Hey, all! I'm new to vegetarianism--basically trying it on for size-- and I need some inspiration! I'm looking for some interesting dinner ideas. Healthy, hearty, simple, or anything that comes well-recommended, really.
I guess this place to start is as good as any to start: http://www.tbd.com/pictures/2011/08/d...
I could go to some simple salad place like Chopt or The Rabbit (though it can seem a little high falutin for what it is). I am a huge fan of Rasika, though I consider it a once-in-a-while thing more than a regular destination.
Are you going for pure vegetarian or are you pescetarian? How do you feel about shellfish? (My former girlfriend was vegan and gluten-free, but ate fish, so I'm aware of some variation.)
Haha, if you stick with it, you might have to change your username :)
Here is one of my favorites, Vegetarian Soft Tacos w/ Goat Cheese: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipe...
Another thing I like, which can be a side or a whole bowl as an entree, is Sweet Potato Tofu Hash. Good anytime, but especially good as a side for Thanksgiving: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2009/1...
In general, Italian, Mexican, Thai and Indian cuisines offer tons of vegetarian options. In India, I think about half of the population is vegetarian. For Italian, try a baked ziti (tons of recipes on the internet, but pick one that uses ricotta). For easy Mexican, try quesadillas (once again, a ton of recipes out there, but just plain cheese w/ salsa on the side is classic). Some other things to get to know are quinoa, portabella mushrooms (marinate and grill), falafel, hummus, and various soy products such as tofu and tempeh. A lot of vegetarians use seitan as a meat substitute, but I have never had it. Get to learn about the nutrition aspect of being a vegetarian, especially amino acids, iron, and B-12.
And of course, cheese pizza!!!
I would definitely head to Rasika and check out their vegetarian tasting menu. All of their dishes are delicious, but they especially do vegetarian well.
You can also head to Etete and check out their vegetarian platter...it's my favorite and I'm a meat-eater.
Italian is also sometimes good for veggies (just make sure to ask about chicken broth etc). I would recommend Bibianna or Casa Nonna.
Jaleo is a great choice for their 'verduras.' If you are not super-sensitive, then you could also have their patatas bravas, which are not made with meat but are deep fried in the same oil as some non-vegetarian dishes.
The Lao menu at Bangkok Golden in even Corners features a vegetarian version of the rice ball salad (nam kao) and the rice paste wrap. What a meal!
I'm not a true vegetarian but I enjoy ordering it in places like those listed above because I find that the food itself as a whole is better- maybe better spices, combination of ingredients, whatever. With meat, it's the star, and the stuff they serve with it is like "filler" to my way of thinking.
eg, a great curry doesn't need meat to be delicious. But with good meat, a dish can be considered good, even with 'so-so' sauce.
Does that make sense?