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Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good

Posted by Griz 
Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 04, 2016 10:35AM
I'm trying to increase the amount of veges in our diet, and have decided to be vege two (preferably three) days per week. I've made several recipes but to be honest, they've been quite horrible, tonight's effort was a vege shepherds pie, with lentils, red kidney beans, wine, tomato paste/tinned, thyme, onions, garlic, and a kumara topping. It got great reviews online, but to my taste it was horrible, the texture was mushy and it just was a bland mess.

DS can't/won't eat anything with any heat, so chilli/curry etc tends to not be a goer, and he can't cope with raw veges (he has special needs specifically around chewing and swallowing). I'm needing to increase my legume intake to help reduce cholesterol levels (farewell red meat, cheese, butter)...does anyone have vegetarian family meals that taste NICE?

Maybe I'm just not cut out to be vege?
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 04, 2016 10:53AM
Ratatouille and Caponata are two cooked vege salads that are delicious and healthy. You will need good olive oil such as Village Press.

I make a Puy lentil, mint and feta salad which is very tasty, and a salad of chick peas, capsicums and tomatoes which does include cumin and paprika but is not "hot" at all.

Let me know if you would like recipes.
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 04, 2016 11:05AM
tough requirements but these are my ideas...

Frittata packed with any vegetables
Quiche with a sharp cheese
Asian vegetables ;
Miso soup
Creamy pasta with parmesan
Pasta with chilli, lemon, capers and anchovies
Dahl is a goodie - cheap and nourishing and good for you. (Make it mild)
Feta and pumpkin
Cauliflower cheese

Here are few recipe ideas too...

Puy Lentil salad

Brussel Sprouts

Rice balls with cheese and courgette

Dahl (Lentil Soup)

Good Luck
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 04, 2016 11:37AM
Helens warm winter barley salad is very nice
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 04, 2016 12:05PM
Instead of trying to make those days completely vegetarian, maybe you could still have a certain amount of chicken or fish in the recipes? Just reduce the normal amount of meat and increase the amount of vegetables. For instance, Annabel Langbein had a good lentil recipe in last week's Sunday Star Times magazine, with pork sausages in it. Next time I make it I'm going to try putting chicken in instead. It had 2 tbspns olive oil, 1 onion finely chopped, pinch of chilli flakes, 2 cloves garlic finely sliced, s&p to taste, 2 carrots finely chopped, 400g can tomatoes in juice, ¼ cup tomato paste, 3 cups chicken stock, 1 tspn smoked paprika, 1 cup raw le puy-style lentils, 1 tspn fennel seeds chopped, 6 pork sausages. Let me know if you'd like the recipe.

You could make this vegetable sauce for pasta and if you feel it still lacks something, add a few chopped rashers of streaky bacon.
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbspn oil
1 medium carrot
1 stick celery
green beans, a handful or more
zucchini if you have them (say, three)
3 capsicum
5 fresh tomatoes
2 cups homemade tomato puree or a 410g can
s&p to taste
parmesan cheese for grating over
optional – fresh or dried herbs (e.g. basil, marjoram), bacon, any other vegetables from the garden

Lightly fry onion and garlic in oil in pan. Add all chopped vegetables. Cook for about 30 minutes. Leave chunky or puree in the food processor. If wanting to use for pasta, add the pasta to the sauce and cook for 15 minutes. Once served, sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Can DS cope with burgers? You could do a vegetarian patty (lots of good recipes for those) and then cooked mushroom, caramelised onions, beetroot, pineapple, lettuce & tomato (DS - raw veg?), etc (& cheese.....). Or instead of a patty, just put an egg in (delicious) and of course any sort of chips (potato, kumara, swede, pumpkin, etc) are vegetarian.

Vegetarian pizzas can be far more delicious than the meat ones.

Curries being a no-go does make it a little harder to expand the vegetarian repertoire.

I haven't tried these recipes but you might think them worth a go:

The problem with going vegetarian, especially for health reasons, is that many vegetarian recipes are often actually heavily skewed away from vegetables and into cheese, milk, eggs, rice/pasta, etc instead. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with those foods but if it's truly vegetables you want, you might get a higher quantity and variety of them by simply increasing their presence on your plate in relation to the amount of meat.

Another good option if you're trying to increase the amount of vegetables you eat is to simply disallow some/much/all of the "normal" food people tend to eat for snacks and/or lunch. If you're not allowed crackers or muffins as a snack anymore, eventually you may find you actually prefer to eat a small pot of leftover roast vegetables for morning tea instead. There are lots of good "vegetarian" soups, things like chickpea flour pancakes which can be served with vegetables, corn fritters, baked beans.....

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2016 12:06PM by J1.
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 04, 2016 12:59PM
Chickpeas are legumes that I find don't go mushy if they are cooked from scratch (ie not tinned) Cook them until they are just tender, then add to a slow-cooked stew of tomatoes, red peppers, onions, garlic and eggplant, make hollows and drop in eggs. Cook a little more until eggs are set, and serve with a lightly cooked green vegetable. This has plenty of texture, and the flavours are fresh and delicious.
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 05, 2016 02:01AM
I really like the lentil and vegetable soup here on foodlovers. Yes it is a soup but it is so hearty that it is enough to have as a meal.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2016 02:02AM by helen.
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 05, 2016 08:04AM
Here are some of my go to recipes
Ensure you season well and definitely add the paprika's they add real flavour to the dish. This reheats well, and I am sure if you could freeze mixture, and then just top with mash and cook.

Veggie shepherd`s pie

1 tbsp o/oil
1 large onion chopped
2 large cloves garlic crushed
2 large carrots cubed
1 courgette cubed
400g tin tomatoes
1 tsp cumin, coriander, paprika (try adding a little extra sprinkle of the smoked paprika as well)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp tom paste
200ml red wine
150ml water
2 tsp vegata vegetable stock powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup puy lentils

Salt and pepper

4 large agria potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 kumara, peeled & chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Grated cheese

Heat oil in large pan saute onion until soft and golden, add garlic and stir for 30 sec, add the carrots, courgette, tom paste and spices, and stir over heat for 1 min. Add wine and let simmer for 5 min, the add tomatoes, water, lentils, sugar and stock powder. Simmer until lentils are soft and veg cooked. You don't want the mixture too sloppy, but keep an eye so it doesn't dry out either.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Boil the potatoes, kumara, onion & garlic, until tender, drain then mash well, add butter and or milk if needed. Season

pour the lentil mixture into an oven proof dish and top with mashed veg, sprinkle over cheese.

Pop into 180oC oven for about 25 min or until bubbling and golden. leave sit for 5 min before serving.
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 05, 2016 08:08AM
Vegetarian chilli
Now I know you said your husband doesn't like heat, so just leave it out. My husband prefers this to meat chilli

Vegetarian Chilli
2 Tbsp O/oil
2 onions, chopped
2 peppers chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 chilli finely chopped ( to taste)
2 cups corn
2 carrots cubed
2 courgettes cubed
2 tsp chilli pdr ( to taste)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 1/4tsp salt
1 tsp paprika (I use both normal paprika and smoked a tsp of each)
800g tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup red wine
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cocoa pdr
1 tin of kidney beans or beans of choice
1 cup veggie stock
fresh coriander leaves
salt and pepper
Heat oil in large pot. Add onions, garlic, peppers and chilli`s cook stirring until soft. Add courgette, corn and carrots and cook stirring for another 5 min. Add the chilli pdr, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt and stir over the heat for 1 min. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, veg stock, sugar, cocoa pdr, and beans. Season. Simmer for about 1 hr. Stir in fresh coriander before serving.
Serves 6-8 You could use what veggies you have on hand.
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 07, 2016 01:03AM
what about fish and seafood ?

Just wondering if you can add those to any vegetarian meals to spruce them up?
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 07, 2016 03:04AM
Thanks for the recipes people, sitting here making my meal plan for the week, and some of these will be featuring.
Vanessa, I've tried, really really tried to eat fish and seafood, but I just cannot like the taste/texture, so that's out I'm afraid. Weirdly I do like canned tuna so I eat that (responsibly sourced), and I'm taking fish oil/vit D supplement at the moment to cover the omega issues for heart health.
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 07, 2016 03:09AM
Oh and TPANDAV, yes please!
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 07, 2016 04:11AM
Here's the ratatouille recipe that I have used for years. It is important that the salad doesn't end up watery, so if it is still too liquid by the time the vegetables are tender you can drain the whole thing in a colander over a bowl, return the juices to the pan and reduce by boiling hard until it is syrupy. Then combine carefully with the veges. Use good quality oil such as Village Press.

Ratatouille ( Richard Olney)

About 2/3 cup olive oil
500g onions, split in two and finely sliced
6 garlic cloves, lightly crushed, peeled, and finely sliced
500g zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 3/4-inch sections
500g firm young eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
500g tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and quartered
3 large sweet peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green) grilled, peeled, seeded, and cut lengthwise into narrow strips, juices reserved
Bouquet garni containing 2 bay leaves and 2 or 3 thyme sprigs

Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil in a wide, heavy 8 to 10-quart pot, add the onions, and cook, covered, over very low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for at least 30 minutes, or until they are melting and simmering in their own juices but uncolored. Remove the lid, raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring regularly, until they are uniformly light golden brown. Add the salt, garlic, and zucchini and continue to stir regularly.
Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan and add the eggplant and salt. Sauté, tossing and turning until the pieces are softened. Add them to the pot with the onions and zucchini, reserving any remaining oil in the frying pan.
Add more oil to the frying pan if it is nearly dry. Over high heat, add the tomatoes and salt; sauté, shaking the pan and tossing constantly until their liquid has evaporated. Remove them from the heat before they begin to disintegrate and empty the frying pan into the pot. Add the peppers and their juices to the pot, immerse the bouquet garni, and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, pot uncovered, for about 2 hours. Displace the vegetables gently, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot with the wooden spoon from time to time and lowering the heat as the liquid reduces, until all excess liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are coated in a syrupy sauce. Remove from the heat, grind over pepper, and taste for salt.

Serve tepid or cool.
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 07, 2016 04:12AM

2 large eggplants in 1 cm cubes
4 sticks celery, destringed, in 5 cm pieces
250 ml extra virgin olive oil
4 red capsicums, diced 1 cm
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 anchovy fillets
3 tab tomato paste
2 tab capers, drained
100g green olives, flesh cut off stones
2 tab currants
150 ml white wine vinegar
2 tab sugar
mint or toasted almonds to serve

Salt eggplant generously and leave to drain for an hour, rinse well and pat dry.

Boil celery in salted water for ten minutes, drain and pat dry.

In large wide pan heat 100 ml oil, over med. heat sauté celery 5 min until slightly browned in patches. Remove with slotted spoon into a large bowl.

In same oil sauté capsicums over med. heat until they start to stfen, about 8 min. Remove with slotted spoon and add to celery.

Add 100 ml oil to pan, raise heat and fry eggplant until cooked through but not collapsing. Add to other veges. Lower heat.

Add remaining oil to pan and fry onion over med heat until golden (do not brown). Reduce heat to low, add anchovy and stir until it breaks down. Add tomato paste and stir 1 minute.
Raise heat, return all vegetables to the pan, add capers, olives, currants, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir over high heat a few minutes until well combined and very glossy.

Keep in fridge at least 2 days before serving; it will keep for up to four weeks. Serve cool.

This makes a huge quantity - enough for about 12 servings.
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 07, 2016 04:19AM
Lentil, Mint and Feta Salad

quantities very approximate

1 c Puy lentils (or other green lentils)
1 bay leaf
1 onion, finely chopped
250g good quality feta, roughly crumbled
a cupful of fresh mint leaves, sliced
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c fresh lemon juice or cider vinegar

Rinse lentils and simmer in water with the bay leaf until just tender - about 30 minutes but check regularly as timing differs. Drain and cool until tepid. Combine carefully with rest of ingredients, check salt and acid levels and adjust if necessary.

Serve tepid or cool.

You can add a handful of currants, some toasted walnuts or chopped dried apricots.
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 07, 2016 04:20AM
Chick Pea & Capsicum Salad

1 c chick peas, soaked 24 hours, cooked about an hour until soft, drained.
1 large red capsicum deseeded & sliced thinly
1 large onion sliced thinly
6 cloves garlic sliced thinly
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ c olive oil
2 tsp mild paprika (not smoked)
1 tin chopped tomatoes (plain)
½ c golden sultanas or raisins
1 tsp salt
1 tab red wine vinegar
black pepper

In large saucepan cook capsicum, onion, garlic, cumin and olive oil until soft – about 30 min. Add paprika and stir 2 min. Add tomatoes, sultanas, salt and chick peas and cook about 20 min. until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add vinegar & pepper. Check salt level – may need more. Add a little more olive oil if it needs it.

Serve warm or cool.
Re: Vegetarian recipes that actually taste good
July 11, 2016 05:45AM
I made this recipe many times, and made it for my in-laws last week, (a gamble as my father-in-law is definitely a meat eater) and they loved it! So much that my mother-in-law asked for the recipe so she could make to for visitors they were having.

Vegetarian cottage pie

I have only ever made it with the pumpkin and potato mash, and I sprinkle the mash with some cheese.
The recipe uses Hing instead of onion and garlic, but since I don't have it I just add an onion and some garlic at the beginning.
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