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Looking for vegan dinner ideas

herbivoracious Jan 7, 2011 02:59 PM

I love being a vegan.. but I've kind out gotten into a rut now- cooking the same dishes OVER and OVER again..It has gotten monotonous.. Any new ideas/healthy recipes will be a BIG help. Thanks!

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    janeh RE: herbivoracious Jan 7, 2011 03:22 PM

    Two meals that I made last week which happened to be vegan were potato pancakes with applesauce and salad, and another night an incredible recipe for Kosheri from Ottolenghi. The latter is an Egyptian dish using basmati rice, lentils and fried onions with a wonderful spicy tomato sauce. The recipe for kosheri is available online, as is his vegetarian series, (with many interesting vegan recipes) in the Guardian:


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      anakalia RE: herbivoracious Jan 7, 2011 03:38 PM

      Two vegan soups I really like making:

      A "pozole" recipe I found from Vegetarian Times magazine a long time ago (but still searchable on their web site). Basically it's yellow and green zucchini squash, tomatoes and a big can of hominy, cooked with spices, chilis, etc. It's easy, tasty, cheap, etc.

      Also, Ina Garten's recipe for French pistou soup. Her recipe isn't completely vegan because she uses some parmesan in her home-made pesto, but you could leave that out. Other than that, it's beans, vermicelli noodles, vegetables (haricots verts, carrots, leeks, etc). and stock. I don't have the exact recipe on me, but again, it's easy to find online -- and one of my favorite soups!

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        beachmouse RE: herbivoracious Jan 7, 2011 07:51 PM

        What's your over and over again rotation?

        We've gotten into Indian cooking in the past year- it can be a very easy and error-tolerant cuisine and there are lots of vegetarian and vegan recipes in the cookbooks I've picked up.

        2 Replies
        1. re: beachmouse
          sushigirlie RE: beachmouse Jan 8, 2011 08:47 AM

          I agree that Indian is the way to go. I strongly recommend 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. Close to half the recipes are vegan--at least if you substitute another oil for ghee.

          Middle Eastern is another great bet. Claudia Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food provides lots of ideas.

          1. re: beachmouse
            Querencia RE: beachmouse Jan 9, 2011 03:28 PM

            I like what my nephew said: "In Indian food, meat just gets in the way."

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            cutipie721 RE: herbivoracious Jan 8, 2011 05:27 AM


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              magiesmom RE: herbivoracious Jan 8, 2011 06:18 AM

              I love the mushroom bourginon from Smitten kitchen; I never tire of it ever.

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                CeeBee RE: herbivoracious Jan 8, 2011 06:54 AM

                Sautee greens (chard, kale, spinach, collard...) with some olive oil, pinenuts and raisins. Serve over polenta. I could eat this all week.

                1 Reply
                1. re: CeeBee
                  LauraGrace RE: CeeBee Jan 8, 2011 08:28 AM

                  Oh, that sounds just delicious! What a great combo!

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                  wlo RE: herbivoracious Jan 8, 2011 08:41 AM

                  Risotto is very easy to make vegan, same goes for polenta. Whatever I can add to one, I can add to the other. There was a recent post in the NY Times about using celeriac to add creaminess to polenta without butter or cheese.
                  Kabucha (or butternut) squash puree whips up to an amazing consistency that works well for soups or on its own (top with kale and some roasted nuts, +/- some tofu) I cube it and roast it in the oven with thyme or sage for an additional layer of flavor, then mix it with water or vegetable stock, then puree it with an immersion blender. You can add a little olive oil if you are so inclined.
                  I've also been making the white beans and garlic ( I prefer Canellini) adapted from Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food. Beans + garlic + rosemary + olive oil = HEAVEN

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                    blinknoodle RE: herbivoracious Jan 8, 2011 08:59 AM

                    Some recommendations that are a bit different and still healthy:

                    African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

                    Tamarind Lentils

                    Vanilla Sweet Potato and Kale Curry

                    Spanish Chickpeas with Roasted Red Peppers and Capers

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: blinknoodle
                      Johnny West RE: blinknoodle Jan 8, 2011 09:02 AM

                      I make bucatini puttenesca, leaving out the anchovies,
                      for my son and all the omnivores in the family love it too.

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                      cathyeats RE: herbivoracious Jan 8, 2011 10:34 AM

                      I replied already but somehow it didn't post, so....

                      My favorite dinner dishes for winter are lasagna with a vegan bechamel sauce, shepherd's pie with lentils or seitan, stuffed squash with quinoa and chickpeas, stuffed cabbage or collards, and barley risotto.

                      This week I made an off-the-cuff barley risotto with butternut squash, kale and shiitake mushrooms. That one is going into my regular rotation. I can try to cobble together a recipe if anyone is interested - I didn't write it down as I was cooking it.

                      1. Jetgirly RE: herbivoracious Jan 9, 2011 03:07 PM

                        This week I made "quinotto"- "risotto" made from quinoa (red) with kale and white beans. No recipe really. I also made "arroz verde" that I'll be eating with cumin-roasted carrots and lime-chipotle tofu. Again, no real recipe.

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                          Querencia RE: herbivoracious Jan 9, 2011 03:26 PM

                          Middle-Eastern sandwich: pita bread filled with hot felafel, lettuce, tomatoes,cucumbers, Greek olives, and plenty of garlicky hummos. (You don't need eggs to make felafel although some people use them.)

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                            Querencia RE: herbivoracious Jan 9, 2011 03:30 PM

                            Try grilling, broiling, or sauteeing large portobello mushroom caps and eating them with steak sauce.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Querencia
                              femmevox RE: Querencia Jan 9, 2011 04:55 PM

                              Just got Buddha's Table, Thai Feasting Vegetarian Style by Chat Mingwan. Haven't tried the recipes in it yet, but just about everything in it is vegan.

                              Have you tried the canned mock duck and mock chicken and mock abalone you can buy in Chinese groceries. I stir fry with black beans, garlic and something green, serve over rice or pasta, or in a sandwich. You can make a seitan scallopini with mushrooms and marsala as well.

                              Are fried tempeh and falafel in your rotation?

                              I made a nice papardelle with butternut squash (both sauteed cubes and a "cream" made by putting through a food mill), dried cranberries and walnuts for Thanksgiving.

                            2. Emme RE: herbivoracious Jan 9, 2011 06:27 PM

                              None of this may be of help w/o knowing what you're sick of but...

                              TVP Sloppy Jane's

                              Lentil Cakes with a Roasted Curry Sauce

                              Panang Tofu Souffle

                              Mushroom, Onion, and whatever vegs in Crepes with Peanut Sauce (using Coconut Milk)

                              Whole wheat quesadillas using Daiya cheese

                              Fried Rice (made with tofu instead of eggs) and Dumplings (tofu and veggie)


                              TVP or Tempeh (or both) Chili with Cornbread

                              Mushroom Croquettes with Farro/Bulgur and Pumpkin Seeds

                              Enchiladas with Tofu and Daiya Cheese

                              Spaghetti Squash or Pasta with Olive Oil, Roasted Garlic and Nutritional Yeast...

                              1. choctastic RE: herbivoracious Jan 9, 2011 06:32 PM

                                I, for one, never get sick of grilled portobello burgers slathered with vegan pesto (no cheese). Even better would be deep fried, with a slice of some kind of cheez/cheese in the middle. Like in that Fake Shack article on Serious Eats, by J. Kenji Alt!

                                I've been making fluffy vegan pancakes. I really need to stop.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: choctastic
                                  femmevox RE: choctastic Jan 9, 2011 07:01 PM

                                  Chickpea flour holds things together for pakoras and other vegan cutlets/croquettes.

                                  Strudel--use filo and oil instead of butter between the layers--chopped tempeh and onions make a neat liver facsimile. Other possibilities are mushroom, mushroom and spinach, sweet potato, kasha---

                                  These fillings also work for knishes.

                                  And kasha (buckwheat groats) varnishkas (that's mixed with noodles--usually bowties)-and a vegan mushroom gravy is delicious.

                                  There are various vegan mac and cheese (sans cheese) recipes floating around. A troupe of travelling actors I once cooked for went wild for a simple veloute with vegan broth and tons of nutritional yeast. But you can probably do better.

                                  1. re: femmevox
                                    choctastic RE: femmevox Jan 12, 2011 01:45 PM

                                    Speaking of swapping oil for butter, I know this is slightly off topic but I made some really awesome biscotti swapping coconut oil for the butter in the recipe. The almonds and almond extract and aniseed combined with the coconut flavor turned out to be just outstanding in that recipe, I think it was a Martha Stewart recipe. I like biscotti that has a lot of liquid in the recipe, for a lighter cookie. Coconut oil is expensive, but can be an outstanding addition to recipes, imho.

                                    Anyhow, my mom ate the whole batch behind my back and then demanded that I make another batch for her church group. I said no because her church group wasn't going to meet for another week and by then they would be gone.

                                    I've been making variations on the mushroom burger theme. Curried portobello burger, with some greens that I had leftover from a packaged salad. Here, portobellos are cheap, about two dollars for 4 big mushrooms at the Korean market, which makes 4 burgers. I like that when you grill them they get all juicy inside and they also absorb seasoning well. But any patty would work.

                                    I'm Korean, so I like marinating tofu in the typical soy/ginger/sesame dressing that is used for meats. When you fry that in a pan, and serve with rice (any kind), I personally find it very satisfying.

                                2. todao RE: herbivoracious Jan 9, 2011 08:17 PM




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                                    herbivoracious RE: herbivoracious Jan 9, 2011 10:54 PM

                                    It is so nice of you guys to reply so quickly to my post :)
                                    A little more details: I am of Indian origin, and have been eating indian vegan food my entire life.. I really like being a vegan, but I'm sort of tired of Indian food,... and want to experiment cooking other cuisines at home.
                                    All of you have given me plenty of ideas and I'm so excited to try them out ! Is there any vegan cook-book you can recommend? (anything other than an Indian cook-book !!)
                                    Thanks so much for all the help/suggestions ! Really appreciate it :)

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: herbivoracious
                                      soupkitten RE: herbivoracious Jan 9, 2011 11:03 PM

                                      have you seen this very recent thread on vegan/vegan friendly cookbooks?


                                      some good titles. i rec an american/southern vegan cookbook, "very vegetarian" by jannequin bennett, toward the end of the thread. for another contemporary american veg*n cookbook i like "grub" by bryant terry and anna lappe.

                                      1. re: herbivoracious
                                        choctastic RE: herbivoracious Jan 12, 2011 01:46 PM

                                        Personally, I've gotten rid of most of my cookbooks, esp my non-veg books. I now find most of my recipes by typing in "vegan" in allrecipes or food tv and trying out only the highest rated ones.

                                        My favorite recipes, i print out and put in my notebook. Saves me lots of space and money, neither of which I have right now.

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                                        cathyeats RE: herbivoracious Jan 10, 2011 09:35 AM

                                        Just curious, are you the same herbivoracious that has the blog called herbivoracious?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: cathyeats
                                          herbivoracious RE: cathyeats Jan 10, 2011 10:24 AM

                                          oh no.. that's not me... I came up with that name randomly..
                                          Btw, I just googled that blog.. and it is awesome ! Thanks for pointing me to it :)

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