Vegetarian Gourmet----Meatless Makeovers

Three years ago I decided to go "meatless." It wasn't a difficult decision as I wasn't a voracious carnivore to begin with, however there were a few dishes that I missed that contained meat and wondered how I was going to live without these favorites.

Rather than resign myself to the notion that these dishes could never be converted over to a meatless status, I decided to pull myself up by my vegetarian bootstrings (cotton, of course), and see if I could find a way to convert these meat-ies to meatless.

The first was my Grammy's recipe for American Chop Suey, actually, almost everyone's Grammy made this or some variation of it. I tried different ways but this one comes the closest:

Meatless American Chop Suey

1 vidalia onion chopped
1-2 tbsp. butter
1/2 pkg Quorn (brandname) veggie grounds frozen
2 cans Campbells Tomato Soup
1 tblsp. catsup (yes catsup, you can't really taste it, it just adds a rich color to the sauce)
sea salt and pepper to taste

1 lb of your favorite fancy pasta in its rigati form, that means with lines, or something like like gemelli or rotini

Melt butter in a medium sized skillet over low heat. Add vidalia onion and gently saute until translucent. Add frozen Quorn grounds and heat till thawed. Add 2 cans soup and cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes. Add catsup salt and pepper and cook an additional 102 minutes.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain thoroughly and add sauce to pasta. Stir to incorporate completely. Serve. Serves 4-6 people as a side.

This next one is an adaptation of a Greek-Middle-Eastern recipe for Dolma. I loved this dish as a youngster summering on Cape Cod. A wonderful Lebanese family "turned me on" to this dish and I have finally found a way to make it meatless and spectacular!

Veggie Dolmas

1 jar of Grapeleaves in brine

Filling:
2 cup basmati rice cooked
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup of pine nuts ground
1/2 cup quorn grounds thawed
2 tbsp. dried mint (or 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped fine)
1 tbsp. dried parsely (or 1/4 cup fresh parsely chopped fine)
1 tsp dried oregano (or 1/8 cup fresh oregano chopped fine)
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp pepper
1 small can tomato paste

Juice of 2 lemons

Remove the grape leaves from the jar, rinse and unfold carefully and rinse again. Lay paper towels and pat dry. Gently remove any stems that are still on the leaves.

In a large bowl mix the filling ingredients together till they are well incorporated.

Carefully separate a few of the leaves and line the bottom of a 1-2 gallon stock pot.

To roll take a leaf, place 1 heaping tsp of filling in the center of the leaf about 1/2 inch up from the bottom edge. Fold 1/2 inch up over the filling, fold each side toward the middle, then beginning at the bottom again roll the whole package up till you have a 1-2" "log.

Continue with the rolling process till you use up all the filling.

Line the rolled leaves up in a circular pattern in the stock pot till all are in. Pour the juice of both lemons gently over the rolled leaves. Place a dinner plate on top with a stone in the middle to keep in place. Gradually add cold water till it just covers the leaves.

Bring contents to a boil then reduce and simmer for abount 1/2 hour till tender. Drain water by holding on to stone to keep plate in place and gently pour out cooking water. Leave plate on till almost cool.

Remove plate and serve with plain yogurt, yummy.

These can be frozen in 1-2 serving sizes for later. I like to do it this way then microwave them for a minute and a half for a quickie meal.

Cathy O is a successful author who provides information on gourmet gift baskets, gourmet food, and gourmet recipes. "In addition to being a freelance writer, I also dabble in Aromatherapy, Herbalism and painting when I am so inspired. Living in the Lake region of Western Maine has been of tremendous inspiration to me and I am proud and happy to call it home."

In The News:

Keep These Recipes  The New York Times
Salsa gazpacho recipe  Telegraph.co.uk
Focaccia recipe  Spectator.co.uk

Low Fat, Low Carb Baked Tortilla Chip with a Mango Salsa Dressing

Many low fat low cholesterol recipes are usually bland and... Read More

Swordfish, a Nutritious and Healthy Addition to Any Diet

Swordfish belongs to the group of fish that have recently... Read More

Straight Talk from a Comfort Foodie - Fast Food

My parents lived for convenience when it came to feeding... Read More

Braised Fish in Soy Sauce (Hong Shao Yu)

Braised fish in soy sauce is the basic craft of... Read More

Farm To Market Days

Summer may begin in June but, for many parts of... Read More

Chicken with White Wine & Pasta

Here is a great recipe that is so simple to... Read More

Making Pancake Batter the Night Before (with Recipe)

Mornings are hectic. If you make your pancake batter the... Read More

Easy to Make Guacamole Dip

You can make guacamole that people will rave about! It's... Read More

Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Soup

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there are five elements... Read More

Best Recipes: Chicken with Apples

Ingredients1½ cups quick-cooking rice 2 large onions, thinly sliced 250g... Read More

Easy Insalata Caprese

It's tomato time! If you're a gardener, you might be... Read More

Easy Trail Mixes

Before you set off on your next family walk or... Read More

Burmese Shrimp Cake Recipe

Little pounded shrimp balls seasoned and fried till lightly brown.... Read More

Italian Recipes ? Top 3 Dinner Recipes That You Should Prepare Tonight!

If you are wondering what to prepare for dinner tonight,... Read More

Do You Know How Many Ways There Are To Eat A Cat Head Biscuit?

A time honored Southern tradition, the infamous "Cat Head" biscuit... Read More

Prime Rib Cooking Times

As you look over a couple of prime rib recipes... Read More

Low Fat Flaming Bananas Treat

Nutritional Information: Serves 3, Fat: 8 g, Cal: 299, KJ:... Read More

Frugal Microwave Cooking

Microwave cooking can save you time and energy all year... Read More

A Scone Recipe for Dinner or Lunch

There are two ways to pronounce scone. "Skon" in England... Read More

Cucumber & Pork Soup

Due to the fact that cucumber is rich in all... Read More

Sweet & Sour Pork (Gu Lao Rou)

Sweet & Sour Pork is the most well known Chinese... Read More

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch (in 2 hours or less!)

If I've heard it once, I've heard it a dozen... Read More

Texas Pecan Treats

Come August, there is nowhere I'd rather NOT be than... Read More

The Taffy Pull (A Story and a Recipe)

One year when I was growing up on our Wisconsin... Read More

How to Make Beer

Making beer is easy, inexpensive, and most of all, fun.... Read More