with when introducing veggies:

                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/729906?tag=boards;topic-729906

                                                                                                Also, mac and cheese with peas and corn is an excellent main dish that nobody ever turns down. Pasta generally is something that unadventurous folks are okay with, so start with veggie-centric versions of pasta dishes they're familiar with.

                                                                                                I also like doing a vegetarian shepherd's pie. This recipe from epicurious is good: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                Just omit the meat, and add more veggies. To this recipe, I'd probably add cubed potatoes, a rib or two of celery, and maybe some greens like spinach or kale. If you're feeling particularly froggy, there's also an excellent brand of vegetarian sausage called Field Roast. I've used the apple sage sausage in this recipe before. I actually am not a vegetarian, but almost all my friends are vegetarian or vegan (or have gluten allergies... I'm a regular halfway home for people with dietary restrictions!), and they're always trying to get me to eat fake meat. I really rather dislike the taste of most fake meat, and I'm a big proponent of whole and natural, as-unprocessed-as-possible foods, but Field Roast really tastes good!

                                                                                                Anyway, there's a start.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: SandyCat
                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                  bear Dec 15, 2010 12:55 AM

                                                                                                  Lentils make a great filling for Shepherd's Pie.

                                                                                                  1. re: SandyCat
                                                                                                    rozz01 Oct 10, 2013 02:08 PM

                                                                                                    I used to do mushrooms and brussel sprouts alot... my parents loved it and they were very big carnivores

                                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                                    magiesmom Dec 9, 2010 01:34 AM

                                                                                                    These are two of my very favorites , from smittenkitchen. The mushroom dish is often mentioned here
                                                                                                    ,:http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/02/cauliflower-and-caramelized-onion-tart
                                                                                                    http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/mus...
                                                                                                    as well as butternut squash lasagne

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: magiesmom
                                                                                                      n
                                                                                                      noya Mar 16, 2011 12:34 PM

                                                                                                      I'm going to try these--what delicious ideas!!

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