Happy World Vegetarian Day! Try Our All-Veg Recipes

54 Bistro Vegetable Panini

It’s the butt of many jokes these days but almost every food movement and dish does indeed now seem to have it’s own official “day,” and the ‘trend’ runs from the sublime to the ridiculous—Turkey-Neck Soup Day? March 30; Chocolate-Covered Insects Day? October 15.

However, one of the food-related holiday that has slightly more heft and history to it is World Vegetarian Day, on October 1. Created by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) in 1977 as “an annual celebration to promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism,” the ‘holiday’ has been endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union and marks the annual kick-off of Vegetarian Awareness Month.

In honor of World Vegetarian Day, here are two of our guests’ favorite meat-free recipes that we serve at the Aqua Spa Cafe.

Five-Bean Salad With Pepper Confit


Five-Bean Salad
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
1 cup dried kidney beans
1 cup diced great northern beans
2 quarts vegetable stock
3 thyme sprigs
1 small white onion (diced large)
1 red onion (chopped)
1 cup yellow wax beans (cleaned, blanched)
1 cup green beans (cleaned, blanched)

Bean Marinade Vinaigrette
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher sale
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (cracked)

Pepper Confit
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups red bell peppers (julienned)
1/2 cup red onions (diced)
2 tablespoons garlic cloves (finely diced)
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Frisée lettuce


Combine all dried beans and soak overnight in cold water; drain. Place drained soaked beans in a casserole and cover with vegetable stock, thyme, and white and red onions. Heat to a simmer. Cook 45 to 60 minutes on low heat or until completely tender. Remove; pour into shallow container, and refrigerate. Once beans are cold, drain from liquid and place beans in a mixing bowl. Blanch both green and yellow beans; shock in ice water. Cool and drain.

To make vinaigrette, in a separate mixing bowl, combine champagne vinegar, lemon juice, honey and mustard. Mix well. While mixing, slowly incorporate canola oil, kosher salt and black pepper with whisk until emulsified.

For pepper confit, in oil, quickly sauté peppers, onions and garlic. Deglaze with rice wine vinegar; remove and let cool. Combine cooked beans, wax beans, green beans, peppers and vinaigrette all in a large bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Make sure salad is chilled in refrigerator before serving. Place on plate, and garnish with frisée or your choice of lettuce.

Serves 6.


Vegetable Panini (pictured above)


12 ounces fresh eggplant (sliced 1/4 inch)
12 ounces zucchini (sliced 1/4 inch)
12 ounces squash (sliced 1/4 inch)
2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
1 ounce garlic cloves (chopped)
1 ounce fresh oregano leaves (chopped)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
To taste kosher salt
To taste black pepper (cracked)
1 cup basil pesto
6 focaccia breads (cut into 4-inch squares)
6 ounces fresh buffalo mozzarella (sliced)
6 ounces fresh romaine lettuce leaves


Marinate sliced vegetables and tomatoes with the garlic, oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper and half o the pesto in refrigerator for 1 hour. Drain any extra liquid, and cook on a flat grill or Panini press/grill. Spread focaccia with the rest of the pesto, then add the mozzarella cheese and top with the grilled vegetables. Finis on the Panini press; place the romaine lettuce leaves inside of each Panini. Cut each in half, and serve.

Serves 6.

For even more recipes and irresistible photos, please check out our Excite the Senses – Top Recipes board on Pinterest.

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