Vegetarian options on so many menus revolve around different pasta dishes, risottos or vegetable bakes. For example, one leading chain of gastro pubs had ravioli on the main menu and ravioli on the specials board but with a different filling! Vegetarians could go to a different restaurant every night and find risotto on offer - risotto served as a main course is very difficult to eat as it is primarily soft lacking crunch and texture. Bakes often revolve around vegetables in a white sauce topped with cheese again all soft with no texture or crunch.
Things to think about before choosing what to make:
Nutrition: make sure you have considered appropriate vegetarian sources of protein including grains, pulses and nuts. Try not to rely solely on dairy or soya. Be aware of your use of vitamins and minerals.
Texture: it is very easy for vegetarian food to be soft and mushy. Think how to achieve crunch/chewiness in contrast. Try not to rely solely on pastry for crunch; consider using crumb topping or nuts and seeds. For example:
adding nuts to rice dish adds texture
including wholegrain barley to a bake or casserole will add chewiness
including Puy lentils (which hold their shape when cooked) adds texture to homemade vegetarian sausages
chopped and toasted pistachios to an avocado starter adds texture
Colour: the same (main) colours should not be repeated twice in a meal. For example if you serve a carrot and orange soup, dont finish with an apricot mousse. Try to steer clear of too much brown it gives vegetarian cuisine a bad name, so dont serve crepes with a grain and nut salad, of course unless you add lots of colourful ingredients too
Temperature: a contrast in serving temperatures is recommended to create variety. Also consider including some raw vegetables or fruit, even as a relish or coulis.
Quantity: a meal should leave one feeling satiated. It is important to include a variety of carbohydrates and not rely totally on wheat products (pastry, bread, couscous, pasta, bulghar) consider barley, rice, quinoa, Think about how the different components of the meal will sit together in order to balance bulk, lightness, richness and refreshment.
Presentation: appearance on the plate is vital and the visual aspect of each course must be considered in terms not only of colour but also shape, size, height and garnish. Also the amount on the plate is important too, try not to overfill a plate, or use larger plates
So to recap you are looking to produce a dish or a menu that has a good range of nutritional elements, particularly protein, has some crunch and/or chewiness, has a good range of colours, includes something cold with something hot, is satisfying and lastly is, beautifully presented.