Home Cooking

Vegetarian Tasting Menu

Need help with a casual VEGETARIAN tasting menu--need creative but "homey" ideas please!


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Need help with a casual VEGETARIAN tasting menu--need creative but "homey" ideas please!

nothingswrong | Apr 5, 2011 02:22 AM

So here's the deal. I have three family members who have decided recently to go "71.4% vegetarian" (their words, i.e. weeknights). The problem being that a dinner doesn't seem complete without meat or seafood. Having been vegetarian or vegan for most of my life at this point, I am very familiar with vegetarian/vegan food, and have been cooking for myself daily since I was 14 and know my way around the kitchen. Unfortunately, we all have very varied tastes and appetites.

Vegetarian tasting planned for the end of the month--Since they're not dropping meat altogether, they aren't worried about getting complete proteins or complex nutritient profiles, etc. Just healthy (i.e. whole foods, low fat, and lots of veggies) substitutes for dinners a few nights per week.

Restrictions to the menu:

-ABSOLUTELY NO TOFU or fake meats. None of it. At all. Thanks.
-No beans or lentils (2 of the 3 can't stand them)
-No Indian food
-No egg-based recipes (fritatas, quiche, etc.)
-No eggplant, beets, nori
-No sprouted grains, quinoa, barley, or other "hippie" grains (brown rice is okay, and actually the preference of the house)

I'd like to come up with at least 5 or 6 dishes. Obviously pastas were the first thing to come to mind, but I'd like to limit the spread to only one. Anyone have any great ideas for veggie pasta dishes or manicotti? Good roasted fillings for corn tortillas? Flatbread/pizza toppings? Casseroles? Braised hearty veggies? Pot pies? Galettes? Asian stir-fries?

We might just make the tasting into having me come over to cook each night for a week, so I don't care if foods pair up well.

Emphasis on FILLING veggie-based meals. All members are watching their weight and cholesterol for health reasons. I don't really understand that need for meat to make a meal well-rounded, and I never crave it. So any of you carnivore-types or new vegetarians--your advice is also greatly appreciated! What makes a meal great without meat to you?

THANK YOU for any help!

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