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Vegetarian Meals for Sunday Dinner

It is a special tradition a lot of us still practice. We can even make this more special by preparing vegetarian meals for Sunday Dinner.

This tradition is an ideal way to spend long, lazy afternoons with friends and relatives gathered together around the table. Normally what is served are comfort food like roasts, braises, and casseroles; but most of them are cooked with one main ingredient – meat! Not good for us vegetarians, right? So, here are some suggestions for vegetarians and veggie lovers to prepare for this special day.

Mushroom Lasagne

Three kinds of mushrooms combine with cheese, garlic, and pasta into a lovely main course.

This is ready in 1½ hours

Tools

  • knife
  • small bowl
  • saucepan
  • whisk
  • strainer
  • large skillet
  • wooden spoon
  • cheese grater
  • 9×12-in baking dish
  • aluminum foil

Ingredients

  • 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms or morels
  • 1 c warm water
  • 1 pound portobello mushrooms
  • 2½ c Béchamel sauce
  • 1 pound lasagne, fresh or dried
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 c parsley, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ½ c Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

1.    Combine porcini and water in bowl and set aside.

2.    Cut the stems off the portobello mushrooms, add the stems to the Béchamel sauce, and cook, whisking occasionally, over very low heat, for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the stems.

3.    If using dried pasta, cook it according to package directions. If fresh, wait a few more minutes.

4.    Drain the porcini and add the liquid to the Béchamel. Chop the porcini and portobello mushrooms.

5.    Heat the butter and oil, add all of the different mushrooms, and sauté, stirring frequently, until they start softening and turning brown, about five minutes. Stir in parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drain and add the liquid to the Béchamel.

6.    Preheat oven to 400.

7.    Butter the baking dish. Begin with a layer of pasta, then about ½ c sauce, ¼ of the filling, and 2 T cheese. Repeat for three more layers.

8.    Cover baking dish with foil and bake 20-30 minutes, until hot. Remove foil and continue baking until golden-brown, about 10-15 more minutes.

Virgin Bloody Mary

An all-time classic. It is present in almost every party.If you crave the spiciness of a Bloody Mary but don’t want the alcohol, try this tasty variation – or make the real thing.

Ready in 5 minutes

Tools

  • Pitcher or large bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 Q tomato or vegetable juice
  • 1-2 t horseradish
  • 1 T vegetarian Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 oz lemon or lime juice
  • 1-3 t tabasco sauce
  • 1-3 t black pepper
  • ½-1 t celery salt
  • Ice

Directions:

1.    Stir all of the ingredients together in the pitcher or bowl. Taste and add more horseradish, tabasco and/or spices as needed.

2.    Chill and serve over ice. Garnish with lemon/lime wedges and a celery stick.

**You can make the alcoholic version of this; just add one cup of vodka, taste, and adjust the seasonings.

Tips for an Enjoyable Sunday Dinner

1.    Keep the atmosphere casual, warm, and relaxing: focus to be more on spending time with your guests than, so prepare your menu ahead of time;

2.    Have an activity available before or after the meal: Play board games, do Sunday crossword puzzles, take a walk, play croquet or bocce, watch a movie or a ball game, or just plain chat.

3.    Invite guests to arrive between one and four in the afternoon.

4.    Invite as many people as you can comfortably fit around your table.

5.    Be open to guests asking if they can bring someone.

6.    Keep the menu simple and seasonal, but have plenty of everything.

7.    Say yes to help—with the preparation, the food, the cleanup, and the works.

8.    Most especially, consider hosting Sunday dinners on a regular basis. You’ll be surprised at how easily the idea catches on.

I hope this gives you some insights on how to make your own Vegetarian Meals for Sunday Dinner. Now that you know the basics, for sure you can create your own recipes. Enjoy!

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