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May 22, 2012 11:49 AM

Vegetarian, Gluten-free mains

Hello everyone,

I'm interested in ideas for vegetarian, gluten-free mains that are NOT GF pasta with sauce. Also avoiding mushrooms, tofu, and bell peppers would be good.

Everything I've been coming across lately feels like a side dish to me (I'm a meat eater and GF, cooking for a vegetarian). Stuffed squash, quinoa salads... doesn't feel substantial enough for me.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

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  1. Two proteins come to mind: beans & eggs. Since I cannot eat eggs I don't have many ideas except for omelets, frittatas and quiche. Beans you can make taco's, chili, soups (split pea, lentil--red lentil cooks ultra fast, minestrone), hummous. Plus there are several brands of burgers/patties/etc that are gluten free, you'll need to check what is in your area. I am sure others can give you more ideas.

    I have made vegetarian stuffed zucchini for my sister and it was filling. You just need to make enough filling to overflow the squash. For protein I have used tvp or crumbles or you could use beans. I personally like it with rice (use brown, it will give it more texture which should help you feel full).

    There are quite a few gf, vegetarian cookbooks available, see if you can borrow some from your local library or check your local bookstore.

    1. I'd look towards Indian food - lots of vege options and usually served with rice so easily made gluten free.

      1. kGF beat me to it on the eggs - a frittata, omelet or strata is a hearty, satisfying dish that you can flavor/enhance in practically endless ways. you can also make migas, shakshuka, egg salad...

        other thoughts:
        - polenta with ratatouille, caponata or pesto
        - quiche with a nut (or GF pastry) crust
        - lentil-nut loaf
        - savory cheesecake
        - quesadillas, nachos or enchiladas made with GF tortillas
        - vegetarian tacos
        - chana masala
        - African peanut stew
        - eggplant parm w/GF flour & bread crumbs for coating
        - vegetarian moussaka with lentils and/or veggie crumbles (with a GF bechamel)

        1 Reply
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          +1 on the eggplant parm. i use cornmeal, italian herbs, and parm in my coating...

          top the polenta with roasted asparagus and a poached/fried egg

        2. I do have a stuffed acorn squash recipe that just about turned me vegetarian. It's SO hearty and filling -- black beans, rice or quinoa, salsa, cumin, cheese. Really, really satisfying. (You can also sneak a bit of sausage in yours if you want, I won't tell...)

          There are tons of vegetarian chili recipes out there, and plenty of hearty vegetarian bean soups. Minestrone's a great suggestion. I agree with the others that beans and eggs are smart for ingredients and Indian cookbooks are a fantastic place to look for inspiration. Falafel, homemade veggie burgers, croquettes, and the like are nice on their own but also a good addition to a big salad to turn it into a heartier meal. You could do a vegetarian salad Nicoise -- with a couple eggs per person it's very filling, or a vegetarian taco salad with spicy black beans and plenty of cheese, sour cream, etc. -- quite hearty!

          1. does no tofu mean no soy at all? if soy is okay, try using TVP (textured vegetable protein) in place of ground beef. it does wonders in terms of replacing texture and meatiness, esp since it takes on whatever flavors you use... great for:
            stuffed cabbage rolls
            stuffed tomatoes
            burger patties

            curries in general are a great option. i own 660 curries, and there is an extensive smattering of vegetarian recipes, as well as meat/fish/protein ones in which you could sub or leave out the undesired.

            risotto is another dish that is very versatile. (you could even add a bit of meat to your dish.... sshhh), but plenty of ways to incorporate heartier stuff that's veggie oriented as well.

            and off of the risotto, make arrancini. sometimes a dish that is special feels more filling... or maybe that's just me.

            a chinese affair (using Bragg's for soy)-- spring rolls in rice wrappers, ma po eggplant (or seitan or tempeh) , fried rice with egg, spicy long beans

            just a few thoughts...