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Favorite Greek Vegetarian Recipes

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Traditional Greek cooking is based on fresh seasonal vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, herbs, spices, and olive oil - perfect for vegetarians (and often for vegans as well). Creating delicious and authentic Greek meals that meet vegetarian guidelines is a snap. These recipe favorites will get you started - and not a salad in the bunch! Listed alphabetically.

1. Baked Beans and Tomato - Yigandes Plaki

Yigandes Plaki - Bean & Tomato Casserole
Photo © Jim Stanfield
This is my favorite dish. Made with large yigandes beans (or large lima beans), tomato, onions, a little garlic, and parsley, this is an oven-to-table dish that can be served as an entree, or in smaller portions as an appetizer, side, or meze. It can be fixed in advance and keeps well for a few days.

2. Batter-Fried Zucchini - Kolokythakia Tiganita

Batter-Fried Zucchini
Photo © Jim Stanfield
Soda water in the batter keeps these thin slices of fried zucchini light and crispy. A simple recipe, serve these as an appetizer or meze, or a side dish.

3. Braised Eggplant with Potatoes & Tomato

Braised Eggplant with Potatoes and Tomato - Imam Bayaldi
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
In this dish, the eggplant are dredged in flour and browned to a slight crisp before adding to the pot, giving the dish a lovely mix of textures and tastes. This stovetop dish includes eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, herbs, and olive oil.

4. Green Bean & Tomato Casserole - Fassolakia Freska me Domata

Green Bean and Tomato Casserole
Photo © Jim Stanfield
As simple as this recipe looks, it will fast become a family favorite. Fresh grean beans, tomatoes, herbs and spices are simmered together long enough for the tastes to meld. Served in larger portions, it's a fabulous main dish.

5. Hummus with Tahini

Hummus with Tahini
Photo © Jim Stanfield
The origins of this dish can be found in antiquity. A classic Middle Eastern dish, it is a familiar sight at Greek restaurants around the world (although not in Greece). Chickpeas, tahini (a paste made from toasted sesame seeds), olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice combine to create a dip to serve before or with a meal.

6. Meatless Stuffed Vegetables - Yemista me Ryzi

Yemista - Stuffed Vegetables with Rice and Herbs
Photo © Jim Stanfield
Fabulous baked vegetables stuffed with a seasoned rice mixture. Use a selection of vegetables, including tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes - or just one.

7. Spinach & Cheese Pie - Spanakopita

Spanakopita - Greek Spinach Pie with Cheese
Photo © Jim Stanfield
Spinach and cheese cooked in flaky phyllo pastry - a Greek classic and a favorite appetizer, snack, side dish, or main dish. There are several versions of spanakaopita, including without cheese, but this one is my favorite and the quickest to make.

8. Spinach & Rice Casserole - Spanakorizo

Spanakorizo - Spinach & Rice Stovetop Casserole
Photo © Jim Stanfield
One of the easiest dishes to make, this stovetop casserole is a delicious and healthy side or main dish. Spinach, onion, rice, and seasonings topped off with the signature squeeze of lemon juice... a must for Greek veggies.

9. Spinach, Bean & Feta Casserole - Yigandes me Spanaki

Photo of Greek Spinach, Bean, and Feta Cheese Casserole
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
This is a delicious oven casserole that features the classic tastes of spinach with green onion, leeks, dill, and feta cheese, around a layer of giant beans (yigandes) or lima beans. A sprinkle of cheese, tomatoes, and bread crumbs on top completes the dish.

10. Stuffed Peppers with Bulgur & Basil - Piperies Yemistes me Pligouri

Photo of Stuffed Bell Peppers with Bulgur and Basil
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
If you aren't familiar with bulgur (often spelled "bulghur"), it is partially hulled wheat that has been soaked, steamed, dried, then crushed - and it can basically be used wherever you might use rice. It cooks quickly - like rice - and it has a wonderful nutty flavor. Bulgur is one of my favorite grains, and if you haven't tried it, this might be the perfect opportunity.

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