Quick vegetarian recipes

I like vegetarian food, but I prefer to eat dead animals; so I don’t have a great many vegetarian recipes. Inspired by the taco thread, and having a new deck, and having a couple of vegetarian friends (well, one vegetarian and his pescatarian wife), I thought I’d look for some ideas.

OK, I know that the go-to is to use a portobello mushroom instead of meat. Or zucchini. That’s all very well, but I wouldn’t want my friends to say 'Oh, goodie! Portobellos (or zucchini) again! :rolleyes: ’ (They wouldn’t do that, but still…) I’m sure they wouldn’t mind Boca Burgers if we have a cookout on the grill. (I like Boca Burgers!) It still seems to me that I’m being lazy toward my friends. Not to mention that I like variety myself. So I’m looking for recipes that are not portobello-in-place-of-a-beef-patty or heat-up-this-frozen-thing, but are also fairly easy to make with no hidden meat (e.g., worcestershire or other fish sauce, gelatine, etc.). I don’t want to hear about roasted vegetables, because I’ve given up on those. I just can’t seem to make them.

One thing I like is the vegetarian chorizo from Trader Joe’s. So, inspired by the other thread, vegetarian chorizo tacos! Or maybe try their vegetarian ground beef analogue and season it like taco meat. A local place is famous for its potato burritos, so that’s an option. Has anyone made tofu tacos? (I’ve just remembered, I like ‘family-style tofu’; but I’m looking for ‘out on the deck’ recipes.) What vegetarian main dishes do you like for a cook-out?

The veggie meat substitutes are kind of hit or miss for me. Some are passable, and some are just odd and awful. I also kind of hate portabellas (or however you spell it).

For my money, the go-to resource for quick tasty vegetarian fare is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I cook out of it at least once a week. Most of the recipes are straightforward and give good results, with a bare minimum of pre-processed ingredients. He also does a good job of giving tips like, “It’s best with this hard-to-find ingredient, but this common one is almost as good”.

You might also check out some Indian cookbooks. A friend of my wife’s family wrote this book. Some of the spices might take a bit of effort to find, but once you have them, a lot of the recipes in this book are a snap.

You can also do something super easy like a pasta or risotto. Last week I just boiled up some pasta, sauteed some garlic in a little olive oil and butter, tossed it with the pasta, and added some sundried tomatoes (the kind packed in oil) and sliced kalamata olives. Took no effort and was pretty good. Grate a little parmesan on top if you like. My kids even ate it.

Summer squash pancakes.

Four cups shredded summer squash (like patty pan)
Two eggs
1 cup flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1-2 jalapenos, thinly sliced
A few green onions, thinly sliced

Vegetable oil
Sour cream

Wrap the squash in a kitchen towel and squeeze out all the moisture you can. Mix all the ingredients (except oil) together. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick pan at medium heat. Add heaping 1/3 cups of the batter to the pan and mash down to about 4" diameter. Fry until brown, flip over and add another TBSP of oil. Continue browning until cooked through. Top with sour cream

Almost any pasta can be made vegetarian. The wife makes a killer eggplant lasagna. Or you can tweak it a bit and call it moussaka. It’s Summer, so prima vera it.

IMO tofu tacos are an Abomination Unto Nuggan. But veggie chorizo in a burrito would be quite yummy. Lay it out with all the other ingredients and let everybody assemble their own.

Oh, damn, sorry. I didn’t read the OP closely and didn’t realize this was for a cookout. I’ll show myself out.

(But the Bittman book does have some cookout friendly recipes, as I recall)

I’ve just remembered zucchini ‘crab’ cakes. Wouldn’t work on the grill, but I di have a side-burner. :slight_smile:

Ah, cookout. How about black bean burgers, which are terrific, or salmon burgers?

Portobello Mushroom Burgers. Yum!

Shish kebab with just vegetables.

Grilled asparagus is awesome. Just some olive oil, salt and pepper and grill until charred, but not mushy.

the Morningstar Chipotle black bean burgers are really good.

Well, since you mentioned tacos in the OP, Rick Bayless’s recipe for Swiss chard tacos works a treat for me.

I’ve only had black bean burgers from Trader Joe’s, and I was not impressed. (I liked their Burger Champignon, which I haven’t seen in many years.) A salmon burger would be good for her, but he doesn’t eat any animals at all.

I like the Morningstar Farms black bean burgers. They also have some other good varieties. The chickpea burger is pretty good. It’s a little dry, but the taste is good. I lean toward the veggie burgers that make no attempt to taste like meat.

Try making your own. It’s not all that difficult, and far better than store-bought, but you may want to use a pan on your BBQ to fry them in, as sometimes they like to break.

I like Mark Bittman a LOT. I should get his how to cook veggie book.

His nut burger recipe is the BOMB