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Help me with vegetarian meal inspiration please!

(38 Posts)
IlanaK Wed 10-Aug-11 20:12:47

We are trying to eat less meat. I try to do vegetarian meals every other night. I am not fussy at all but I have various family food fussiness to contend with. And while I am partly of the school that says tough eat it anyway, I do try not to make things they will really hate. All meals are made from scratch and I don't want to buy meat substitutes like soya protein,

Here are vegetarian meals I currently make:

Homemade pizza
Lentil soup
Baked potatoes with baked beans and cheese
Vegetarian chilli and rice
Eggs (fried usually)

I need more inspiration. The meals need to have enough protein to fill them up (active man and boys). The issues are mostly around ds1. He hates food with a tomato based sauce and foods all mixed up together (casseroles). He is not keen on pulses. I make him eat a small portion of the vegetarian chilli but he hates it. Dh doesn't set eggs so I always have to do something else when I do eggs for us. Everyone is very good about eating vegetables.

So......please tell me your best vegetarian meals!

catgirl1976 Wed 10-Aug-11 20:20:55

Vegetarian Moussakka - lovely

Veg sausage toad in the hole - dead easy and quick.

Nice quiche, oven chips and salads (underrated in summer)

Veg fajitas / burritos- quick and easy again - very naughty with loads of sour cream and cheese

Stuffed peppers (pop an egg in the middle of everyone bar your DH 15 mins before taking out of oven)

HeavyHeidi Wed 10-Aug-11 20:21:02

try here: 4939 vegetarian recipes
www.epicurious.com/tools/browseresults?type=browse&att=161

Tillyscoutsmum Wed 10-Aug-11 20:21:44

Pasta ? Spinach & Ricotta gnocchi or lasagne. Or cheesy brocolli pasta bake.

Risotto - mushroom or asparagus or... anything really

A tart (caremalised onions and goats cheese is good) with salad

Falafel burgers

Stuffed peppers or stuffed butternut squash

I can find recipes if there are any that take your fancy smile

butterflyexperience Wed 10-Aug-11 20:22:11

Chickpea and spinach curry with yogurt and chappati/nann

Veg and lentil lasagne

Veg stir fry noodles with a spicy omelette on. Top

Any veg curry

Lentil curry with rice

I have decided to go veggie last week and these are my top proton faves.
Will watch thread with interest

AngelDelightIsFab Wed 10-Aug-11 20:23:49

Filled tortellini pasta (with cheese for protein source) with a carbonara sauce. You can by them already made, boil for 5 minutes, heat sauce and in less than 10 minutes...dinner! Side salad, garlic bread. Yummy.

IlanaK Wed 10-Aug-11 20:26:59

Thanks so much for the replies.

Ok, quiche is a no go. Everyone except me hates it. Vegetarian moussaka is a great idea. I will try that. Vegetarian sausages are expensive. We are trying to cut costs so might as well eat meat sausages as vegetarian ones. Vegetaria mexican food is something ihave tried as they love fajitas and such like. The problem is that they don't like the beans as a substitute for meat but perhaps I ne to preservere. I am very interested in the stuffed pepper with egg idea. Can you tell me more on how to do that please? Ihave tried risotto before to some success but find it very expensive to make due to the parmesan cheese. Falafel burgers or other vegetarian burgers is a great idea and may well work. Cheesy pasta is one I thought of but it does not seem high in protein or particularly healthy.

Keep them coming!

IlanaK Wed 10-Aug-11 20:28:24

Cross posted.

Curry is not popular with the kids at all sadly. I could keep trying with it though.

I want to question this idea of cheese as a source of protein because when I googled it I came up with stuff saying it was not a good source.

SiamoFottuti Wed 10-Aug-11 20:30:02

Carbonara sauce has bacon/pancetta in it, which isn't strictly vegetarian.

OP most of our vegetarian stuff is either Indian based, so lots of different curries like eggplant and chickpea, dahls, saag and paneer etc. Or far eastern like chinese tofu dishes etc.

chimchar Wed 10-Aug-11 20:30:18

When i was at a festival recently, one van was doing a roaring trade in grilled haloumi in a bap, served with a lovely range of salads... Apple coleslaw, chickpea salad and lovely grated carrot with sesame seeds. Was lush and tasty.

Otherwise, guacamole with nachos?

Think everyone else has mentioned my reliable ideas for vege food.

catgirl1976 Wed 10-Aug-11 20:31:23

Baked Nestled Eggs

2 large red bell peppers, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 cup long-grain rice
1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the bell peppers skin side down in a 9-inch casserole dish. Add 1 1/2 cups water to the dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes; drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, fennel and rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Add the squash, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is almost tender, 15 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream.
3. Spoon 1/4 cup of the rice mixture into each pepper half. Transfer the remaining mixture to the baking dish and nestle the stuffed peppers into the rice. Using a spoon, make an indentation in the center of each stuffed pepper. Crack an egg into each indentation; season with salt and pepper. Bake until the eggs are just set, about 15 minutes.

IlanaK Wed 10-Aug-11 20:46:29

Great thanks, I will definitely try stuffed peppers.

NingNang Wed 10-Aug-11 20:52:17

Do they like mushrooms? Western diets are rarely lacking in protein, it's in breads, cereals, eggs etc.. I think the craving for protein can be satisfied by eating chewy foods- e.g., mushroom, halloumi, tofu, paneer.

You could try different kinds of beans and pulses, as the textures do vary. Cannelini and borlotti beans from a can can be very soft whereas chickpeas have a fair bit of bite and puy lentils stay quite firm.

Quinoa is a great source of protein and minerals. I don't like it on its own much but it hides well in soups, curries and sauces.

If they like houmous, you could try different kinds of bean dip. Bake tortilla or pitta triangles as an alternative to fried corn chips. I sprout my chickpeasnfor a couple of days first- saves electricity as they only need 15 minutes cooking.

If you have an ethnic grocers nearby, they are a lot cheaper than the supermarkets and often do bulk bags.

HidingInTheUndergrowth Wed 10-Aug-11 20:52:24

mmm...some great ideas here!

I would also recomend you get on amazn and splash out on a Rose Elliot cookbook. She is my fav veggie writer and I use her Complete Vegetarian loads. All her recipes are really quick and easy and tend not to involve random and strange ingredients so quite cheap.

HidingInTheUndergrowth Wed 10-Aug-11 20:52:46

whoops...that should have been amazon blush

LolaRennt Wed 10-Aug-11 20:55:00

mediteranian veg or morrocoan style cous cous is looooovely.mmmmmm

IlanaK Wed 10-Aug-11 20:55:51

They do like humous and I am intrigued with the idea of baked pitta chips and dip. Can you expand on how you would make this into a healthy meal? It sounds like something my family would love!

TigerseyeMum Wed 10-Aug-11 21:00:38

Bean burgers:

Can of beans (I like cannellini but it's your choice)
1 small onion, diced
1 egg, beaten
Flour
Seasoning

Drain the beans and mash them up/blend them. Mix in the finely diced onion, herbs and seasoning. Mix in a beaten egg. Roll into balls then flatten on a floured surface. Pop in fridge on a plate then fry in a little veg/olive oil.

Lovely served with spinach and creme fraiche sace (wilt spinach in a pan, add creme fraiche, squeeze of lemon if you have one, salt and pepper).

Goodynuff Wed 10-Aug-11 21:01:17

quinoa is your friendgrin high in protien, cheap, and filling! You can get quinoa flour, and use it half and half in baking for more filing, higher protien options, like cheddar and dill biscuits, hummus wraps and such.
We make quinoa and veg soups and stews, quinoa salads and stuffed peppers.

catgirl1976 Wed 10-Aug-11 21:04:13

Spanish omelettes are nice (although not for the non egg lover)

TigerseyeMum Wed 10-Aug-11 21:08:17

Aubergine Parmiggiana:

1 aubergine, thinly sliced longways and grilled/griddled.
Tomato sauce (made as you prefer it with onion, garlic, herbs etc)
Cheese (mozarella generally best but you can also use feta or cheddar, plus parmesan of course)

Basically, layer the aubergine and sauce and cheese like a lasagne but without the sheets. Finish with cheese and bake for 20-30 mins. Serve with salad and garlic bread. Totally lush.

chubbly Wed 10-Aug-11 21:12:43

Ooooh I was given a fantastic recipe by someone; tomato and sweetcorn pie. I know it sounds gross but the first time I had it, even the meat eaters wanted the recipe.
Shortcrust pastry - blind bake the case, then layer slices of tomato, sweetcorn, strong cheddar and a mix of mayonnaise, lemon juice and basil (mix in a bowl and don't skimp on the basil). Stick the lid on and 20 mintues in the oven. It's fantastic, my dd loves it and it's got some good calories! I can't believe such odd ingredients taste so good, its an American recipe. Just be generous with the mayonnaise and cheese.

flatbread Wed 10-Aug-11 21:18:32

Nut loaf with yorkshire pudding, veg gravy and veggies
Thai red curry with veggies (kids may prefer this to an Indian curry...?)
Veggie noodle soup with optional egg strips
Quinoa, tapioca or rice pilaf with yogurt raita
All kinds of veggie soups and toasties
Stuffed eggplant, peppers, squash

crikeybadger Wed 10-Aug-11 21:19:58

This is delish and has the pitta crisps in it.

Loads of good veggie recipes on the rest of the site too.

Crispy Greek style pie is a regular in our house too.

NingNang Thu 11-Aug-11 13:28:44

crikeybadger I'm glad you linked to that, I'm not a recipes person and just make it up as I go along. As for making it into a meal, I'd probably do salads, coleslaw, dips (use olive or rapeseed oil) pitta chips and some marinated feta. Just watch the salt and it should be pretty healthy.

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