My Dinner Divas are back again with another dinner menu plan for the week ahead. It's full of ideas for you - especially if your dinner table has both vegetarians and omnivores trying to share a meal like mine does.
As a recap, if you missed our earlier menus, I’ve joined up with some of my favorite blogger friends to collaborate on a week’s worth of dinner ideas. Every Friday morning, you’ll wake to a menu of options for the week ahead, including 5 dinners and 2 extra dishes that can be sides, desserts, or drinks.
Full disclosure: My blogger friends post recipes on all kinds of food, not just vegetarian. For any dishes not vegetarian, I add my own twist by offering up suggesting for making the dishes vegetarian without losing the essence of the dish.
Some readers have written me to thank me for this new blog series, but others have challenged me on why I'm doing this. Honestly, this is a way of life at dinnertime in my house since my husband, Carnivorous Maximus, can't imagine a meal without meat. And a lot of it. If I don't want to cook two completely different meals at night like a short order cook, (and for the record, I don't), I often have to reconfigure a meaty dinner to one that's vegetarian, or vice versa, or serve my vegetarian entrée as his side dish. After doing this for a few years now, I've gotten pretty good at looking at a dish I think he'll like, and reimagining it into a vegetarian version for me. I know I'm not alone in cooking for a divided table, and so was interested in participating in this series. If you're only interested in seeing vegetarian dishes, be assured that the rest of my posts will be vegetarian. If you subscribe to my newsletter, I've made it easy for you to opt out of this particular series.
Whether you're serving dinner to multiple diets or not, I hope they bring you some inspiration for your dinners this week, and that these meal plans make life a little easier for you, one meal at a time.
Weekly Menu Plan: Week 3
Make it Vegetarian: Make the entire dish exactly as Susan directs in her recipe, except for the chicken sausage. Either serve as is sans meat, or add a flurry of vegan bacon at the end. The product I like is this one from Cool Foods, because it's soy-free. My body doesn't always do well on much soy, and Cool Foods makes their "bacon" bits from pinto beans!!
For the Carnivores at the Table: Traditional carbonara includes bacon. Fry up a couple pieces per person eating meat, crumble it up, and add at the end to the meat-eaters plates.
Make it Vegetarian: This recipe would be perfect with cauliflower steaks. To make the steaks, place a cauliflower head on a cutting board with the stalk side facing down. Slice the head in half. Starting from that cut edge, slice slabs 1" thick. As you work towards the rounded ends, there won't be enough stalk to hold the cauliflower together into a steak-like slab. Just add the remaining pieces to the pan with the steaks to be part of the dish. The oil doesn't need to be quite as hot with cauliflower steaks, but hot enough to sear the surfaces. Follow the recipe from there. You may not need a full 25 minutes in the oven - it will depend on the thickness of the steaks, so check them at 15 minutes to gauge how quickly they're cooking. When done, they should be tender enough to easily pierce with a sharp knife.
For the Carnivores at the Table: Add cooked shredded chicken.
For the Carnivores at the Table: Serve with slices of prosciutto or ham on the side. If making a separate tart for meat eaters, coarsely chop the prosciutto and add to the tart filling before baking.
Make it Vegetarian: Just eliminate the bacon.
If you make any of these recipes, I'd love to see it! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #WIMPYVEGETARIAN on Instagram.