HELP PLEASE! I need to cater for vegetarians

It's only a few hours - didn't you get the all clear for driving? :-)

Hi Sheila

loads of lovely recipes I wouldn't mind trying out myself (as a fish eating vegetarian) though someone has already pinched my very quick and easy tagliatelli mixed with smoked salmon, creme fraiche, squeeze of lemon and some seasoning (some capers/olives if liked) But the problem is the time it usually takes to do some veggie food...I have the opposite problem to you - we have French students staying and I have to cook MEAT!!! So what I do now to save time is to make up our veggie meal and add some chicken or other form of meat to the plate - it seems to keep everyone happy - bon appetit!!!

I find that true quiches seem to be too eggy.

A really good idea is to use a little less egg and a bit more cream.

Lots of parmean oniouns or leeks.

A savoury pastry which J makes with a little squirt of vinegar is divine.

You can top your tart with a little slice of buffolo mozarella.

A NICE spice and lime granita would be great if the weather is like it is here 35

If you lived a bit closer I would have made the pasta for you! Even nicer and dead easy, well especially if you have a pasta machine to cut it. Take is as a good lesson and that you'll be able to deal with slug food gourmets in future...

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has replied with suggestions and recipes. Feeling a bit more confident now. You should have seen Henry's face when I came back from the supermarket and he was unloading the shopping! Bags of fruit, salad leaves, 4 different kinds of pasta, aubergines, courgettes, nuts, etc. Priceless!

totally agree Elaine, once my friends went out to a french restaurant and were told there was something for vegetarians - leave it to them. Their plate arrived dressed ready for but missing the meat. No substitute - nothing special just a hole where the meat should have been.

I can highly recommend Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's book Veg every day - it's full of great recipes & we know Hugh is a huge meat eater but he learnt some fantastic recipes on his quest to eat full veggie for a period.

We started to eat more vegetarian food so we could eat better quality meat/fish but less of it and stay within our food budget. Once you start trying to eat less meat - it's amazing the superb but filling dishes you can try & they become favourites. By all means start off safe with a Lasagne etc - puy lentils are a great substitute but they must be dressed or in a tasty sauce otherwise they're just bland! A quick trick is to simply add a slug of french dressing to them, a few fresh herbs torn and some chopped leftover (but lightly cooked) veg e.g. Brocoli, french beans etc, crumble some feta et voila - a nice side salad. Do the same with Cous Cous, Quinoa etc chopped up veg, fresh tomatoes & a little dressing...and you're doing veggie like a pro!

Yes!! Stuffed peppers are gorgeous :)

I often cook the peppers alone for a short time before stuffing, as they seem to take ages to bake, esp if your filling is already cooked.

I often use rice lightly fried up with sweet onions, peppers )lol) and other finely cut veg. Rice is a great filler! Serve with salad - yum!

Hi Sheila,

I am not vegetarian, but we mostly eat vegetarian meals here at home. You have had some wonderful recipes on here and the interent is wild with choice - BBC a great resource.

Important thing is to not think of meat dishes where you are trying to imitate the meat - like quorn, dried soya, vegetarian burgers etc. - they generally taste yeuch.

Soups, stews, risottos, pizza, pie and lasagne are all good as you probably make them with meat anyway. Or perhaps the weather is a bit warm?

Bear in mind, you will need perhaps a little extra seasoning, and cook veggies slightly less, to provide a good "bite". Vegetarian cooking is not an art, but shouldn't be the meat plate minus the meat.

You will learn from this, and will be able to offer great vegetarian options for future guests. You can advertise it on the website / FB page and will look very attractive :)

Best wishes with your vegetarian meals next week, let us know how you get on :)

Stuffed peppers are often a great hit, my partner is a bit meat eater but will forgo it if these are on the menu, loads of different recipes are available online!! If they eat eggs, quiche is a good one to!

Thanks for the thought Jane.

It looks like you have been given great ideas already, so I can only say bonne chance andI am sure that you will enjoy some of the food that you would not readily cook.

The net is always a good source of recipes.

Thanks so much for that Suz. My shopping list is now onto a second page! :-)

Try some of these little easy side salads which alongside bowls of mixed leaves and plates of sliced tomatoes served with olive oil, Camargue sea salt & balsamic Vinegar liven up a lunch time:

Beetroot, puy lentil & soft goats cheese

  • 2/3 small to medium beetroots
  • 200g puy lentils (the little greeny-blue ones) - precook
  • 100g soft goat's cheese
  • 1 handful fresh basil, thyme, parsley or any combination of the three
  • olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard
  • S&P

Ebly with Soy Sauce & finely diagonally sliced salad onions

Roasted Squash, Parmesan & Rocket Salad

1 butternut squash
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 small dried red chilli
• 1 heaped teaspoon coriander seeds
• 4 handfuls of rocket
• 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 small block of Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Carefully cut your butternut squash in half, keeping the seeds intact. Remove the two ends and discard them. Cut each half into quarters and lay in a roasting tray. Rub with a little olive oil. In a pestle and mortar (if you have one - if not pop in a plastic food bag & bash with a rolling pin) pound up a flat teaspoon each of salt, pepper and your chilli and coriander seeds. Scatter this over the squash. Roast the squash for half an hour or until soft and golden. Allow to cool a little.
Tear up the squash and lay on the plate, sprinkle over the seeds and the rocket. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic, add a tiny pinch of salt and pepper, and use a vegetable peeler to shave over the Parmesan.

Oh and Quiche - don't forget - a lovely quiche - mushroom, onions, peppers, cherry tomatoes, shredded courgette etc is always welcome for vegetarians alongside a salad.

I have quite a few friends who are veggie so it's common for me to prepare 100% vegetarian meals. Vegetable Moussaka using Puy Lentils instead of Lamb is good too.

Thank you very much Nancy. Am looking forward to trying this one out.

For that panzanella salad I also use garbanzo beans (chick pease) and don't use all that bread. Adaptation is good!

Panzanella Salad (can use chunked grilled chicken etc for own use)


  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes ( about 6 cups)
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cucumbers, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 red bell peppers, large diced
  • 1 yellow bell peppers, large diced ( or orange or green pepper)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved ( or regular tomatoes, diced)
  • 1/2 red onions, sliced in half rounds
  • 1/2 lb feta cheese, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted


    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Directions

    1. Directions.
    2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread cubes and sprinkle with salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned. Add more olive oil as needed.
    3. Place the cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.
    4. For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper in a small bowl. While still whisking, add the olive oil and make an emulsion. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the feta, olives and bread cubes and mix together lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.

Thank you Johnny. One of the reasons neither of us eat much fish is because back when we were kids (way back when the earth was cooling!) you had to eat fish on Fridays. We both recall that our mothers would slap a few fillets into a pan and serve with the stewed veg. "Dire" doesn't even come close.

I had planned on duck breast with a cidre sauce, preceded by a fish roulade for starters on day one. Now it looks like a packet of pasta and salad. By the way, whose or what "but" should I chuck into the salad? :-)

Barbara, thanks for that. Have loads of fresh basil at the moment, and tomatoes as you say are good right now. Fish cake good idea, also risotto with cepes,. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Well tomatos are good now.

Tomato, orange and basil soup...CAN BE SERVED HOT or cold.

Tempura of vegebles...SATAY SAUCE....rice, pack choy and

stuffed mushrooms...

A FISH cake made with corriander and cod and salmon.

served with a salad of new potatos and warm summer vegetables.

Cep risotto with a rockett and beetroot salad.

Mango and melon skewers.

Red berries and blackbery slyabub....