I am an animal-loving vegetarian, and here I share my favorite, omnivore-approved vegetarian recipes. Some are my own creations, others adapted from recipes I've found here and there, and some are links to recipes that are pretty damn tasty as-is. Kicking it off is one of my own inventions (which I'm still wiping off my face as I write):

Mushroom Marsala Linguine (vegetarian)

1 TBSP olive oil
TBSP butter
/2 tsp "Better Than Bouillon" vegetable stock paste
tsp dried marjoram
-3 shallots, thinly sliced or minced
/2 lb. mixed mushrooms (shiitake & crimini are good), stemmed and sliced thickly
/3 cup marsala cooking wine 3/4 cup vegetable broth (can be made with more "Better Than Bouillon" paste) 1/2 cup whipping cream
reshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 lb. dry linguine, cooked al dente

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add "Better Than Bouillon" paste and quickly stir into butter and oil, scraping pan if necessary to keep it from sticking. Add  shallots and marjoram; sauté until shallots are soft. Add mushrooms. Continue to sauté until mushrooms are brown and tender; transfer to bowl. Add marsala, broth and cream to skillet. Simmer to reduce by 1/3 to 1/2. Add mushroom and shallot mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss with linguine and serve with freshly grated parmesan.

Serves 2-4

Brazilian Stew (vegan)

Slightly adapted from an adaptation from Cooking Light 5-8 Servings


1 teaspoon peanut oil
medium onion, chopped
cloves garlic, minced
Tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
/2 habanero pepper, minced, or dash of habanero hot sauce
cup water 2 14.5 ounce cans organic diced tomatoes, with liquid
12 ounce bottle of beer (I usually use a pale ale or amber)
/4 cup natural peanut butter
cans chickpeas or cannellini, rinsed and drained
/2 cup (or one mini-can) coconut milk
/2 cup tightly packed cilantro, chopped
juice from 1/2 lime 1/2 teaspoon
reshly ground black pepper

Cooked rice

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic about 2 minutes. Add ginger and habanero and saute about 30 seconds. Add water, tomatoes with liquid, and beer. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add peanut butter, chickpeas or cannellini, and coconut milk. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Check for seasonings. Serve over rice.

Paneer Tikka Masala (vegetarian)

I made this dish for the first time yesterday and absolutely loved it. The only changes I made were to puree one can of diced tomatoes for the gravy, and to leave the tomatoes off altogether for the tikkas (which I baked at 400 degrees F for about 35 minutes, turning once, and spread out on a cookie sheet instead of on skewers). I'd also suggest cooking the onions for the gravy for longer than the recipe states.
Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe

Fried Rice with Soy Sausage and Ginger-Wasabi Tofu (vegetarian or vegan) (adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
I've converted this heavily meat-filled but very tasty fried rice recipe to vegetarian, and it can easily be made vegan. It will probably require a trip to an asian market. There is a bit of make-ahead to do, but it is easy to throw together the tofu the night before when cooking dinner or cleaning the kitchen. A rice cooker with a timer makes the rest a snap.

Serves 4-6

1/2 lb. extra firm tofu (I like Small Planet brand), cut into strips 3/8" thick and 1" wide
TBSP rice wine (mirin)
TBSP soy sauce
/2 tsp ground ginger
 1/2 tsp powdered wasabi pinch of brown sugar (to taste)
-5 cups cooked white rice (such as jasmine rice)
/4 cup Healthy Boy Mushroom Vegetarian Sauce 1-1/2 TBSP soy sauce
-1/2 TBSP peanut oil 2 large eggs, beaten lightly*
cup frozen peas, thawed
hiitake mushrooms, about 1 cup stemmed and cut into 1/4" strips
soy sausage patties (Morningstar brand is good), thawed in microwave for 1 minute and diced
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-5 scallions, sliced diagonally
hili garlic sauce for seasoning

For Tofu: Wrap tofu in a dishtowel or cloth napkin. Press under a cutting board, add weight (heavy cans or jars work well) and leave for 15 min. or more. Meanwhile, mix together mirin, soy sauce, ginger powder, wasabi powder and brown sugar in a small container. Add tofu and let marinate for at least 15 min. (preferably longer). Preheat oven to 350 F. LIghtly spray a small non-stick baking pan with cooking spray. Place tofu strips in pan and bake for 20 minutes. Turn over and bake another 20 minutes. Let cool, cut each strip in half, then slice into 1/4" pieces.

For Rice: Cook rice according to package or rice cooker directions.

Fried Rice: Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium heat. Add 1-1/2 tsp oil to coat pan bottom. Add eggs and cook without stirring until they just begin to set, then break up with a wooden spoon and continue cooking until done but not browned. Transfer to small bowl and set aside*

Increase heat to high and add remaining oil. Add peas, mushrooms, soy sausage and tofu. Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and mushroom-soy sauce, stirring and breaking up rice clumps, until completely mixed and heated through, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and scallions and cook one more minute until heated through.

Serve with chili-garlic sauce.

*Omit eggs to make vegan.

Argentinian Tofu Wraps (vegan)

While enjoying/enduring the long hours of the Bellevue Art Museum show, we often treat ourselves to the Argentinian Wraps from a take-out restaurant in Bellevue Square. The original menu item uses steak, but they can substitute tofu. The wraps are so good I decided to try to replicate them at home, cobbling together elements from several recipes. I've included directions for making Spanish Rice in either a rice maker or a pan. Here's my version:

1/2 lb. tofu, pressed and cut into small cubes (about  3/4")
*Spanish rice
**Chimichurri sauce
iced tomato
omaine or mixed baby greens, chopped roughly
lour tortillas

Marinate tofu in a small amount of chimichurri sauce for at least 15 minutes. Fry in about 3/4 inches of vegetable oil on high heat until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add to tortillas along with warm Spanish rice, lettuce and tomato. drizzle with chimichurri sauce and serve.

*Spanish Rice (in pan)
TBSP oil
TBSP finely chopped onion
/4 cup white rice
cup vegetable broth
/2 cup salsa

Heat oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Mix rice into skillet, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, stir in vegetable broth and salsa. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed.

*Spanish Rice (in rice cooker)
tsp oil
TBSP finely chopped onion
/4 cup white rice
cup vegetable broth 1/2 cup salsa

Sauté onions in oil for five minutes. Add all ingredients to rice maker and cook as usual.

**Chimichurri Sauce
/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
TBSP red wine vinegar
garlic cloves, minced
TBSP dried oregano
tsp cumin
tsp salt
tsp smoked paprika
/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
plash of hot sauce
/4 cup olive oil 

Combine all ingredients thoroughly in food processor. Transfer to jar, refrigerate unused portion.

1t anise seeds
6 fresh sage leaves
6 fresh mint leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves
1 allspice berry
1/2t whole cloves
1/2t gentian root
3C high proof neutral spirit
1 1/4C sugar
1 1/4C water

Grind the herbs and spices (including gentian root) with a mortar and pestle until roughly broken up. (Or pulse a few times in a food processor.) Transfer to a sealable glass jar and pour in the alcohol. Let steep at room temperature for 3 weeks, shaking frequently.

After the initial steeping time, bring sugar and water to a boil at medium heat. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool completely.

Pour cooled syrup into the steeped mixture, reseal jar, and let rest for an additional 2 weeks, stirring frequently. After 2 weeks, open jar and taste. If stronger flavor is desired, re-seal jar and allow to steep for an additional week.

Strain through cheesecloth to remove solids, then filter through coffee filter or fresh cheesecloth into a sealable bottle. Store at room temperature for up to 6 months.

Grapefruit Bitters
1 1/2C high proof neutral spirit
Zest from 1 grapefruit
Zest from 1 lemon
1/2t dried lavender
4 dried juniper berries
1 fresh sage leaf
1/2t whole coriander seeds
1 1/2t cut gentian root
1/4C light rum
2oz simple syrup

Place grapefruit and lemon zest in a sealable glass jar with the vodka. Seal and shake, then let the mixture steep overnight in a cool, dark place.

Add the rum, lavender, coriander, juniper, sage and gentian root. Seal and shake, then let this combined mixture steep for 10 to 12 days in a cool, dark place.

Strain through cheesecloth-lined sieve. Then bottle by filtering through a coffee filter. Add simple syrup to the bottle. Seal and shake, then let rest for 1 day. Store at room temperature for up to a year.