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WESBREW

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I've done a couple of no-meat-March months in the past but always at a loss for what to make pretty quickly. Looking to work on some satisfying meat-subsitute & non-meat main dishes to change things up for any meal time. I'd also like to get some good ideas for seasoning & prep for meat substitues like tvp, tofu, & jack fruit. Any cuisine type is good. I'm tired of the SOS 😉
 
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schmurf

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My wife is a vegetarian so I eat/cook quite a lot of non-meat dishes, but actually never by recipe, I always just take what's at home and cook away. Roasted veggies in oven, stews, fried mix vegetables, pasta dishes, veggie lasagna... just be creative! And with all these meat substitutes available nowadays, it makes things easy.
 

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The Complete Vegetarian from America's Test Kitchen is the best vegetarian cookbook I've ever used. They do a phenomenal job of dialing in the recipes, clearly having repeat cooked the recipes and reworked ingredients. They also provide lots of cooking tips for various ingredients. Everybody in my family loves this book, my kids have picked recipes out of there and first go they are good.

One thing about cooking vegetarian meals that takes getting a feel for is that the meal is no longer centered on a meat. Translating a meat centered dish to a vegetarian one often fails because the substitutes don't taste as good. There are a few that are pretty decent but many fail to replicate. I'll give you a few that I think are fair substitutes. Qorn makes a fillet that looks like a chicken breast. That one works pretty good, it can end up a little dry if baked (butter or margarine can help). I like their other products too, they have "beef" and "chicken" type strips. Morningstar farms makes a really useful crumble that subs in really well for hamburger ground. It works well in tacos, chili, and spaghetti sauce. Morningstar farms links, sausage patties, also are good. Their soy bacon is ok but it's not bacon.

Most people don't like tofu and don't cook well with it anyway. First off it's not a meat substitute. It's a protein source. Dredge it with a little cornstarch and fry it, it becomes much better. It really helps to press it first as well, then it's easier to marinate.

Seitan is another meat substitute that I happen to like. It's got steak like similarities. Hard to find where I am at though and portion wise it can be expensive so I don't have any particular recipe suggestions.

Lightlife Smart Dogs are decent for hot dogs. The Tofurky Italian Sausage, also good. Both are in the produce aisle (cold not frozen).
 
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WESBREW

WESBREW

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I just got chili hot jack fruit tacos at a food truck .,wow!!! Spicy jack fruit was pork like, Crumble cheese, pickled onions , crema n salsa .
I guess its a lot about meat substitutes and how to prepare, what to use them in. I can already make a good beyond meat buger. Lol
Im okwith real cheese when needed but if theres a good non dairy one….
 
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bracconiere

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well, if you're looking for easy...i make an instant split pea soup with split pea flour,,, like 84gms in ~2cups water, but i use chicken bullion in it, with curry powder. really good.

but i learned after a year of bean soup, beans get REALLY boring if you don't have a flour mill....that would be my best advice for you, this is what i have. i can make noodles, sorta, bread, sorta...i'm going to be making some wheat germ crackers here in a bit, and eating them with salsa....(pasta roller)



the mill will do a pound of beans in less then a minute.....except chickpeas, and lima beans....
 

Deadalus

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View attachment 746480I just got chili hot jack fruit tacos at a food truck .,wow!!! Spicy jack fruit was pork like, Crumble cheese, pickled onions , crema n salsa .
I guess its more about meat substitutes and how to prepare them for dishes. I can make a good beyond meat buger. Lol
Im okwith real cheese when needed but if theres a good non dairy one….
I've never had jack fruit before, it's something of a food desert here. Looks good though! I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

I eat dairy but when I didn't I never found anything that worked for a non dairy option.

My mother-in-law has been really great at adapting several traditional Greek recipes for us: pastitsio, mousakka, dolmades, Greek meatballs. The other tip I'd have though is to find authentic recipes that were meatless to begin with A lot of Indian food is for instance. It's not always easy to cook it though, the spices can be a bit complex.
 

jtratcliff

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Non-dairy butter: Miyokos
non-dairy cheese: Daiya
Gluten free bread: Canyon Bakehouse (including bagels and english muffins)

one of our regular vegetarian dinners:

we just had this the other day: Butternut Squash Lasagna (Vegan, GF Optional)
It was pretty good... Minimalist Baker has pretty good recipes all-in-all...

We've also liked every soup we've tried from here: Vegetarian Soup Cuisine: 125 Soups and Stews from Around the World: Solomon, Jay: 9780761501909: Amazon.com: Books
 

smcinco

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You need to love spicy but Indian food lends itself well to no-meat. We really love mixed veg (whatever you have) curry and also channa masala. Served with basmati rice (white or brown) of course.
 

aces-n-eights

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This is my current favorite vegan Youtube'r. His videos are fairly fast to watch and the recipes are really good. Check out his channel for a ton of recipes.


Also Soy Curls are a great meat substitute. They are a dehydrated part of the soy plant and take on the flavor of whatever liquids you use to re-hydrate them. I typically use soy sauce, coco aminos and some spices. Sear them in a little oil for texture and add them to anything -soups, stews, sandwiches, salads...

Butler Foods | Soy Curls
 

crazyjake19

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My wife has been vegetarian for about 2 years, and though I am not one myself, I have significantly reduced my meat consumption by probably 80% since the start of the pandemic when prices skyrocketed and meat availability at stores was low. At home, I eat only meatless meals as it's easier to just make one dinner for both of us. Occasionally (like today), I'll smoke a pork butt or brisket that I'll vacuum seal and freeze for work lunches in the future. Right now, I have a pork butt, some tofu, and seitan on the smoker.

I don't have so many specific recipes as I do substitutions and ideas for meatless versions of meals that might traditionally contain meat. I'll typically look at meals we used to eat, and substitute a meatless substitute for the protein in the recipe.

Seitan is a very versatile meat substitute you can make yourself, flavor and cook to your liking. I currently use it as a chicken substitute for boneless wings/nuggets, or chicken pieces in a stir fry or dishes like orange chicken, etc. It also makes a good substitute for beef like you would find in Chinese cuisine, and for making meatless sausages. I've also seen recipes for seitan smoked brisket, seitan turkey, and seitan corned beef/pastrami for reubens. That's something I'll tinker with over the winter.

Tofu is an interesting one. I've never found it to be a great direct meat substitute, though it's great for adding some protein and texture to dishes like a stir fry. It takes the place of pork quite well when used in small pieces for things like char siu for fried rice. My favorite thing to do with tofu is make a meatless pepperoni for pizza topping.

There's tons of different brands of meatless/plant-based alternatives in grocery stores now. Beyond's breakfast sausage patties make a great breakfast side, good in a breakfast sandwich, and I've even made sausage gravy for biscuits with them. Their sausage links are a great substitute for bratwurst. Impossible just released their own sausage which looks promising but I haven't been able to try it yet.

For a ground beef substitute, I find Impossible to be a great one. It works very well for burgers, meatballs, meatloaf, as crumbles in a lasagna, crunchwraps/taco/burrito, (ground) philly cheesesteaks, etc. It cooks very similarly to ground beef, browns very similarly, and holds together well. I find Beyond's version to be strange and a bit offputting.

Jackfruit is a popular one that can easily replicate pulled pork.

Gardein and Quorn both make great nuggets, meatless crumbles (ground beef-ish), chicken strips, and a few other things. Morningstar's veggie hot dogs are pretty good, and I believe I liked their nuggets as well. I've never had anything from Lightlife that was remotely edible, so I'd avoid them.

Soy curls and tofu skin/beancurd sheet are two substitutes that I've not had the opportunity to try, though I'd love to. I've seen Philly cheesesteaks made with soy curls, and sandwiches replicating Arby's roast beef using the beancurd sheets.

I've never found a meatless bacon that I enjoyed, but when I was making rice paper bacon one night, my wife took some of the bacon flavoring I'd mixed up and mixed that with some mayonnaise, essentially making a "bacon" mayonnaise. We love it! We have BLT's with just that mayo, lettuce, and tomato.

And of course, there's plenty of things you can make with rice, lentils, many different kinds of beans, chickpeas, etc.
 
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WESBREW

WESBREW

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Thanks for all of the info and ideas. Its great to know what works well in what. There are probably a lot of international dishes, as noted above, that dont have meat in them that i could make. I havet explored much mote than stir fry at home.
I had a hankering for chili tonight. Have had the impossible burger at BK before, it was good. Picked up a block of impossible burger sub and made chili. It was really good. Maybe even better than with beef
 
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jtratcliff

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I've used beyond beef to make a shepherds pie that was well liked by vegetarians and meet eaters alike..

We're not vegetarian, but my daughter has issues with beef, dairy, and soy, so we typically look for soy free beef substitutes when were tired of pork, chicken and salmon... Or just go meatless..

SWMBO found a really good meatless spaghetti sauce that uses cashews and mushrooms for the texture and umami... If you didn't know, you probably couldn't tell it was meatless....

Lots of options and Google is your friend in this case... Many more resources for alternative dietary options than there used to be...
 
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WESBREW

WESBREW

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Ive never heard of soy curls or beancurd sheets? Would that be in the dry foods section of grocery or in produce?
 

3 Dawg Night

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I'm not a vegetarian, but a family favorite is taco soup. The recipe has ground beef/turkey in it, but we've made it without meat before, and it's still good.

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 onion
3-4 cans of whatever kind of beans you like (we use a mix of kidney, pinto, and black; you might add one more can of beans to replace the meat)
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 pkg ranch dressing mix

Brown the onions (and meat, if using), then dump in all the other ingredients. Bring to a simmer, and it's ready to eat. It's better if you let it simmer for 30-60 minutes, though. Makes 6-8 servings. We serve it with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, avocado, and cilantro.
 

aces-n-eights

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Ive never heard of soy curls or beancurd sheets? Would that be in the dry foods section of grocery or in produce?
Go to this website for soy curls. There's a tab where you can search for retailers that carry the product - mostly health food stores -and you can buy direct from Butler as well. Amazon carries Butler soy curls, too.

Butler Foods | Home

Here's one of my recipes for soy curls. I use the TLAR method of cooking so be advised these are approximate quantities... (TLAR stands for That Looks About Right :))

A couple of cups of dehydrated curls
1/4 cup soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
A couple of tablespoons of a light cooking oil
a few drops of smoke flavoring

Add all to a bowl and add water to cover. Let soak/rehydrate for at least 10 minutes. Transfer the curls with the liquid to a non-stick skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid is gone. You can add dry spices if you want - steak seasoning is pretty good. Continue to cook, turning frequently until you get the desired level of sear to the pieces. I like a bit of crunch on the outside but still chewy on the inside.

So, smoky, salty, sweet, "maply"... bacon? No, but they taste close and are great additions to soups, stews, salads. I make a sandwich with them - "B"LT is really good.
 
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WESBREW

WESBREW

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I'm going to try a Curry sauce with rice and vegetables today. I have to locate garam masala spice. i've got coconut milk and everything else.
 
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Mollie Katzen has a number of vegetarian recipes from her experience at The Moosewood Restaurant. Some of them are at molliekatzen.com
 

Deadalus

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I'm going to try a Curry sauce with rice and vegetables today. I have to locate garam masala spice. i've got coconut milk and everything else.
I had to look around a little when I needed that one, my Krogers had it though. I like it, I thought it was going to be spicier than it was but it was smoother. It has saffron in it and I like saffron. Speaking of which, if you can't find a spice you need I have used Amazon to buy a few. You'll pay around the same as you would in the supermarket but get substantially more product usually. Of course you may not use it all. Good prices on saffron though. When you buy saffron in the supermarket you get like 4 threads and it's $15-$20 unless you catch a bargain. My youngest son picked the vegetable paella recipe out of that cookbook I mentioned above and that one's a keeper.
 

Evilgrin

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You need to love spicy but Indian food lends itself well to no-meat. We really love mixed veg (whatever you have) curry and also channa masala. Served with basmati rice (white or brown) of course.
Yes it does. Personal faves are chickpeas, lentils and cauliflower. Use coconut cream powder if you like them creamy. Good sambar is WAY up that list too. I can make an entire meal of sambar and toasty naan.

Im also a big fan of toasted chickpeas. You can make them numerous ways such as.....just salted....sweet and spicy...honey roasted. All you need is an oven, a can of chickpeas and a minimal amount of oil. Tons of recipes on the net for them.
 
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