Six Meatless Dishes or How To Feed Your Vegetarian Sister

02 Dec

Pretty barley pilaf. Tasty, too!

My sister, the vegetarian, is flying in town mid month. There will be a lot going on while she’s here. Not only are we celebrating an early Christmas, but we’re also throwing a party to celebrate a milestone birthday for La Mama. With lots of festivities going on, everyone’s stress level will be lower if we’re all operating on some semblance of nutritious fare as opposed to my normal fare of Christmas cookies, olives and wine (not that there is necessarily anything wrong with the aforementioned).

My mother worries about how to feed my sister because she eats differently that we do. I was schooled last year in the difference between being a vegetarian and being a vegan (which, fortunately, my sister is not). I volunteered, for the sake of The Sister and my blog, to contribute one high quality dish a day while she is here. I am certainly no expert in vegetarianism but I do have a few meatless dishes already in my repertoire. Alas, I am going to need more choices if I’m going to keep The Sister sustained for a week. I am, however, up for the challenge.

Whenever I’m doing menu planning, I try to include a nice variety in my meals but still focus on low-fat yet healthy selections. Preparing a meatless menu is no different, so I concentrated on incorporating seasonal veggies and a balance of rice, pasta or pizza for carbs. I’m good in the legumes and grains department so I am hoping beans, rice, cheese and eggs are going to do the trick for the protein. As a family we often eat buffet style so all the ingredients will be easily identifiable and mainstream-for-my-family (sorry, no meat substitutes or tofu in the mix). As a bonus some of these recipes can be prepared in advance and frozen.

I trolled quite a few websites and pinned about 20 recipes on Pinterest. The result, based on my Garanimal-style ingredient selection process, is six recipes that I feel confident meet my criteria and that my the whole family will enjoy.

Lasagna with Root Vegetables

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

Mujadara (Rice, Lentils and Caramelized Onion Pilaf)

Leek and Mushroom with Polenta

Baked Orzo with Chickpeas and Vegetables

Black Bean Veggie Enchiladas

Add hearty bread, wraps or tortillas and these meals can be enjoyed over and over (if there are any leftovers, that is). I will probably round all of this out with fresh pumpkin quinoa muffins or quiche for breakfast; with hummus and roasted tomatoes for snacks.

The Sister, I’m pretty sure, will be happy! Her kids (sweet little dumplings that they are) could be a whole different story but I’m not tackling that this year.

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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Vegetarian


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