Being a veggie means you can, on occasion, be subjected to basic, bog standard food, either out in restaurants or with friend and family. Not all the time, but enough to notice. It’s not that there is anything wrong with these dishes, it’s just that they are always the same, wherever you go. When you are eating them time and time again with little variation, it can get boring. Veggie options also tend to be quite heavy to eat. These dishes are fine to have from time to time, and obviously, as a veggie, we know we are limiting ourselves, but there are more than these token vegetarian dishes that restaurants can offer!
I hate these. Really, really hate them. They are dry, bland, flakey and horrible. I have never, ever had a nice one. Yet they are hugely popular when eating out or in place of a normal Sunday roast dinner. They are also no good for people who don’t like or can’t eat nuts.
You could replace these with slices of Quorn Roast, or a nice pie – leek and potato or cheese and mushroom (so many good veggie combinations!). Even veggie burgers or sausages would be better than eating these. Nut roasts may seem easy, but they aren’t always the most pleasant things to eat.
I don’t hate this, but it’s not a favourite. I’m not convinced it’s anyones favourite dish, but it’s always one of very few veggie options on a menu. If not made correctly, risotto is just a sticky rice mess which is never appealing. They can also be heavy and rich which isn’t something that everyone wants on a night out. Adding vegetables, such as mushrooms, peppers, onions and courgette do spice it up a bit to give some added taste and texture, but it’s still not an exciting dish.
Spice things up by exchanging the risotto options for a couscous based meal with butternut squash.
I’m being unfair with this one, as you can’t really go wrong with tomato sauce and pasta, but it can be dull if it’s the only thing on the list time and time again. Mixing in assorted roasted veg is always a good way of making it more exciting, and smothering it with cheese also helps. Though of course, that’s not an option for those of you who are vegan. (Read more about the difference between vegans and vegetarians here).
Create pasta dishes using different sauces. For example, port and Stilton sauce with pasta and fried mushrooms. Pasta with roasted vegetables and peppercorn sauce. It doesn’t always have to be tomato.
A heavy, rich and often mushroom based dish, it’s the same where ever you go. It’s a nice meal, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve had it more times than I’ve had any other hot dinner! It’s a menu classic, a safe option.
If you like the idea of having mushroom feature in the menu, maybe try stuffed mushrooms, filled with rice, garlic, pepper and a tomato sauce. Mix it up, you will enjoy creating new food as much as enjoy eating it!
If this comes with chips, then you can’t really fault it, because everything is made better with chips. However, because it’s easy to make, sometimes it feels a little slapdash and rushed. You can’t really go wrong with it, but you could try new ways of making it. Maybe with Quorn mince, ditch the mince altogether and focus on vegetable filling, maybe even an aubergine lasagna. You can mix this up one a lot, so it never need be the same each time. By keeping it fresh, you hold your customer’s attention.
I would never dream of being so rude as to refuse a meal made for me by someone, or not to eat out at an establishment because these were the only things on the menu. My choice not to eat meat comes with consequences, which I fully accept. This is more of a hint that you can do so much more than these token meals to keep menus and dinner parties exciting and new and veggies and vegans will notice and appreciate it!
- Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14993459@N08