a food lover’s chronicle of all things culinary

Your Best Vegetarian Recipes

November 30th, 2006

Ellen and I have recently been doing a sort of theme-week for our dinners. We’re trying to eat much healthier and cut out fatty foods. After Thanksgiving, it seems everyone is burnt out on poultry. On Christmas, we have prime rib, and since we don’t eat red meat often, we’re cutting back on that until then.

That left us with seafood for this week. For next week, we were thinking of all vegetarian meals. We haven’t experimented much with tofu but would love to try. We do some good vegetable sautées as side dishes. So, I ask you:

What’s your best/favorite/most tasty/easiest vegetarian recipe?

Use the comments section below to recommend yours!

Entry Filed under: How To,Main Courses,Techniques,Vegetarian,Vegetarian

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brandon  |  December 3rd, 2006 at 9:57 am

    This is a Lessa invention of sorts, made once on a whim, but it’s delicious and is a good source of protein for a side dish. Simple, fast, easy.

    White bean bruschetta:

    1 can cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
    1-2 clove minced garlic
    1/2 tsp dried rosemary
    olive oil
    1 12″ baguette
    1 heirloom tomato, chopped

    Place beans, garlic, and rosemary in blender and blend until smooth, adding oil as needed for texture.

    Split baguette, and spread bean mixture about 1/4″ thick over the inside. Spread tomatoes upon the bread.

    Bake 350 degrees until bread is toasted and toppings are warmed through.

  • 2. Brandon  |  December 3rd, 2006 at 10:05 am

    You know what’s good? Quiche. You know what’s not? Fat and cholesterol. How to beat it? Easy. Don’t make a quiche the typical way. It’s easy, and can easily be made with totally fresh ingredients, though we’ve never actually gotten around to it.

    Lessa’s Mom’s Veggie Quiche:

    1 pkg frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained very well
    1 cup grated swiss cheese (baby swiss for the win)
    1 egg
    1/4 tsp salt
    black pepper
    1 pie crust

    Mix vegetables and cheese and put in pie crust.

    Beat egg in a cup, and add enough milk to bring quantity to one cup. Add salt and pepper to taste, pour mixture into pie crust.

    Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 and bake 40 minutes more, or until knife in center comes out clean.

    Sweet potatoes bake well alongside this quiche, and Lessa’s mom always serves the two together.

  • 3. Lessa  |  December 3rd, 2006 at 10:15 am

    This recipe is another classic from my mom. Yay for ten plus years of vegetarian cooking. Her directions aren’t very exact but it doesn’t really matter. She also adapted this from another recipe that used broccoli, corn, and beans, so probably any veggie could be used.

    Lentil and Kale Stew

    1 cup red lentils
    1/3 cup white rice
    5 cups veggie broth
    1 chopped onion
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp chili powder
    1 tsp garam masala
    Large bowl of kale, destemmed and sliced or chopped
    2 carrots, diced
    daikon, diced (optional)

    Begin cooking rice, lentils, and stock in a large pot.

    Saute onion, garlic, and carrots (and daikon) until onion is almost translucent. Add spices and cook a couple of minutes more. Add tomatoes and cook a couple of minutes more. Combine with rice and lentils and cook until rice and lentils are done. Add salt and pepper to tase. Add kale and cook until wilted.

    Red lentils cook fast–done in 10 minutes, mushy in 15, so this is a fairly quick dish.

  • 4. Brandon  |  December 3rd, 2006 at 10:21 am

    I attended a Hare Krishna cooking class several months ago, and learned how to make some very good meat-free (and often vegan) dishes. Hare Krishna cooking typically uses asafoetida as a primary spice, which has a flavor somewhere between garlic and onion. It’s used instead of the old standbys due to their medicinal status. This/these are my adaptations of what I learned. The spices are variable and can be adjusted to suit your own taste.

    Brandon’s Blasphemous Beans:

    1 cup masoor (brown) or gram (red) dal
    2 cups water
    1 tbsp olive oil or ghee (clarified butter)
    1 tsp mustard seed
    1 tsp cumin (whole seed if available)
    2 tsp turmeric
    1/2 tsp coriander
    1/2 tsp generic “italian seasoning” (oregano, basil, etc)
    1/2 tsp white pepper
    1 tsp chili powder
    1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
    1 onion, finely chopped
    3-4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tomato, peeled and chopped

    If using gram dal, go ahead and boil with water until broken down, adding more water as necessary to keep from burning or toasting. (approx 10 mins, iirc)

    Heat oil or ghee in a skillet, and add mustard seed and cumin. Toast spices until mustard seeds pop (note: they go everywhere!) and brown. Quickly add tomato, onion, garlic, and all other spices except salt. Cook until onions are translucent.

    If using gram dal, mix with veggies and serve over basmati or jasmine rice.

    If using masoor dal, add water to skillet, bring to a boil, and add dal. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until dal are al dente (apx 25 min), adding water as required. Add salt, mix evenly, and serve over rice as above.

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