Springtime Vegetarian Suggestions

Especially during the spring, the average kitchen table is largely biased towards meat eaters; vegetarian festive dishes are few.

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Whether mandatory due to health reasons or voluntary for religious reasons, vegetarianism is a way of life for many people. But unfortunately, the menu options and magazine recipe suggestions for vegetarians are always far less than those for meat eaters.

But as a tribute to the many vegetarians of the world, I would like to take this opportunity to make a few Easter suggestions. As vegetarians are unable to enjoy the traditional Greek Easter soup made from lamb entrails and known as "magiritsa,” try making a vegetarian version involving artichokes and mushrooms instead. You will be surprised to find that it has a similar texture and consistency. Make a salad involving baked vegetables, formaela cheese, and a dressing with sesame paste and orange; it is an instant crowd pleaser. Bear in mind that sautéed pine nut or sesame is a very good accompaniment for salads, as is caper and parmesan. 

Try kebabs made of chickpeas and couscous. Some ready pesto sauce or olive paste adds flavor to pasta sauces, dips, or salad dressings. Although most desserts do not involve meat, be sure to make millefeuille with mascarpone and strawberries either way. It is healthy, light on the stomach, and simply divine.

Some vegetarians eat exclusively vegetables, eliminating all animal products from their diets, but most vegetarians supplement their protein intake with dairy products like cheese, milk, yoghurt, and eggs. Vegetarianism doe not mean dull or unappetizing dishes, contrary to common belief. In fact, there are myriad delicious vegetarian dishes, as vegetables, cereals, pasta, fruits, dry nuts, and cheeses can be combined limitlessly. The flavors and tastes of such dishes can be further enhanced with fresh or dry herbs, flavorings, spices, pickles and sauces such as soya sauce, oyster sauce, or sauce anglaise, among many others.

The typical vegetarian diet is dominated by ingredients such as legumes, cereals, cheeses, eggs, dry fruits, spinach, sesame, and yoghurt. For more flavor, there is a delightful recipe for vegetable broth that is commonly used to compliment vegetarian dishes. This recipe involves boiling a variety of vegetables for one hour, including three dry onions, three carrots, two zucchinis, two celery stalks, some pepper grains, allspice, salt, and bay leaves.

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