RECIPE: looking for simple meatless recipes

gardenkatJune 20, 2010

I'm not a vegetarian (I would have too hard a time giving up barbecued ribs)but I would like to include more meatless meals in my diet. The problem is that many of the recipes call for tofu, tempeh, frozen vegetables, cottage cheese, all things that I can't get where I am. I live in a small village in Guatemala and we can get plenty of fresh vegetables-lettuce, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, also beans and chiles of many kinds. We already eat a lot of rice and beans, but more variety would be welcome. So, if you have a good meatless recipe using simple ingredients please share it with me. Thanks.

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I've got a few family recipes. Of course, my family is Greek, so the flavors might be different from what you're used to. But, on the other hand, they might be an interesting change.

(Baked Summer Vegetables)

A variety of summer vegetables, baked in olive oil. A simple, tasty, and nutritious casserole. Use as a main dish or a delicious vegetable side dish. Vary the vegetable depending on what is available.

1 pound summer squash (zucchini, crookneck, patty pan, etc.)
1 pound eggplant
1 pound potatoes
2 onions
1 - 1 pounds tomatoes (fresh or canned)
½ - 1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped parsley
½ 1 cup water, hot
2 green peppers (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
I cup buttered breadcrumbs (optional)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

ÂScrub squash and cut off ends; cut in ¼ inch slices or in 1 inch chunks.
ÂScrub eggplant and cut off ends; cut into ¼ inch slices. (Eggplant may be salted and set aside on paper towels to absorb moisture for at least 30 minutes. Rinse well before adding to casserole.)
ÂWash and peel potatoes; cut in ¼ inch slices.
ÂPeel onions; cut in ¼ inch slices.
ÂWash, peel and cut tomatoes into slices (roughly slice or chop canned whole tomatoes).
ÂIf using peppers, wash, remove seeds and cut into strips.
ÂBeginning with sliced potatoes, layer all vegetables in a large casserole.
ÂSalt and pepper each layer of vegetables lightly (If eggplant slices have been pre-salted, do not salt eggplant layer.)
ÂAdd olive oil and hot water.
ÂCover and bake at 350° for 60 minutes.
ÂIf desired, sprinkle with buttered breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.
ÂUncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
ÂLet stand uncovered 10-15 minutes before serving.

For a complete vegetarian meal, serve with hearty bread slices and a fresh salad. May be served hot, warm, room temperature, or even cold.

(Greek Stewed String Beans)

A flavorsome combination of green beans stewed in a tasty tomato sauce. Simple, healthful, and delicious. A wonderful holiday alternative to the usual cream soup based green bean casseroles.

2 pounds string beans, fresh or frozen
2 onions, chopped
2 Â 4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup olive oil
1 - 8 ounce can tomato sauce
¼ - ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1-2 teaspoons mint
2 potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-2 inch chunks
2 carrots, sliced
1 cup water or broth
2 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste

ÂIn Dutch oven, sauté onion lightly in olive oil.
ÂAdd tomato sauce, string beans, and remaining ingredients.
ÂCover and simmer over medium heat for about 60 minutes or until all vegetable are tender.
ÂCheck after 30 minutes; add more water or broth if necessary.
ÂStir occasionally.

Serve hot or room temperature.

(Greek Potato Salad)

Fresh, lively, and bursting with flavor. This salad brightens any meal and is a delicious alternative to the typical mayonnaise-laden versions.

2  2 ½ lbs. wax potatoes (white, Yukon Gold, or red)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1- 2 large lemons
1 red onion, finely diced
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

ÂFinely chop onion and parsley
ÂIn a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, oregano (if used), parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and onion. Mix well and set aside.
ÂWash potatoes well.
ÂAdd potatoes to a large pot of boiling, lightly salted water. Cook potatoes at low boil for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until potatoes are just tender. Do not overcook.
ÂDrain water and let potatoes cool slightly to touch.
ÂWhen slightly cooled, peel and cut potatoes into slices or large dice (If desired, leave skin on red potatoes).
ÂPlace potatoes in a large bowl; add dressing and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat.
ÂCover bowl and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Stir every once in a while to redistribute dressing.

Macaronia me Voutyro
(Pasta with Brown Butter Sauce)

Simple yet delicious. Browned butter, tender pasta, and sharp, tangy cheese. A real treat for pasta lovers everywhere.

1 pound. spaghetti or other pasta
½ pound butter (1 cup/2 sticks)*
½ cup grated dry Mezithra** or Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

ÂFill a large deep pot 3/4 full with water.
ÂAdd salt and bring to a rolling boil.
ÂAdd pasta slowly, without breaking the boil.
ÂCook until al dente, following package directions; stir frequently.
ÂDrain well in a colander and return to pan in which it was cooked.
ÂWhile pasta is cooking, melt butter and heat to a deep golden brown.
ÂWatch it carefully; it burns quickly and suddenly.
ÂPour browned butter over drained pasta in pot.
ÂAdd half the grated cheese and toss well to coat.
ÂAdd salt and pepper to taste.
ÂSprinkle each serving with the extra grated cheese.
ÂServe with additional grated cheese and freshly ground pepper.

*If desired, substitute ½ cup very light olive oil for half of the butter.

**If using Mezithra cheese, substitute ½ cup sweet, unsalted butter to cut down on salt content.

(Roasted Eggplant Salad)

Deliciously different! A perfect appetizer spread with crackers.

1 large eggplant
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup wine vinegar or lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
Salt and pepper to taste

ÂPlace whole, washed eggplant in greased baking pan.
ÂBake at 350° oven 60 minutes, until soft. Allow skin to turn black so as to give a smoky flavor to the salad.
ÂAllow eggplant to cool off a bit so you can handle it.
ÂSlice the eggplant down the middle and scoop out the pulp.
ÂPut the eggplant pulp on a cutting board and chop it up finely.
ÂLightly sauté chopped onion and garlic in olive oil.
ÂIn a bowl, combine the chopped eggplant, onion and garlic mixture with all the olive oil, and vinegar or lemon juice.
ÂSalt and pepper to taste.
ÂCover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
ÂAdjust seasonings if necessary.

Serve with pita bread, flat bread, or whole wheat/sesame crackers (like Ak Mak).

(Spinach and Rice)

A peasant dish thatÂs perfect for vegetarians. Simple and tasty!

¼ cup olive oil
½ cup parsley, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 - 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-teaspoon mint
1-teaspoon dill weed
2 teaspoons oregano
1½ - 2 cups water
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
2 bunches spinach, washed, dried, stems removed, chopped (or 2 packages fresh spinach [stems removed] or 2 packages frozen chopped spinach [thawed and squeezed dry])
1 cup white rice

ÂIn a large saucepan place the oil and heat it on medium high until it is hot.
ÂAdd the parsley, onions, and garlic.
ÂSauté the ingredients until the onions are soft and translucent.
ÂAdd the rice and sauté for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
ÂAdd the water, tomato sauce, salt and pepper; bring to a boil.
ÂMix the ingredients together thoroughly so that everything is well combined.
ÂCover and simmer the ingredients until the rice is almost tender, approximately 15 minutes.
ÂAdd water as needed.
ÂUncover and stir in the spinach.
ÂCover the pan and continue cooking on very low heat, about 5-10 minutes, until the spinach has wilted and all the liquid has been absorbed and the spanakorizo is tender, not mushy.
ÂAdjust seasonings.
ÂCover and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Serve Spanakorizo with grated Parmesan cheese and/or plain, unflavored yogurt.

Variation: To make Prassorizo (Leek Rice), substitute 1 1/2 pounds sliced leeks (white and green portions) for the spinach and add with the liquid. Leeks need longer cooking time. Omit green onions.

I know you said you eat a lot of beans already, but this is a classic Greek bean soup recipe. It just might be different enough to try:

(Greek Bean Soup)

Comfort foodÂGreek style! Thick, hearty, and full of vegetables. Peasant food fit for a king!

1 pound dry beans (great northern, lima, garbanzo, black eye pea, lentil)
1 onion, chopped
2Â3 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
2Â 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef or lamb (optional)
1Â2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Â 3 quarts water

Dry Bean Preparation:
Great Northern/Lima/Garbanzo:
ÂRinse beans
ÂSoak beans
oOvernight Soak Method  In large pot soak 1 lb. beans overnight in at least 2 quarts water
oQuick Soak Method  Combine 1 lb. beans & 2 quarts water in large pot. Heat beans & water to boiling. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, & let stand for at least 1 hour.
ÂDrain soaking water & rinse beans
ÂAdd 2 quarts water
ÂCover & bring to boil
ÂReduce heat to simmer
ÂCook for 45 Â 60 (or longer) until beans are just tender (not mushy)

Black Eye Pea/Lentil (no soaking necessary):
ÂRinse beans
ÂAdd 2 quarts water
ÂCover & bring to boil
ÂReduce heat to simmer
ÂCook black eye peas for 45 Â 60 minutes until just tender (not mushy); cook lentils for 30 Â 40 minutes until tender.

Canned Bean Preparation:
ÂUse equivalent to four (4) 15 oz. cans of desired beans
ÂDrain & rinse beans
ÂAdd 1½ quarts water

Soup Preparation:
ÂLightly sauté chopped onion, celery, carrots, and minced garlic in olive oil. Cover and cook over medium heat until just tender (not mushy). Do not brown.
Â(Optional: brown ground beef/lamb; drain well).
ÂAdd vegetables (with oil) & meat (if used) to prepared beans (approximately 6 Â 8 cups prepared beans).
ÂAdd salt, pepper, bayleaves, and oregano (dry beans will require more salt than canned beans).
ÂAdd tomato sauce.
ÂAdd additional quart water, if desired.
ÂCover & bring to boil
ÂReduce heat to simmer
ÂSimmer for 30 Â 45 minutes.
ÂTaste & adjust seasonings

This soup tastes even better reheated the next day; it also freezes well.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 4:14PM
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Here are some favorites:

Connie's Zucchini Cakes

2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup bread crumbs 1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning TM
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

1. In a large bowl, combine zucchini, egg, and butter or margarine. Stir in seasoned crumbs, minced onion, and seasoning. Mix well.
2. Shape mixture into patties. Dredge in flour.
3. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Fry patties in oil until golden brown on both sides.

Delicious Black Bean Burritos

2 (10 inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno peppers
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven heated to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.
2. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Place onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapenos in skillet, cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour beans into skillet, cook 3 minutes stirring.
3. Cut cream cheese into cubes and add to skillet with salt. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir cilantro into mixture.
4. Spoon mixture evenly down center of warmed tortilla and roll tortillas up. Serve immediately.

Other simple ideas:

Vegetable Frittata: saute chopped zucchini, onions, peppers, and mushrooms in olive oil; add beaten eggs, and cook until almost done; top with cheese, put under a broiler to melt cheese and cook top of frittata

Vegetable Fried Rice ~ cooked brown rice, broccoli, onion, bell pepper, peas - stir fry broccoli, onion, and bell pepper (all chopped small) in some vegetable oil; add in cooked brown rice or white rice, stir and heat; add in a handful of thawed frozen peas, stir well; lastly, add one scrambled egg if desired; splash on some soy sauce if desired and serve hot. You can use other vegetables in this, but be sure to have lots of onion/green onion.

Taco Salad - "10 Minute" recipe found at Taste of Home:
heat up some canned vegetarian chilli beans and spread the beans on a bed of tortilla chips; next add a layer of torn or shredded lettuce, then chopped tomato, diced onion/green onion, sliced black olives, dollops of salsa, dollops of sour cream, and grated cheddar cheese.

Grilled Veggie Sandwich ~ saute sliced summer squash, chopped bell pepper, and chopped onion in some olive oil, season with basil, oregano, or Italian herbs; pile on a ciabatta roll or sliced bread spread with a little mayo; crumble on some feta cheese and grill in a skillet in a little melted butter until hot.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:28PM
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shambo & teresa, WOW! Thank you for all the great recipes & ideas. And all the ingredients are readily available to me. Thanks again for sharing with me,I can't wait to start trying these.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 9:08AM
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I'm not a vegetarian but I cook mostly simple vegetable dishes since my DH won't eat meat anymore. I don't buy tofu or any of the strange stuff. Here are a few recipes I use.

Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 8 hours

1 lb. baby carrots or regular carrots, cut into chunks
4 russet potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Combine vegetables, water, olive oil, salt and pepper in a 3-4 quart crockpot and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours or until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. 6-8 servings

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (any veggie) 

\* 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and yellow leaves removed, halved   
\* 3 tablespoons olive oil   
\* 1 teaspoon kosher salt   
\* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1\. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (205 degrees C).   
2\. Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal tightly, and shake to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet, and place on center oven rack.   
3\. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be darkest brown, almost black, when done. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt, if necessary. Serve immediately. 

Squash Casserole

3 to 4 yellow summer squash, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
2 eggs
1 TB sugar
salt and pepper to taste

1 sleeve of crushed Ritz crackers (2- 2 1/2 cups)
1 stick butter melted

shredded cheddar cheese (opt)

Boil the squash and onion together in a small amount of water until soft. Drain and mash.
add celery, onion salt & pepper. cook covered 5 min.
add soup (undiluted) & sugar.
add eggs & mix well. add cheese if you want.

melt butter (or margarine) mix with cracker crumbs.
mix 1/2 the crumbs with squash, pour into casserole dish and top with remaining crumbs. Bake 375º 25-30 min


I buy the frozen ravioli, put it into a casserole dish cover with spaghitti sauce and add mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350º for about 45 min
    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 8:00PM
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Some good sounding recipes here......will be trying some as soon as the eggplant starts coming in from the garden.
Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 8:49AM
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I made this recipe over the weekend; had it warm from the oven with cubed steak and fresh corn, then last night I warmed it up in a skillet and piled it on a crusty bun topped it with havarti cheese and melted under the broiler of my toaster oven. The remainder I plan to warm with some chopped tomato and put it on some pasta.

Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille

1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes (4 cups)
2 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch slices
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
5 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 cloves garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F. Toss the prepared eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, and thyme with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer in a large oven-proof baking dish and roast the vegetables for 25 minutes.

Once the garlic has browned, remove it and set it aside. Continue cooking the remaining vegetables for an additional 15 minutes or until they have all turned golden brown around the edges. Transfer the vegetables a large bowl.

Smash the reserved garlic with a fork until it forms a smooth paste and mix it into the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss the roasted ratatouille with the garlic dressing, salt, and pepper. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

note: I used some dried herbes de provence and Italian herbs crumbled over the vegetables instead of the fresh herbs. I meant to tear some fresh basil over the finished vegetables, but I forgot to do this.

This roasted vegetable ratatouille recipes makes 8 servings.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:43AM
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Here is another one I use a lot. You can change the veggies and add extras if you want. Its very Yummy!


1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can cream of celery or/ cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup milk
4-5 cups cooked broccoli florets (or your choice of veggies)
salt & pepper or season salt to taste
1/4 bag frozen tator tots
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Optional ~ 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (gives it some crunch)

1. cook broccoli in microwave 5 min.
2. heat soups & milk in a pot and add broccoli (or choice of veg)
3. Place vegetables, rice & soup mix in a baking dish, top with cheese & tator tots.
4. bake 375º for 20 min. then cover with foil and bake 15 more min.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 2:01PM
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