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Vegetarian friend over for dinner at the weekend(94 Posts)
I have friends over for dinner on Saturday. One of them is vegetarian and I am not sure what to make.
If the weather is good we will put the bbq on but no guarantees there.
When we go out for dinner she often orders a number of sides rather than a main.
Based on things she orders at restaurants or had at home, I think she likes:
Salad (with lots of balsamic vinegar)
Corn on the cob 🌽
Green veggies like broccoli 🥦
Crudités like carrot and pepper sticks
I don’t think she likes pizza.
So currently all I can think of is to do a selection of things like crudités, olives, corn and salad for her but I feel there is no main event. This is how she seems to eat in a restaurant though. For us who eat meat I was thinking of doing chicken satay and maybe burgers and sausages if we put the bbq on.
Any suggestions welcome 🙂
You could do a bang bang tofu salad as a vegetarian equivalent of the chicken satay (or just do it with vegetables)
Halloumi burgers on the bbq?
I think pick a 'theme' and work with it so that most stuff is veggie with some meat for the carnivores and everything going together.
Greek - a big feta and spinach tart, tsatziki, salad, Greek giant beans, some lemon and garlic roasted new potatoes. Could do Greek lamb for the carnivores.
Moroccan - a veggie tagine and a meat tagine, salads, cous cous
Or do pulled pork cobs or something, get the veggie version and do nice coleslaw, salads, corn on the cob alongside.
In the restaurants you go to, what are the veggie mains like?
If I saw yet more mushroom risotto or pumpkin ravioli I wouldn't order it.
I also struggle with a barbecue although have enjoyed paneer Tikka.
Barbecues that cook meat can just smell so viscerally meaty.
You can find vegetarian BBQ recipes but generally it's not a way of cooking I turn to. It's really mainly meat that improves with a smoky flavour imo
Hebbar's kitchen has some great recipes or the guardian's food section.
Or if you go for the barbecue, so her some kebabs with veggies and haloumi, and make all the sides veggie too.
What kind of restaurants do you go to with her? It might be that she doesn’t have a lot of choice in them so ends up having to order sides.
Just ask her what she’d prefer - you could easily do a tofu or mock chicken satay to go with yours, but ask her!
The foods you mention are all low in protein. Are you sure this isn't a medical diet? How well do you know her? I think you should ring and chat to her about it.
How about a buffet type situ with potato salad, cheese and onion rolls, pasta salad, green salad, a cheese board, naice bread rolls, halved cold boiled eggs etc. It sounds like she's quite fussy so she can just pick and choose what she fancies this way. You can provide cold, flavoured chicken or whatever for the meateaters too.
If you want to be a bit fancier go Greek - pitta bread, various flavoured hummuses, tzatziki, feta cheese, Greek salad, grilled halloumi, fancy olives, stuffed vine leaves, falafel, and if you have any friends who'll panic without the option of meat, those cold lamb things.
Be careful with a BBQ. As a veggie I wouldn't want to eat grilled vegetables or soya burgers that have been cooked on the same BBQ, and it's easy to feel left out with everyone else having proper food while you're stuck with bread and salad.
I'm vegetarian. My favourite things on the bbq are:
Corn on the cob
Portobello mushrooms bbq whole with a spray of oil and some salt and pepper
LM mozzarella burgers
Paneer parcels (little tin foil parcel with cubes paneer, diced onion, a little tikka paste and fresh coriander)
Veg kebabs. Could add firm tofu?
Vegetarian curry (chickpea & spinach or butternut) with all the trimmings, side dishes, popadoms and chutney etc.
Quorn mince chilli con-carne, with rice tortillas guacamole, sour cream salad & grated cheese etc.
Vegetarian lasagna (again with Quran mince?) with salads & garlic bread
Or 'build your own' wraps. Put a selection of salads, hummus, dips, fried halloumi, falafel etc. (Could have chicken for carnivores) And everyone can make their own.
The restaurant food sounds like there just weren’t any good main course options. I’m veggie and often find that ‘veggie’ mains aren’t really veggie (eg have real pesto or parmesan/other rennet cheese in them).
Or is she vegan? The restaurant choices all looked vegan.
As pp suggested, for bbq sth with halloumi is a good option. Maybe some Quorn/soya burgers etc.
If cooking at home then veggie curries, or stir fries with tofu are good options.
She probably orders stuff like that because if what is on offer rather than favourite preferences.
I would ask her what sort of things she likes / doesn’t like.
BBQ options: halloumi, beanburgers, veg kebab, bbq marinaded celeriac ‘steaks’ (google recipe) and keep veggies separate on the grill or have 3 grills)
Veg tagine with cold cous
Veg tarte tatin
Spaghetti a la Norma
But, check her preferences.
Homemade fritters - corn/courgette/lentil with some yummy salads
If your friend enjoys Indian, you can make a tasty sambar with potato fry or sambar with okra fry. A hearty comforting meal to serve over a bed of rice!
I usually make sambar following these recipes
We’ve been to all sorts of places together - deli type places, Nando’s, Thai, Italian.
She almost always orders a salad or a selection of sides.
I think it could be that she doesn’t like any of the mains but then that doesn’t help me as I’m not sure what to make either.
I know her well and am happy to ask her but she is so polite and lovely she would just say she will eat anything or even bring food. She has brought food before and it is often fruit, carrots, peppers olives and hummus. With some kind of pudding. I don’t want her to feel she has to bring food.
I thought about halloumi too.
I know she eats tofu
I have never cooked tofu though 🤔
“deli type places, Nando’s, Thai, Italian.”
Ah... none of them are going to help you work out if she’s eating what she eats out of preference or because that’s what there is tbh...
Delois and Nando’s the obvious choice is salads (Nando’s had a pretty shit looking selection when I went) Thai uses a lot of fish sauces and Italians tend to ignore the fact that lots of cheeses aren’t vegetarian - so you’re fairly limited with those too.
If she’s likely to want to bring food if you ask her, could you not phrase it more as you’re after veggie ideas for everyone and what’s good recipes she’d recommend?
I don’t think she minds fish sauces and the like
I’m not sure about cheese
I have texted her and will see what she says. If she says she’ll bring food I’ll say no she doesn’t need to I’ll prepare everything before they get here (they are coming from work and I’ll be home). When she has brought food before it has been crudités etc but that’s easily transportable.
I think at Nando’s she has salad and corn. They do veggie burgers and halloumi and stuff but I haven’t seen her order that. I haven’t seen her order veggie pasta at an Italian place. I think she’s order aubergine steak once but they didn’t have it. At a Thai place she has tofu but I do too.
A chickpea type curry isn’t a bad idea but then doesn’t really go with the other stuff I was thinking of making.
She isn’t vegan and I don’t think she minds things being cooked together although would keep veg things to one side.
She does just seem to like bits of bubbly things as that’s what she always orders.
bits of nibbly things, not bubbly things 🙄
Veggie burgers, veggie hotdogs, corn cobs, salads, coleslaw, garlic mushrooms, flat bread, hummus, olives, feta, baked spuds/ potato salad, grilled asparagus, boiled eggs. It's really easy to do a lovely buffet and BBQ. Just have a separate grill or mini BBQ for all the veg stuff.
Dd is vegetarian and Mexican usually goes down well at home, I do the following
Tofu stir fried with peppers and onion with fajita spice mix
Chicken or beef strips with spice mix
It all goes on the table in bowls
Also, don’t assume she eats quorn, Dd is allergic and it makes some people feel ill
DD18 is a veggie and whenever her friends come round she cooks up a big vegetable chilli (no "meat substitute", just veggies and pulses) with rice and sour cream/guacamole/salsa and tortilla chips. Big mixed salad on the side, everybody carnivore/omnivore/herbivore just digs in.
The idea of catering to a vegetarian separately is thankfully becoming less and less, why not just make some food everyone can eat.
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