HELP PLEASE! I need to cater for vegetarians

Hi all. Hoping for a bit of help here. We run painting holidays and English by immersion courses. We also offer lunches and dinners. We have a couple booked with us for a week, arriving Saturday. They chose an option of eating with us every second day. They have just emailed and said "oh, we forgot to mention we are vegetarian but we eat fish and cheese". This has thrown me into a complete panic! Years ago, back in Ireland, I managed by using Quorn, but this is not sold in our supermarkets here (or I haven't spotted it), and in any case is often unacceptable to vegetarians, who don't actually want or need to eat something resembling meat/poultry.

Any advice, suggestions, recipes would be gratefully received. Thanks in advance. Sheila

Thanks Zoe and thanks Kerry. All duly noted - I am compiling a list as I would like to have proper vegetarian options.

Hahahaha Cate only just seen this sheepish reply.

Love it

veg risotto, and veg curries are always a win!

Thanks Andy. We survived as did our guests. :-)

Oh forget Quorn, look out for Simon Rimmer recipes (not all vegetarian) you will find them on the web and on the BBC site we have a couple of his cookbooks and use the all the time, his chick pea, creme fraiche, potato and cumin dish is one of our favorites. His vegetarian restaraunt in Manchester now in is 22nd year is a local institution.

Thanks so much for that Janet. Not only is everything in one pot, but it seems quite easy to do. I also made fish cakes, served on a tossed salad, and they went down very well. They are a bit labour intensive insofar as peeling, boiling and mashing potatoes, etc. but once I had formed the cakes, I put them in the oven for half an hour, and then brushed them with egg, and browned under hot grill. Yum! :-)

Hi Sheila,

My husband is a 'vegetarian' who eats fish, eggs * dairy, so I have learned over the years to be versatile & eat more veggie food than meat now. If you want a really filling meal, you can use pasta (all/any type) and make cheesey spaghetti/pasta or you can make a creamy sauce and mix with fish or shellfish. Pasta is often the easy way out.

Cheesey Spaghetti:

1 600g pasta; 350g Cheese (I prefer to use cheshire 'cos it crumbles but any will do if not too mild)

2 tins of chopped tomatoes ( If not chopped drain the liquid into the pasta then cut up whilst still in the tin) salt & pepper to your taste; a good amount of oregano or mixed herbs (to your taste); 1 clove of garlic

tomato puree (about one third of a tube); a little worcester sauce (optional), depends if you like it spicy.

Boil enough water to cook the pasta, add salt and pepper and add the pasta to boiling water and bring back to the boil. Whilst it is cooking, grate the cheese, open cans of tomatoes, peel & crush the garlic. Just before the pasta is cooked drain away some of the water as you will now add the tins of chopped tomatoes and the liquid from the tins. Add the tomato puree and stir in well, stir in the herbs, garlic and grated cheese. need a fairly high heat for the cheese to melt, then add the worcester sauce if using it. Serve in bowls and sprinkle the top with a few herbs. All you need to go with it is a glass of wine. Everything in one pot.

Tons of recipes on the internet to see you through.

Janet Pfeiffer

Thanks cate, but you can leave wunderkind alone. We have one or maybe two more dinners and then we are home free, so to speak. Talk soon. xxx

Hi everyone, and thanks again for all your support and advice. We are now halfway through and so far (touches wood) all is going well. Last night, Henry made a wonderful roquefort sauce served with cauliflower and hot beetroot. Sounds a bit odd, but they asked for more bread and cleared their plates, and have booked dinner for tomorrow night. Fingers crossed we get a few carnivores soon, so I can use up all those steaks, duck breasts, etc.

Quorn came up somewhere. Found tons of it today. La Vie Claire on the Creysse trading estate on the edge of Bergerac has it in things, with things, on its own and so on. If it is there, it must be other places too, so for those (Sheila apart) who are doing vegetarian cookery, look hard enough and you will find.

Pasta, pasta, pasta _ if you have garlic and cheese you have a meal as EricTreuille (co authour of Pasta every way for every day) says. If you and your guests like something a bit spicy go for Indian food. Madhur Jaffrey's Curry easy book has lots of easy and delicious vegetarian recipies. Check these out on line. We are not natural vegetarians but enjoy the simple(and cheap) recipies from both of the above.

have a good meal

Again, a big thanks to everyone who replied with advice, suggestions, and recipes. I was trying to thank each of you individually but the nature of these discussions means my replies were showing up out of sequence. so THANKS ALL!!

All the prep for tonight's dinner is done, and the bottle of Blanquette is chilled in the fridge. However, my dastardly plan of getting the guests slightly tipsy (and therefore less likely to notice shortcomings in my culinary skills) has been foiled - they are vegetarian NON DRINKERS! However, I know what to do with that bottle of bubbly, don't you?

Many of the English shops have good vegetarian meals in their freezer cabinets. Check out the BBC Good Food website for vegetarian recipes there are excellent tasty recipes.

Good hint Barbara - thanks.

Thanks Elaine.

Thanks Suz.

Thanks Celeste for typing all that out for me. You're an angel!

Thanks Sharon!