Just as you wouldn't ask the vegetarian in your life to eat meat, don’t change everything you typically do in the kitchen just for the sake of one person. Below are menus for scrumptious meals that will suit carnivores, omnivores and vegetarians alike. They start with meat, fish or fowl that you are cooking already, then provide the framework for feeding your vegetarian too.
V = Vegan
LV = Lacto-Vegetarian
OLV = Ovo-lacto-vegetarian
O = Omnivore
C = Carnivore
Vegetarian Paella (V)Pan-fried oysters, shrimp and flounder (C)
Paella originated in Spain and was carried to most Spanish-speaking countries. It is traditionally done over a fire in large kettles and includes every type of seafood an meat available. One of my colleagues makes it a couple of times a year in a big production. She was my test. I created this vegan version and she loved it. I hope you will too. It doesn’t need seafood, but I put it on the side in the menu for those who can’t imagine Paella without it.
Baked Spaghetti (LV)Green salad using your favorite greens (V)Marmalade Vinaigrette (V)
This Baked Spaghetti recipe makes a large batch—perfect for feeding teenagers! The Marmalade Vinaigrette is a dressing my stepdaughter whipped up one night from what she had in the refrigerator. It was an instant hit.
Bean Sandwiches (V or LV)Cole slaw (V)
We used to beg our mother to make these. They still taste just as good.
Black Bean Chili (V)Salsa (V)Tortilla chips (V)Sopapillas (V)
This Black Bean Chili is so good that my nephew posted it as his favorite vegetarian food on Facebook—and he is absolutely not a vegetarian! Finish off this hearty meal with a favorite in Tex-Mex restaurants, Sopapillas. Yum!
Corn Fritters and Black Beans (V)Link sausage (C)
These Black Beans and Corn Fritters are one of my favorite recipes. I made it up with what I had in the pantry one night and it has been a staple ever since. If you want the fritters to be a little sweeter, add a tablespoon of sugar.
Calico Beans (V)English Cucumber Salad (V)
I got this recipe from my friend Ann Webb many years ago—long before I was vegetarian. I wasn’t sure how Calico Beans would translate to vegetarian. I soon discovered that they are as big a hit in the vegetarian version as they were when I formerly made them with meat. Instead of meat replacer, Ann uses one pound of real ground beef, one-half pound of bacon and no liquid smoke.
Cheese and Cracker Balls (LV)Rice (V or LV)Green Beans (V)Sautéed Carrots (V or LV)
I got the recipe for the Cheese and Cracker Balls from my friend Jeane. These tasty items make a great main dish or an appetizer.
Sautéed chicken (C)Stuffed Mushrooms (LV)Brussels Sprouts (V or LV)
Chicken, baked or broiled with seasoned salt (C)Cashew and Tofu Fritters (V)Skillet Squash and Onions (V)
Cook the fritters and squash on the stove. Cook the chicken in the oven or do it the easy way: buy a pre-cooked roasted chicken at the grocery store.
Chili (V)Cornbread (LV)
I love to eat chili during the winter. Serve it with cornbread or, if you have a vegan coming, tortilla chips or crackers.
Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas (LV)Guacamole (V)
These quesadillas are made in the oven. You can make more than one at a time, plus you don’t need the oil.
V Curried Carrot SoupV Eggless Egg Salad Sandwich
This vegan meal is loaded with taste! The slightly sweet soup and the tangy sandwich are a winning combination.
O Poached salmon V Potatoes IkeV Carrots and Brussels SproutsLV Berry Heaven
This well-rounded meal is quick and completely fresh. And oh so good.
Garbanzo and Veggie Pita (V or LV)
These tasty pita pockets make a great light lunch or dinner just on their own. If you want a little more heft to it, add some hummus and chips.
Green Veggie Sauté with Tofu (V)Pork tips (C)Easy Cobbler (LV)
My next door neighbor gave me a bunch of fresh green peppers one day. There was an assortment of them—jalapenos and other mild peppers about that size or a little larger. No bells. I happened to have broccoli and asparagus in the refrigerator, so I came up with this. Oh my gosh, it was so good. I hope you like it as well. For those who don’t want to eat tofu, brown some pork tips in another pan.
O Baked chicken breastsV Kale Potato Stir FryV or LV Sorbet or ice cream
This wholesome lunch or dinner can be on the table in about 30 minutes.
Red Beans and Rice (V)Link Sausage (C)
After I went vegetarian, I was afraid I would never have Red Beans and Rice again, as everyone I knew cooked the beans with sausage or pork or both. Then I found this dish is a Cajun restaurant in downtown Houston—vegetarian! They cooked the sausage separately and added it for those who wanted it. That is exactly what I do here. For true Cajun flavor, try to find Andouille sausage. Otherwise, any good link sausage will work. Put it on to boil the same time as you do the rice.
Lima Bean Salad (V)Tomato Bisque (V)Crackers (V)
Pair these for a quick, light meal.
Baked Potatoes (V)Crisp bacon (C)Avocado (V)Fresh chives (V)Butter, margarine or vegan spread (V or LV)Gelatin-free sour cream (LV)Rennetless cheddar or Swiss cheese (LV)Ranch Dressing (LV)
This menu will easily feed a variety of eaters. For the more ardent meat-eaters, brown some ground meat to add to their potatoes. If you have company show up unexpectedly and you have russet potatoes on hand, bake them and serve with whatever veggies or beans you have in your frig or pantry.
Spanakopita (LV)Garlicky Hummus (V)Tabouli (V)Tahini Sauce (V)Cucumber slices, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes and Kalamata olives (V)Pita wedges (V)
This menu will transport you to the Mediterranean, right in your own dining room. Enjoy!
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Each month we will bring you breakfast, dinner and special occasion menus starring the foods you are already cooking, and featuring tantalizing new vegetarian dishes to appeal to everyone.