Vegetarian food has come such a long way in the past 20 or 30 years. Not long ago, vegetarians were forced to shop at specialist health food stores for their groceries and usually had to settle for bland and uninteresting foods. Going out for dinner almost always meant yet another uninspiring salad. These days, more interesting foods are available in regular grocery stores making it easier than ever to enjoy life as a vegetarian. This chapter is a celebration of some the wonderful, healthy, and delicious main courses now available to vegetarians. It is kind of a unusual chapter because many of the dishes in my other chapters, like soups or pastas, could easily be served as main courses. Likewise, some of the recipes in this chapter could also fit under the other chapters but are included here because they have a certain "main dish" quality about them. As vegetarianism continues to gain in popularity, don't be afraid to serve a meatless dinner sometime. With these recipes, your meat-loving friends will be so satisfied they won't even miss the meat.

Banana-Cheese Empanadas
"Sweet banana and creamy, salty jack cheese are paired together as the filling for these unusual Latin American empanadas. Serve these with green salsa; the mild spiciness of green chilies and the tartness of tomatillos are the perfect complement."

Cashew Korma
"This Indian vegetable curry is not too spicy. Ground cashews add a rich, nutty flavor to the dish and coconut milk provides a luscious texture."

Frittata di Riso
"Frittatas are Italian omelets. In this flavorful version, vegetarian "sausage" is combined with fresh basil, sweet peppers and onions and rice. Serve this frittata for a delightful breakfast, brunch or even dinner."

Greek Pitas
"This is one of my sister's wonderful creations. Roasted vegetables, including cauliflower, portabella mushrooms, and red bell peppers, are served on pitas and topped with a tangy yogurt dressing."

Gypsy Stew
"Vegetables and barley are bathed in a thick, gravy-like sauce in this hearty vegetarian stew which could easily satisfy the appetite of even the biggest meat eater."

Kung Pao Tofu
"In this vegetarian version of the famous dish, Kung Pao Chicken, tofu and vegetables replace the chicken. This dish has just enough crushed red pepper to make your mouth tingle. Roasted peanuts, added at the end of cooking, add the perfect crunch and richness."

Lemongrass Tofu
"Crispy pan-fried tofu is combined with carmelized onions and peppers and earthy shiitake mushrooms in this stellar stir-fry. Fresh lemongrass adds an incomparable flavor!"

Mushroom and Rice Piroshky
"There are few things in this world as comforting as freshly homemade piroshkies. Leftover piroshkies make great lunches too!"

Mushu Vegetables
"In this exquisite Chinese dish, thin flour pancakes are drizzled with sweet hoisin sauce and then wrapped around crunchy sauteed vegetables. For added presentation, you can tie the pancakes closed with strips of green onion. A great dish to make for someone you love!"

Polenta with Mushroom Ragout
"Creamy, golden slices of polenta are cooked in butter until crisp and served with a luscious sauce made with wild mushrooms, tomatoes, wine and herbs in this satisfying dish. This is comfort food with an elegant touch!"

Potato Gnocchi
"Making gnocchi is somewhat time-consuming so I like to save it for the weekend. Make a double batch and freeze half. That way, you can have homemade gnocchi on a busy weeknight as well as on the weekend!"

Sweet Potato Tamales
"Sweet potatoes, aromatic cinnamon and spicy, smoky chipotle chilies make up the dough for these special tamales. Serve with a fresh green salsa or rich mole for an extraordinary dinner."

Vegetable Pot Pie
"Mixed vegetables, flavorful herbs, and a creamy sauce are topped with a rich cream cheese crust and then baked in the oven until golden in this vegetarian version of the classic pot pie."

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
"In this vegetarian adaptation of the traditional English dish known as Shepherd's Pie, hearty lentils are substituted for lamb. The lentils match well with the creamy mashed potato topping."

Winter Squash Ravioli
"These ravioli are filled with a simple puree of winter squash and herbs. An quick orange juice, brown sugar and butter sauce complements the sweetness of the squash perfectly."



Beans and Grains


Meatless Entrees




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