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Apr 20, 2012 12:22 PM

Vegetarian Comfort Foods

My dear partner is a committed vegetarian. As the primary cook in the household, I get to make meals for him (which I love doing - this is not a complaint) but I need some ideas about meal options. His favorite foods are what I describe as being "comfort food" and that he describes as being "goulashy." Basically, he craves things like ratatouille, casseroles, pot pies, etc. - anything that comes down to being a one or two pot meal, with the ingredients combined. (I, on the other hand, prefer less cooked dishes. Go figure.)

Any ideas on vegetarian one-pot meals would be much appreciated, as would recipes if you care to share. Oh, and we live in the Los Angeles area, so we have access to lots of fresh fruits and veggies as well as more exotic ingredients.

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  1. My family loves this enchilada casserole. You can easily make it vegetarian as I have with poblano (lots), mushrooms, zucchini, etc. BTW, I use spicy pepper jack instead of the cheeses listed. I've used fresh salsa verde from latino market as well as doctored canned ones and dish is equally good.

    I also cook a lot of Indian food & there are many varieties of rice dishes one could try. One of the best known Indian comfort foods is Pongal/Kichidi. Here's one recipe if you want to try...of course, the more ghee (clarified butter) you use, the tastier :


    Last but not least, Madhur Jaffrey's vegetarian cook books are great to have around.

      1. I make black bean enchiladas and I add some raw garlic and serrano chiles for flavor and heat.
        Top with guac/sliced avocados and served with a Spanish rice.

        I love making my garden burger Patty Melt which is so good and my DH, who enjoys eating meat says he prefers the veggie burger...cook the patty first with the onions, and then put together like a grilled cheese on rye...I make my own thousand island dressing.

        Portabello lasagna is another fave.

        Corn bread black bean casserole is good too with corn..almost like a tamale pie.

        The 'crumbles' that are made by MorningStar are so good and its crumbled up veggie burger and I make tacos, enchi's, stuffed peppers..can't tell you how much I love this product.

        Roast a lot of veggies with EVO and garlic over risitto or mac n'cheese.

        1. I love vegetarian comfort food. I make tuna-less casserole, starting with a mushroom béchamel sauce. Noodles, mushroom béchamel, onions, celery, carrots peas and lots of cheese, including cottage cheese baked together.

          Other comfort foods I really like:

          Red lentil sloppy Joes.

          Seitan O’ Greatness This works really well “shredded” and baked with barbeque sauce.

          7th Day Adventist meatloaf:

          Roasted Ratatouille with Eggs & Cheese

          Yay comfort food!

          1. My two favorite comfort foods are very easily made vegetarian: nachos and lasagna. Just be sure to add lots of beans to the nachos, and I like to add a bit of cooked spinach to my lasagna. Agree with the idea of enchilada casserole. Another good one is a polenta pie (basically lasagna with polenta instead of the noodles). Lentil soup with a baguette always strikes me as a wonderfully homey and comforting meal too.