Vegetarian main courses

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May 16, 2010
Teenaged Granddaughter who is a vegetarian is going to spend a few days with me before she has major lung surgery in a few weeks.
I need to plan really nourishing and flavourful menus for the time she will be here.
Need substantial main course recipes. Don't need salads.
Any ideas?


Washing Up
Aug 8, 2010
Teenaged Granddaughter who is a vegetarian is going to spend a few days with me before she has major lung surgery in a few weeks.
I need to plan really nourishing and flavourful menus for the time she will be here.
Need substantial main course recipes. Don't need salads.
Any ideas?

These are by Yotam Ottolenghi, a Lebanese chef who has recently written a book on vegetarian food. Hope you enjoy them. Although not a vegetarian I have eaten these and they are simply wonderful. :)

Very full tart

Very full tart: Lives up to its name in more ways than one.
Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin

A fantastic Mediterranean feast, full to the brim with roasted vegetables. Serves four to six.

1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper
About 100ml olive oil
1 aubergine, cut into 4cm dice
Salt and black pepper
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3cm dice
1 small courgette, cut into 3cm dice
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
300g shortcrust pastry
8 thyme sprigs, picked
120g each ricotta and feta
7 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 medium free-range eggs
200ml double cream

Heat the oven to 230C/gas mark 8. Cut around the pepper stalks, then lift out and discard, along with all the seeds. Put the peppers in a small ovenproof dish, drizzle with oil and put on the top shelf of the oven.

Mix the aubergine with four tablespoons of oil and season. Tip into a big baking tin and place on the shelf below the peppers. After 12 minutes, add the sweet potato, stir and roast for 12 minutes more. Now add the courgette, stir and roast for a further 10–12 minutes. By now, the peppers should be brown and the vegetables cooked. Remove everything from the oven and turn the heat to 160C/gas mark 2½. Cover the peppers with foil and leave to cool; once cool, peel and tear into strips.

Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Sauté the onions with the bay leaves and some salt for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown, soft and sweet. Discard the bay and set aside.

Grease a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Roll the pastry to a 3mm-thick circle large enough to line the tin with some overhang. Press it into the edges. Line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans.

Bake blind for 30 minutes, lift out the paper and beans, and bake for 10–15 minutes more, until golden brown.

Remove and allow to cool a little. Spread the onions over the bottom, then top with roasted veg. Scatter over half the thyme, dot first with small chunks of both cheeses and then the tomato halves, cut-side up.

Whisk the eggs and cream with some salt and pepper, and pour into the tart; the tomatoes and cheese should remain exposed. Scatter the remaining thyme on top. Bake for 35–45 minutes, until the filling sets and turns golden. Rest for at least 10 minutes.

Chickpea, tomato and bread soup

Picture by Johnathan Lovekin

A take on Tuscan ribollita, and somewhere between a soup and a stew. Reduce or increase the amount of liquid to get your preferred consistency. Serves four to six.
1 large onion, sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
About 120ml olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled, cut in half
lengthways and sliced
3 celery sticks, sliced
1 tbsp tomato purée
250ml white wine
400g tinned Italian plum tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped oregano
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 tsp caster sugar
1 litre vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper
160g stale sourdough bread
(crust removed)
400g cooked chickpeas
4 tbsp basil pesto (ideally homemade)
1 handful shredded basil leaves

Heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Put the onion and fennel in a large pan, add three tablespoons of oil and sauté over medium heat for four minutes. Add the carrot and celery, and soften, stirring occasionally, for four minutes. Add the tomato purée, stir for a minute, then add the wine and let it bubble for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes, herbs, sugar and stock, and season. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, break the bread into chunks, toss with two tablespoons of oil and some salt, and scatter in a roasting tin. Bake for 10 minutes, until thoroughly dry, then set aside.
About 10 minutes before you want to serve, put the chickpeas in a bowl and crush them a little with a potato masher or the end of a rolling pin; you want some to be left whole. Add the chickpeas to the soup and simmer for five minutes. Next add the toasted bread, stir and cook for another five minutes. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper liberally.
Ladle the hot soup into bowls. Spoon some pesto in the centre, drizzle with plenty of olive oil and finish with shredded basil, if you like.

This is gorgeous! Lemon and goat's cheese ravioli, my absolute fave!


Yotam Ottolenghi's lemon and goat's cheese ravioli: SIlky, homemade pasta, soft,
creamy goat's cheese filling – what's not to like? Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin

Use a relatively soft, mild goat's cheese such as Ticklemore from Devon. Serves four as a starter
For the pasta dough
3 tbsp olive oil
3 medium free-range eggs
330g '00' pasta flour, plus extra
¼ tsp ground turmeric
Grated zest of 3 lemons
For the filling:
300g soft goat's cheese
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
1 pinch chilli flakes
Black pepper
1 free-range egg white, beaten
To serve
2 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp chopped tarragon
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Rapeseed oil
Lemon juice (optional)

Whisk together the oil and eggs. Put the flour, turmeric and lemon zest in a food processor, add the oil and egg mix, and blend to a crumbly dough (it may need extra flour or oil). Once smooth – you may need to work it a little by hand – divide into four rectangular blocks, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to two days.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Take a piece of dough and flatten with a rolling pin. Pass through a pasta machine at its widest setting, then repeat, narrowing the setting by a notch each time, until you get to the lowest setting. When each sheet is rolled, keep it under a moist towel. Combine the filling ingredients apart from the egg white, and crush together with a fork. Use a pastry cutter or the rim of a glass to stamp out 7cm discs from the pasta. Brush each disc with egg white and put a heaped teaspoon of filling in its centre. Place another disc on top. Dip your fingers in flour and gently press out any air as you seal the edges. You should end up with a pillow-shaped centre surrounded by an edge that is just under 1cm wide. Seal together firmly. Place the finished ravioli on a tea towel or tray sprinkled with semolina. Leave to dry for 10–15 minutes.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for two to three minutes, until al dente. Drain, divide among four plates and sprinkle with the peppercorns, tarragon and lemon zest. Dribble over rapeseed oil, sprinkle with salt and a squirt of lemon, and serve.

Mee Goreng

Yotam Ottolenghi's mee goreng: A modern, vegetarian take on a traditional Malay
street food. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin

Street food is served in big, open-air complexes all over Malaysia – you can get cheap, cheerful and incredibly delicious dishes from Malay, Chinese or Indian cuisines. Many dishes are prepared from raw in front of your eyes, using great ingredients, which makes it far superior to many western fast foods. This traditional Malay dish takes only a few minutes to make (once you get a little prep out of the way) and has many layers and depth of flavour. If you want to serve more than two, you'll need to start again with a second batch, because double quantities will be too much for one wok, as you can see from the photograph. Serves two.
2 tbsp groundnut oil
½ onion, diced
220g firm tofu, cut into 1cm strips
100g french beans, trimmed and cut in half at an angle
100g choi sum (or pak choi), cut into chunks (both leaves and stalks)
300g fresh egg noodles
1½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp sambal oelek (or other savoury chilli paste), plus extra to serve
2 tsp thick soy sauce
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp water
50g beansprouts
1 handful shredded iceberg lettuce
1 tbsp crisp-fried shallots (from south-east Asian food shops; or use dried onion flakes)
Lemon wedges, to serve

Set a wok or a large pan over a high heat. Once hot, add the oil and then the onion, and cook for about a minute, to soften a bit. Add the tofu and french beans, and cook for two to three minutes, so the tofu takes on a bit of colour. Stir gently as you cook, trying not to break up the tofu.
Next, add the choi sum. When it wilts, add the noodles and carefully spread them in the wok using tongs or large chopsticks. You want the noodles to get a lot of heat, almost to fry. Mixing gently, cook the noodles for about two minutes. Now add the spices, sambal oelek, soy sauces, water and beansprouts, and toss carefully. Cook for about a minute, or until the noodles are semi-soft.
When done, top with lettuce, transfer to two serving bowls and sprinkle with some crisp shallots. Serve at once, with lemon wedges and a small bowl of extra sambal oelek on the side.

• Yotam Ottolenghi is chef/patron of Ottlenghi in London.

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Sep 1, 2004
Eggplant Parmesan
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Hundreds of Indian recipes


Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Sep 30, 2004
Here is an acorn squash recipe my grand kids just love. They arent big meat eaters but they love veggies and this is a favorite.Preheat oven to 400.halve the squash removing seeds. Place cut side up in baking dish. Mix together 2 tea. fresh lemon juice. 1/4 cup raisins 1-1/2 cups favorite applesauce.1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tab. toasted chopped walnuts spoon mixture into cavaties of of squash and dot with butter Pour 1/2 an inch of hot water into bottom of baking dish, cover, and cake 10 min remove cover and bake 30 min more. Some good broth or veggie soup a nice slice of sourdoug bread and butter. Hope this helps. Best wishes to your granddaughter..


May 16, 2010
Thank you very much everyone; now I've got something to work on.
Linux If the rest of the recipes in the book are as good as those you posted, I think we will be eating a lot more vege meals ourselves. Will try Amazon for a copy.
Andy, Some great basic ideas to work with.
June, Yes she is not a Vegan, she does eat eggs and dairy.
Kadesma, am going to do a trial run with that squash recipe tomorrow. I imagine I could use what we call "Butternut pumpkin", do you think?
Thanks again:)


Washing Up
Jul 12, 2008
How about:(1) Mac and Cheese, Spinach and Strawberry Salad, Mellon Wedges.
(2)Vegetarian Re-fried Beans and Cheese Burritos, Spanish Rice, and Mexican Veggies, Baked Apples. (Yellow Squash and Zucchini, sauteed in olive oil or steamed, add a small amount of Corn and Salsa.) Splitting up the squash and zuck with the soup recipe.
(3)Vegetable Minestrone Soup (made with veggie broth), a good Italian Bread and Peach Cobbler.
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Washing Up
Aug 8, 2010
Linux If the rest of the recipes in the book are as good as those you posted, I think we will be eating a lot more vege meals ourselves. Will try Amazon for a copy.

I can assure you those recipes are absolutely delicious, and am sure everyone who has helped you here, their recipe suggestions are tasty and look good.

I found another (I have at least 125), but this meal is highly nutritious, delicious and looks ever so pretty on the plate. :)

Oh - and this is a useful cooking conversion website - I apologise for not giving it sooner. So used to working in Metric all the time in my job. :rolleyes:

Cooking conversion online.

Chermoula aubergine with bulgar and yoghurt

Spicy aubergine topped with fruity bulgar and cooling yoghurt – what's not to like? :)

Served separately, both the aubergine and the bulgar salad from this dish are delicious with the accompanying Greek yoghurt, but all three together are a match made in food heaven. Chermoula is a potent North African spice paste that is ideal for smearing on your favourite vegetables for roasting. Serves four as a main course.
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon skin
140ml olive oil, plus extra to finish
2 medium aubergines
150g fine bulgar
50g sultanas
10g fresh coriander, chopped, plus extra to finish
10g fresh mint, chopped
50g green olives, halved
30g flaked almonds, toasted
3 spring onions, chopped
1½ tbsp lemon juice
120g Greek yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. To make the chermoula, mix together the garlic, cumin, coriander, chilli, paprika, preserved lemon, two-thirds of the olive oil and half a teaspoon of salt.
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and score the flesh of each half with diagonal, crisscross lines, making sure not to pierce the skin. Spoon the chermoula over each half, spreading it evenly, and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, or until the aubergines are very soft.
Meanwhile, place the bulgar in a large bowl and cover with 140ml boiling water. Soak the sultanas in 50ml of warm water for 10 minutes, then drain and add to the bulgar, along with the remaining oil. Stir in the herbs, olives, almonds, spring onions, lemon juice and salt, taste and add more salt, if necessary.
Serve the aubergines warm or at room temperature. Place one half-aubergine per portion on a serving plate, spoon bulgar on top, allowing some to fall over the sides, spoon over a little yoghurt, sprinkle with chopped coriander and finish with a dribble of olive oil.


Master Chef
Jul 16, 2006
Metro New York
That eggplant looks PHENOMENAL!

We love a Middle-Eastern combination of lentils and rice called Mjeddrah. I've piddled with the recipe, and moisten it with a fruity red wine. Adds a little acid and a lot of both flavor and color.

Especially during the summer months when garden veggies are so abundant, I love to saute almost any veggie you can think of in olive oil with garlic and onions, and add a little white wine. This becomes a sauce for pasta. A hearty, nutritious meal you can finish with the grated cheese of your choice, or not. :) (and it doesn't cost much, either.)


Washing Up
Aug 8, 2010
Eggplant doesn't need much doing to it to make it taste great. In rabbit stidado, a kind of Greek stew, eggplant will absorb all the lovely flavours to become part of it.


Head Chef
Jul 11, 2006
Orlando, FL
You could make a bean, tomato, and corn salsa, and put that and rice into a tortilla for a veggie burrito. And you could easily make veggie enchiladas too. Many latin dishes lend themselves to the vegetarian lifestyle because of all the beans and veggies.
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