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Vegetarian dinners?

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My dad is weird about vegetarians and when I mentioned that I was thinking about becoming one he made a big deal saying I'd have nothing to eat. He makes sure to include meat in everything we eat now, trying to prove that point.

But I KNOW you can still eat a variety of foods while being a vegetarian. So, if you have any main dish vegetarian recipes or ideas, please share! ^^

Edited Feb 26 2012 16:48 by cellophane_star
Reason: Moved to Vegetarian Forum
9 Replies (last)

This is a typical response from people who don't understand nutrition and how a vegetarian diet works. I haven't eaten meat in 19 years. Trust me - there is plenty to eat!

Any meal that contains beans and rice will give you a complete protein (which means all the amino acids that you need). There's also protein in soy (think tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers). And if you are going to be lacto-ovo, you'll get protein from milk, cheese, other dairy and eggs.

Post Punk Kitchen [] is a great vegetarian/vegan recipe site. But you can find so many good recipes out there. Swing by [] and you can do a search for vegetarian recipes and main meals. 

Good luck!



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Thanks! I'll check out those sites

My dad is the same way! He jokingly calls vegetarianism my "eating disorder." 

A lot of main dishes depend on if you're willing to cook and how busy you are. I almost never have time to cook during the week, but I still eat pretty well and have a good amount of variety. I like to cook huge pots of rice and beans, soups/stews, or chile over the weekend and have leftovers all week. Bakes and casseroles reheat well too.

Soups are pretty easy and can get a little boring, but chile adds some variety and different flavors. You can find a basic recipe online, and I always add Quorn brand veggie crumbles for texture and protein, and I serve it over whole grain elbow pasta. It's super delicious and packed with protein. Even my carnivore dad loves it. :)

I love, fatfreevegankitchen, and veganyumyum to get recipes. For the latter two I just use real cheese/milk or whatever instead of substitutes. It also helps to cultivate a cook-book collection, Moosewood is a staple.

Sorry the post was so long, I hope this helps!

Post Punk Kitchen Rocks! In fact that was the basis for my Seitan recipe! And speaking of seitan (I posted this yesterday on a similar veg post but almost seems more appropriate here)...


Classically referred to as the "wheat meat". After trying a bunch of fake meat products at the store I was so disappointed. I'm not vegetarian myself but most of my friends are and I don't really eat a lot of meat anyway. In fact I feel as though it isn't really sustainable for everyone to eat meat all the time. However, there are so many texture and flavor experiences that a lot of vegetarians miss out on (in my opinion). Like my sister had no idea what a Rueben was or why she should care. So I set out to create my "vegetarian meat analogs" that weren't exactly meant to replace meat but provide extra cooking opportunities.

So anyway Seitan is like magic for this. It doesn't provide the protein of meat directly but this isn't as relevant depending on what you serve it on or with. But you can't buy it (if you want to enjoy it ;) it must be made and seasoned yourself and you can make so much good stuff using most "meat" recipes.

Unfortunately I haven't actually summed up these recipes and put them online but you can see pictures from several seitan dishes I've posted. I have a couple of basic seitan recipes I modify depending on what I am making to get different textures and flavors. For example in the "corned beef-ish Ruebens" linked below I looked up how to season real corned beef and tweaked. With seitan I can get anything from a beefy texture (most common) to chickny to shellfishy.

I'm not even vegetarian but I love seitan and think of it less as a meat substitute than an opportunity in veg cooking to explore countless other worlds of flavor and texture.

Again I apologize for not actually having recipes posted for these but these show the whole process and I think help show the possibilities with seitan (and I am proud ;)

NOTE: I am not vegan and most of my friends are only veg so they tolerate me cooking with butter, real cheese, and Worcestershire but otherwise these are all vegan capable.

Stuffed clammish seaweed mish-seaweed-seitan/

Corned beefy seitan for Ruebens -seitan-for-ruebens/
(ironically my mod on the seitan dried out the seitan which normally would have a great texture for this kind of "meat")

Corned beefy hash (with the leftovers from the Ruebens) -seitan-hash/

Southwestern Chickeny Pot Pie -chickeny-seitan-pot-pie/

Beefy seitan pepper steak sandwiches r-cheese-steak-sandwich/


And here is my basic "beefy" seitan recipe (the actual recipe ;) style/ 


This was my first attempt at engineering a "real meaty veggie BURGER". It uses seitan, tvp, and soy isolate (totally vegan -- except the cheese on mine in the picture and those are heirloom tomatoes from the garden on that sandwich) and was so much better than any "fake meat" I have ever tried from a store.

But if you learn to use things like TVP, Tofu, and wheat gluten along with a lot of beans, nutritional yeast, and other yummy healthy stuff you can not only be healthy but make dishes your dad probably couldn't imagine. Though if he is anything like my dad, he may not try them or ever say he thinks they taste good, but you will know otherwise!

Also look into some raw food recipes. They make the most amazing desserts and not-cooked-but-look-seem-cooked-entrees. Cashews and cocunuts are magic. Oh, and on that line you can use a dehydrator to make things like Barbeque Kale Chips. Oh my, so good.

Hope that helps. I am currently traveling and the only reason I want to get back is to start cooking seriously again. Yum.

I like spaghetti Marinara- spaghetti without the meatballs. It's filling, but beware of all the carbs those noodles pack! I also enjoy meat-less chili- beans, rice and sauce! Make sure to use brown rice though. Another great dish is baked Ziti, or baked vegetable lasagna- just make sure to use low fat cheese! ;) Finally, I enjoy roasted vegetable Stromboli- pizza dough stuffed with a bunch of fresh vegetables, a pinch of olive oil, and cooked in the oven, served with some Marinara sauce if I feel like it! Oh, and another great vegetarian dish is veggie burgers- my favorite brands are Morningstar and Boca. Hope this helps! :)

thanks for sharing the post punk kitchen website, looks interesting!


i understand what you say - i get it all the time. i have been a vegetarian dor 22 years and have plenty to eat and no problems finding food- heck, i need to lose weight because i ate too much:ú go figure

my favorite websites to find recipes! i put them on vegetarian search mode:D!

vegetarian | foodgawker vegetarian | tastespotting

If you have a Trader Joe's you should "trick" your dad into eating soy nuggets. They make the best ones! My fast food loving niece was fooled. She then told me they were better than McDonald's chicken nuggets.

When people think about a vegetarian diet, they typically think about a diet that doesn't include meat, poultry or fish.A well-planned vegetarian diet can meet the needs of people of all ages, including children, teenagers, and pregnant or breast-feeding women.

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