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Topic: Vegetarian Meals for Meat Eaters (and Vegetarians, too!)  (Read 6428 times)
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« on: March 23, 2010 04:06:46 PM »

Let's begin with full disclosure Smiley I'm not a vegetarian. I won't ever be a vegetarian, but I love vegetarian food! I try to cook several meatless meals per week and they need to please my meat eating husband. Here are a few of my favorite vegetarian meals that taste amazing and can satisfy meat eaters, too! And hey, if you are a vegan, you can surely substitute non-dairy products for the cheese, yogurt, etc. that I include in these recipes.



Pumpkin Ricotta Baked Stuffed Shells

c.each: pumpkin puree, ricotta cheese, shredded parmesan cheese, and seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
tsp. dried sage
tsp. thyme
tsp. nutmeg
lb. jumbo shells
2 Tbls. butter
2 Tbls. all purpose flour
1 c. milk or cream
c. shredded smoked mozzarella
6-10 fresh sage leaves
1 Tbls. olive oil

Cook shells in boiling salted water until al dente (about 12 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Blend all ingredients up to nutmeg with a fork until combined. Set aside.

Melt butter over medium high heat in a small saucepan. Add flour and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Add milk and stir constantly until all lumps disappear. Add smoked mozzarella (seriously, I am getting addicted to this stuff. It is so delicious alone, but it adds just the right amount of nutty, smoky flavor to other ingredients.), remove from heat, and stir until melted and smooth.

Spoon 1/3 c. of cheese sauce into the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish. Fill each shell with about a Tbls. of ricotta mixture and place into the pan. Once all shells are filled and fit snugly in pan, pour remaining sauce over the top. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.

This last step is not really necessary, but I like crispy sage! It fills the kitchen with a lovely smell, and it adds a punch of flavor. But I suppose, if you must, you can skip it. If not, then heat olive oil in a small saut pan over high heat. Add fresh sage leaves and fry until crisp, about 4 minutes. Serve shells hot with crispy sage garnish.


Eggplant Lasagna

1 medium eggplant
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups Lamb ragu (or jarred sauce)
1 15 oz. container low fat ricotta
1 cup low fat shredded mozzarella, divided
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1 egg white
1/4 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Slice eggplant into 1/8 inch thin strips with a madoline slicer or food processor fitted with slicer attachment. Set aside.

Mix egg white, ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, parmesan, bread crumbs, and seasonings until well combined.

Spoon 1/4 cup sauce into bottom of a 9 x 9 inch glass casserole.

Top with four lasagna noodles, 1/4 cup cheese mixture and a layer of eggplant slices. Cover with 1/4 cup of sauce.

Repeat to create four layers, ending with sauce. *At this point you can cover the dish with foil and put it in the freezer. It will keep for a month.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of mazzarella and return to oven for 15 minutes, or until top is bubbly.



Spinach Quinoa Bake

1 large bag baby spinach, leaves picked and chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
2 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 cup uncooked quinoa), made according to package directions
1 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
cooking spray and bread crumbs for the pan
sour cream and hot sauce for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat an 8-by-8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with olive-oil spray.

Coat with breadcrumbs; set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan.

Add onion, mushrooms, zucchini, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and red-pepper flakes, and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes.

Remove from heat; transfer to a medium bowl.

Add spinach, quinoa, cottage cheese, pepper, and eggs to the onion mixture, and stir until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and place in the oven.

Bake until set and edges are brown, 60 to 70 minutes.

Slice, and serve warm, with hot sauce and sour cream.


I hope you'll try some of these, and pass on your favorite meatless dinners, too!
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2010 04:23:12 PM »

Thank you so much! These all look fantastic. I'm bookmarking this page for later use. Yum!
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2010 04:25:06 PM »

My god those shells look good. I already made dinner but now I'm wondering if it would be excessive to make another.
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2010 04:43:18 PM »

Well, I am a vegetarian and these look amazing. And my meat loving husband will love them as well.

I just bought a beautiful eggplant yesterday and didn't know what to do with it. I will definitely try out the eggplant lasagna this week. So tasty.

Thanks!
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2010 08:24:39 PM »

Let's begin with full disclosure Smiley I'm not a vegetarian. I won't ever be a vegetarian, but I love vegetarian food! I try to cook several meatless meals per week and they need to please my meat eating husband.

I'm also a non-vegetarian who loves vegetarian food! It's so good to know there's someone else out there like me, haha. Actually, most of my meals are vegetarian.

Those stuffed shells look so delicious! I may try them with my meat-loving boyfriend, who recently dubbed eggplant parmigiana "the vegetarian's revenge". I already bookmarked this!
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010 06:16:41 AM »

my meat-loving boyfriend, who recently dubbed eggplant parmigiana "the vegetarian's revenge". I already bookmarked this!
Haha, love that! I love eggplant parm, too, but I don't bread or fry mine anymore! I bake it in the oven. And this lasagna uses eggplant instead of most of the noodles, so you win taste-wise and calorie-wise!
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010 02:14:59 PM »

Haha, love that! I love eggplant parm, too, but I don't bread or fry mine anymore! I bake it in the oven. And this lasagna uses eggplant instead of most of the noodles, so you win taste-wise and calorie-wise!

I like my parmigiana baked too, but he insists on frying... So I have it baked when I'm with my family or with friends from home. Baked (veal or chicken) parmigiana is very common in Argentina as a healthier alternative.
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010 12:03:50 PM »

The pumpkin stuffed shells sound amazing!  I'm going to try them tonight!  Thanks for sharing!
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2010 10:10:23 PM »

OOH! I just gave this to my workmate~~~

Sh'es vegetarian and always trying to find things that will satisfy her meat eating hubby without having to cook x2 meals every night!!!

The lasagne looks amazing!! I might take that one for myself too!!! Grin
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2010 07:48:53 AM »

yummm that eggplant lasagna is making my mouth water...lol...and its 10:30 am! Tongue
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