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Topic: Brag About Your Vegetarian Dinner  (Read 2739 times)
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Miss Violaceous
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« on: July 30, 2007 07:25:52 PM »

People have some rather negative conceptions about what a vegetarian/vegan dinner means. But sometimes, you enjoy your dinner so much that you just have to share. I think it would be interesting to get a look at what other veggies are eating. You needn't report in every night, just whenever you feel you have a dinner worth talking about!

You can share the recipie if you want, but you don't have to. Especially if, like me, recipies are more like a guideline!

Tonight: Fresh young okra, local rainbow chard (yay farmer's market) and sliced onions, sauteed in Arora Creations Bindi Masala seasoning (all of their products are HIGHLY recommended for indian food at home) over basmati rice.

« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007 07:00:41 PM »

Rainbow chard is possibly the best vegetable on earth (what can I say, I'm a sucker for fancy-colored veggies.  And I love chard).

Here's my contribution.
Last night: improvised lentil dal, brown rice, zucchini and peppers sauteed with garlic and fresh thai basil from the garden, raita with cucumbers and radishes in it, and homemade raisin-ginger chutney.  Oh, and a big green salad. 

Tonight was less exciting, and I didn't do the cooking anyway, so I won't post it.

« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2007 07:06:13 AM »

Wow!  Your meals sound great.  I should figure out how to cook more Indian style food at home.  My husband probably wouldn't like it, but I'd like to do more fix and freeze stuff, so it would be easier for us to eat different things.

Definitely not vegan, but I made a fresh mushroom and sun-dried tomato pesto pizza last night:

It was delish!  The recipe is from the Cheese Board cookbook, from the Cheese Board collective in Berkeley, California (no, not like the borg collective..more like a coop  Grin).  I highly recommend it!  The instructions are pretty involved, but I didn't follow all of them exactly and my pizza still turned out great.  I made the crust from an easy recipe I had found online a while ago.  The cheeses are mozzarella and goat cheese, and the crust is brushed with a garlic - olive oil mixture after it comes out of the oven.  Yum!  I can't wait to have leftovers.  And I have it all to myself -- my husband is out of town, and he hates mushrooms anyway!

Keep those veggie dinners coming!

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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2007 09:08:45 AM »

oh yum!  I love fresh homemade pizza--and anything with mushrooms is even better!  Looks terrific and so yummy--thanks for sharing!

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Miss Violaceous
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2007 09:17:34 AM »

Wow!  Your meals sound great.  I should figure out how to cook more Indian style food at home.  My husband probably wouldn't like it, but I'd like to do more fix and freeze stuff, so it would be easier for us to eat different things.

When I make the arora creations dishes, I usually will freeze a portion of it. Sometimes I make up frozen meals by putting rice in the bottom of one of those dinner-sized disposable tupperwares, then spooning the dish over it. I cook 2 cups dried per dish, then divide that and the dish by four to make a dinner. Other times, I will put half of the dish into tupperware and freeze that, and make up one cup of dried rice to eat with the fresh half of the dish. It has always microwaved delightfully.

« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2007 10:37:58 AM »

My daughter would love for me to make Vegetarian meals. I'm just not sure what to make.  I look forward to everyone's recipes.

Thanks pizza looks wonderful. Can you post the recipe?

« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2007 12:13:29 PM »

I hesitate to post the entire recipe both because of copyright issues and because I didn't really follow it, but I'll give you the basic idea.  The full recipe from the Cheese Board cookbook is a bit more involved.  They also have a fancy pizza crust recipe that would be fun to try.  Feel free to improvise -- the process seems to be amenable to changes and experimentation.   Grin

Fresh mushroom and sun-dried tomato pesto pizza

Ingredients: (I made one large pizza that will be about 4 meals for me)
Pizza crust -- from scratch, from a mix, or premade -- I used a very basic recipe that I can't seem to find right now, but it's a basic yeast pizza crust that only rises once for about 20 minutes
Sun dried tomatoes
Olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes
Cremini or button mushrooms (I used 8 oz cremini)
1 medium onion
1 green bell pepper (I forgot this, and didn't miss it)
Mozzarella cheese - I used about 2 cups for a large pizza
Goat cheese - just a sprinkling - you could leave it out or substitute something else you like, but it does have a nice flavor

Cover the tomatoes in hot water and soak for 20-30 minutes. Mince one clove of garlic and set aside in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil (this won't be used until after baking the pizza). Preheat the oven to 450. Make up your crust and press it out on a pizza pan sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal. Slice the mushrooms in thin slices. Also, chop the onion and green pepper. When the tomatoes are hydrated, remove them from the water and save the liquid. Puree them in a food processor with about 1 clove garlic, a few turns of black pepper, and a few pinches of red pepper, and a few generous shakes of salt. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, and add some of the soaking liquid little by little until the pesto is smooth. Toss the mushrooms with the pesto.

Assembling the pizza: Start with a layer of mozzarella, then the onions and green peppers, then mushrooms, then another layer of mozzarella, then top with a sprinkling of goat cheese. Mine only took about 15 minutes total in the oven -- the first 10 I did on a pizza pan, then I transferred directly to the oven rack to get a crispier crust. Brush the rim of the crust with the garlic and olive oil mixture immediately after removing from the oven.

The mushrooms did generate some juice that pooled around the edge of the crust -- I sopped it up a bit with a paper towel, but it didn't end up making the crust soggy. You could roast the mushrooms first -- I think that would eliminate that issue, but I didn't really find it to be a problem.

Anyway, I hope that's good enough to follow.  A few key points that I got from doing this recipe:
1.  HOT temperature -- I have an irrational fear of high temps - I thought 450 would blacken my pizza instantaneously, but it led to a nice crunchy crust.  You do need to keep a close eye on it, though.
2. The layering -- no sauce, just the cheese and toppings.  The pesto is kind of like a sauce, but it's not liquidy.  I liked that.
3. Garlic olive oil on the crust -- it makes the rim of the crust nice and shiny, and it makes the crust really yummy!  It would be pointless, though, if you never eat the edge of the crust.

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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2007 07:27:12 AM »

The dinner I had last night was slightly less fancy but still very good.  Pasta with patty pan squash -- Start the pasta boiling -- I used Barilla plus angel hair.  I sauteed some garlic in a couple tablespoons olive oil, then added cubed patty pan squash (yellow squash or zucchini would work well too, as well as just about any vegetable although some need to cook longer).  Sauteed that for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally, then added some fresh basil, salt and pepper, turned the heat down to low and covered for a few more minutes.  Drain the pasta a mix with the squash.  Serve and top with a little cheese -- I used crumbled goat cheese (left over from the pizza), but parmesan would be nice too.

Anyone else tried Barilla plus pasta?  It's not vegan since it has egg whites in it, but I like that it has some protein, fiber and also the omega 3 fatty acids.  It is made from semolina and legume flours.  It cooks up very well -- I think the taste and texture is better than the whole wheat pasta we've tried.

Also, this one is easy to make vegetarian OR non-vegetarian -- all you need is some cooked chicken breast each person can add to their own plate, then the meat eaters in your family can be happy too.  My mom used to do meals like that all the time when she had 1-2 vegetarians at home, but the other 3-4 people in at home were meat eaters.

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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2007 06:47:08 PM »

Well, tonight I heated up a frozen Amy's samosa wrap.  Not very creative, but definitely delicious!  Here are a couple pictures of meals I've made in the past:

Dal (basically just lentils, onion, tomatoes, and Indian-style spices):

Vegan pizza (I used salsa as the base, and added black beans, pineapple, onion, and jalapenos.  I also like to make pizza with hummus as the "sauce."):
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2007 03:25:44 AM »

I made a risotto with field mushrooms, lemon, pecorino and baby spinach.  It was delicious!
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