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Vegetarians - could you help me please?

(18 Posts)
NotActuallyAMum Tue 07-Dec-10 08:58:49

I'm cooking for 2 friends and their husbands on Saturday, one them is a total goddess in the kitchen <quake> and a vegetarian. I've got most things sorted - I'm doing cheese & chive loaded potatos for starter, then cheese & potato pie (which I know she loves), vegetables and roast potatoes (in vegetable oil)

What I'm struggling with is:

Is she allowed stuffing balls?

How do I make the gravy?

I'd really appreciate any advice smile

sweetandtenderhooligan Tue 07-Dec-10 10:17:52

You're making too many potato dishes for a start! If she loves the potato pie I'd stick to that with side dish of veg (maybe roasted?) but not roast potatoes. Change your starter too. How about soup? Or something lighter like salad, bruschetta, maybe dips like houmous with bread and carrots and celery. Veggies can eat stuffing as long as it's not been inside a bird. I tend to make and freeze stock when i cook to use later for gravy with a spoon of bisto. You could make a simple onion gravy adding bisto?

oxocube Tue 07-Dec-10 10:22:26

Hope you don't mind a little constructive criticism but that's a LOT of potatoes confused. What kind of stuffing did you have in mind? If you mean PAXO etc, then check the packet for meat products (depends how strict a veggie she is really). For gravy, you can still use a gravy browning like Bisto, (contains no meat) but make it with vegetable stock and maybe add a little red wine.

Are you dead set on your menu? Maybe a lighter starter. Or a nice warming but not too filling soup. I can think up a few ideas if you are interested!

oxocube Tue 07-Dec-10 10:23:36

crossed posts sweet and tender smile

NotActuallyAMum Tue 07-Dec-10 10:47:39

Hmm, yes I see what you mean <quaking even more now>

I'm cooking for 6 altogether and the other 5 of us are not vegetarian so I really wanted to offer a wide choice

I could offer soup as a starter though, will definitely do that. I'm sure I could find a vegetarian one. I can't make it myself, normally I'd be prepared to give it a go but this is the first time I've ever cooked for anyone except DH and me (ooh err..)

Yes I was thinking of Paxo stuffing, haven't even thought to look if it says 'suitable for vegetarians' on the box blush

This is what I'm planning on. It'll be a 'help yourself' meal, I've even invested in some 'hostess warmer plate' things

Starter: prawn cocktail, loaded potatoes, soup

Mains: cheese & potato pie, bacon chicken and pasta bake, braising steak with onions, meat and potato pie

Sides: roast potatoes, whole potatoes in their skins, stuffing balls, cauliflower cheese (veg friend's favourite), 3 or 4 other veg, garlic bread (veg friend loves this too)

Dessert: ice cream, cheesecake, cheese & biscuits

Definitely up for constructive criticism, any input is very welcome

I know that looks a lot but we are all big eaters grin

ForFestiveSake Tue 07-Dec-10 10:55:24

I would just offer the soup and prawn cocktail for starters.

and I would do so many mains either. The pastabake seems a bit out of place really so you could drop that. The pies and steak go with he other veg that you are offering so just stick with them.

And just a word of warning for the dessert - not all cheese is veggie friendly.

Maybe I should come to dinner just to sample your dishes

You seem a wonderful friend to go to so much effort - my mums idea of Veggie friendly is to simply leave the meat off the plate. I get roast potatoes and veg every sunday!

LunaticFringe Tue 07-Dec-10 10:58:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

oxocube Tue 07-Dec-10 11:05:19

Notactuallyamum, I cook a lot and would be quaking at the thought of trying to get all these dishes together at the same time, especially if you have never cooked for guests before shock

PLEASE do yourself a big favour and par down your menu a bit. Its nicer, IMO, to have a couple of really nice things than too many dishes. If I were you, and I know it entirely you call but .......

I would do a few simple help yourself style starters and a homemade vegetable soup The idea of dips, bruschetta etc is nice and easy and you can buy some good shop bought ones. Just transfer them to nice dishes. Remeber the lettuce on your prawn cocktails will go soggy unless served straight away - you could just have pre-prepared king prawns and a nice dip to make it easier for yourself.

Your cheese pie sounds lovely and as you say, its your veggie guest's favourite which is nice of you and maybe do your braised steak which could sit keeping warm for ages and wouldn't spoil. Drop the pasta bake. Pasta doesn't go with the other 6 (!) side dishes. And I would include a simple green salad smile

Hope you have a lovely evening. Have a look on the BBC Good Food website for loads of great recipes, including soups. All the recipes are tested and many have reviews. It's a site I use a lot. Good luck!!!

oxocube Tue 07-Dec-10 11:06:33

sorry for typos - should preview blush

theresapotatoundermysink Tue 07-Dec-10 11:08:49

Can I come?

I'll be very good grin.

rubyrubyruby Tue 07-Dec-10 11:09:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotActuallyAMum Tue 07-Dec-10 12:19:45

Thank you all for your help, I really do appreciate it smile theresapotatoundermysink and ForFestiveSake I'll see you between 7 and half past grin

I had no idea that not all cheese was vegetarian! Will definitely make sure I check before buying. Need to get some different stuffing too, DH has checked and ours doesn't say it's veg friendly so obviously I'm not taking the chance make things a bit easier I'm going to ask them to give me their choice of starter beforehand, they won't mind, so only the main course will be 'help yourself'

We had a 'dummy run' last weekend (with not so much food!) and main course only just smaller versions of same menu (without the braising steak which will cook all day in the slow cooker. The 'food warmers' I've got are fantastic so getting everything together at the same time won't be a problem, once something's done it can sit and keep warm whilst I do the rest. Last weekend I just made sure the garlic bread and cheese sauce (for the cauliflower cheese) were the last things I did

I am still quaking a bit though! Although I have made all of the things before, just never for anyone else

The 3 of us (me and 2 work colleagues) take it in turns to 'entertain' and my previous 2 occasions have been bought-in stuff blush so I'm desperate for this to work

CrimboCakeandRoses Tue 07-Dec-10 12:25:28

you've already had some good advice re dishes so just wanted to say no need to quake! If your friend is anything like me (also a veggie), she'll be so pleased and touched that you've gone to effort of making her something especially that you'll have tons of brownie points anyway smile

JazzS Tue 07-Dec-10 12:30:35

I know it's not particularly "home cooked" but Aunt Bessie's sage/onion stuffing balls (frozen) are vegetarian, and I wouldn't fuss too much over gravy - Bisto granules are what pretty much every vegetarian gets when they go out for a Sunday lunch so perfectly acceptable imho.

Good luck! smile

NotActuallyAMum Tue 07-Dec-10 13:19:42

Thank you Crimbo. She is a lovely person so I'm sure you're right. She's already said she doesn't want me to go to any trouble but of course I still want it to be right

Nice to know that bisto granules are OK, I have some of those

Thanks again for your encouragement smile I'm sure I'll be fine


ForFestiveSake Tue 07-Dec-10 15:08:12


I'm sure you will be fine too. She will certainly appreciate the effort. Te whole reason for you getting together must be for the company and fun - you could order pizza and I'm sure you'll all have just as good a time.

It's the event - not the menu! (this is what I tell myself when I am running around the kitchen in a blind panic when friends come over to eat!)

oxocube Tue 07-Dec-10 17:26:56

Have a fabulous evening!!

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 07-Dec-10 17:36:44

My goodness, that looks like you're cooking for 30 people, not 6!

It's way too much food and choice - and (more importantly) way to much work for you. You need to be able to be with your guests enjoying their company, not slaving away in the kitchen.

I'd do just a soup for the main course - something vegetarian is really easy - with some lovely fresh bread. How about roasted tomato and basil soup with garlic croutons ? Or carrot and coriander ?

Then one main course (with the potato and cheese pie for your veggie guest), one pudding and then the cheese.

Trust me - it will be miles better this way!

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