Recipe/dinner ideas for meatless Fridays?


Another calling all CAF chefs thread! :)

We do meatless Friday's now because my husband's family has always done it. Apparently in the small town in Northern England where he's from, the Catholics there just never stopped doing it. :shrug:

Anyhow, sometimes I get in a rut trying to cook meatless. Usually I make pasta with sauteed vegetables and parmesan cheese. But I've been making that EVERY FRIDAY and would like to mix it up. Any of you do meatless Fridays or vegetarian meals often? What are some of the things you make for dinner?

Also, we're on a budget. And although I'm open to ALL suggestions, the easier, the better. :) The heat index is up in the 100's lately so I hate to spend a LOT of time in the kitchen making dinner.

TIA! :)


I can't give recipes because I'm nak-ing, but around here we do

Homemade veggie pizzas w mushrooms, blk olives, jalapenos, onions, etc

Meatless tacos with black beans for the "meat"- we press them with a fork so they are more mushy than just free-rolling beans :)


Black bean soup with pico de gallo, plain yogurt instead of sour cream, and cornbread

Chana Masala with Matar Paneer (DH's absolute favorite)

Tuna casserole


Shrimp sautéed in coconut oil served with veggies and a sweet potato

We also really, really like Special K meatless meatloaf, but I don't make it anymore because of all the freaky ingredients in the Special K.


Salmon pasta, it's delicious and healthy, and easy to make!


A typical Friday night dinner in our home is something like this:

Julia’s Salmon Fillet en Papillote with
Shallots and Tomato

Yield: 1 fillet, serving 1

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, soft
1 skinless salmon fillet, 6 to 8 ounces
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon very finely minced shallots (or scallions)
1/2 cup diced fresh tomato garnish
Whole leaves of flat-leaf parsley, about a dozen

Special equipment: A sheet of parchment paper,
about 20 inches by 15 inches; a cookie sheet

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Smear the butter in the very center of the parchment paper.
Season each side of the salmon with a big pinch of salt and several grinds
of pepper, and lay the salmon, its most attractive side up, on the buttered
area of the paper.
Mix the minced shallots and tomato together and spread on top of the
salmon fillet. Scatter the parsley leaves over and around the fish.
Lift the shorter (15-inch) sides of the parchment so the edges meet right
above the salmon, like a tent. Fold over several times, then fold the sides
together. Crimp the folds tightly with your fingers, or use several pins at
the end to seal the package completely.
Set the package on the cookie sheet and bake 8 minutes for a fillet less
than an inch thick, or 10 minutes for a thick fillet 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick.
To serve, carefully transfer the package to a dinner plate, remove the pins
if you have used them, and simply unfold or cut the parchment open. If
you’d rather remove the package before eating, cut or tear the paper
alongside the fillet, and slide the fish right onto the plate.

Roasted Asparagus by Ina Garten


2 pounds fresh asparagus
Good olive oil
Kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they're thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 25 minutes, until tender but still crisp.

Provencal Potato Gratin

4 large clove garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 red pepper, peeled, seeded and diced (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
2 pounds Yukon gold or other waxy potatoes (about 4 to 5), peeled
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 pound plum tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Rub 1 of the garlic cloves all over the inside of a large 1 1/2 quart oval casserole dish. Smear some of the olive oil all over the inside of the dish. Mince the rest of the garlic.

Heat the rest of the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and pepper, season with the salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the vermouth and simmer to reduce by about half.

Using a mandoline or vegetable slicer, slice the potatoes about 1/8-inch thick and add them to the pan with the water, salt, pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the basil.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and shake the pan to distribute the potatoes evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the tomatoes about a 1/4-inch thick and arrange them in a shingled pattern on top of the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender about 1 1/2 hours. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake until brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let casserole cool 10 minutes before serving. This can also be served at room temperature.



Depends how meatless you want to go.

If the custom is still fish-allowed, a nice piece of salmon with saffron rice will do the trick, or:
Halibut in Puff Pastry with Smoked Gouda, mashed sweet potato and sauteed broccoli
Haddock Almandine with Garlic Mash and Steamed Asperagus (Lemon an absolute must)
Seared Tuna Fillets with rice and chickpeas.

If not, try:

Saag with Paneer and Naan
Mapo Dofu
If you have access to Tempeh you can make a Tempeh Schnitzel, like you would with pork.
Spinnach, Mushroom, and Fetta Caniolis.

I could go on like this for days.


I'm contemplating just baking a chocolate cake tomorrow ...


I love this recipe for sweet potato and chick pea curry, though I use less heat because the kids won't eat things that spicy.

But if I were you I'd go to the library and get a vegetarian cook-book and see what appeals. The Moosewood cook-book is a classic, or Laurel's Kitchen.

Some other thoughts:
A pilaf or risotto with a green salad. You can try different grains too, like barley for the risotto, or quinoa for the pilaf, or even couscous.

Barbecued corn on the cob with sliced cukes and tomatoes and steamed clams (if you eat them.)

Cold minted pea soup with crusty bread.

Vegetarian chili, use bulger if you want to bulk up the texture.

Perogies and fried onions with beet greens or chard, carrots, and sour cream on the side.

Samosas with a salad.



Go back to the beginning of Lent and a little before; there are threads with lots of good ideas there, too.

Generally speaking, I’ve had good luck in finding new recipes by browsing my local library’s catalog online and then checking the reviews on to see if the book meets my needs. Libraries have every kind of cockbook, from the sublime to the odd. The reviews really help in separating the wheat from the chaff.

Of cookbook authors–I think you’ll find at least some of these at a library–Molly Katzen, Deborah Madison, and Crescent Dragonwagon write recipes that work; really good food. I’d go with Molly Katzen first; the New Moosewood recipes are updated from the original cookbook, so try that edition, if you can.

Crescent Dragonwagon wrote the huge Passionate Vegetarian. It has lots of commentary on handling different kinds of beans and so on. You’ll not get bored cooking out of that, but when she says it is spicy, believe it!

Mollie Katzen has also generously put several of her recipes online at That will give you an idea of what kind of food she’s aiming at. I don’t have her beginning cookbook “Get Cooking”, but it will surely have some good vegetarian recipes in it.

Other than that, you might get some inspiration at Don’t neglect to read the reviews. You can’t believe every opinion, but there is no reason to re-invent the wheel. You’ll at least know what to look out for.

Bon appetit!!


We tend to rotate a few basic meals.

Spaghetti with meatless sauce.
Fried shrimp.
Cheese enchiladas.


Me and my kids really like Emeril's vegetarian chili; it has lot's of black beans and veggies. Its very healthy and easy to make, you can find it on food network.


We do a lot of eggs - scrambled or in a quiche. Pancakes are another popular Friday night meal around here.

Fried rice is easy, fun and a good way to use up leftover veggies.


Don’t forget fish. Very good for you.


We like tuna melts, or tuna pasta salad for quick and easy nights. Veggie pizza or veggie chow mein are good choices if you’re like us and usually have a quick dinner out.

There is a movement called “Meatless Mondays”. If you look for that online, you’ll find tons of ideas that run the gamut of quick to ornate. Don’t forget pesto pasta, a summer favorite in my family!


As one of the above posters mentioned, The Moosewood Cookbooks (Molly Katzen) are fantastic. I have made many meatless dishes from her books. I love the chilli recipe and the lasagna. Every soup recipe I have tried has been delicious - served with a salad and some nice crusty bread - makes for a good meal. All of the desert recipes are wonderful. Love the Moosewood Fudge Brownies and the carrot cake. Just a thought.


[quote="dachsiemom2, post:14, topic:246382"]
As one of the above posters mentioned, The Moosewood Cookbooks (Molly Katzen) are fantastic. I have made many meatless dishes from her books. I love the chilli recipe and the lasagna. Every soup recipe I have tried has been delicious - served with a salad and some nice crusty bread - makes for a good meal. All of the desert recipes are wonderful. Love the Moosewood Fudge Brownies and the carrot cake. Just a thought.


Oh, the fudge brownies...:thumbsup:


For the record, tomorrow is the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, so you can eat meat tomorrow.


My kids love Fridays because we make breakfast for dinner, a lot! Pancakes, waffles, french toast! Eggs:thumbsup:
We also have cheese pizza, toasted cheese and tomato soup, salad and breadsticks. There are so many things you can do.


Lentil Chili. If you are not a fan of lentils which I wasn’t once upon a time you can make a vegetarian chili.

I love breakfast for dinner (BFD), it is a staple for me as a child and I still love it.


I’m not sure how expensive it is where you live or if you have BJ’s nearby but their tuna steaks are wonderful.

I marinate mine in olive oil, white vinegar, basil, and pepper and let them sit in a ziplock bag while they thaw out then grill them up. They have to get to 145 degrees F to be done, but I’ve found that about 3 minutes on each side does the trick. For picky fish eaters I must say that they grill up firm and have the consistency of steak so even my fiance who doesn’t have much of an appetite for fish loves them.

If you don’t have a grill I’ve found that using a cast iron skillet on the stove works just as well. Heat up the pan until it’s piping hot then sear the steaks on each side until they are the right temperature and you’re set! I think stainless steel and non-stick pans would work just the same but I’m in love with my cast iron skillet (probably because you never wash it, just wipe it out with a towel and then let it cook on the stove for a good cleaning).

I generally serve it with rice and potatoes. It’s one of my favorite meals to make.


Here are a couple of thrifty, easy delicious meals that are also nice in the hot weather:

Best-ever Tuna Salad:
This salad never fails to be a hit with everybody. My son has always loved it. He prefers it without the feta -- I made it that way once and he got used to it.

12 oz. can tuna (white or Albacore has more mercury, so get regular or yellowfin tuna)
8 oz. can of sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
Mayonnaise - stir in what you want
crumbled feta cheese to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Serve on toast or lettuce, with a salad, and a cool glass of grape juice!

Yummy Salmon Cakes:
*This one is a little more work, but not much more. Once you make it a couple of times, you don't need to measure. Line up your ingredients first and it goes real fast. You need just one bowl to dump in the ingredients and mix, and a skillet. Another bowl to make a salad. That's it.

To really save time, double or triple this, shape your patties, and freeze them. [put on a baking sheet in the freezer till they harden, and then wrap them individually, stack and store]. You'll have something delicious in the freezer for Fridays when you are in a pinch. *

1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon, drained and flaked (Sockeye is the best for you!)
1 small onion, minced
1 egg
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour for coating

 2 Tbsp. butter plus 3 tbsp olive oil OR 4 Tbsp. or ghee

Combine first group of ingredients; mix well. Shape into four patties. Dust lightly with flour. Chill for 20 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat butter & olive oil or ghee over medium high heat. Cook the patties until browned on both sides (about 10 minutes). Drain briefly on paper towels before serving.

Nice with a cool cucumber & tomato salad (toss with your favorite dressing) and a fat slice of watermelon.

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