Save Money with Vegetarian Main Courses

Chef on a Shoestring features a number of vegetarian main courses, which we included not only because the growing population of vegetarian home cooks demands it but also because vegetarian recipes are very economical. Vegetarian sources of protein, such as beans, nuts and whole grains, are much cheaper than even the cheapest cuts of meat.

While there are certainly a number of vegetarian recipes that feature nothing but greens, to my mind the most satisfying ones are those that replicate the qualities of a non-vegetarian offering. For example, a number of restaurant chefs have taken to cooking portobello mushrooms in the style of steak, some even offering portobello "burgers." The alternate route is to make sure that there's some bulk contributed by other ingredients -- good standbys for vegetarian cooking are pasta, grains, and rice; they soak up sauces and round out the flavors and textures of many vegetables.

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