Here's a part of vegetarian history that you newer generations were thankfully spared, the faux meat obsession. In the beginning, this stuff was only available in specialty health food stores, daring Chinese restaurants, and on the West Coast. My Dad would pack his suitcase with "cold cuts" and mystery proteins every time he returned from the Pacific. Being dumb kids, and Dad worshippers besides, we willingly ate anything and everything that came out of his magical luggage. Our Mom was more suspicious.
While my Father piled mile high vegetarian Dagwoods with foul smelling sheets of tofu film, my Mother looked toward pasta. We called her famous (infamous?) dish "vegetable mush". It was an ever changing concoction of vegetables, tomatoes, and white beans cooked in a pan until mushy, then plopped over pasta. In hindsight, Mom totally wins in both the common sense and decent flavor categories, but there are only so many plates of vegetable mush that one can eat before getting a little desperate for something more interesting. My Dad's faux food and tofu dishes weren't necessarily good, but they were different!
Modern day faux-meats, far fancier than the stone age tofu films of my youth. Photo by BunchofPants