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Old 12-01-2006, 02:46 PM   #1
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Make a Dish Vegetarian Friendly

I was reading the Penzey's catalog last night and saw a recipe that I thought would be great for a Christmas open house.

I would like to modify it so it's meatless for our Indian neighbors.

Here are the ingredients for Fiesta Baskets:

Italian sausage meat
ranch dressing mix
mayo
red bell pepper
black olives
Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses

You cook the meat and veggies and mix them with the seasonings and cheeses and bake them in won ton wrappers in mini muffin tins until the cheese is melted. (simplified instructions just to give you the idea)

I thought of extra firm tofu and sausage seasonings to replace the meat.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks, guys.
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:51 PM   #2
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Andy, how about canned tuna to replace the meat?

Edited to add: Oops! Forgot that it's supposed to be vegetarian. I think tofu sounds great. On the other hand, I wonder if mushrooms would go well with the rest of the ingredients
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:04 PM   #3
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How about just using meatless sausages?
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:20 PM   #4
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eggplant...spices well, nice texture, vegan. (Make sure the Indians eat milk products...many don't)
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:48 PM   #5
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Are they vegetarian or vegan? The latter will not eat anything with eggs, dairy, or even fish.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:19 PM   #6
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There is a product called Nutella (similar to meatless sausages) that have a crumbled ground meat texture. It's made with soybean. I know it's readily available in Indian stores.

Some other ideas would be spinach it would taste really good in the recipe. You can also use portabello mushrooms, celery and carrots (portabello has a pretty meaty texture)

You can even use cooked black beans (aldente) along with corn kernels and some diced red bell peppers as your filling.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:26 PM   #7
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Mushrooms sound like a really good idea. We're fortunate to have an Indian store across town so I'll also look into the nutella as well.

Thanks, folks!
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:31 PM   #8
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I thought Nutella was that chocolate/hazelnut stuff you spread on toast.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:44 PM   #9
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Yakuta, is the nutella flavored?
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:22 AM   #10
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Sorry I misspelled it's nutrella (with an r).
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:12 PM   #11
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IF your neighbours eat cheese, you could use paneer.
If they don't, try using:

- cooked semi-mashed lentils instead of meat.
- a little aubergine, or even sundried tomato?

Do not use "Meat-flavoured Vegetarian Substitutes" for vegetarians. I know it sounds fussy, but vegetarians (I'm a 96.7% veggie!) do NOT like the flavour of meat.

I often get people asking me (when I say" sorry, I don't eat meat")
"Well would you like a bit of ham?"

Extremely well-meaning, but ...
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:16 PM   #12
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Thanks, clive. I've cooked with paneer before.

Actually, I'm going to stay away from Indian flavors. Whenever they entertain, they serve all Indian dishes. It's a great opportunity to sample the real thing. I then bug them for names of the dishes and go looking for recipes so I can make them.

I want to provide them with a completely different palate of flavors that are still vegetarian. As a result, I'm creating some dishes and finger food that they'll eat and hopefully enjoy.
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:22 PM   #13
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I think some finely diced portobella mushrooms sauteed with some fennel and other sausage flavors would be yum!!!
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:22 AM   #14
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Andy M. - check to see if any supermarkets in your area carry Frieda's brand "Soyrizo". It's a meatless soy-based "chorizo"-type "sausage". Very spicy & delicious. I've used it in lots of different recipes - always with good results. It's in a plastic tube/casing, & you just squeeze it out & saute it like you'd do with regular loose sausage.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:37 AM   #15
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I've never noticed it but I've never looked for it. Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakuta
Sorry I misspelled it's nutrella (with an r).
I was just wondering, hmm, the chocolate/hazelnut cream doesn't sound too good for this given recipe...

I don't know, maybe it is just me, but my experience with those "fake meat products", that uses vegetarian ingredients to make it "taste like meat" (typically made with soy, typically for "veggie burger") has not been very good. I have yet to encounter anything sufficiently good tasting.

My personal opinion is not to make any pretence, and just maximize and compliment the natural flavour of the vegetarian ingredients. Beans, some mushrooms, and aubergenes (or eggplants) are typically very satisfying for replacement for meat products.
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:22 AM   #17
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AndyM. - if a market carries "Soyrizo", it will usually be in the produce area or wherever they have their tofu products, etc. Around here, believe it or not, our local WalMart carries it. They have quite a large vegetarian section with all sorts of interesting products - soy taco fillings, breaded nuggets, burgers, hot dogs, etc., etc. LIke Urmaniac13 said, some of these can be disappointing, but the Soyrizo really is very tasty/spicy so is worth searching out. "Frieda's" does have a website (http://www.friedas.com/) with recipes that use their products. They might be able to point you in the direction of a store in your area that carries the Soyrizo.
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
I don't know, maybe it is just me, but my experience with those "fake meat products", that uses vegetarian ingredients to make it "taste like meat" (typically made with soy, typically for "veggie burger") has not been very good. I have yet to encounter anything sufficiently good tasting.

My personal opinion is not to make any pretence, and just maximize and compliment the natural flavour of the vegetarian ingredients. Beans, some mushrooms, and aubergenes (or eggplants) are typically very satisfying for replacement for meat products.
I agree, Urmaniac. It annoys me if the dish is trying to fool me into believing that it is meat-based. IMHO, that is cuisine for those who are forcing themselves to be vegetarian when they don't really want to be. It may have a place as a "transition" form of cooking, but it is not for those who are accustomed to a vegetarian lifestyle. For much of my younger life, I was a vegetarian eater; it always annoyed me when friends would take me to restaurants that had non-meat dishes that "taste just like meat," as if that must be what I was pining for. There are too many ways to cook veggie dishes that are tasty on every level, as well as being healthful, without them pretending to be something else.
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:28 PM   #19
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Personally I like the idea of portobella mushrooms as kitchenelf suggested. They have a meaty texture and add lots of flavor.
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:59 PM   #20
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I used the ground "meat" product in chili one time - will never do that again!!!

I think if you stick with beans and dark greens and/or a GOOD whole wheat pasta (Not Hodge Mills or whatever it's called) you will be fine.

Amber - I think the mushrooms would be perfect too.

Andy - I have faith that whatever you fix will be great! I would seriously consider staying away from those "meat" products. Your recipe sounds great and I may even try something like that for appetizers I have to take to a progressive dinner. I might make a Rangoon but use smoked turkey in place of the crab only because the red wine I am taking will go better with the smoked turkey and the other dishes there. I didn't think to use my mini muffin tins - I like that idea!!!! I'll probably use Neufatchel cheese and sprinkle some spring onions on top.
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