help - need meatless meal ideas
- i_am_Lois Nov 4, 2013 01:12 PM
I have family who will be visiting us for 6 days. One guest is a vegetarian (no meat, but does eat dairy). I need ideas for meals we can ALL eat. I can't be serving mac & cheese for 6 days straight.
Eggplant parm springs to mind.
Vegetarian stuffed zucchini (decent recipe here: http://healthyeats.casaveneracion.com...
)A big Greek salad with plenty of good olives and Feta, feta feta
Take out Chinese one night...I love salt-and-pepper tofu and kung pao tofu
Veggie topped pizza
We're both meat eaters and we found it filling and satisfying. This is what I wrote in the WFD thread after I did it: You could use any seasonings and a number of different cheeses depending on your own tastes. It would have been pretty on a puddle off tomato sauce with fresh chopped herbs over it, too.
The eggplant (Ichiban, not that it matters,) was poked with a skewer and baked on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven until very soft, deeply browned and a little smoky. Onions were caramelized on very low heat and just before done had chopped garlic and za 'atar added as well as a grind of salt. Chopped dehydrated black cherry tomatoes from my freezer stash were added with the chopped up eggplant flesh (no skins,) and the whole thing was cooked over low heat until a good amount of the liquid was absorbed. Once cooled a few minutes some feta was stirred through.
In the mean time, the portobellos were cleaned of the stem and gills and cooked in the 400 degree oven for a few minutes (just so they would release liquid and wouldn't require much more cooking time. They were well drained and blotted dry before filling with the eggplant mixture. The oven was cranked up to broil and the mushrooms, topped with the eggplant mixture and a good sprinkle of feta (so it would get those pretty browned edges on the crumbles,) went back in for a few short minutes. An extra sprinkle of sumac over the stuffed mushrooms and the asparagus that cooked along side them when broiled. It was greater than the sum of it's simple parts.
Here are recipes we like
Is it possible to make a lot of side dishes to go with a meat dish? That way, the vegetarian won't feel slighted, but the meat eaters will also get what they like.
For instance, with a roast chicken, you can make mashed potatoes with sour cream and chives, roasted vegetables (or grilled, depending on your locale) comprised of zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, green beans, carrots, etc., and a side salad with a vinaigrette. Dinner rolls alongside, and it gives everyone a lot to choose from.
I do like the idea of takeout Chinese for one night as well as veggie-topped pizza. Perhaps a make-your-own pizza night, where everyone gets to choose their own toppings?
Take it from my decidedly carnivorous family - lentil tacos are great (I like this recipe - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/tasty-le... - use vegetable broth of course! - but I don't use low fat anything). I also prefer to make fry bread instead of tortillas or taco shells.
Potato-leek soup is always a winner, too.
Double-check if maybe they're lacto-ovo vegetarians, if so, that opens up egg dishes, as well. (And also double-check their preferences on fish.)
Spaghetti, baked ziti or lasagna
Tortilla soup made with vegetable stock; shredded chicken and other add-ins in bowls
Soups of all kinds
Bean chili (easy to make one w/ and one w/o meat if the meat eaters think they can't live without for a few days
Does the vegetarian eat eggs? Then frittata, quiche or souffle.
Pasta with sauteed leeks, kale and cream
Pierogies or noodles with cabbage and onions
Stuffed baked potatoes
I just thought of another dish I make that's vegetarian and nobody in my family bats an eye - I like to do a big clean-out-the-crisper-drawer (rotter) stir fry from time to time, and usually add firm (usually pressed while I prep everything) tofu and cashews into the mix.
Pasta, risotto, couscous salad, chick pea salad, lentil salad, bean salad. All are pretty flexible as blank slates for a variety of flavors.
I love veggie sandwiches. Even more if the veg is grilled over smoke. Just cook until tender crisp: yellow or green squash, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper. Cut a loaf of french bread in half, smear on a little pesto or olive paste, line both sides with cheese, wrap tightly in foil and bake. Deli meats could go on the rest for the meat eaters.
Goes great with tomato soup.
I make panini for my family and everyone can have a different type. I usually keep some Trader Joe's chicken breast (cooked) in the freezer. My husband likes that with cheese. My son likes turkey pepperoni with cheese. My daughter likes a variety of fillings and I usually go for a vegetarian version...roasted red pepper, cheese and whatever else I have on hand. The only drawback is that I have 1 panini maker that can make 2 sandwiches at once so we sometimes don't all start eating at the same time.
I love matzo brei, I know somewhere on the world wide web there will be a recipe instructing how to make it for many people. I like mine with sourcream and hot sauce.
Fresh ravioli with ricotta & Romano filling & a mushroom & sage butter sauce . Making this right now, in fact.
Penne Alla Vodka
Mushroom Stroganoff (Alton Brown's recipe is excellent)
Thanks everyone. I feel comfortable now about my ability to please everyone's palate. Many wonderful ideas here.
Butternut squash cubes roasted with a decent amount of cumin, chili powder, and a pinch of cayenne. Throw some black beans on top near the end, maybe with a little moisture if needed (veggie stock or water). Serve over rice or quinoa.
This one should be a good fit if you like Mexican food. It is Corn and Poblano Lasagna http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ma...
A couple of other ideas - Spaghetti with Mizithra and brown butter
Linguini with clam sauce
Pasta with roasted red pepper cream sauce
As someone else mentioned, penne' a la vodka
Butternut squash soup
I made Marcela's Corn and Poblano Lasagna this summer when the veggies were at their peak. It was delicious. The only change I would make would be to make about twice as much filling. Really yummy. I've made the veggie mix as a side dish a couple of times and it's really delicious. I also think it would be delicious with out of season veggies.
Bean and Cheese Burritos. I recommend using canned (La Costena brand) refried black beans ~~ add some sour cream as topping w/salsa
A big platter of nachos w/guacamole
Cheese enchiladas (use corn tortilas, please)
Pasta aoli w/peas
Make a salad everyone will like ~~ canned black beans (rinsed and drained), can corn (use equal amounts) toss w/Ranch Dressing (not too much) and add a big handful of sunflower kernels (or to taste ~~ I use a lot)
Lentil pasta ~~ combine a can of lentils with your favorite jarred pasta sauce and serve over pasta or bake w/pasta
Cheese stuffed jumbo shells
Cheese & Spinach Lasagna
faux feijoada (leave out meat, cook black beans adding some orange juice and maybe some canned tomatoes to your regular recipe) with rice, stir fried kale, orange slices, and pico de gallo
bolognese made with chopped mushrooms instead of beef
vegetable bibimbap (if you get kimchi check the ingredient list to make sure no fish products are listed)
grain salads (good as make aheads)
Succotash (use celery and butter and plenty of black pepper. you'll swear you added bacon!)
Persian Lentils and Carrots
My all-time favorite meatless dish is spanikopita. A delicious Greek layered dish with phyllo dough, and a savory, herby, creamy, spinach mixture. Much of the main flavors come from scallions, dill and feta. It is so delicious and satisfying.Let me know if you'd like my recipe! I'm not a vegetarian, and I could eat this every night of the week!
How about a frittata? Or a spanish tortilla? These are egg-based, and both are flavorful, and could include many different vegetables. potatoes, etc....Also economical and very, very tasty! Assorted Quiches with a nice salad could also work!
This mushroom ragu was wonderful, i served it over polenta- the money you save from not buying meat makes it easier to buy good mushrooms:
A vegetable coconut milk curry with chickpeas over rice is great
Roasted acorn squash, fill the center with a wild rice blend mixed with lentils, sauteed mushrooms and sliced almonds, green salad on the side
Sweet potato black bean enchiladas or tacos
A platter of raw veggies with hummus,and baba ganoush. Use the fantastic foods mix and make baked falafel-serve in pitas with tomato, lettuce, hummus and hot sauce, sides of a shredded carrot cilantro salad and tabouli
Make "fancy" grilled cheese one night with carmelized onions, or thin apple slices, or spicy mustard inside on good bread. Served with big mugs of tomato soup
Veggie/bean/potato pot pie- imagine foods makes a great mushroom gravy, mix all together and just do a top crust with puff pastry
Eggs are your friend. Souffles, frittatas, omelets, stratas, stir-fries, soups: You could not not exhaust the possibilities in 6 days.
Here is a family favorite, my teenage son likes this he requests it all the time, now that is an endorsement
Not too many ingredients and quick to make.
Fettuccine noodles, pesto, cottage cheese, lemon, olive oil, olives and parmesan cheese, capers and garlic.
Lois - I eat meat but do enjoy an occasion veggie dish - this chili from Engine 2 cookbook I've served to meat eaters and they had no idea it did not have meat in it. I skip the mushrooms and apple. Do not leave out the molasses and mustard. I have and it does not taste near as good, and I detest mustard. Once all the cutting is done it is quick and easy to make. I add things to the left over portions to vary it - you could even have a bowl of meat on the side to throw in - sausage, crumbled hamburger, etc - this may sound odd - but I love peanut butter in it.
One more thing - google a cauliflower crusted pizza - I know, it sounds disgusting, but it is actually very good. Then add fake meat (fake pepperoni) to it and veggies. If I had access to cauliflower this might be a weekly treat, it was that good. I live in rural Haiti and no cauliflower. Good luck.
Sorry vegans, as you can see, I'm not one. I like my meat, but also want to be healthy.
Ask the vegetarian what they do and don't eat - some don't do milk product or eggs. Some might do fish? Don't try to change all your meals for the one person, but have things with the meat for him or her. Keep things on hand to make salads.
I love smitten kitchen's mushroom bourguignon. You could serve it with egg noodles and if you want you can braise some beef as an option as we. It is the best of both worlds. Ottolenghi's plenty has amazing vegetarian recipes.
Butternut squash lasagna
Stuffed peppers with cheese and rice
Fried eggplant and chicken/veal