Meatlessly - From The Witch's Kitchen Blog at - 227624

From The Witch's Kitchen

Mar. 16, 2011 3:01 pm 
Updated: Mar. 23, 2011 10:21 am

My first experience with eating meatless came when, as a

teenager, I rebelled by becoming a vegetarian.  My mother

is a very easy going sort of person so I had to be creative in

my rebelling.  My mother never blinked, just started

cooking me meatless meals and made more vegegetable

sides so that there was always something there for me to

eat.  I learned to love beans, tofu and every vegetable you

can imagine during the two years that I kept it up.  When I

moved in with my boyfriend at 17 (this was NOT more

rebelling, I had graduated from high school by this time

and married said boyfriend three years later) I gave up on

being a vegetarian but still ate meatless from time to time

because I enjoyed the food so much.  Now we eat meatless

once or twice a week for health reasons and to save money. 

I'm always looking for new meatless meals and sides and

have found some great recipes on this site. 




I really like to eat salads as a meal at lunch time or as a

side for dinner.   Barley Salad with Almonds and Apricots I

made as a side dish but it would be suitable as a meatless

lunch dish or, with the addition of some garbanzo beans for

extra protein, would make a nice summer dinner.  I toasted

the almond for this and did the spices in the dressing to my

tastes and loved it.  My second salad is Quinoa Tabbouleh

I often make this as an accompaniment to falafels or other

Middle Eastern dishes.  I change it up from time to time as

it is a very flexible recipe.  My third salad is a non-grain

option.  Gujarati Carrot and Peanut Salad that I make to

serve with curries, some vegetarian and some not, or as a

light lunch with pita bread.  The only change I make is to

omit the sugar, I really don't miss it.



I developed a love for tofu in my teens that I've never lost. 

I like to soak it in soya sauce based marinades and add it to

stir-fries.  My husband had never tried it when we met but

has come to love it almost as much as I do.  I use the extra-

firm variety for main dishes .  I make Tofu Keema a couple

times a month because it is so simple to make and I always

have a block or two of tofu in my freezer.  I thaw it then

squeeze the liquid out by hand.  I like to play with the

seasonings in this one and usually sub spinach in for the

peas but the seasonings are fine as written.  This is one of

my favorite summer vegetarian recipes because I have

fresh garden spinach and tomatoes to use in it. 

Tofu Stroganoff is another tofu-based favorite of mine. 

It usually turns out a little on the salty side but I never

measure anything when I make it so that could be my

fault.  I've served it over a variety of grains but nothing

beats egg noodles.



As a child my only exposure to beans was the annual chili

cook-off at my school and the occasional giant roaster of

baked beans that my mother would make.  I personally am

not a big fan of baked beans, I find them too sweet.  When I

became a vegetarian my mother started cooking with beans

for me and I myself started experimenting in the kitchen.  I

found out that I really like beans of all kinds as long as they

aren't super sweet.  Black beans and garbanzo beans are

my favorites.  Pictured here are:  Millet-Stuffed Peppers,

(not a fantastic recipe as written but the cooking method

works just fine and I season them as I see fit, plus they're

pretty and use millet, something that I'd always wanted to

cook with), Spicy Black Bean Cakes, (one of my favorite

recipes on this site, I up the seasoning some because I like

strong flavors and I make them small because they get

crispy faster) Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas, (my

children even like this one) Baked Falafel, (easy to add

seasonings too but just fine as they are) and

Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach with Garbanzo Beans),

(I add lemon juice and mint to mine).  I don't have a

problem digestively with eating beans because we eat them

so often if you don't eat them and want to start go about it

gradually and eventually your system will become

accustomed to the high fiber content.  During the process

of adding more beans to your diet you may want to try

using beano or a similar product.



Lentils were entirley new territory to me when I started

cooking with them last year.  I bought some to make a soup

and haven't looked back.  I've found out that I adore these

little darlings.  I can happily eat the cooked red ones plain.

I've yet to meet a lentil that I don't like.  Pictured here are:

Mushroom Lentil Barley Stew, (I omit shiitakes because I

can never find them and add carrots and celery and I

usually use fresh onion too.  This has got to be one of my

very favorite slow cooker meals) 

Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions (Mujadarrah), (this

is good but use veggie stock in place of water such a filling

meal)  Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie II, (a good base recipe

but it does need more seasoning)  Tasty Lentil Tacos, (kid

friendly and easy enough to use vegetable stock in place of

the chicken stock called for)  Southwestern Lentil Salad, (I

often serve this as a main dish with sweet potato wedges

and corn muffins.  I cut the oil called for back by half and

add a twist of lime juice) and Armenian Lentils, (my

favorite of the bunch, I used veggie stock in place of the

water).  I also love lentil soups but, for the reader's

sake, decided against including them in this book of a blog. 


What are your favorite meatless meals?  Please post recipe

links below, personal or kitchen approved, I'm always

looking for new and interesting ways to eat meatlessly. 

(That's right, I said meatlessly, I'm making up my own food

terms now)

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Mar. 16, 2011 4:00 pm
Great blog entry! I am trying to get into more meatless cooking myself, but find it hard because hubby is allergic to soy and I am allergic to wheat. Here is the link to a spaghetti squash recipe on here that is delicious and versatile. I have also tried it with different veggies and cheeses added.
Mar. 16, 2011 4:01 pm
Great blog Sarah May I'm always looking for new ways my wife and 12 yr old daughter can eat meatlessly. They became vegetarians at the end of april 2010 after my daughter watched a video in school on how cows are slaughtered. Here are five of their favorite recipes since they stopped eating meat. Alright so its 4 of their favorites and a new one I came up with for them a few weekends ago when we were having company and all the apps had meat. ,,, ,
Mar. 16, 2011 5:39 pm
I've also started having 2 meatless meals each week and you have hit some of my favorite recipes. I also like black beans and sweet potatos burritos and I like to add pureed pumpkin to my lentil curry. I wish I could eat tofu, but I have to limit my intake of soy. Great topic for a blog.
Mar. 16, 2011 8:26 pm
Thanks ChrisW, I do something similar with spagetti squash but it's never exactly the same twice!
Mar. 16, 2011 8:47 pm
Thanks CNM I saved a couple of those ones!
Mar. 16, 2011 8:48 pm
Thanks BigShotsMom, I'm going to have to look up those burritos, they sound like something I'd like :D.
Mar. 17, 2011 1:18 am
Wow! Incredibly helpful blog, Sarah-May. You've got some great recipes here and the photos are beautiful and appetizing. You have been so helpful as I too, like to cook meatless once or twice a week. Thanks for some fabulous ideas and Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Mar. 17, 2011 3:45 am
Hi,Sarah! It seems so much easier in the summer when the vegetables as so delicious... I'll eat a tomato lettuce sandwich several times a week. Another way to cut down on meat is to use it as the flavor in a dish, not the main ingredient (this helps the unmoveable canivores edge a little closer to non-meat dishes)... I've just posted a salad you might like...
Mar. 17, 2011 4:45 am
I'm pretty much meatless now. I love beans, but don't do well with tofu. Write to me at (all one word) quiltbook @ gmail . com
Mar. 17, 2011 6:53 am
Sarah-May, your pictures are soooooo good! YUM! I dont care for tofu either, its really a texture thing, I dont like cheese either, but am all vegetarian. I love all beans except kidney and lima :-P I am way too picky! I've got tons of recipes and many in my box I've stolen from you!
Mar. 17, 2011 6:54 am
I think eating meatless weekly is a great idea, and I want to try to go vegetarian for one week just to see how I like it. I came up with this about a year ago and haven't done it yet because my kids just wouldn't go for it, so I'd be cooking two meals and I guess I just haven't gotten around to putting the effort into that week yet. But my son's girlfriend, who is 17, has been a vegetarian for several years. The problem with her is, she is a picky vegetarian! She doesn't like beans or typical proteins so many times she doesn't get protein. My son told me that she bruises easily from it. I try to explain to her how crucial it is to get the right amount of nutrients, but being a kid, she just doesn't seem to listen. It's very hard to plan dinners when she comes over--she ends up eating macaroni and cheese (box), salads with tons of Ranch or tater tots!
Mar. 17, 2011 6:55 am
Stolen was a poor choice of words - I should say I've been inspired by many of your recipe recommendations :) I've got tons of recipes, are you in the mood for anything in particular?
Mar. 17, 2011 7:05 am
Sueb - I love looking at your recipe choices also, many unique things!
Mar. 17, 2011 7:16 am
my 18yr old daughter is the only vegetarian in our family - since she was 8yrs old, so pretty sure it is going to stick. I do meatless mondays at my house & love to find recipes that all of family will enjoy. here are two of my favs from this site: - even my carnivores love these falafels & the soup is so full of beans & pasta no one misses the meat!
Mar. 17, 2011 7:18 am
oops, the above didn't post as links - to find them search 1)seans falafel and cucumber sauce and 2)andreas pasta fagioli - worth the effort!
Mar. 17, 2011 7:24 am
sarah-may, have you ever tried lentil loaf? my grandmother was a vegetarian for religous reasons and her lentils were a staple in her cooking. In the winter she made fab lentil soup and in the summer she'd make them into a loaf simmular to meatloaf. Mite be something you'd like to try, i can email her recipe to you if you are interested.
Mar. 17, 2011 7:46 am
For me, it all started with a bet - I have a "pescetarian" friend (vegetarian, but eats fish) who told me no way could I be a vegetarian for a month. So I tried and almost did it - 26 out of 30 days, but I was dying for beef one day and salmon three other days. From that experience, I actualy learned to like tofu (learned how to cook with it, really!) and I learned that I love anything covered in a spicy peanut sauce! Tofu and veggie stir fry in peanut sauce or sesame peanut noodles....yum! These days I do eat meatless two or three nights a week, and probably 4 lunches a week. I will never give up meat, but I think you can take bits and pieces from vegetarian or vegan lifestyles and incorporate them into your own. Like, I still like and crave meat on occasion, but I really try to think about where it comes from, how it was raised, processed, etc.
Mar. 17, 2011 8:00 am
Thanks Lace, Happy Paddy's Day to you too :).
Mar. 17, 2011 8:02 am
Marvel, I agree, I eat less meat in the summer because there are so many wonderful fresh veggies to choose from. I'm dreaming of fresh garden herbs, basil always tastes like summer to me. Thanks for dropping in :).
Mar. 17, 2011 8:06 am
Thanks Sueb, I sent you an e-mail :).
Mar. 17, 2011 8:08 am
Thanks very much Justus&Dane'sMom, don't worry I "steal" recipes from you all of the time too ;). I think we must have similar tastes. A note on tofu, have you tried adding soft to smoothies? I put about 1/4 of a standard sized package into smoothies all of time and never notice it at all, my children even eat it this way.
Mar. 17, 2011 8:10 am
Thanks for dropping in TEXASTRACE. Does your son's girlfriend eat eggs? That's a good protein source also try talking her into eating more nuts, even if she eats them as a sweet (think peanutbutter balls or chocolate covered almonds) they'll give her a nice boost of protein.
Mar. 17, 2011 8:12 am
Thanks GAHSMOMX3, I would like the lentil loaf recipe, I have yet to find one that I really like. I have made a vegetarian haggis that is sort of like a lentil loaf that I love. My e-mail is
Mar. 17, 2011 8:15 am
ChristineM, we did something like that a few months ago and can you believe that it was my husband's idea? I really enjoyed it and it expanded my vegetarian recipe repetoire. I too eat meatless lunches most of the time it saves me time and my children are at an age where their favorite lunch is peanut butter and jam sandwiches so lunches are usually easy for me :).
Mar. 17, 2011 8:23 am
Hi Sarah-May, we go meatless at least once a week too. Nice blog and thanks for all the recommendations! One of my favorite meatless recipes on this site is this:
Mar. 17, 2011 8:44 am
Thanks Nuggets, I do baked pasta something like that occasionally too, I think I'd like that one with some spinach added, yum!
Mar. 17, 2011 10:48 am
I, too, "rebelled" as a teen and became a vegetarian. I stopped when I was 19 because I wanted some Now, my husband is requesting more meatless meals and I am thinking of moving my family towards a loose vegetarian diet (unless I want chicken...or bacon...)
Mar. 17, 2011 11:32 am
we do eat meat but not every night. we love fresh veggies and fruits. I remember how my mom would take my sister and me to my grandmother's garden. We'd picked most of the morning then come home and prepare it to can or freeze. At that time my sister and I would complain, well, now I miss that. Now I buy it from the groc store.
Mar. 17, 2011 12:29 pm
I love your blogs, Sarah. Eating meatlessly here means chicken or fish. I can get away with waffles or crepes for supper, or a German dish -rollkuchen which is similar to a donut dunked in brown sugar sauce and eaten with watermelon.
Mar. 17, 2011 12:52 pm
lol Crunchy, bacon is hard to do without!
Mar. 17, 2011 12:53 pm
luv2cook, we eat meat often too, just not everynight and rarely for lunch. I love picking veggies in the garden is it summer yet?
Mar. 17, 2011 12:55 pm
Thanks RnG :D. We eat quite a bit of fish here too, nothing beats wild pickerel! I fully understand about having to have meat at everymeal, my grandfather is that sort of guy and so is my little brother. My mom always had to do a meat dish and something vegetarian for me too.
Mar. 17, 2011 6:10 pm
pickerel...still have some in the freezer ~ that will be on the menu soon :D
Mar. 17, 2011 6:15 pm
ok, now onto your blog (whenever RNG talks about Pickerel, I get sidetracked :D) Sarah, this is a great topic, my daughter became a Vegetarian about 8 years ago, which meant I had to get creative in making food for her and along the way, I have found myself eating more 'meatless' dishes through the week when hubs is out of town working. You have listed 2 of my FAV recipes, the Black Bean & Rice Enchiladas (ALWAYS have some in my freezer!) and the Espinacas con Garbanzos....another great one for you to try would be the Spinach Enchiladas:, I adore these and I add mushrooms (cuz I LOVE mushrooms!), the only thing I can not do is Tofu - nasty, nasty, nasty stuff.... :) Great blog Sarah-May... :)
Mar. 18, 2011 7:02 am
Sarah-May - do you make the spicy black bean cakes as written? I see you up the spices, but do you do the rest as written? I was reading through the reviews and some found them dry? I'm going to make them this weekend (probably with regular potato, I'm not big on sweet potatoes). I've had these saved for a long time and they look so good!
Mar. 18, 2011 7:06 am
I posted a couple of blogs recently on vegetarian/vegan eating, so this is a topic that's becoming very near and dear to my heart. I started about 12 or so years ago with making it a goal to make one meal a day meatless. After I got married it was much harder as my husband was a meat and potatoes man. Notice I said WAS...he's now about 90% vegetarian. We still eat meat occasionally but it's not that often anymore, and we're very selective when we do. There's just so much variety in vegetarian, and the meals can be so beautiful. Preparing them is like wrapping a present to be opened at the table! I love almost all vegetables (celery and fennel definitely not--no amount of effort has made me like those!) and fruits, and I have yet to meet a grain or bean I didn't like. Tofu not so much either, except for the silken kinda that I blend into smoothies. It's a textural thing. This site has some great meals (Sean's Falafel, the Black Bean Burgers), has some fantastic ones (try the Sesame Roasted Broccoli and Sweet Potato one--to DIE for), and I've come up with a few pretty good ones on my own, too (don't have those posted yet). And with spring and summer coming, I've plans to expand my garden this year, too. And I hit the farmers market every Saturday morning to supplement with the things that I don't grow myself. OH, I can wait now!! And I'm hungry for veggies. : )
Mar. 18, 2011 7:06 am
That was supposed to be I CAN'T wait now...getting too excited to type!
Mar. 18, 2011 8:10 am
Awesome blog! I just posted a request for non past entrees and then saw all your great recipes! Have you tried the "Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos" from this site? Just made them last night- we all loved them!
Mar. 18, 2011 8:35 am
Justus&Dane's Mom I sub oatbran for bread crumbs in that recipe and I bake them at 400F because my broiler doesn't work just until they're done. I can't remember how long but they're a little browned on the outside. I think I often use a higher sweet potato to bean ratio than called for because I cook my own beans and just sort of guess how much it should be :).
Mar. 18, 2011 8:36 am
Thanks Gitano, I saved them :). I'm drooling thinking of pickerel now, I'll have to go icefishing a couple times here before the season ends.
Mar. 18, 2011 8:37 am
Wisweetp, I too had an impact on how much meat my husband eats. I'm dreaming of green things too, I've been craving fresh basil and have started my seeds indoors while I wait for the snow to melt! Thanks for stopping in.
Mar. 18, 2011 8:38 am
Thanks Anniecooks, I haven't made those burritos yet but they're on my "to try" list for sure. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you find some great recipes for your girls here :D.
Mar. 18, 2011 8:11 pm
Thanks :) I've got panko bread crumbs and Oat bread from the store, I could make fresh bread crumbs - I've got tons of dried black beans and canned - can't wait to try them. I get to go out for Indian food tomorrow, I am sooooo excited, I'm tempted to order two meals so I've got leftovers for a couple days...I may have to put off the bean cakes and indulge in some really tasty Indian dishes for the next couple day, I'm drooling over the menu and cant decide. Thanks for the wonderful blog - and keep it up and keep sharing the beautiful food pics with us!
Mar. 19, 2011 7:45 am
Meatless is yummy on occasion.. but I don't think I could ever give meat entirely! We LOVE to go Mediterranean at my house.. our favorite meatless meal is Hummus and Pita bread, both made from scratch. I make several types of hummus - from the traditional to some made with chiles and other herbs. Plus a refreshing Tabouli salad - a touch of lemon with a lovely combination of fresh mint, tomatoes, green onions and fresh parsley. Bulger wheat provides the protein and olive oil gives you the fats.. Delish!
Mar. 19, 2011 11:50 am
I prefer Meatless meals most of the time..I just make a really good Black Bean/Spinach/Homemade Super Veggie Lasagna Love it..:O)
Mar. 19, 2011 12:11 pm
Love this blog! We are meatless half the week- fine by me- when we do cook it- i only want a teeny bit anyhow. :) GREAT RECIPES!!!
Mar. 20, 2011 5:52 am
Thanks Justus&Dane'sMom :D. Send me a doggie bag!
Mar. 20, 2011 5:53 am
BellesAZ, I love tabouleh! It's something that I've only discovered in the last couple years :). Thanks for dropping in.
Mar. 20, 2011 5:54 am
Mmmm Jayashiangel, sounds good, I've never put beans in lasagna, I'll have to try it :).
Mar. 20, 2011 5:55 am
Thanks FrackFamily5 :D.
Mar. 20, 2011 6:59 am
Thanks so much for this. We are not vegetarian but are trying to eat more meatless meals. I love to cook but vegetarian entrees are not my strongest area, so all these ideas are like gold for me!
Mar. 20, 2011 7:10 am
I just discovered quinoa. Love it! Love beans, made a veggie burger out of garbanzos and okra last year for my lunch. I wish we could do meatless here. Only going to happen when the guys aren't here :(
Mar. 20, 2011 8:22 am
You're welcome nomadicnow :). I'm thrilled that this is helpful to you.
Mar. 20, 2011 8:29 am
I feel for you Cat Hill, Much of my family is like that. I'm thankful for a husband with a flexible palate! I too love quinoa, I use it in place of rice to serve things over quite often.
Mar. 20, 2011 5:09 pm
Thanks for this great blog! I can't wait to try those recipes, they look great. I am currently a teenager and reeeeeeally want to go vegetarian, but my mom won't let me (even though I volunteered to cook my own meals, seperately, AND clean up from them...:(). But we usually do dinners without meat once a week, and I don't have meat with lunch. LOVE quinoa and lentils!
Mar. 21, 2011 7:11 am
Thanks bakinggirl5, you're a better behaved teenager than I was. I guess it's the stuborn red-headed part of me. If I wanted to do something I did it, with or without permission :). Enjoy cooking vegetarian food, it's how I first stepped into the world of "real" cooking. Before that I had done plenty of baking but my savory experience was severly lacking.
Mar. 21, 2011 5:27 pm
I want to try some of these recipes. We try to go more vegetarian and the only vegetarian meals I know how to cook are Italian. Even our lentel soup is served on pasta. Our vegetarian spaghetti sauce with cauliflower is kitchen approved on this sight. I use it on eggplant parmasan and on cheese manicotti.
Mar. 22, 2011 1:57 am
I have been packing an extra 80 to 100 pounds for the last 15 years or so. That along with breathing tons of janitorial chemical fumes has destroyed my liver it seems. Never been a drinker, but guess you don't need to be to take your liver out. Who knew? Anyway, so I am always looking for healthy meals. Thing is, they have to be very low sodium, very low carb, very low sugar and very low fat. My kidneys can't take the salt at all, and the liver hates sugar and fat. But when I am itching for nachos, I cut up some corn tortillas and broil them until they are crunchy. Then I cut up brocolli and carrots and cauliflower into pretty small pieces and saute them quickly in water, adding home made taco seasoning (no salt that way). I use Italian cheese because it is the lowest sodium cheese I can find and I layer some of my baked chips, the veggie taco mix, spinach leaves, tomato and cheese in 2 or 3 layers and bake it for 15 or 20 minutes. This is very low sodium, and is pretty healthy. Even my kids love it this way. I also make a bean and barley soup with kale in it. Kids love that too. It is nearly impossible to find recipes that meet all the particulars my diet requires. I will sure be trying some of these. thanks
Mar. 22, 2011 9:43 am
Meatlessly speaking, mock crab cakes score high here. I had found a recipe off AR, but I've also used Connie's recipe: This is nice served with steamed or roasted asparagus and mashed potatoes...with a Thai chili sauce for a bit of zip.
Mar. 22, 2011 4:44 pm
Great blog, we also try to eat vegetarian two or three times per week. Thanks for the great ideas and recipes.
Mar. 23, 2011 6:34 am
YAY VEGGIES! This post makes me so happy! My brother and I are vegetarian, but my parents both still eat meat. Even so, they've become much more open about trying different foods-we all have. My dad is a killer cook and loves experiences with pretty much everything! He makes a fantastic vegetarian chili (also tomato-less since i'm allergic). Red kidney beans, black beans, homemade concoctions of chili powders, chopped onions/celery/zucchini, some water and cook over the stove. pretty easy and fun to manipulate! do everything to taste!
Mar. 23, 2011 10:17 am
Thanks for dropping in impellizzeri kitchen :).
Mar. 23, 2011 10:18 am
Malti-Mamma, you're welcome, that is a lot of dietary restrictions! I hope you find some good recipes here :).
Mar. 23, 2011 10:20 am
Thanks Hezzy! I saved that for later on when I'm overwhelmed with zucchini :). I bet my kids would even eat them.
Mar. 23, 2011 10:20 am
Thanks Tigerindy!
Mar. 23, 2011 10:21 am
Thanks Chalkalot :), Cooking meatlessy has made me a much more creative cook :).
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I'm a self/family taught cook. I love to try new recipes and experiment with exotic ingredients and spices. I have 4 young children and I've been married for 6 years.
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