Vegetarian Dishes for Meat Lovers

My vegetarian daughter is always willing to cook meat for her carnivore husband.

She’d like to cook vegetarian dishes that he will consume with no fuss without having to resort to trickery. As yummy as some vegetarian products can be with the right seasonings, they taste nothing like meat and will fool no one.

The best plan in this case would be to start with something a bit unusual. There’s no sense in serving up a faux meatloaf that will be easily recognized for what it is – or isn’t, thus putting a meat lover on the alert at every meal.

Another good practice for successfully presenting vegetarian dishes is to make it a gradual process. As loved ones learn to accept and appreciate vegetarian cooking, meatless meals can be served more often.

Garbanzo Chimichangas…

If your meat lover appreciates hearty meals, he’ll be back for second or thirds when you serve Garbanzo Chimichangas. This recipe makes ten small, or six large, chimis.

 3 c. cooked garbanzo beans (chick peas), mashed

2 T. olive oil

1/2 c. finely chopped onions

1/2 c. finely chopped carrot

4 lg. cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 med. green bell pepper, finely chopped

2 sm. hot peppers, finely chopped

6 oz. tomato paste

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. tumeric.

10 sm. (or 6 lg.) flour tortillas

Preheat oil in a large frying pan. Saute onion, carrot, garlic and oregano for three minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peppers and cook two more minutes.

Add vegetables to mashed beans. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt and turmeric.

Place 1/3 c. of the mixture near one edge of a tortilla. Fold that section carefully toward the center. Fold both sides in towards the center and finish rolling the tortilla log.

Cook until lightly browned in a high-sided pan in about 1/2-inch preheated oil. Turn the chimis often, adding oil as needed. Drain chimis on paper towels and serve with grated sharp cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, finely chopped fresh tomatoes, sour cream and salsa.

Tofu Foo Yung…

If your meat lover is open to Chinese cooking, Tofu Foo Yung may just appeal to his taste buds.

2 T olive oil

2/3 c. tiny pieces fresh broccoli

2/3 c. julienned carrot sticks

Sm. can baby corn nuggets

4 scallions, cut in 1/4 pieces

8-oz. water chestnuts

1 c. fresh bean sprouts, chopped – optional

2 firm tofu, drained

2 T. soy sauce

3/4 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

Garlic powder to taste

Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.

Saute vegetables in oil. Remove from heat.

Mix remaining ingredients and add to vegetables.

Form mixture into 5 rounds, 1/2-inch thick. Place on oiled baking sheet leaving 1-inch between rounds. Bake 30 minutes, flip, and bake 15 more minutes.

Serve hot with cooked spaghetti seasoned with a mixture of tahini, soy sauce and garlic powder. Top the tofu-vegetables rounds and the spaghetti with Mushroom Gravy.

 Homemade Mushroom Gravy…

Clean and slice 2-3 cups of white button mushrooms. Cook in 1 T. oil over medium heat. Dissolve 4 T. cornstarch in 2 cups cold water. Add to cooked mushrooms along with 4 T. soy sauce and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

Once you find a vegetarian entree that your meat-lover enjoys, give him time to get used to it before testing another. While it may be difficult to break lifetime habits in a hardcore carnivore, it is possible to create vegetarian dishes that will eventually convert him.

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