forum: Food & Drink

#1 Sat 10 Feb 07 3:38pm


From ell's kitchen
Member since Mon 11 Apr 05

the vegetarians are coming!!!

hi all,

need a little help.

my wife and i are hosting a small dinner party next weekend for 4 friends of which 3 are vegetarians.

the plan is to create a meal that (obviously) includes no meat or fish without seeming bland to us carnivores.

my take on this is to serve four courses, of which one will be dessert and will most likely exclude meat and fish anyway, at least i hope so...

that leaves three courses and im hoping that by serving more, smaller dishes, the blatant lack of dead animals will go unnoticed to those of us who would normally miss them.

first course is toasted pittas with hummus and roasted aubergine dip.
second is spinach and riccotta crepes in walnut sauce.
third is up to you.
cos im struggling with the third one. although i was thinking perhaps of some kind of pasta (then if anyone wants more thay can).
any suggestions? please.

appreciate the help, and for wading thru my long-winded request.

cheers. el.

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#2 Sat 10 Feb 07 3:53pm


Forum champ
From Switzerland
Member since Fri 15 Apr 05

Re: the vegetarians are coming!!!

This is really delicious, light enough to be one course of several, and completely dead-animal-free (it's actually the only pasta recipe I can think of that I make regularly that's vegetarian).
These quantities are for two people, ish.

fresh tagliatelle or linguine
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp cream
salt, pepper (white pepper looks nicer)
the zest of 1 lemon plus a squeeze of juice
grated parmesan to taste
chives, chopped

Cook the pasta and meanwhile beat together the other ingredients.  Plop the pasta into the sauce and mix, like you would for a carbonara.  Top with the chives.  This is extra-specially delicious with strips of smoked salmon, or asparagus, or white crab meat.

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#3 Sat 10 Feb 07 4:09pm


From ell's kitchen
Member since Mon 11 Apr 05

Re: the vegetarians are coming!!!

thanks anna i might go with that, i was toying with the idea of pasta with parmesan or rissotto with lemon, and youve got parmesan AND lemon in there, FANTASTIC!

must be a mind reader.

that doesnt mean no more suggestions tho, keep em comin guys..


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#4 Sun 11 Feb 07 4:22am


Occupation nurse
From sydney
Member since Thu 08 Feb 07

Re: the vegetarians are coming!!!

hi ,
my meat-atarian hubby loves this one:

serves 2-3

1 good pinch sea salt
1 good pinch chilli flakes (or to taste)
400g pumpkin/butternut squash- grated
150ml white wine
150ml cream
150 ml passata
grated parmesan to taste
250g cooked spaghetti

fry salt and chilli in 1tb olive oil. Add pumpkin and fry till aldente. Add wine and fry till pumkin tender. Add passata and cream till heated through. Add parmesan just before serving and stir through till just melted. Serve on top of spaghetti or stir it through.

good luck for next weekend. hope it all goes well

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#5 Sun 11 Feb 07 5:42am


Forum super champ
Occupation Growing things
From Up the garden path...Tasmania
Member since Thu 02 Sep 04

Re: the vegetarians are coming!!!

Vegetarian Lasagna     
Ingredients :

8    x    lasagna Noodles
14 1/2    oz    can tomatoes
1    cup    chopped celery
2    x    sweet red peppers, chopped
2    x    bay leaves
1    x    egg, beaten
1/4    cup    grated parmesan cheese
10    oz    package frozen chopped Broccoli
15    oz    can tomato sauce
1    cup    chopped onion
1 1/2    tsp    dried basil, crushed
1    x    clove garlic, minced
2    cup    Low-fat ricotta or cottage Cheese
1    cup    shredded mozzarella cheese

    Method :

     Cook noodles and broccoli separately according to their package directions; drain well. Set aside. For sauce, cut up canned tomatoes. In a large saucepan stir together undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, celery, sweet red pepper, basil, bay leaves, and garlic. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncover, 20-25 minutes or till sauce is thick, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves.
    Meanwhile, in a bowl stir together egg, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and 1/4 t pepper. Stir in broccoli. Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish. Top with half the noodles, half of the broccoli mixture, and half of the remaining sauce. Repeat layers, ending with the sauce. Bake, uncovered,
     In a 350 deg F oven for 25 minutes; sprinkle with Mozzarella. Bake 5 minutes more or till heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. 8 Servings

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#6 Sun 11 Feb 07 10:44am


Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: the vegetarians are coming!!!

my aunt and uncle are veggies and i fell in love with a stir fry she would make with firm tofu, broccoli and a sauce of tahinni and tamari..

the recipe at this link looks like it might even be better than her version.
Seasame coated Tofu with spicy broccoli

doesn't look like it would go with your other courses so far but it is well worth doing just for yourself..   chicken could be substituted in that case.

Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule or a cook.  { cowboy saying}
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#7 Sun 11 Feb 07 2:06pm


Occupation mothering my toddler
From The Netherlands
Member since Thu 20 Jan 05

Re: the vegetarians are coming!!!

So many Italian dishes are actually vegetarian, and none of them bland.
This pasta & pumpkin dish is an all time favourite of mine, easy and delicious! I think it combines well with you starter and dip.

Pasta with pumpkin, feta and pesto

ingredients for 4

500 gr pumpkin, peeled and cut in cubes
400 gr linguini
150/200 gr feta cheese, crumbled
2 handful mint-leaves
1 garlic clove
1 small handful toasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds
lots of olive oil
s & p

Sprinkle the pumpkin with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread it on a cookie sheet. Bake in a medium hot oven (I'd say 220 C) for about 20/30 minutes, until soft but still with a bite.
In a mortar, combine the mint, pumpkin seeds, garlic and at least 2 tbs olive oil into a nice, chunky pesto. Add s&p to taste.
Cook the linguini as directed.

When the pumpkin is done, stir it through the linguini along with the feta cheese. Dress with the pesto.

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#8 Mon 12 Feb 07 2:43am


Forum champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: the vegetarians are coming!!!

Szechuan Green Beans and Soba
12  ounces soba noodles 
1  tablespoon sesame oil 
1  teaspoon sesame oil 
2  teaspoons cooking oil 
1  lb green beans 
4  garlic cloves, minced 
1/2  teaspoon chili flakes, to taste 
4  tablespoons soy sauce 
2  tablespoons sesame seeds 

Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the soba noodles and cook for 5 minutes Drain the noodles, refresh in cold water and set aside.
Heat up a dry wok and add the sesame seeds, gently swirl them until they become golden and aromatic (be careful they burn easily).
Remove the seeds and set aside. In the same pan heat the oils over a medium high heat.
Trim the ends from the green beans and cut into bite size pieces.
Add the beans to the pan and sauté for 3 mins, turn the heat down and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and desired amount of chilli flakes (I use a small pinch) and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the noodles to the pan and toss to coat.
Pour on the soy sauce and serve sprinkled with the sesame seeds.

Rotelle Primavera

12  ounces whole wheat spiral pasta (rotelle pasta) or rotini pasta 
1  lb asparagus spears, cut into 2 inch pieces 
2  tablespoons olive oil 
2  tablespoons pesto sauce 
2  minced garlic cloves 
1 (15 1/2  ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 
1 (13 3/4  ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and quartered 
1  cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
3  tablespoons grated parmesan cheese 
salt and pepper 

Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and set aside.
While pasta cooks, bring a second pot of water to a boil.
Fill a large bowl with cold water; set aside.
Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes.
Remove and dunk in cold water.
Heat olive oil and pesto in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic; saute for 30 seconds or until golden.
Add beans and cook 5 minutes longer.
Squeeze excess liquid from artichokes and add to the skillet, along with the asparagus. Cook 3-4 minutes or until heated through.
Toss pasta and vegetables with cheese in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Penne and Cheese

2  ounces penne, cooked according to package directions 
2  tablespoons butter 
1  teaspoon red pepper flakes, according to taste 
2  ounces parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra 
parmesan cheese, for garnish 
salt & pepper 
Tabasco sauce, according to taste 

Cook pasta.
Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining, then drain and set aside, returning the pan to high heat.
Melt the butter - you can let it brown a little, if you like, then add the water and the red pepper flakes.
Reduce by half (about 2 minutes) and then add the cheese, stirring to melt; add the pasta and stir vigorously to coat.
Taste for salt.
Season accordingly with salt and pepper, add a little Tabasco if desired, and garnish with a little more Parmesan.

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#9 Mon 12 Feb 07 3:59am

Beautiful BC

Forum champ
From British Columbia, Canada
Member since Wed 04 May 05

Re: the vegetarians are coming!!!

These are easy and my vegetarian friends have loved them:


Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
Grease a 9" (2.5L) souffle dish.

4 C (1L) broccoli, cut into small florets and stem pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 C (50mL) butter
3 tbsp (45mL) flour
1/2 C (125mL) water
salt and pepper
3 eggs, beaten
2 C (500mL) shredded cheddar cheese

Steam broccoli for 5 minutes.  Arrange on bottom of prepared souffle dish.  Saute onion in butter until soft.  Add flour to sauteed onions and stir.  Slowly add water to onions and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add eggs and cheese last.  Pour over broccoli in souffle dish and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, until firm in the centre.  8-12 svgs.



Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
Grease a 13" x 9" (3.5L) casserole dish.

2 large eggplants
3 tbsp (45mL) oil

Cut eggplants into 1/4" (5mm) slices, salt both sides, brush with oil and broil until brown.

For the tomato sauce:

1/2 C (125mL) chopped onion
1/2 C (125mL) chopped celery
1/2 C (125mL) chopped green pepper
1/2 C (125mL) sliced mushrooms
1/4 C (50mL) olive oil
1 x 19oz (540mL) tin tomatoes
1 x 5.5oz (156mL) tin tomato paste
2 small carrots, grated
1 tsp (5mL) basil
1/2 tsp (2mL) oregano
1/4 tsp (1mL) thyme
2-3 dashes of hot pepper sauce
1 tsp (5mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper

Combine above ingrediens and cook for 20 minutes.

For the custard:

2 eggs
2 C (500mL) cottage cheese
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Mix custard ingredients together, set aside.

For the cheese mixture:

1 C (250mL) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C (250mL) shredded Gruyere cheese
2/3 C (150mL) grated parmesan cheese

Mix cheese ingredients together, set aside.

Layer in prepared casserole dish in the following order:
1/3 of the tomato sauce
1/2 of the eggplant
all of the custard
1/2 of the cheese mixture
1/3 of the tomato sauce
1/2 of the eggplant
1/3 of the tomato sauce
1/2 of the cheese mixture

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.  8 svgs.



1 tbsp (15 mL) oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15mL) grated fresh ginger
2 C (500mL) broccoli florets, steamed
2 C (500mL) bean sprouts
1 C (250mL) sliced carrots
3/4 C (175mL) vegetable broth
2 tbsp (30mL) low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp (30mL) rice vinegar
1 tsp (5mL) cornstarch
1 tsp (5mL) Japanese sesame oil
3/4 lb (375g) extra-firm tofu, cubed
1/2 C (125mL) celery, sliced on diagonal
1/2 C (125mL) green onions, sliced on diagonal

Combine in bowl and stir to dissolve cornstarch:  vegetable broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, and Japanese sesame oil, set aside.

Saute garlic and ginger in oil in a skillet for 2 minutes, or until soft.  Add broccoli florets, bean sprouts, and carrots and saute for 1 minute.  Add broth mixture to broccoli mixture and cook 1 minute.  Then add tofu, celery, and green onions, cook for another minute.

Serve with rice or pasta.  4-6 svgs.

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#10 Mon 12 Feb 07 3:15pm


Forum champ
Occupation Duty Free Lancome and Fragrance sales
From Greater Vancouver
Member since Mon 23 Oct 06

Re: the vegetarians are coming!!!

Hi Venus, for the Szechuan Green Beans and Soba recipe, looks great but was wondering about the sesame oils... right after the 1 tbsp sesame oil you have 1 tsp sesame oil. Just wondering if there was a different ingredient there or not. I love soba and I try and use it in other ways other than the traditional japanese, especially during the winter. smile Sorry if I misread in advance.

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