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what to cook
when you're hosting a vegetarian or carnivore
Patricia Virella | 1
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eaters sometimes live under the false impression that vegetarian food is
bland. Meat, the myth goes,
is what gives veggies flavor. I once believed this a well … until I
learned that, bought fresh and prepared properly, vegetables can be just
as tasty -- or even tastier -- than some meats.
When cooking vegetarian, jazz up the natural goodness of veggies
by dressing them in layers of flavor. In addition to making good use of
herbs and spices, you’ll want to make friends with some of the more
highly flavor-packed veggies out there: garlic, onions, scallions,
shallots, leeks, colored bell peppers …all of which add a heaping dose
of flavorful goodness to just about any dish when sautéed or
oven-roasted in just a bit of olive oil or butter.
Go Asian and stir-fry up some bok choy, spinach, and carrots with
a splash of rice wine and some good soy sauce – toss a little wasabi
into the mix if you’re in the mood for something with a little kick.
Or try pairing your favorite homemade tomato sauce and angel hair with
cilantro, cayenne pepper, fresh basil and fresh thyme for a
mouth-watering combination. Experiment
with your dishes but don’t assume that all vegetables go together –
browse through cookbooks on various ethnic cuisines to get some guidance
on the flavors that cooks around the world have been pairing together
for ages. Curiosity is
good, so take the time to do a little recipe research first;
you’ll save yourself the painful chore of having to choke down food
experiments that should never have happened in the first place. It
doesn’t matter how good of a cook you are: cabbage and potatoes do not
go together when paired with soy sauce.
you just can’t fathom the idea of a meal without meat, make 2 separate
dishes, one for the meat-eaters and a second that the veggie folks can
happily partake in eating. I
once made the above mentioned bok choy-spinach stir-fry and paired it
with a quick and easy curry chicken (simply dice up 1 lb. boneless
chicken breast. Add 1 teaspoon oil with 2 tablespoons curry powder. Salt
and pepper to taste. For heat add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper).
You can also combine 3 side dishes to make them 3 separate large
entrees. Try sides such as
spinach with roasted garlic, steamed asparagus, and cinnamon and sugar
carrots for an array of vegetable dishes that will fill you up. Although
making more than one dish for your guests can involve a little more work
for you, it can often prove
to be the best solution for picky guests.
stop: more this way
lounge . nourish
host . laze
. home .