Hello good people of Facepunch. I am a vegetarian. No, I'm not against you eating meat, no, I'm not trying to protest, etc. etc. me being humble and not aggressive at all. Seriously, that's not the purpose of this thread. This isn't about why vegetarians are vegetarians, why vegetarians are stupid or why meat eaters are stupid. Leave that to another thread if you'd like. I can't put enough emphasis on this. This is for vegetarian recipes. Anyone can post a vegetarian recipe, and meat eaters, too, can enjoy vegetarian recipes (perhaps as side dishes, even).
Vegan recipes are okay, but please keep seafood related meals in another thread, simply to not get everyone confused by being all, "fish is an animal too hurr durr durr."
The goal is not only for vegetarians to have a quick guide to check back to, but also for meat eaters to enjoy vegetables! <3
On with it!
Let's review some ingredients which you may or may not be familiar with that can be a vegetarian's best friend.
Tofu is made from bean curd and really doesn't taste like anything until you put flavor into it. Really it's just like a very mild cheese, but even that isn't a good enough description. Tofu can come in different densities and can be scrambled, diced, sliced, added to a meal like stir fry or eaten by itself. The lovely thing about tofu is that it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. When I make stir fry, first I'll fry tofu separately in vegetable oil until the sides are golden brown, then I'll soak them in soy sauce for a few minutes evenly, and then finally I'll add them to the stir fry so the tofu cubes can absorb some of those delish juices.
Of course, the big white chunk of tofu isn't the only way it's made. There's also tofurkey, tofu bacon, tofu hotdogs, tofu... oh gosh, everything. Personally I didn't care for the tofurkey, but it did taste like meat. I promise, even if you've eaten a really nasty tofu product, the tofu by itself tastes much better.
Veggieburgers and veggie nuggets
I put these into their own category because these aren't just made from tofu. They're also made with vegetables added and other vegetarian-friendly ingredients. Some of these, true, taste like cardboard. But some of these products are actually okay and can be found in your local supermarket. Jazz 'em up with loads of ketchup and other condiments and it gets you by. I really would like to try making these on my own, truth be told.
The most delicious veggies and how to cook them
When you were a kid, how were you fed? That horrible glop that comes in a jar that's allegedly vegetables? You were conditioned to that? Yeah, I don't blame you for not liking vegetables. You probably grew up in a house that had you boil them to death, right? Not only does that take all the flavor out, but it takes all the nutrients out. Rule number one. DON'T BOIL VEGETABLES!
Starting with this because it's absolutely my favorite vegetable. It takes several years to grow asparagus and should be treated like a delicacy. I've found that asparagus can also take on the flavor of what you prepare it with. It's honestly delicious if you get get on a pan, put in a load of butter and turn it on five. Spatula that shizz around until it's tender. Something my dad likes to do is, instead of butter, put banana peppers with them, along with pepper and salt. That's also good, but to me, it tastes a bit less like the asparagus itself. Important to remember: make sure you cut enough of the ends off. They can be tough, and if you get stuck chewing on one, it won't be enjoyable.
Fruit? Vegetable? (fruit) Who cares? I like to eat them straight. Beautiful thing about tomatoes is how they can be added to anything. Soup, stir fry, pasta, s'all good. When added to stir fry, they should be thick pieces, more than a bite size. You should put those in close to first, to really let those flavors mature. Ask me about tomatoes for whatever recipe you're trying, because really how to make them is a case by case basis.
Broccoli is done a disservice by many restaurants. It has a flavor and it should not be overcooked! It's great with butter (well every vegetable is), cheese, all that jazz. One combination I like is broccoli, alfalfa sprouts and almonds. The stalk of broccoli is good, sweet and can be just as tasty as the top! You shouldn't slice away too much of it, only the outer layer, so that the inside is light green, almost white.
Spinach leaves are sweet and can be eaten alone or cooked. You don't even really need any butter with spinach, or anything. Just throw some spinach in a pan and turn on the heat. They have water already in them. I like them especially tender. Here's a cool page about spinach facts: http://www.spinachwords.com/faq.shtml
I don't want to go on about every vegetable on the planet, so if you want a section on one, let me know.
From Led Zeppelin:
I know that hummus is made out of chickpeas blended with tahini, garlic, and olive oil (though recipes may differ). The final spread is often topped (as I've seen it) with more olive oil, parsley, cumin, and/or pine nuts. Hummus can be eaten any way you like it, though usually its served with pita bread or toasted pita chips. It can also be put on sandwiches or wraps.
From my understanding, Falafel are hot fried balls or patties made out of chickpeas. Ooh, they look delicious. If anyone has a recipe they've made, feel free to post it and I'll add it here.
Tempeh is fermented soybeans caked together, similar to spongy, dense tofu. It can be added to other foods or eaten by itself. Interestingly enough, it can be a substitute for ground beef.
And thank you to Shadaez for the recipe contribution! <3