Married to the Empire

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

WFMW: Tasty Vegetarian Meal?

It's Backwards Day over at Shannon's Works-for-Me Wednesday post, which means I get to ask a question, rather than offer a solution.

Here's my dilemma: My husband has kidney disease. He's a major meat lover, but animal protein is the hardest for the kidneys to digest. While we're not cutting meat completely out of our diets, I would like to make more vegetarian meals. Problem is, he's not crazy about most of them. I would love to have some suggestions for truly tasty, meatless meals. I'll happily take recipes or cookbook suggestions. (Most vegetarian cookbooks I've looked at have not been appealing, or they involve costly or hard-to-find ingredients. While I like to cook, I don't want to spend the time or effort that a gourmet chef does.) If you can help me out, I'd really appreciate it!

Oh, I should probably mention that neither of us will eat tofu; it has a creepy texture. But I'm open to anything else!


phyllis said...

i'm a happy tofu eater but here's one of my favorite meat-free meals that even non-meat eater like: and the post right after it is a list of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks. it's veg awareness month:-) good luck...

Jessica said...

I really like Vegetarian Times (it's a magazine) and they have a lot of their recipes online. Try them! (should be an easy find on Google.)

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

p.s. also, have you tried the cookbook "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" by Deborah Madison? I got some good recipes out of there.

Jane said...

I love the soup in this post. It might not be a full meal (although I eat it for lunch all the time) but it is a great side.

Corrie said...

I know it's long, but I thought I'd leave one of our favorites here for you to try

Tammy's Garlic Roasted Vegetables

1 lb baby carrots (or fresh carrots cut to baby-size)
4 red potatoes, quartered
4 yukon gold potatoes, quartered
12 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed or cut in half
1-2 walla walla onions, peeled & quartered
butternut squash, peeled and seeded cut into large chunks (will cook quickly)
red pepper, seeded & cut in half then quartered
fresh green beans (throw in the last 20 minutes)
1/4 c. olive oil

Toss all vegetables in large bowl with olive oil until coated. Pour into 9x13 pan. Salt and pepper to taste and cover with foil.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Your house will smell amazing as you cook this. This will make mountains of veggies, but they are so good you will eat them all!

Amy said...

The only strictly veggie cookbook I own is 1001 Vegetarian Recipes. I've yet to make anything in there that hasn't tasted really good. She does have a whole selection of foods using tofu, TVP, and so forth, but there are a lot of just plain recipes for stuff like lasagna or quiche.

You might also find some good stuff in the World Community Cookbooks (More-with-Less, Extending the Table, Simply in Season). They offer a lot of no-meat/low-meat options.

carrie said...


I'll be checking back for ideas, as I prepare no red meat and minimal chicken.

We eat a lot of beans. You could try this recipe without chicken:

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

We've been cutting back on meat in my family too. Both and feature vegetarian sections that all different kinds of no-meat dishes. I have also posted a few favorites on my blog under the Menu Plan Monday tab, and will post more as I continue to experiment. Good luck!

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I like to eat less meat, too. Mexican and Italian are both great for that (but they have lots of cheese, so they aren't necessarily heart healthy). My meat-loving husband goes for a non-meat lasagna (or even just a pasta bake with the same ingredients) with ricotta, and a cheese enchilada (I layer which is easier). Also, beans are great for protein--I will toss an extra can in a recipe that called for them, and omit the meat that it called for.

Becky said...

What kind of kidney disease, may I ask? I have PKD - so does my mom (it is inherited). Anyway - I try to eat foods from Dr. McDougall's website ( and find them to be tasty.

Melissa said...

lasagna or stuffed shells or manicotti. i make my own past sauce too. all can be healthy and yummy! let me know if you want my recipes!

Ewokgirl said...

Thanks to everyone who has responded!

Becky, he has IgA Nephropathy. I've not heard of Dr. McDougall before, but I'll definitely check out his website!

AnneK said...

We cook veg dishes most of the time since hubby is a vegetarian, but I am not sure how I would be able to help you. We use a variety of different spices to make it tasty and I am not even sure if you get them in regular grocery stores. I will let you know if I think of something. I don't like tofu either...

steven said...

mmmm.... meat!

Ewokgirl said...

Steven, you're so bad! This is to help YOU. :-P

Anne, I'm a spice freak. I have TONS, including several unusual ones. I have a spice store in Fort Worth that I am in love with, and I need to go there soon anyway, so I'll take whatever recipes you've got! And you can always email them to me at

Cathy VanPatten said...

If you don't like tofu, you might want to try seitan. It is wheat gluten (and I know, that sounds gross...), but it has a more meat-like texture than tofu and you can stir fry it and get it all crispy and good. My stepdaughter, who is a vegan, turned Jeff and I on to it a couple of years ago. Our favorite way to cook it is in a stir fry with lots of mushrooms, fresh basil, julienned carrots, pinenuts and some peas. Toss in whatever spices you like and serve over rice.

I also really love spinach lasagna--I think just about every recipe I've tried (out of several different cookbooks) is yummy.

Bella said...

We are vegetarian and find recipes from these sources listed below. I also just found recipes that had meat in them and would either leave out the meat or substitute with tofu, beans, or veggie meats. Many grocery stores contain veggie meats such as BOCA crumbles (like ground beef). I hope this helps.

lisa h. said...

I have a few on my blog

You should try tofu again, buy the extra firm kind.

check out this blog too:

lisa h. said...

look under the meatless catagory!

Katie said...

My husband loves meat, but he loves this recipe as do I.

kadusey said...

I've got several recipes I've found from various cookbooks that are meat-free, yet my husband and I have both really liked. A couple of them take a little more time than the others, but I don't think any of them are really very difficult.

Beans and Rice:

Bread Crumb Pasta

Creamy Tomato Sauce Pasta

French Rigatoni Salad

Portobello Pasta

Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas (we LOVE these)

Pasta Bean Soup

Spaghetti Pie (can be made with spaghetti squash instead)

Tomato Lentil Soup

Tomato Cheese Strata

Tomato Bean Bruschetta (good for lunches)

I hope you're able to find some recipes you both enjoy!

Ann said...

A vegetarian dish...let's see...

A bowl of cereal?

Nah, just kidding. But check out Sara's blog at

She can give you lots of Thai recipes, if that appeals to you :) She eats a lot of tofu though...

I've personally never tried tofu. I agree, it seems to have an icky texture.

Shama-Lama Mama said...

I am a meat eater and I married a vegetarian man. AND I hate to cook. I recently found this cookbook I LOVE LOVE LOVE!! It mostly has asian and mexican style dishes with a few other kinds. Everything in there is supposed to take under 28 minutes, and I find sometimes its 45 but never longer. And they are super easy.

The book is called Vegetarian Express by Nava Atlas.

The recipes are easy, totally simple, and have things you can buy just about anywhere.

She has a webpage here with some recipes you could try.

Becky said...

Black bean and rice enchiladas is one of my favorite meatless main dishes. Here's the recipe: