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Old 07-20-2007, 02:56 PM   #11
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The gal you are dating is very fortunate to have you - you are very considerate of her preferences!
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Old 07-21-2007, 07:15 AM   #12
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I've found myself in situations where there was a vegan in the group. I just try to make sure there is at least one dish on the table that she can eat (it is always a woman for some reason). As far as a simple vegetarian, for the most part you can simply omit meat from many recipes. For example, stroganof can be made with just mushrooms, chili can be made with beans, etc.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:50 AM   #13
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What I find (In the experiences with my vegetarian daughter), is that many people are so set in their ways that they can't think outside of their cooking boxes.

Most people think if the dish does not physically contain meat that it is a vegetarian dish. Case in point. My daughter and I were watching the Food Network and our ears perked up when we heard that one of the cooks was making an authentic bean soup. Wow, that was right up our alley. It was loaded with plenty of good veggies, spices, and 2 kinds of beans. But lo and behold, she added chicken broth. So much for being a vegetarian dish.

I think people are just so set in their ways that just can't see the forest for the trees. And truth be told, it is not that difficult to be a vegetarian or to cook for one. My daughter will soon be 14 and trust me when I tell you she is not hurting for anything in the nutritional world. Her diet is varied and pocked with veggies (she does not like fruit...freak). And when she does do sleep overs, I have to call and ask what they are serving. One mother said I made rice, and I asked what was her liquid she cooked it in and she said beef broth. I told her then, that my daughter would not eat it. so she concocted some dish with no meat.

Would it truly hurt anyone to go a day with no meat. I know someone people who have tried it and say that they just could not go with out meat. Is it because you can't or won't. Remember, there is a difference. Just like what do we want or what we need. Big difference.

I applaud anyone who tries to accommodate vegetarians. I know they walk to the beat of a different drummer. But take chances, go outside your comfort zone. Try a new dish, even if you totally mess it up. The vegetarian will see the effort and be appreciative.

If you can't already tell, I am passionate about this. Because I am my daughters voice. She is too shy to defend herself and what she believes in. I am trying to show her that she can still be confident in her choices and am arming her with the right ammunition to those who ridicule her about her choices...and yes she is widely ridiculed.

I'm sorry that this turned into a rant, but there is nothing worse that seeing your child being picked on for a very mature choice they made. Thanks to all of you meat eaters who serve more than just a can of green beans and call that your vegetable of the day. *Tips hat*

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Old 07-26-2007, 10:57 AM   #14
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Here's another of my favorite vegetarian recipes (although it won't work for vegans). It's fancy enough for company, non-vegetarians adore it, & it's fast & easy.

Mushroom Stroganoff (adapted from "The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two")

1/4# fresh Shitake mushrooms
1/4# fresh Oyster mushrooms
1/4# fresh Cremini or Baby Portobello mushrooms
1/2# fresh White Button mushrooms
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
Pinch of dried thyme
Salt to taste
Fresh-ground black pepper
1-1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
8-ounce container sour cream
2 tablespoons brandy
1/4-cup dry sherry
1# or so of wide egg noodles
2-3 teaspoons poppy seeds
Butter to toss with egg noodles

Cook noodles according to package directions, drain, & toss with a few tablespoons of butter & the poppyseeds. Cover & set aside.

Wash the mushrooms thoroughly under running water, trim, (removing any tough stems), & slice thickly. In a large skillet, saute onion in the 4 tablespoons butter until transparent, then add mushrooms & continue cooking until they have released their excess moisture & it's starting to evaporate. Add thyme, chicken broth, & 3 tablespoons of the sour cream, lower heat, & simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add brandy, sherry, salt & pepper to taste, & the rest of the sour cream, stirring gently just until sour cream is heated thru. Do not overheat or sauce will curdle, but this is just an appearance issue & won't affect the taste. Taste & correct seasoning if necessary.

Serve over noodles with a green salad on the side. Although the sour cream "might" curdle a little, leftovers are just as tasty nuked in the microwave for lunch the next day.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:00 AM   #15
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Here's another one (can you tell I love mushrooms? Lol!!) that's really just a simpler interpretation of the previous one, but with a totally different flavor.

MUSHROOMS PAPRIKASH (adapted from "365 Ways To Cook Vegetarian")

6 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
1 pound fresh White Button mushrooms, washed, trimmed, & thickly sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon paprika
salt to taste
8-ounce container sour cream
12-16 ounces wide egg noodles
Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Cook egg noodles according to package directions, drain, toss with butter, & set aside.

In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion & cook until "just" beginning to brown. Add mushrooms & continue cooking until mushrooms release liquid & it begins to evaporate. Add tomato paste, paprika, salt, & garlic. Lower heat, stir, & simmer until well blended & heated through. Stir in sour cream & continue stirring until just heated thru & remove from heat. Serve over noodles, garnished with chopped fresh parsley if desired.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:06 AM   #16
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Yet another of our favorites that tastes as though it took a lot more work & time than it did. What's great about this one is that it tastes as good at room temp as it does steaming hot. A green salad & some good crusty bread is all you need with this.

POTATOES ITALIANO BAKE (adapted from "365 Ways To Cook Vegetarian")

1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 24-ounce or so package frozen Potatoes O'Brien (frozen diced potatoes mixed with onion & peppers), thawed
2-3 sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed, or dried & reconstituted - chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
8-ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade. Coarsely dice artichokes. In a large frying pan, heat artichoke marinade over medium heat. Add onion & cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in thawed potato mixture, sun-dried tomatoes, & diced artichoke hearts. Remove from heat & let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in salt, cayenne pepper, mozzarella, & egg. Scrape mixture into a generously greased 2-quart baking dish & cover tightly with foil.

Bake 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender & casserole is piping hot. Remove foil & bake until lightly browned on top. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving. If served hot, can be spooned out; if at room temp can be cut into squares.

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Old 07-26-2007, 11:10 AM   #17
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Another favorite vegetarian product of ours is the "Frieda's" brand called "Soyrizo". It's a soy-based chorizo sausage that is really hot, spicy, & delicious. We've used it as a taco filling, & in frittatas, etc., etc.

If you log on to the "Frieda's" website, they have lots & lots of great recipes for using their vegetarian products, including their chorizo. (The frittata recipe is great!).
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:34 AM   #18
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Treklady, it's great to see you defend your daughters choices. Although, it's unfortunate that you have to. My parents finally gave up on the constant question of "but how do you get protein?"

Breezy, some yummy recipes you posted there!
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:30 PM   #19
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rather than suffer through another balsa wood loaf, or a dinner of soggy sides, go ethnic...Asian from the middle east to the far east...wonderful spicy couscous, falafel, hummus,to Thai curries and Indian dahls, and Chinese stir fries. Many Italian and Greek dishes can be made with eggplant rather than meat. Any really good cutting edge fusion cuisine source will have numerous fine veggie dishes. And of course good ole American chili can be vegan and wonderful ( or down right awful depending on the recipe)
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:16 PM   #20
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Treklady- you are so right on when you asked if it is so hard for someone to go without meat for a day. I was vegan for a few years and then vegetarian. I have since added chicken/turkey to my diet. I don't do pork/ham products, beef,seafood or fish. Well, last night we got-together with a few friends to touch base and everyone brought something for dinner. There was coleslaw on the table so I helped myself to some. I noticed something pinkish in it, tiny little tidbits. I wondered if it was ham or bacon but figured not in coleslaw. I took one bite and discreetly spit it out. Sure enough, it was ham. I thought to myself can't someone do a coleslaw without putting meat in it? I never before saw meat in coleslaw. At the same potluck, someone made pasta salad with ham cubes in it. Give me a break! Ugh!!

Robo410 is right about going ethnic. More veggie main course selections, more interesting, too, I think. I make tacos for my family and just substitute walnut pieces that have been sauteed in EVOO with some chili powder in liew of the ground beef. Some people substitute seasoned pinto beans for the beef.
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