Questiong for vegetarians: Menu planning?

I think this is very wise. :slight_smile:
I think I can answer that question about why non-vegetarians ask ‘what in the world do you eat’ type questions … seeing as I just asked the equivalent :wink: though more politely, I hope.

It comes down, IMO, to knowing so little about something that you aren’t able to distinquish variations. A person who has only seen a couple of dogs has no way of knowing that an Irish Setter and a Goldie are actual breeds, rather than just dogs with different colors of hair.

So a non-veggies asks, what do you eat? And the answer can sound like “veggies and beans mostly” – which to the non-veggies ears sounds like two and only two items. Since they don’t know all that many ways to prepare either (really. I’d bet money that most non-veggie-people serve almost all their veggies the plainest possible way: steamed or boiled, one vegetable by itself, no sauces or dressings or combinations.) they hear this as a totally limited and boring way to eat.

What they fail to consider is the flip side. If asked what they eat, they might answer “beef and chicken, mostly” – still only two items, but since they know dozens of different recipes for each, it doesn’t seem limited in their minds.
Anyway, I thank all of you for your replies, especially those who listed menus. You see, for health reasons I’d like us to get away from eating so much meat, but my guy isn’t interested in ‘going vegetarian.’ At the same time, though, he doesn’t object to meatless meals. As in, he’s happy to eat, say, Macaroni & Cheese, because the point there is eating M&C, a food item he likes, rather than "eating this non-meat dish because it’s non-meat and therefore good for you.’

So I’ve captured this thread, and will go hunting for menus. And I will start slipping these meals into our rotation, not as part of life style change, no, of course not…they’re just menus I came across that sounded good. :wink:

Hopefully he will like many of them, and we will gradually ‘just happen’ to end up eating few and few meat based meals.


Recipe, please?

We eat bean burritos and red chile/cheese enchiladas at our house. You can order some very good bean stews/soups to cook in a crockpot from which I highly recommend. Don’t need to add anything besides their flavor packet - really - and they are excellent. Try the Moqui Mix.

I use a completely different system. I don’t follow the meat + veggie + starchy side dish template, almost everything I make is a 2 pot affair:

Home made pasta sauce over whole wheat pasta
Quesadilla filling in whole wheat tortillas
Stir fry over rice
Curry over rice
Enchilada filling in whole wheat tortillas
Pita pockets stuffed with filling

So, I decide what I want to make for the week, get the recipe, and buy ingredients based on the recipe. I usually stick to my grocery list pretty closely.

Last week we had:

Monday - Orange tofu stir fry
Tues - Wed - Home made sun dried tomato pasta sauce with veggie crumbles
Thurs - Fri - Home made zucchini, leek, spinach and chickpea soup

Easy to shop for!

Sure thing! Here it is:

Vegetable oil
1 med. eggplant
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (depends on your taste)
1 thinly sliced onion
1 medium tomato (you can substitute 1 8-oz can of tomato sauce if you don’t happen to have a tomato - it’ll be more tomato-ey, but it’s still very good)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
1 small hot green chile, finely chopped
2 tsp ground fennel seeds (we usually use whole seeds, though)
juice from 1/2 a lemon

Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch-thick slices and set aside. Heat about 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet or large pot (we use a large pot because it more easily accommodates the eggplant until it’s fully cooked) over medium-high until it’s hot. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they’re brown and crackling, which takes just a few seconds, then add the onion, tomato and eggplant in that order.

Sprinkle the turmeric, cayenne, salt, green chile, coriander and fennel seeds over the eggplant and stir gently to coat the vegetables with spices. My husband and I like our Indian food kind of juice, so we add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water at this point. It also helps keep the eggplant from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Cover the dish with a lid and lower the heat just slightly (to kind of a lower medium-high) and cook until the eggplant is soft and somewhat transparent, about 10-12 minutes. While the eggplant is cooking, make sure to stir every once in a while to make sure it’s not sticking.

After the mixture is soft, remove the lid and sprinkle with the lemon juice and stir, then pour 2-3 teaspoons of oil around the sides of the pan. (I generally consider this last step with the oil optional - since I use a little water in the cooking, the oil is often unnecessary, but it does add a bit of rich flavor.) Fry for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, then serve.

This recipe is sort of a modified version of Madhu Gadia’s recipe in New Indian Home Cooking. This book has been fabulous - it has healthier versions of a lot of the more popular Indian dishes and I use it pretty often.

I’ll look for Madhu Gadia’s book. I have two cookbooks by Madhur Jaffrey that I love.

In this case they were jalapeño peppers. No, I didn’t make the sauce, I bought it at Whole Foods. I am farfarFAR too lazy to make my own peanut sauce.