3

votes

Guess who's coming to dinner? Vegetarian-Paleo Dinner Menu needed!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2011 at 10:22 PM

So, my eternally single brother just got engaged (!) to an awesome woman who also happens to be a pastry chef and vegetarian. They are both coming over for dinner this Saturday. I love to cook, and can't wait to have them over. I have only met her a couple of times (whirlwind romance, mostly European based) and really want her to feel happy and welcome but I have no idea what to cook. I already decided on some of my home made brandied peaches that I have had sitting in the pantry on GF vanilla bean ice cream for dessert, but for the life of me I cant think of the rest of the meal. All thats coming to mind is a table full of vegetable side dishes. Salad is a given, and I can get some good bread for them, but then I draw a blank. Do any of you have any nice paleo-friendly main dishes that I might be able to make or alter for her? I'm not willing to eat gluten, but would consider ingesting some dairy and/or lentils and being a bit flexible.

ETA: thanks everyone! i decided to do the make your own tacos thing. im making pork carnitas today, and ill have shrimp with coriander, ginger and green onions. then ill make my easy cabbage slaw (red cabbage, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper), corn tortillas, sour cream, pico de gallo, beer, wine and for dessert, vanilla bean ice cream with some peaches i picked last year that hve been sitting in a mason jar full of brandy and vanilla beans. everyone is happy!

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on July 03, 2011
at 04:02 PM

Good ideas all.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 02, 2011
at 05:08 PM

I completely agree with a taco (salad) party - that way everyone gets what they want. I've done these in the past and they're always a success. If you guys drink at all, what's also fun to go with this is a couple of jars of: watermelon puree, pineapple pureed with mint, hibiscus tea and have on the table with agave tequila, vodka and bottles of seltzer, some cut limes. If anyone wants to drink they can mix their own with booze OR just cut with seltzer. Looks nice on the table and is pretty much hassle free. Enjoy!

Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on March 12, 2011
at 02:43 PM

can I come for dinner? Sounds awesome.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 12, 2011
at 02:05 PM

i agree. i was vegetarian for most of my life, my husband is pescatarian, and there are lots of vegans and vegetarians in my life who are really smart and kind people. im not so into the veg bashing. i think what the vegan community has done to ex-vegans is pretty crappy, and wouldnt make the same mistake. respect others as you would like to be respected, IMHO. besides, i love vegetables.

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on March 12, 2011
at 01:24 PM

It's really nice to see a thread wherein people are talking about being polite to vegetarians rather than "haha eat them, they suck LOL." Just my $0.02.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 12, 2011
at 12:55 PM

thank you faye! these are some really great ideas! i especially love the pumpkin cakes with almond flour. that sounds amazing!

C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on March 01, 2011
at 01:00 AM

I like this approach too. I had Thanksgiving once with two veggie people on the guest list and I made everything vegetarian except for the turkey itself. They were happy and almost incredulous that they could eat just about everything!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:56 AM

why didnt i think of that?? great idea. thanks!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:56 AM

great idea- she is not vegan (thank GOD- she is a professional pastry chef, so that would be hard!) and i love the idea of a fritatta or spanish tortilla with goat cheese for dinner with a roasted veggie side and salad. thanks!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:54 AM

awesome ideas! thanks so much! love the pumpkin soup as a main course and then maybe roasted brussels or something... great inspiration!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:52 AM

YES ive made paneer before! soooo yummy! great idea!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:51 AM

hey, they eat bread. and drink beer. their prerogative. and yes, she eats eggs but no, she doesnt eat fish.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:53 PM

You could have tofu or some soy meat for her or just omit it altogether. It'd be tasty enough with sufficient sour cream, guacamole, onions, peppers, beans rice etc.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Any chance she's a pesco/ovo vegetarian? Would make it much easier.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:42 PM

Bread? Do you dislike them?

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:28 PM

Paneer is actually reasonably easy to make from scratch, and SO much better that way. Simply bring whole milk to just below boiling, turn off the heat, and add enough lemon juice or vinegar to cause curdling. Then drain through a cheesecloth, rinse to remove the souring agent and quickly cool it down - keeping it soft (ice can help here). Add salt and any herbs you want. Then squeeze out as much water as you can, either using pressing the cheese with a weight or hanging up the cheesecloth for a day. Or just use as is, it still tastes fantastic. Plenty of better info online :P

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:13 PM

what would you replace the meat with?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 28, 2011
at 10:56 PM

I used to coat garbanzo beans in the taco seasoning and bake at 350 for about 15-20 mins. They were an amazing addition to tacos. (My vegetarian days are long gone-but that was a favorite!).

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11 Answers

6
C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on February 28, 2011
at 10:41 PM

My favorite dinner for people on multiple diets is taco salad fixins. It makes everyone happy, omni, veggie, low carb, high carb, you name it. I set everything out in separate bowls and people can pick and choose to suit themselves - just make sure there are beans for the vegetarians. I usually do some combo of seasoned ground beef, refried beans, rice, salsa, guac or just diced avocados w/salt and lime juice, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, olives, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, etc. And lots of lettuce. You can provide taco shells or corn tortilla chips too and then send the extras home w/the guests.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 28, 2011
at 10:56 PM

I used to coat garbanzo beans in the taco seasoning and bake at 350 for about 15-20 mins. They were an amazing addition to tacos. (My vegetarian days are long gone-but that was a favorite!).

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on July 03, 2011
at 04:02 PM

Good ideas all.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 02, 2011
at 05:08 PM

I completely agree with a taco (salad) party - that way everyone gets what they want. I've done these in the past and they're always a success. If you guys drink at all, what's also fun to go with this is a couple of jars of: watermelon puree, pineapple pureed with mint, hibiscus tea and have on the table with agave tequila, vodka and bottles of seltzer, some cut limes. If anyone wants to drink they can mix their own with booze OR just cut with seltzer. Looks nice on the table and is pretty much hassle free. Enjoy!

4
Bbd50c115fa066bea3ac23a4e82447ff

(558)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:26 AM

I had a vegetarian friend over the other night and we had a quiche (no crust) with goat cheese, cauliflower and onions. For side dishes we had brussels sprouts and salad. She was very happy. I eat primally, so I was okay with the dairy. I think it seemed like a luxurious meal for both of us...

Obviously, quiche won't work for a vegan, but for vegetarians it's good and you can put any number of vegetables in it. Just make sure they're very dry or else you end up with a curdled quiche (not nice). We tend to think of quiche as an egg dish, but after make a few this year, I now realize it is a cream dish with a little egg for thickening.

Veggie chili or veggie Indian or Thai curry would also be great.I can't bring myself to add tofu to anything anymore now though...I just don't see it as food anymore.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:56 AM

great idea- she is not vegan (thank GOD- she is a professional pastry chef, so that would be hard!) and i love the idea of a fritatta or spanish tortilla with goat cheese for dinner with a roasted veggie side and salad. thanks!

4
65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:13 PM

My go to veggie dish is always eggplant parmesan.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:56 AM

why didnt i think of that?? great idea. thanks!

3
6481788df76f391ba2746d9f1ad1e8f1

on February 28, 2011
at 10:45 PM

If you have a store nearby that sells paneer (Indian white cheese) and perhaps some Indian spices, you can make a nice saag or shahi paneer. I love Indian food, so I would tend to lean that way. You can find examples of either recipe all over the Interwebs. I think I've used this recipe before, but tweaked it to make it more Paleo/Primal: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/shahi-paneer/Detail.aspx

I also grate the onions instead of slicing them.

Then, grate a head of cauliflower using a box grater. Put the grated cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap (not tightly, so steam can escape). Microwave on high for a good 3-4 minutes. The natural moisture in the cauliflower will steam it and you have a cauliflower "rice"!

Nom nom nom! Now I'm hungry!

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:28 PM

Paneer is actually reasonably easy to make from scratch, and SO much better that way. Simply bring whole milk to just below boiling, turn off the heat, and add enough lemon juice or vinegar to cause curdling. Then drain through a cheesecloth, rinse to remove the souring agent and quickly cool it down - keeping it soft (ice can help here). Add salt and any herbs you want. Then squeeze out as much water as you can, either using pressing the cheese with a weight or hanging up the cheesecloth for a day. Or just use as is, it still tastes fantastic. Plenty of better info online :P

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:52 AM

YES ive made paneer before! soooo yummy! great idea!

2
Da4badc775f5cb8153476683b80877de

on February 28, 2011
at 11:41 PM

Ex-vegan/vegetarian here!

Main Dishes:

  • salmon, dusted with curry powder then pan-seared in coconut oil and minced garlic (if she's lacto-ovo, of course)
  • Asian stir-fry veggies
  • Nicoise salad (red/boston leaf lettuce with some olives, sliced hard-boiled egg, asparagus, and, if she eats fish, some seared tuna or tuna salad)
  • curried pumpkin soup (recipe here. You can actually make this without stock or with vegetable stock. If you want to make life easy, use canned apple sauce instead of fresh apples)
  • Portobello deliciousness (grill some big portobello caps; stir-fry together some spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic in a bit of olive oil, and put it on top of your mushroom cap. Top with some balsamic vinegar or some feta cheese.)

Side Dishes and Snacks:

Good luck! Think of it as broadening your paleo horizons.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:54 AM

awesome ideas! thanks so much! love the pumpkin soup as a main course and then maybe roasted brussels or something... great inspiration!

2
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on February 28, 2011
at 11:14 PM

When I once dated a vegan, everything I cooked was a side dish. I don't have a particular recipe to offer but here are some guidelines:

ALL side dishes you offer should be vegan, and ONE side dish should be hearty enough to stand on it's own as the main dish (albeit maybe not in the paleo world). A rice dish should cover it, especially one with beans. Hint: cook the rice in veggie stock instead of water.

The omnivores among you won't care one way or another that the side dishes are vegan, but the vegan will greatly appreciate the thought and effort.

C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on March 01, 2011
at 01:00 AM

I like this approach too. I had Thanksgiving once with two veggie people on the guest list and I made everything vegetarian except for the turkey itself. They were happy and almost incredulous that they could eat just about everything!

1
D2e6eb2ab91f5e11589cf34b44b8e4cd

on July 02, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I would grill some meat and large portabello mushroom caps for the vegetarian. You can also grill other veggies for everyone :) I have a friend who is Vegan and I joke with her-let's go to a steak house, order a steak dinner with lots of veggies on the side, and we can split the meal LOL!

1
D4744bc82b615e218fd91cc283e1459f

on March 12, 2011
at 04:01 AM

Hi, I'm vegetarian myself and have recently begun eating paleo (well, almost!). I have had no end of creative substitutes to the meat and so far so good. Here are a few of my favourites:

paleo pad thai - I use tofu instead of meat and white cabbage or courgette instead of noodles.

paleo pizza - using aubergine base, or I believe you can use almond flour (yet to try that one!)there are load of recipes online.

stir fry using cauliflower as rice

pumpkin/squash cakes (similar to fish cakes - I use pumpkin, spinach, feta mixed together and coated in almond flour and shallow fried) served with salad and veg.

frittata

babaganosh (sp!?) dip - yum!

veg bake, using egg sauce to bind together.

stuffed veg - stuffed with ratatouille and small amounts of cheese.

Hope that helps.....

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 12, 2011
at 12:55 PM

thank you faye! these are some really great ideas! i especially love the pumpkin cakes with almond flour. that sounds amazing!

1
Medium avatar

on February 28, 2011
at 10:38 PM

Fajitas without the tortillas? Maybe with lettuce wraps or some quasi-legitimate corn tortilla?

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:13 PM

what would you replace the meat with?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:53 PM

You could have tofu or some soy meat for her or just omit it altogether. It'd be tasty enough with sufficient sour cream, guacamole, onions, peppers, beans rice etc.

0
E526d4234ea15dbddd4a07320276610b

on March 19, 2011
at 09:34 PM

I recently found a delicious recipe for Putanesca sauce (tomato sauce with anchovies, Greek olives, capers) that I put over spaghetti squash. Sometimes I also add grated zucchini to the spaghetti squash, or any cooked veggies that I have. Absolutely delicious because the spaghetti squash acts like pasta and absorbs the sauce.

Serve with grilled portabello mushrooms and any roasted veg.

Salad with everything in it: lettuce, grated carrots, avocado, tomatoes, toasted nuts, artichoke hearts, cut up fruit (strawberries, pears, apples), peppers, broccoli slaw (can buy from store), sliced hard boiled eggs(*?). The key is the salad dressing, so use a strong one that you like.

*I'm trying to go vegan but having trouble with this so adding eggs and some fish.

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