Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Apr 5, 2013 09:25 AM

Vegetarian Low Carb meal options

I am having guests next weekend, one of whom is a vegetarian and on a low /no carb diet. Myself and the other guests will eat anything and everything. Fish and veggies obviously but what other sides would you suggest? Lunch suggestions? Or maybe I'm just overthinking the whole thing...


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would probably just ask my guest what sorts of protien s/he eats, and plan around the responses.

    5 Replies
    1. re: KarenDW

      She eats fish and eggs, I was thinking more of side dishes. She eats no pasta or bread.

      1. re: _nemo_

        It's easier to decide on sides once you've chosen a main/entree, so I'll just suggest a few scenarios:

        -Vegetable frittata or crustless quiche served with green salad, tomato salad, or gazpacho
        - Smoked salmon omelet or frittata served with asparagus
        - Grilled or poached salmon with yogurt dill sauce served with roasted or grilled vegetables
        - Veracruz-style fish (cod, snapper, sea bass, halibut) or baked shrimp with feta, tomatoes & oregano served with a green salad or sautéed greens; optional rice for the non low-carbers
        - Fish en papillote with a spring vegetable medley
        - Shrimp skewers with tzaziki & Greek salad
        - Seared tuna (seasoned any number of ways) with steamed or grilled vegetables

        The reality is that you don't *need* starch for a meal to be complete. If the people who aren't low-carb really want it, you can serve bread on the side for them. You can also serve cauliflower "rice" or mash as a low-carb alternative to traditional rice or potatoes.

        1. re: _nemo_

          Bagels, smoked salmon, seafood gratin or stew, or grilled fish atop a bed of mixed baby greens...

          I don't eat starches, so side dishes might be grilled veggies or ratatouille, turnip or rutabaga gratin with cream and gruyere (another good make ahead).

          Here's an incredibly beautiful and delciious salad that becomes a protein meal if you substitute a can of EdenFoods black soybeans: I add a dusting of cumin to it. Can be made ahead except for the last minute addition of the avocado.

          I make spaghetti squash with pesto, and baked shrimp with feta, tomatoes and olives, too.

          1. re: mcf

            bagels? doesn't get much starchier than that?

            Are beans okay? In my mind they are a carb/starch, but to others maybe not, maybe they just don't eat flour. If they are good than a succotash would be a nice side dish for fish or shellfish.

            Potatoes would be my other question. If this is a yes, then you could do a lovely nicoise salad. I made one last night with seared ahi, sweet and baby potatoes and all the rest of the fixings.

            1. re: cleopatra999

              Oop, slip up/brain cramp! I haven't eaten a bagel in YEARS. Wasa high fiber rye crachers with it.

              Black soybeans are virtually carb free. I make salad of them with cut up three colored peppers and red onion, vinaigrette and it's a meal.

              No potatoes; I make gratins subbing turnips and or rutabaga. Rutabaga and celeriac make great puree side dishes instead of potatoes.

              But generally, it's the colorful, high fiber stuff, leafy things one uses.

      2. Well, vegetarians generally don't eat fish. But if these are lacto-ovo vegetarians, they will eat milk products and eggs. Some vegetarians might eat fish, but you might want to make sure before their visit.

        Legumes are a good choice, if prepared without meat or meat/chicken broth. I've successfully served falalfel patties and eggs to vegetarians. You could have a prepared meat or meat dish for everyone else, and then all non-meat dishes that the vegetarian can eat. Of course you would not add bacon bits to the salad! You could also do a pasta with meatless sauce, like a pasta con broccoli type of thing.

        I'd ask him or her for suggestions. He or she will appreciate this.

        1. If your friend is vegetarian and not vegan, then meat free lasagna, eggplant parm, quiche, frittata, caprese salad, wraps, stir fry with tempeh and/or tofu.

          With lasagna and eggplant parm, you can grill sausage on the side for everyone else. Have eggs, cheeses, Greek yogurt, some wraps and roasted veggies handy for lunches, too.

          The nice thing about the lasagna and eggplant is they can be made ahead, and leftovers reheated, if you make enough, for later lunches, too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mcf

            Trader Joe's sells frozen bags of pregrilled eggplant and zucchini slices. Perfect for a low carb vegetarian lasagna!

            Ah, weekend has come and gone. Oh, well - the TJ veggies are still really good.

          2. I would keep it simple--roast a cauliflower, grill some veggies, make a big salad, and let her pick and choose.

            1. Frittata with greens and mushrooms and a warm cauliflower salad.