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What should I serve with gratin? Ratatouille?

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We are just getting into vegetarian dinners, and I need some ideas. Would a gratin (like I'm thinking zucchini? Potato?) be enough protein on its own? I would normally serve it as a side dish to some simple meat... What would be filling and easy? I've been thinking veggie burgers, but there must be a better idea!

Same question with ratatouille... For sure you have to have some protein source on the side.

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  1. For veggie burgers this thread has lots of awesome recipes- and realize you can use any of these recipes to make meatless balls, or crumble the baked patties for a taco filling- basically treat the veg burger mix as you would a ground meat.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8660...

    The V & V what's for dinner thread I find is really inspiring- even some of the made it in five minutes meals spark and idea! Lots of great examples of hearty vegetarian and vegan meals
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9743...
    Come join us with what you make ;

    )

    Specifically a gratin is something i would serve with a big hearty green salad- like spinach and romaine, some marinated white beans (or those italian ones in a jar), shredded zucchini, fresh basil, chopped cucumber, sliced radishes, corn off the cob raw, and a lemony vinegrette with a smaller portion of the cheesey potato gratin on top. Each bite you get the fresh raw veggies plus the warm cheesey potato.

    For ratatouille you could serve it as a sauce ontop of baked polenta slices and/or with a fried egg on top of that. Or with a side veggie and double up on the lima beans in the ratatouille.

    This thread on veg*n meals that veg*ns feed omnis has some great hearty meals that don't feel like an assortment of side dishes
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9087...

    And this thread has some great reccs for cookbooks, websites and blogs
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/908392

    1. If you had a protein-filled lunch, you don't necessarily need a dish specifically for protein at dinner too. Americans get plenty of protein without having to try at it, especially if you are only a part-time vegetarian. Especially for something as filling as potato gratin, I would probably just have a green salad or roasted veg on the side.

      If you feel like you need some protein to fill you up at dinnertime, try adding lentils or beans. For example, you could make a warm or cold lentil salad to accompany your gratin and mound some chickpeas tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, and maybe some parm/feta in the middle of your ratatouille.

      More protein rich ideas: refried bean tacos, white bean and kale saute, indian dal/chickpea curry, tofu in stirfries and fried rice, quiche, bbq blackeyed peas with collard greens. It is easier to incorporate vegetarian protein sources into the meal than to add them on the side. Some times I will add a vegetarian (Fieldroast brand) sausage on the side, but most of my protein comes from beans, lentils, eggs, yogurt, tofu, and tempeh.

      For the ratatouille, I personally would probably do like Ttrockwood suggested and top it with a fried or poached egg. Serve with cheese, olives, and bread. If you haven't tried this before, do it! So good. I top a lot of dinners with egg (asparagus and polenta, fried rice, etc).

      1. I like a dessert of cheese after such a meal
        Or you can serve ratatouille over cheesy polenta

        6 Replies
        1. re: magiesmom

          One thing, if you are eating those vegetarian meals to be healthier than cheese and eggs are not going to help as they have both fat and bad cholesterol.Especially if you eat meat the rest of the week A healthier choice would be ratatouille and a nice lentil salad. Lentils have tons of protein and iron. Or white beans. There is a super easy chickpea flour crepe called a socca that is protein rich and ideal http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...
          For dessert, fresh fruit or sorbet would be good and seasonal!

          1. re: Rory

            Agree on the cheese, but an egg a day is not bad for you. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutrition...

            You know, I still haven't tried making socca. Do you make it in a cast-iron skillet or a pie pan or what? I think maybe I'll make it with some ratatouille :)

              1. re: magiesmom

                I never can keep a cast-iron skillet (they rust). So I just make socca in a regular small frying pan, comes out just fine.

                1. re: Rory

                  They should not rust if cared for properly . The three I have used for 40 years have never rusted, just FYI, and they are a delight.

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    thanks I really should give the iron skillet another whirl...also in Gujurat they make chickpea crepes (pudla)too, here's a nice recipe, dead simple
                    http://www.givemesomespice.com/2010/1...