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A carnivore needs help cooking for vegetarians and vegans

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

I am new here:)  

 

So, soon I will be the main cook in a communal house.  I will be cooking for people who are either vegetarian or vegan.  I, however, am neither!  As a matter of fact, I eat very "Weston Price-y" - lots of pastured animal meats and fats, bone broths, eggs and raw and fermented dairy.  I buy a quarter cow every year, for God's sake!  I love cooking vegetable dishes but I fear I have been over-compensating on the flavor by using lard, bacon fat, heavy cream  etc etc etc

 

OK - here is the real irony - (wait for it) I was a strict vegetarian for 15 years!!!  HAHAHA so it is not that I am uncomfortable with the idea.  I have just become soooo reliant on meat and dairy to supplement and flavor.  The other thing is that I am a Mediterranean cook by blood and by my childhood so Indian and other Asian foods - though I love them - are so foreign to me as a home cook that I always depend on following a recipe - which is kind of a drag, for me, personally.

 

I read an old thread on vegetarian cookbooks (I am also a cookbook addict) and I honestly did not find much that seemed promising or inspiring.  I did recently purchase Veganomicon but it hasn't arrived yet.

 

Other than THAT, an advice on how to make veggie food that is seriously delicious, not-too-soy-heavy, nutrient dense food with tons of flavor?  Oh and is easy and good for a crowd?  hahahaha

 

ps:  I am thinking I need to quickly learn some good Indian techniques and recipes and fast!

 

PEACE, MARIA B

post #2 of 13

Pork Fat!

post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post
 

Pork Fat!

That won't go well with the vegan crowd. 

 

@BugnBean I recommend you look into Indian cooking. They are really talented at making vegan/vegetarian cuisine taste awesome and satisfying. An example would be Malai Kofta...

post #4 of 13

Hi Maria, welcome to cheftalk!

I think you are on the right track to look toward Indian cooking as they are masterful at creating vege dishes that don't leave carnivores longing. I wanted to chime in because I received a book as a gift several years back and it will give you endless supplies of recipes as well as fill you in on the cultural and regional differences that influences various curries. I believe Nicko said if I just link to it the site would handle things.. 660 Curries - Raghavan Iyer

post #5 of 13

Check this thread by Mr. Iceman:

 

Good Vegan EATs ... (Vegetarian Too!)
started on 11/15/11 last post 06/07/13 at 9:23pm 128 replies 4407 views
Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #6 of 13

Middle Eastern cuisine is also good for flavorful veg dishes. Check out Deborah Madison's vegetarian cookbooks. I, too, was veg for about 30 years and still eat a lot of Middle Eastern and Indian food. The only veg cookbook I've bought recently because it was so good is this one:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Olive-Trees-Honey-Vegetarian-Communities/dp/0764544136

 

Not veg but worth a look:

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Book-Middle-Eastern-Food/dp/0375405062

 

Yamuna Devi writes good Indian veg cookbooks but she belongs to a sect that doesn't use onions or garlic(!)--two key building blocks of many Indian dishes, IMO. I just add them. Not veg but one I use a lot is:

 

http://www.amazon.com/How-Cook-Indian-Classic-Recipes/dp/1584799137/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409057545&sr=1-1&keywords=How+to+cook+Indian

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone!

 

(for some reason, can not like or comment on individual posts)

 

I will def. look into the resources you all have provided.

 

I love Indian food and I have been successful cooking it at home - though, like I mentioned - I rely heavily on the recipe and it makes me feel kind of stunted as a cook.  I love making up my own dishes and flavors and cooking on the fly...

 

HOWEVER, obviously, I need help now and if I need to act and learn like a beginner, so be it!  

 

I know almost nothing about Middle eastern food except the stuff you see readily - gyros, falafel etc but I recently bought 4 spice mixtures - all Middle eastern and they are BOMB!  So different than Italian!

 

Pork fat - my go to hahaha.  I literally have jars of different lard/schmaltz etc in my refrigerator.  I have a chest freezer full of meat - these people are going to HATE me hahahaha  Well, hopefully they can respect that I don't buy any factory farmed meat and all of my meat comes directly from the source or through a co-op...(sigh)

 

PEACE, MARIA B

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugnBean View Post
 

I love Indian food and I have been successful cooking it at home - though, like I mentioned - I rely heavily on the recipe and it makes me feel kind of stunted as a cook.  I love making up my own dishes and flavors and cooking on the fly...

Start doing a few recipes and you'll soon get a feel for the type of ingredients they use and how they're used etc... before you know it you'll be adapting recipes to your taste, and not long after that you won't even need recipes anymore, other than for inspiration. 

post #9 of 13

Bacon - it's the "gateway" meat for vegetarians.  A little here, a little there and pow, zoom they're hooked.  Good luck with your project.  :lol:

post #10 of 13

I remember a signature or something like that: I wanna be a vegetarian but can't find bacon seeds.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
Reply
Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugnBean View Post
 

I know almost nothing about Middle eastern food except the stuff you see readily - gyros, falafel etc but I recently bought 4 spice mixtures - all Middle eastern and they are BOMB!  So different than Italian!

 

Pork fat - my go to hahaha.  I literally have jars of different lard/schmaltz etc in my refrigerator.  I have a chest freezer full of meat - these people are going to HATE me hahahaha  Well, hopefully they can respect that I don't buy any factory farmed meat and all of my meat comes directly from the source or through a co-op...(sigh)

 

PEACE, MARIA B

 

Yotam Ottolenghi's books are a nice starting point for Middle Eastern stuff. Also with lots of vegetarian recipes.

 

Also, everyone should have a proper fat collection in the fridge.... Let me check... Duck fat, chicken fat, bacon drippings, pig lard, cleared butter, some fat I rendered from the trimmings of parma ham...

post #12 of 13

Going to an afternoon garden party sunday, thinking I might do grilled jerked zucchini. Might need to do a test batch saturday to see if it is feasible.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #13 of 13
OH ... MY ... GOODNESS!!!

This is the second "vegan" idea thread that has come up in the last hour or so. The killer part for me is that someone recommended as thread of mine as a reference.

Thank You ordo.

Cooking vegan is, after you do some simple research and shop properly, no real big deal. As with cooking anything, the highest quality freshest ingredients is a major key. That "research" thing is really important. I screwed up big once using honey.

I've made and eaten every recipe in that thread. I can't say every recipe was that good that you'ld drop your fork. But I will say that none of them, outside of that tofu-pie thing in the first post, sucked. DO NOT MAKE that tofu-pie thing. God help you if you do. Here are some of my favorites:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/creamy-vegan-pumpkin-soup.html
http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/weekday-vegetarian-thanksgiving-cranberry-sorbet.html
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/11/weekday-vegetarian-thanksgiving_fare.php
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/11/weekday-vegetarian-galette.php
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/11/weekday-vegetarian-shaved-brussels-sprouts.php
http://www.treehugger.com/easy-vegetarian-recipes/pears-stewed-beer-and-ginger.html
http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/seared-brussels-sprouts-with-a-smoked-gouda-sauce-and-freshly-grated-horseradish.html
http://www.treehugger.com/easy-vegetarian-recipes/butternut-squash-gnocchi.html
*** http://www.treehugger.com/easy-vegetarian-recipes/baked-apple-stuffed-with-candied-ginger-and-almonds.html

The "Seitan Roast with Wild Rice and Chestnut Stuffing" blows too. Don't go here. LOL.

http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/chow/simple-sweet-treat-chocolate-and-cinnamon-wontons.html
*** http://www.treehugger.com/easy-vegetarian-recipes/banana-and-coconut-french-toast-vegan.html
http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/weekday-vegetarian-baked-tofu-with-steamed-sesame-bok-choy.html
http://www.cheftalk.com/content/type/61/id/286056/width/350/height/197/flags/

OK. That's just from the first two(2) pages. LOL. I'm silly. Go look at the thread. You'll find good recipes. OK ... that's my opinion. LOL @ Me again.
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