Oh neat. I'm becoming a Catholic soon, too Hmm. I didn't know about this no-meat Friday thing. Interesting.
I'm giving you these two recipes below because they are two of my favorite all-time meatless dishes. The Yemista is my favorite Greek recipe, and the Mac & Cheese is all I asked for on my last birthday from my Mama (it tastes even better when SHE makes it) and is passed down from my mom's grandmother.
That said, vegetable stews, soups, and pot pies can be very delicious and satisfying. If you want something more homey like THAT, just ask.
YESMISTA - GREEK STUFFED TOMATOES AND PEPPERS
5 ripe tomatoes (or 4 large)
5 medium green peppers (or 4 large)
dash of sugar for bottom of each tomato or pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
15 T rice (about 1 cup) - 1 1/2 T per tomato or pepper, to be stuffed
1 large onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced very fine
1 shallot, minced fine
3 medium mushrooms, chopped well
1/4 cup fresh mint, minced OR 1 1/2 T dried, crumbled
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup italian style breadcrumbs
1/2 cup hard cheese such as: mizithra, kefalograviera, or parmesan, cut into cubes
1/4 cup goat cheese (not feta), crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 1/2 cups broth, or water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 medium potatoes, cut into wedges
salt & pepper, to taste
block feta cheese, cut into slices
Remove tops of tomatoes (retain tops) and carefully scoop out flesh (retain flesh of 2-3 tomatoes as well).
Cut off tops of peppers (retain tops) and remove seeds and membrane.
Place tomatoes and peppers in a greased pan, large enough to hold them comfortably, and give each vegetable a tiny dash of sugar with your fingertips.
Process tomato flesh until pureed. Add 3/4 cup olive oil, rice, onion, shallot, garlic, mushrooms, mint, parsley, nuts, breadcrumbs, cheeses, salt, and pepper.
Stuff the vegetables evenly with this mixture and replace tops of tomatoes and peppers.
Toss potato slices in olive oil and salt and pepper. "Plant" in amongst the other vegetables.
Combine 1 cup water and 1/2 cup olive oil with a scant tablespoon of tomato paste and a little salt and pepper and pour this around the vegetables and potatoes.
Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for about 1 hour 45 min. (Vegetables should pierce easily and be slightly blackened in parts).
Turn off oven and leave in for another hour to "mellow" before serving.
Serve warm, with slices of feta cheese and crusty bread.
HOMEMADE MACARONI & CHEESE
I pkg. small elbow macaroni
4 cups sauce
4 cups milk (can be 2% or whole, or part half and half)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
8 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard powder (this can be left out if you don't like it)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 egg yolks (separated from whites; save or discard whites)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese (you can also use mild)
Cheddar cheese, grated (to taste, but 1-2 cups is good)
*OPTIONAL: buttered breadcrumbs
Whisk egg yolks in small bowl and set aside.
Mix cornstarch into cold milk into cold (no heat) medium saucepan until smooth. Turn heat to medium, and add butter, salt, pepper, mustard powder and thyme, stirring constantly until sauce simmers, and then continue to cook for another minute. Whisk in Worcestershire sauce.
Turn off heat and beat a small amount of white sauce into egg yolks, until you have "tempered" them. The mixture should look like thick cream. Add yolk/sauce mixture back to saucepan and stir in with the rest of the sauce.
Cook, stirring for a minute or so, take off heat and add 1/4-1/2 cup cheese, until it looks as cheesy as you like.
Check sauce for taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.
Meanwhile cook your macaroni in boiling, salted water to al dente and drain.
In a buttered casserole dish, mix half the sauce with half the noodles. Top with half the grated cheese. Cover with remaining noodles and sauce, and the last of the grated cheese. (OPTIONAL: add buttered breadcrumbs sprinkled over the top for crispness)
Bake in a preheated 350 F oven on the center rack until it looks lightly browned (or as brown as you like it).