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Jan 18, 2014 04:06 PM

Help with planning for pescatarian house guest.

Without going into too many details. A dear friend is visiting in a few weeks and her and her husband eat mostly vegetarian with some fish/seafood. They will be here for only 3 days. While I love to cook, she does not, so food will not be a focus of the visit. I basically just need to feed everybody for 3 days. However, the CH in me, wants to provide some really great food. So, how do I please everybody, without driving myself crazy?

I want to make things ahead of time as much as possible. I am looking for comments and suggestions. Here are my thoughts for things I might make ahead:

-Quinoa salad with Mediterranean flavors
-Mexican style beans like frijoles de olla, cooked from dry beans.
-Arizona chile Colorado sauce or something similar used either as a sauce for tacos/burritos or as an enchilada sauce.

Also to have on hand: Homemade bread, pitas and homemade salad dressings. Lettuce/greens, fresh tomatoes, olives, onions, sweet and chile peppers, a various cheeses, etc. To serve as salads or for sandwich toppers.

For make ahead, my mind goes blank from there. We raise chickens so eggs are a given. I know her and her husband eat a lot of quiches, omelets, and frittata. So we have that in our advantage.

-A Spanish torta with Romesco sauce would be a great alternative to the egg dishes that I know they already eat. Does anybody have favorite recipe for making the torta with a favorite Romesco sauce? Especially if there are things I can make ahead.

Sorry for rambling...any thoughts?

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  1. I don't know where you are but if not in frozen winter land you could poach some salmon or halibut to be served room to with a sauce you like.
    Also if you have access to smoked salmon or trout these make nice bases for sandwiches or apps.
    A grain pilaf with kabocha squash or butternut or Delicatas is easily made ahead and served room temp or rewarmed.

    Also, soups. Carrot ginger, broccoli and cheese, borscht, et call are better the second day.

    1. I, too, am pescetarian. I think an surefire yet easy way to impress non-cooks is a shrimp scampi. Simple and super quick, but still delicious. Also I don't know anyone who doesn't like it ;-)

      3 Replies
      1. re: Meowzerz

        I was considering shrimp scampi. Do you serve it with rice or pasta, or just on its own?

        1. re: Springhaze2

          I usually serve it with pasta, but rice will work, even a polenta or farro, too.

          Perhaps a pan BBQ shrimp, like they do in New Orleans? Then serve it with lots of crusty bread to sop up the sauce, so delicious.

          1. re: Springhaze2

            Sorry for the delay. Yes, pasta is what we do. I forgot that part hehe. Angel hair.

        2. Also, lasagna- if you make them ahead of time, all you have to do is reheat. And if you make two smaller lasagnas, you could do a meat one and a seafood or veggie one!

          1. Deep breath.

            Your menu sounds lovely.
            If it helps focus on what the CAN eat rather what they cannot.

            Pork,beef, chicken.
            That's THREE THINGS on the "no" list vs. 3 bagillion on the "yes" list.

            You might consider a seafood/shellfish dish or two in there to bump up the protein (X2 if you are on a coast).

            Pour some great wine and, first and foremost, enjoy your visit!

            1 Reply
            1. re: pedalfaster

              Love the reminder to breath deep. Thanks for helping to keep me grounded. Yes, wine and ... will certainly help. Our visit and lots of hugs are the most important things.

            2. You should not feel as though you have to rid your home of meat for the duration. Go ahead and have bacon with your breakfast eggs if you want it, and plan to have meat cold cuts for you and your family to add when the meal includes sandwiches.

              Veggie burgers for the houseguests, "real" burgers for you and yours. Tuna melts are good, too.

              If Trader Joe's is in your area, their meatless meatballs are simply outstanding. I am a carnivore but I always buy them for when I have more sauce than meat and need to fill in a bit.

              12 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                Really? If I have guests for only three days I would not put meat on the table. There are so many delicious fish and vegetable items; I would think of it as an opportunity to explore them.

                1. re: magiesmom

                  If I were a vegetarian family's houseguest, I would not expect them to eat meat because they were cooking for me. Personally, it would not bother me to forego meat for several days. That sometimes happens without my planning it that way. But if the OP's family would feel deprived, then they should not have to go meatless.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    I never said that my family would feel deprived.

                    1. re: Springhaze2

                      Nor did I - I merely pointed out that if they would be unhappy not having meat for several days, they should not have to give it up. There are options that allow everyone's preferences to be accommodated.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        when i was a vegetarian, i never expected special considerations and in fact it felt weird if the hosts were eating something but prepared a separate dish for me. made me feel like a pita.

                        now as an omnivore, i'd simply prefer to not be cooking 2 meals instead of one. besides, the smell or appearance of meat may be uncomfortable for the guests, especially if they are ethical vegetarians.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          I agree hotoynoodle, I'd rather just make one meal that we can all share and enjoy. We often have meat-free meals, just because they are really good. And I don't want her to feel like a pita.

                        2. re: greygarious

                          just that your suggestion was kinda gratuitous-greygarious!
                          (but not hilarious)
                          for us pesky-veggies, it always seems that the idea of 'deprived' always surfaces around even the slightest
                          suggestion of bypassing meat, even for one meal.

                          1. re: VenusCafe

                            I find that so odd. W e are omnivores but go many meals without meat.

                    2. re: magiesmom

                      I have to agree with magiesmom on this one. We happen to have two freezers full of venison. (We hunt..) While I'll tease my friends that I am serving them venison, I want to stick to a vegetarian with some fish menu for the time they are here.

                      Both of my children went through times of vegetarians when they were teenagers. I know how to make some amazing vegetarian meals. There will be no meat served during the time they are here. I'm just really asking for some short cuts, so I don't focus on the food, and just enjoy our visit.

                      1. re: Springhaze2

                        There will be no meat served during the time they are here. Seriously? Eh, I don't see the big deal of making bacon at breakfast along with the regular fare. I was veg for years and vegan for a couple. It was a complete non issue to have meat on the table as long as there were enough other things I could eat.

                      2. re: magiesmom

                        I'm with you on this. One night I would make a vegetarian lasagna or pasta carbonara without the pork, another some nice salmon with potato and vegetables and the third a risotto with peas and shrimp. For lunch, grilled cheese one day, tuna salad the next and a Greek salad the third. For breakfast I would offer all the usuals but would not be frying up bacon or sausage -- but then we rarely do that even though we are carnivores.

                        1. re: magiesmom

                          I've never had vegetarian guest object to our eating meat while providing a spread for their needs, too.

                          When I was vegetarian for years long ago, i never thought of objecting, and neither did/does my ex, vegetarian almost 50 years now. I ate meat most of our life together.