Creamy slabs of baked feta. Crispy broccolini and tomatoes roasted down to a jammy morsel. Yasmin Fahr’s Sheet-Pan Baked Feta With Broccolini, Tomatoes and Lemon looks delicious. But -- hear me out -- it’s not a meal.
Engagement has been blowing up on the New York Times Cooking post with thousands of likes and comments. I would totally make and eat that sheet pan delicacy -- it looks easy and extremely flavorful. But as with many things touted as vegetarian dishes...that’s not enough food. It’s like slapping a cheese plate down at a dinner party and telling vegetarians dinner is served.
As a vegetarian, I have been to many large functions where I’ve needed to ask for a non-meat dinner where the “regular” dinner is usually some type of steak with delicious sides like roasted potatoes and crisp green beans amandine. The vegetarian entrée? A small blob of pasta, served with a sauce, if you’re lucky.
Listen: A meal needs ALL the food groups -- protein, carbs, vegetables and, most importantly, seasoning. When you call a sheet pan of cheese and vegetables a meal, it’s rather lacking. Not enough protein with just cheese to be an entrée. Throw some gigante beans in at the end and serve with some toasted pita? Now we’re talking! A little vegan sausage would be delightful.
The definition of a vegetarian meal has long been a sore subject in the vegetarian community. French fries are not a meal, either (not unless you’re drunk and it’s poutine).
Vegetarian does not equal only eating vegetables. It just means no meat.
Vegetarian food has come a long way, but many still don’t get it.
This is simply a pile of raw vegetables. And a bun.
Clearly, I’m not the only one irked by the NYT headline. Arguably, the feta sheet pan is better than just a plate a vegetables, especially after you pick out the roasted lemon, which you really don't want to chow down on. But it's still not enough.
I’m not even sure if recipe creator Yasmin Fahr intended for this to be a main dish or if it’s just bad captioning. But the next time you invite a vegetarian over for dinner, make sure all the food groups are invited, too!