Eating Well – Meatlessly

August 5, 2008 at 12:42 am 4 comments

Eating a vegetarian meal doesn’t mean you have to buy odd grains or eat funny-shaped beans that take hours to cook. When it comes to quick, easy meals ideal for busy weeknights, many vegetarian entrees are ideal since you don’t have to thaw or cook meat. If you’re an occasional vegetarian, you already know this.

But if you tend to stick to the meat-and-potatoes routine, consider giving vegetarian dinners a try. These three ideas can be just as satisfying as beef or chicken, and are quick to put together after a busy day. And if you decide you absolutely can’t do without meat, any of these recipes could also be a great side-dish for a beef or chicken entree.

Black Bean Soup
If you omit the sour cream, this soup is suitable for anyone who is lactose intolerant.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup chopped onion
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 small can green chiles
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup sour cream (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute onions and garlic in oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, green chiles, and thyme and simmer till hot, about 15 minutes. If using sour cream, add at the end of the simmering time. Do not allow soup to come to a boil after adding the sour cream or it will curdle.

Tomato Zucchini Casserole
If the weather is hot, wrap this up in foil – minus the cheese – and grill!

2 large zucchini, sliced in rounds
2 large or 3 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 cup onion, thinly sliced
½ cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. In a greased casserole dish with a lid, layer half of the zucchini, tomatoes, and onion. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle salt and pepper over, and top with Parmesan. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for about 15 minutes more to allow excess moisture to evaporate. Serve with crusty bread.

Potato Frittata
A frittata is an Italian version of quiche, only easier because there’s no crust.

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium-sized baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tablespoons flour
¾ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon basil or oregano
8 eggs, beaten to blend
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Melt butter and oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Mix potatoes with flour. Add potatoes, paprika, garlic powder, basil or oregano to skillet, and cook, stirring often, until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes.

Combine eggs with Parmesan cheese in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over potatoes in skillet. Do not stir eggs – instead, pierce holes in egg mixture and lift edges with spatula, tipping pan to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath until an edge forms, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet, and continue cooking until eggs are set, 10 to 12 minutes. When eggs are set, invert frittata onto platter and serve.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Five Easy Appetizers and Dips Comfort Food 101

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Judy Ferril  |  August 6, 2008 at 12:32 am

    Mary,
    What wonderful suggestions for a meatless dinner. We have one once or twice a week in our home.

    Judy
    http://www.localfoodconnections.com

  • 2. Theresa  |  August 6, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Oooh! The potato fritter looks good, and so does the white bean dip. I love these recipes with “normal” ingredients!

    Theresa
    Stress-FreeParent.blogspot.com

  • 3. Carma  |  August 7, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Yumm, Tomato and zucchini casserole. Thanks for all of these lovely and delicious recipes. They sound so easy to do and that is great for someone like me who doesn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen.

    Carma
    http://carmaswindow.blogspot.com

  • 4. Lisa Kirby  |  August 12, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Mary,

    The Potato Frittata and the Black Bean Soup sound delicious. I can’t wait to try them.

    You do such a wonderful job of explaining techniques and terms in your posts. Fabulous job!

    Lisa Kirby
    http://www.familyfunandfood.blogspot.com

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