The Design and Plan of Great Vegetarian Menus

By iceman, Sep 13, 2011 | | |
  1. I'm a relatively simple enough person. I started cooking in 1966, when I was 4 years old. My first dish was a classic fried egg sammie, made in a skillet. It was the kind where you cut out a hole in the center of a slice of toasted bakery bread and drop in an egg,. You fry it up nice and give it a flip. Flip it back to a plate and you're good to go. Anyway, I've been cooking for a long time. When I was in cooking school, the CIA as it was, I learned some very important but not necessarily intentional lessons. One of those lessons was that that there is a very large percentage of very good-looking women who are vegetarians. On top of that, I learned that a good portion of those women, who also by-the-way, have very deep pockets, are vegans. I decided quickly that it didn't take any abacus to figure out that I wanted in on feeding those women. I might be goofy, but I'm not stupid. From there I learned how to put together proper vegetarian and/or vegan meals. For brevity I'm only going into the vegetarian world with this article, because I know that reading my stuff or listening to me talk can get old really fast. Anyway, again, here we go ...............

    OK. Let's start with where to look for ideas. This is the internet. Crimineysakes. You can find anything here. I'll digress though, to that I've been cooking for a longer time than the internet has been around. Everyone has got cook books around. Those are your first references. I myself am a magazine-guy. I've been reading (and collecting) a few magazines for a long time. I have found some of the best dishes that I have reformed, in the advertisement pages. They are right there. My suggestion is to find your favorite recipes, and break them down as to how you can "vegetarianize" them. I hate the term "deconstruct", so don't ever look for it in anything I post. It's not as tough as you would think. Use vegetable broth for chicken or beef. Watch TV shows. Those people get paid some nice coin to do what they do. Look for what they make that can become a vegetarian meal. Take a look in your phone book. Find any restaurants that cater to vegetarian diets, and look at their menu. Now I'm not saying that you are gonna find all the end-all meals right in front of you, but if you work from a base, you can only get better.

    OK. That's it for right now. Go look for something to make. Think about options. See what you can do. If you've got any questions that maybe I can help with, PM me right here. I'll be happier than happy to get back to you.


    "Everyone eats ... Anyone can cook."

    Chef Francis
    the Iceman

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  1. iceman
    As a bonus, here's my latest dessert:

    Layer 4 slices of firm, ripe peach w/ 3 wedges of fresh mozzarella over some fresh basil leaves. Drizzle over the top your favorite honey and some balsamic vinegar. A little sprinkle of both pink Himalayan salt and cracked rainbow peppercorns. (<$3 for 2 servings) Serve it w/ a nice ice-wine.


    "Everyone eats ... Anyone can cook."

    Chef Francis
    the Iceman
  2. iceman
    Desserts are kinda tricky. Do you really want a dessert? Not everyone does. Some can't live without one. I like fruit. Fruit pies. Caramelized fruit on grilled pound-cake. Fruit with cheese. Do you need me to go on? LOL.

    There you go for today. Talk to me. Let's get something started.


    "Everyone eats ... Anyone can cook."

    Chef Francis
    the Iceman
  3. iceman
    Any soup of your choice can go vegetarian, if you work at it. My favorites include: French onion, baked/roasted veggie cream and gazpacho. Let me know and I'll hook you up with all sorts of recipes. Find a recipe that you want vegetarianized and I'll help you out with the idea.

    As far as main dishes or entres, shoot, I said this before. "We're on the internet. You can find anything." LOL.

    "Everyone eats ... Anyone can cook."

    Chef Francis
    the Iceman
  4. iceman
    I grew up having a salad every meal. My latest signature-type salad is something I call "Lobster Capri on Steroids". Take out the lobster and it's vegetarian all the way. Salads are no-lose because they've got everything you want. You're making it, right? Put in that which makes you happy. For the most part for me that means the best fresh seasonal goodies I can get at any given time. A key word there is "seasonal". Absolutely subjective. I'm lucky in that I've got a store a mile away that gets stuff from all over the world, year-round. The best flavors are sometimes manufactured, but still, it's a cool thing.

    "Everyone eats ... Anyone can cook."

    Chef Francis
    the Iceman
  5. iceman
    OK. Thanks for reading that first part. I'm doing this topic in a thread too. You can find it here: "The Design and Plan of Great Vegetarian Menus". Anyway, my next idea is to plan meals. LOL. Like the title says. I kinda like going the 3-course plan. Call it as you like. Opener, soup, salad; then main, protein, entre; then closer, dessert. Whatever.


    "Everyone eats ... Anyone can cook."

    Chef Francis
    the Iceman