If you're following a gluten-free vegetarian or vegan diet, you're probably used to the question "But what do you eat?" Well, when it comes to entrees or main courses, you might choose lentil loaf, or tomato tarts, or even comfort food like macaroni and cheese.
In fact, you likely eat pretty well ... but you almost certainly have to do most of your own cooking, especially for your entrees (there are only a handful of prepared foods that suit both a vegetarian/vegan and a gluten-free diet).
Below you'll find a wide variety of potential gluten-free vegetarian and vegan main course recipes you can use to invigorate your diet.
Few of these recipes call for much in the way of processed ingredients, and that's intentional — eliminating processed foods is the best way of avoiding gluten cross-contamination. And while I've included a few soy-based entrees, I've tried to make sure there are many potential main courses that don't use soy ingredients, since many of us avoid soy as well as gluten (read more on this: Is Soy Gluten-Free?).
Several of these recipes call for pasta. If you don't yet have a favorite gluten-free pasta brand, take a look at the best gluten-free pastas chosen by readers in the About.com Readers' Choice Awards.
Here are 12 of my favorite gluten-free vegetarian and vegan main course recipes:
- Seared Tofu with Vegetables and Carrot Coconut Sauce — mixing curry and coconut milk gives this mostly macrobiotic, vegan recipe a bit of Indian flare. Serve this over rice, and make certain to choose the right tofu (for help on that, check out my Gluten-Free Tofu list).
- Gluten-Free Vegetarian Macaroni and Cheese — there's nothing like macaroni and cheese when it comes to comfort food. This very cheesy recipe uses amaranth flour to thicken the sauce.
- Alfredo Parsley Potatoes — if you're looking for an interesting substitute for macaroni and cheese, this dish would work well. It contains dairy ingredients (making it vegetarian but not vegan), potatoes, heavy cream, cheese and spices (make sure to use gluten-free spices).
- Vegetarian Lentil Loaf — instead of meatloaf, try vegetarian lentil loaf. When making this, use gluten-free ketchup and gluten-free barbecue sauce, and again, watch your brand of spices.
- Vegan Lentil Meatballs — these include lentils, gluten-free flour and ground flax seed, and will work over your favorite gluten-free pasta (with a gluten-free tomato sauce) or on the side of a vegetable casserole.
- Baked Stuffed Apples with Rice — this recipe makes a beautiful fall vegetarian main course. It's easy to make this vegan by substituting vegan margarine for the small amount of butter in the recipe.
- Veggie Jambalaya — you easily can make this nicely-spiced vegan dish ahead of time, freeze it and then reheat it for a quick and easy gluten-free meal.
- Gluten-Free Stuffed Zucchini — here's a way to use up all those extra zucchini from your summer garden, and you can turn this vegetarian recipe into one that's vegan-suitable by omitting the small amount of cheese.
- Allergy-Friendly Green Bean Casserole — this casserole couldn't be much simpler: caramelized sweet onions, fresh green beans and roasted pumpkin seeds, plus olive oil and salt. The recipe suits both gluten-free vegetarians and gluten-free vegans.
- Acorn Squash with Rice, Pineapple and Molasses — when you make this recipe, be sure to use gluten-free soup stock (Pacific Natural Foods and Imagine Foods both make vegan vegetable broth bases), and choose your wild rice mix carefully, as some include gluten grains in the mix.
- Barbecue Bean Burgers — egg-free, dairy-free and vegan, these hearty homemade veggie burgers will sit proudly on your gluten-free hamburger buns. The recipe calls for canned gluten-free vegan baked beans — Amy's Organic Vegetarian Baked Beans (tested to below 20 parts per million), are one option.
- Gluten-Free Tomato Tart — it looks a bit like pizza and tastes more like a quiche, but this vegetarian tart is rich enough to serve as an entree.