Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ask the Internet: Grain Recipes for Vegetarians? (No Beans.)

Today’s question comes from longtime reader Liz. She writes:

Q: I've been cooking for many years in an eco- and frugal-conscious way, and I'm trying to shift to vegetarian or vegan cooking once or preferably twice a week. However, I have a problem: my DH can't tolerate much in the way of beans. (Or peppers, cabbage, brussels sprouts, or any kind of cured meat such as bacon, ham, or corned beef.) He'll eat limas, and modest servings of kidney or white beans, but absolutely won't touch lentils or chickpeas, two of my favorites. He also doesn't like eggs very much, though he can tolerate them fine. He's really putting a crimp in my style! Fortunately he has other redeeming qualities.

Do you know of any tasty, vegetarian main dishes that are not bean-based? Grains and potatoes would be good. We love kasha, and we also like quinoa, as well as rice of all kinds, and bulgur.

A: Thanks for writing, Liz! I’m a big pasta fan myself, but will try to stay away from that starchy goodness for the sake of the question. (So … hard …)

Grain salads are always reliable, and this article from the yesterday’s Kitchn has nine great ideas. Sandwiches, veggie-based stews, and soups are excellent options, as well, and any stir fry will go far. (Granted, there are only so many stir fries you can eat in a week.)

Beyond that, these recipes seem to fit the criteria, and I can vouch for all of them:

Beyond beyond that, I leave it open to you, sweet readers. What are your favorite grain-based veggie entrees? Do you have a fallback grain? How do navigate a vegetarian diet with someone can’t eat beans? When you say “quinoa,” does everyone assume you’re speaking Klingon? Fire away in the comment section.

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

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