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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 06:00 AM
Original message
Vegetarian recipes that meat lovers will go for?
Taking early retirement soon, so there will be less money and more time. I'm looking to go cheaper, and that means less meat. DH isn't thrilled about that--any ways to cheer him up about the prospect?
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. First, get him used to meat as a flavoring
instead of a big slab of it as the main event. Stir fries and casseroles are the way to break the news gently, that his days of sitting down to a side o cow are over except on his birthday. Veggie meals can be introduced slowly, one or two a week, while you feel your way around and decide what you like the best and develop a repertoire of recipes.

There are a lot of good general veggie cookbooks out there. "Goldbecks American Wholefoods Cuisine" by Nikki Goldbeck is a good place to start, common sense food that tastes good and doesn't call for smoked goat cheese and other exotic ingredients. http://www.amazon.ca/Goldbecks-American-Whole-Foods-Cui...

The vegetarian party food standard is "The Vegetarian Epicure," by Anna Thomas, fondly known as the cholesterol cookbook. I've made a lot of recipes from this one and have never found a real clinker. http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Epicure-Anna-Thomas/dp...

Mark Bittman has written one of his encyclopedic cookbooks, "How to Cook Everything: Vegetarian." It's organized around basic themes with a dozen or so variations on every theme. There is no way to cook your way through this sucker, it'll take forever. The recipes are a bit bland for my taste, but that's easy to fix. http://www.amazon.com/How-Cook-Everything-Vegetarian-Co...

I have other cookbooks in my library that are good but not as consistent as these three. Some are heavy handed and doctrinaire about morality vegetarianism while others require ingredients nobody can find outside California, so I can't recommend them. These three will certainly get you started.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
2. Kosher dairy...
is one way to go. I haven't learned many of the secrets, but I have eaten in kosher dairy places and the food was simply wonderful and often more satisfying than your typical vegetarian menus. (And much better than other kosher places where they can't use dairy and overcook the meat)

Sorry I don't have any recipes offhand, but some serious googling and cookbook searching works. Look especially for the noodle dishes with savory sauces.

And stock up on light sour cream when it goes on sale.

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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. I agree with Rick Stein
when he said on his Food Heroes series (paraphrasing from memory here, I just watched it once) that the best vegetarian dishes are so wonderfully prepared just on their own, that you don't even miss the meat or even want a meat substitute.



http://www.rickstein.com/Biography.html
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. One of my techniques is roasting a large dish of Veggies
Usually make gravy for a couple of meals.

But there is always enough that hubby can make Indian Dishes. Then we have a couple of meals off of that.

We are very frugal cooks. :) We can really stretch our meals out over several days.




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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-24-08 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
23. Exactly, which is why I don't recommend relying on
meat substitutes unless one is a morality vegetarian. Meat substitutes are expensive and often contain chemical nasties or a high salt content, OK for once in a blue moon when you don't want to cook, but not for everyday.

Plant based foods are incredibly varied from culture to culture. Properly done, their lack of a meat ingredient is never an issue. Cuisines with amazing vegetarian traditions include Italian, Greek, Chinese, and Mexican. Exploring the vegetarian foods in those cultures is a lifelong pursuit, and there's no chance to get sick of the same old, same old.

Going vegetarian is a process, not a destination, and the trip can be an amazing one if one doesn't get stuck in a rut of convenience items and old meat habits.

It's also a helluva lot cheaper when you finally get a handle on what you're doing.

(tomorrow's dinner will be a twice-fried plantain which is finally ripe after a week sitting out on the counter and black bean salsa.)
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'm your "expert" on soy based "meats"
I've been cooking with soy based meat products for years. There are a wide variety of "meat" products now on the market.

When I've served my dishes to meat lovers, they always claim they can't tell the difference

Morning Star Farms:

Crumbles

Shepard's Pie
Spaghetti (usually mixed in with the marina sauce, I make enough for pizzas)
Meat Loaf
Pablano Stuffed Peppers

Sliced Beef

Chopped BarBQ


Chicken

Chicken Pot Pie
Fried Chicken Strips
Chicken Stir Fry


That's just some of the dishes I've made using soy. I also make enough that we get 3 meals out of them. So, it turns out to be cost efficient in the scheme of things.

If you're interested in the recipes, let me know and I'll share :hi:






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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I second Morningstar Farms crumbles
It's a great sub for ground beef in spaghetti sauce, all kinds of casseroles, tacos too. :-)

I haven't eaten it for a long time though, since I realized I'm sensitive to wheat products. :-(
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I stear clear of the wheat products too for the most part but
these don't seem to bother me too much. As with everything it's trial and error. It sucks though to have to watch everything though...isn't it?
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Oh yeah, I forgot about Mexican dishes
I make Mexican Burgers, kinda like "manwiches" except with hot sauce. Taco Bell used to make Mexican burgers, and one day I had a craving for them. Every since then we make our own. With the left overs we make tacos, quesadillas or more burgers.

I'm sorry about your being sensitive to wheat products, what a bummer. :(


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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I love the Morningstar farms products
I mix the Crumbles with ground turkey or chicken for sloppy joes. You can try weaning him off the meat by slowly reducing the "real Meat" in the recipe.

The Morningstar Asian and Mozerella/Basil burgers are amazing. They are staples in our menu and are great burger alternatives. Do they taste like a burger...No-They aren't juicy but they have great flavor and are a great sandwich un to themselves.

I also like the boca vegan grillers for their smokey/flamed grilled flavor.
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. We also use the MSF Grillers for burgers
We have also used them in Wraps. There are so many ways to prepare soy. I don't miss meat at all.

I haven't tried the other MSF flavors you mentioned, I'll have to check it out next time I'm at the store to see if they stock em. For some reason Kroger's stopped carrying MSF products. I called and let it be known that they had better start reordering it. Since that call they started restocking and even added more products. The POWER of ONE VOICE.



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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. Lightlife SmartGround is good too
I heartily endorse the taco flavored one :9
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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
11. Warpy is right about using meat, just in smaller amounts.
For instance, tonight I am making pasta with pesto sauce. I have one grilled chicken breast which I will slice and add. In addition, we will have a small green salad and I think I have some left over chick peas to add to that. Not a vegetarian meal, but one chicken breast shared between four people is not much meat, at least by American standards.

You can do the same with dinner salads. Make a big, beautiful salad then slice a bit of beef or whatever over the top.

I have found that mushrooms add a meat-like mouth feel to many dishes. I buy a jumbo sized bag of dried shitakes at Costco every 6 months or so and add them as needed.

Beans are a cheap, nutritious meat substitute. Maybe use 1/2 meat, 1/2 beans and then add some shitakes for extra chewiness.

My favorite veggie cookbook is called Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin. Simple, fast veggie recipes, but so many good ones. It is probably my favorite cookbook of all time and I am not even a vegetarian!

Also, if you have more time but less money, consider planting a small vegetable garden. Even a few tomatoes and some herbs in containers can cut down on the grocery bill, and the produce will be so much better than what you get at the grocery.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. What Warpy said
I think that's the best way to stretch your meat dollar and also eat more healthily.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
14. I'm going to agree with Warpy, too.
Edited on Mon Jun-23-08 05:30 PM by hippywife
My husband went veggie about three years or so ago. I was still big a red meat fan. Now we both eat meat once a week and veggie the rest of the time since we now have sources for grassfed/finished meat.

I also agree with supernova about making your vegetarian dishes so good that the meat isn't even missed. It seems that the fresher the veggies and less inundated with heavy ingredients, the better they are at achieving this goal.

I also use the meat analogs on occassion even tho we try to stay to whole foods for the most part. My favorites are:

Morningstar Farms:

Crumbles: for chili or sloppy joes (careful not to over cook on that second one.)
Chick'n Nuggets: just to eat plain or with buffalo sauce and bleu cheese or chik'n in peanut sauce over rice. I even loved these nuggets when I was still eating lots of meat. :9
Sausage Links: they taste kinda a little on the funky side at first so they take some getting used to but if you put them on a plate with pancakes and they're floating in syrup, they taste fine (not great, but passable.)
Corn Dogs: if he likes corn dogs, give him these without his seeing the box and he won't know the difference...honest! LOL I get them for weekends when I'm going to be extra busy around the house, my husband doesn't have to come in and ask me what's for lunch. He can do it himself.

Quorn:

Naked Cutlets: these are great just for sandwiches or cut up (or buy the tenders) and put in a chik'n potpie.

Amy's Organics:
California Burgers: season them a little before cooking and then drag 'em thru the garden and they are really, really good.

The problem with meat analogs is their kind of on the expensive side. Things like the tenders and crumbles are for meals that you can stretch into a few. Things like corn dogs are abbout three something for 4 items in the box but I look at it as we both just ate for three something, ya know?

I don't really think veggie cooking is really less expensive anyway. We spend just as much, more now that we joined the co-op, than we did when we ate meat.

Good luck! I'll try to think about some dishes that I, as a confessed lover of charred animal flesh, still enjoy even if they contain no meat...the list grows all the time, really, once you get used to it.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
15. It's hard to feel deprived when there's fresh bread
Homemade baked samosas with veggie fillings are awesome. (potatoes, peas, curry)
Indian food has so much flavor, that's another one where the meat isn't missed.
Veggie pizzas are pretty good as well.
Ravioli made with spinach and mushrooms or gnocchi with pesto is good.

It's hard to say what someone else would like without knowing what sort of food they eat in general.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
16. What Warpy said v.3
Also I've found that the more "sides" and courses help to make a more enjoyable meal, cheaper.

i.e. start off with a cheese plate, some crackers, some cut veggies and dip, maybe a good bean dip, then move on to the main dish with meat as a component but not the star, and zap up the side veggies, follow up with plated fruit. Simple stuff, but good.

(Disclaimer) I like to pick, so this works for me. I'm not a big bring it all on eater.

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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
17. Potato pancakes
I just posted links to a recipe and tips. We make them the whole meal since they require some eggs or egg substitute. If not for supper, they make a filling lunch. A salad would round off the meal.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
18. Very helpful!
Thanks to all. There's a lot of stuff he's going to have to get used to in a month or so, including me being around all the time.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
19. most any "ethnic" cuisines are going to be low on meat and higher in less expensive ingredients
and the upper end of those will be pretty healthy. (the poverty end will tend to be pretty starchy)

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REACTIVATED IN CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-24-08 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
20. Not truly vegetarian, but he might enjoy..
Edited on Tue Jun-24-08 05:01 PM by REACTIVATED IN CT
Spinach Lasagna
Eggplant Parm
Pasta with Broccoli and Chick Peas
Pasta with Grilled Veggies (zucchini, eggplant, peppers)
Peppers and eggs - with pasta or on Italian bread
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-24-08 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Those are all vegetarian, just not vegan
:)
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REACTIVATED IN CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. I stand corrected ! Thanks !
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-24-08 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
22. Nothing says vegetarian is vegetable

Even pizza is vegetarian - meatless. Wonderful sauce, cheeses, roasted red peppers, whatever.

Maybe go heavier on the pasta. Pasta, cheeses, bread, tomatoes - even M&M's. Thai peanut sauce - there's all kinds of places you can go.

Vegan would complicate things, but vegetarian - not a problem. Even a cheese quesadilla is vegetarian.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
25. I'm making one tonight that we both love alot.
Edited on Thu Jun-26-08 08:04 PM by hippywife
All it is is veggies--broc, onions, carrots, snow peas, mushrooms, orange peppers--whatever you have or like stir fried. Maybe a little nut meats of your choice. No sauce. Just stir fried with a little minced garlic and served over brown rice with a splash of soy sauce. :9
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-30-08 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
26. I invented this chili - my whole non-veg family loves it:
4 tbsp. olive oil
4 medium onions, chopped (yes, four!)
2 tsp. Minced garlic
c chili powder (yes, half a cup!)
2 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. dried oregano
2 12 oz. Packages Morningstar Farms Grillers crumbles
4 can 14.5-oz cans petite diced tomatoes
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne
3 16 oz cans dark red kidney beans, drained

Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat, then add the onions and garlic until soft. Add the next 4 ingredients and stir until well absorbed. Add the crumbles and stir in well. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. After 30 minutes, add the kidney beans and simmer another 20-30 minutes.

Top will sour cream and/or cheddar cheese. Serve with cornbread.
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