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Old 12-20-2008, 12:10 PM   #1
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Suggestions for a starter and main course for a vegetarian

I have been asked to make a dinner for a friend. It is her 60th birthday (it is in March, no real hurry yet) and there is only one small problem. There is a vegetarian in the family, and I want to give him a meal that is as good as what the others are getting.

The details for the other are not totally worked out yet, but so far I am leaning towards something with salmon as a starter and oven roasted leg of lamb as main coures. I am living fairly close to a salmon "farm" up in the mountains of Brazil. I still have to check out the quality of it (I am a bit picky about fish, I am from the west coast of Norway), but it would be a real treat for them as it is considered a a luxury here. And lamb is not too much used in this area, so it will also be a bit of a surprise.

The dessert will be safe for vegetarians, so that is not a problem.

He eat eggs and dairy products. So that is no problem. But I would be very happy to hear what you think.

As you might understand, the menu is not at all set yet. I have checked that there are no special allergies. So the main challenge is the vegetarian. There will be 14 people in the party, 3 of them are children. And there will of course be a couple of cakes later.

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Old 12-20-2008, 12:51 PM   #2
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I would use something that suits the non-veg-meals optical, so it would be easier if you would have yours already ;o)

What about seasoned eggplants?
just seasoned some good Olive oil with garlic, basil, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper.. best to do this one day before..
cut eggplants in slices and fry in low-heat oil for some minutes..
arrange on a salad leaf sprinkled with the above oil and top with more of the oil..

or filled peppers? Or Veggie fritters?

As the main maybe Pasta, or Cheese- or Spinach-Spaetzle, a Risotto, Pancakes with Veggie-filling, a hearty cheesecake (got a great recipe Allgaeu Style) etc etc

*puuh*
I have so many ideas, too much to write them all down...
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:46 PM   #3
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If you're interested, I have some recipes for a couple of really good dishes based on eggplant -- eggplant enchiladas and eggplant lasagna -- and a very nice vegetable lasagna.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:11 PM   #4
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I am an unrepentant Carniviore but I have many veggie friends and have lived with a few. My suggestion is to nail down the dinner you want to make for the larger group then determine the veggie dishes from those flavors so there is crossover in the ingredients and the meal seems consistant. That way everybody feels that they are sharing the same meal and one person does not feel they are getting something totally different. It is also nice to have some crossover side dishes. Possibly one of the side dishes for the main meal becomes the platform for the vegetarian entre served alongside it. this way the one veggie in the group is included in the experience of the whole meal.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotch View Post
If you're interested, I have some recipes for a couple of really good dishes based on eggplant -- eggplant enchiladas and eggplant lasagna -- and a very nice vegetable lasagna.
Gimme gimme gimme!!!! LOL. I especially like the idea of an eggplant lasagna and could always use another good veggie lasagna recipe.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:58 PM   #6
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You could make some butternut squash potstickers with a drizzle of sage infused olive oil.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanchoHambre View Post
I am an unrepentant Carniviore but I have many veggie friends and have lived with a few. My suggestion is to nail down the dinner you want to make for the larger group then determine the veggie dishes from those flavors so there is crossover in the ingredients and the meal seems consistant. That way everybody feels that they are sharing the same meal and one person does not feel they are getting something totally different. It is also nice to have some crossover side dishes. Possibly one of the side dishes for the main meal becomes the platform for the vegetarian entre served alongside it. this way the one veggie in the group is included in the experience of the whole meal.
as a vegitarian (ovo-lacto, like your guest) I totally agree with this. I don't like people to go out of thier way for me. Plus it makes me feel werid to be the only one with something really diffrent.

Personally I think two of the easiest things to make for both omnis and vegitarians to share (and so the omnis get thier meat) is a buffet style 'make your own taco'. and pasta (like make two lasagnas, or make noodles and have two sauces one with meat one just a marinara, then everyone can have the same rolls). However there are also a LOT of recipes where you can just subsitute one ingrident and its veg. Just tonight I made toastadas using crumbles instead of hamburger. Everything else was the same as the omni version.

Since you would like fish and lamb then if you were to have the lamb with rice maybe you could either make seprate rice using the same recipe (if you are cooking the rice with the lamb) or just make a bunch of vegitarian rice for everyone. Do the same with a vegtable side. Then make roast eggplant or something as the main dish for the vegitairan using simlar herbs/spices as you are using on the lamb.

For the starter again it depends what you are doing with the salmon. There are LOTS of vegitarian appitizers. Just make enough of both for everyone, keep them on seprate plates, and tell the vegitarian which one doesn't have meat. :D
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:52 PM   #8
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A lot of good suggestions here. Buffet or taco will not be done this time, but they are great ideas for later dinners!

There will definitely be rice. There is no way I can make a dinner here without rice :-) But I am planning on making gratinated creamy potatoes as a sidedish along with some vegetables.

I have a good recipe for salmon starter - not sure what it is called, maybe terrin? You make a mousse of salmon and put it in the thing (form, tin, baking pan?) you make bread in. Sorry for the wordings here, my head is a little "boiled" with food preparation for Christmas. And my first language is not English, so my mind gets a blackout sometimes :-)
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:54 AM   #9
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When I have a guest who is vegetarian (and I have many times, even vegans) I just try to make sure that the side dishes are healthy and filling in their own right. Couscous, orzo, or rice with a sprinkling of dried fruit (raisins, chopped dates) and nuts (pine nuts, chopped almonds, or pistachios are best) and good seasoning in the winter, taboule, with the same additions plus lots of fresh herbs, cold, in the summer. Hummus or baba ganoush. In the summer I'm a big fan of grilling vegetables. Whenever we light up the coals I buy eggplant (aubergine), zuchini (courgette), onions, you name it. I toss them in olive oil and my favorite seasonings, then grill them. They wind up with a smokey taste that works real well in all kinds of dishes that (to me) need smoked meats. My mom calls this "Claire's ratatoulle" and requests it at every family get together.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:46 AM   #10
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This time, neither me or the guest (all of them are close family of the person celebrating the birthday) mind making something separate from the others. What concerns me is to have a really special meal prepared for the vegetarian as well. Not just what the others get minus the meat.

He told me something about what he like. Or rather do not like. He likes most things, but he do not like salty and sweet together. So at least I know that :-)

I guess what I am thinking about is what would you make if you you made a dinnerparty for only vegetarians and wanted starter, main course and dessert?
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