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Vegetarian (non processed) alternatives to the easy lump of meat/fish type meal

(44 Posts)
Fluandseptember Sat 12-Oct-19 18:23:04

Kids have gone veggie. I didn't realise that going totally veggie was going to make such a difference (we bought v little meat and no fish already).

The biggest difference is TEXTURE, and I'm struggling with this. It feels as if pretty much every dish is slop - all tasty, but just the same same same.

So I'm looking for ideas of food that's a big more chewy, or crunchy, or just, I don't know, piece-y.

I don't want veggie meat etc, or anything any more processed than plain tofu.

What do you suggest?

BrieAndChilli Sat 12-Oct-19 18:30:48

Grilled halloumi
DD likes slices of aubergine topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella and baked.
Large mushrooms

BrieAndChilli Sat 12-Oct-19 18:31:08

Chickpea burgers (can make yourself)

muddledmidget Sat 12-Oct-19 18:32:14

Toasted cashews or peanuts added to stir fries or curries add crunch, and grilled vegetables tend to be chewier

MIdgebabe Sat 12-Oct-19 18:32:41

I make bean burgers with mixed beans, onion, sweet corn, mint sauce and halomi topping

Quiche or, egg and chips are not sloppy

MIdgebabe Sat 12-Oct-19 18:33:39

And yes, walnuts on a mushroom stroganoff add a lovely crunch

PullingMySocksUp Sat 12-Oct-19 18:35:20

Tacos made with quorn mince or beans would have the crunch from the shell.

We also make bean burgers.

Mushroom sausages (bought) made into toad in the hole.

HappyPunky Sat 12-Oct-19 18:37:26

Falafel, halloumi, nut roast, veggie pie

Sexnotgender Sat 12-Oct-19 18:38:44

Halloumi fajitas with fresh avocado and pico de gallo.

Bean burgers

Coronation chickpea salad

Roasted vegetable quinoa.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sat 12-Oct-19 18:39:11

Aubergines and mushrooms both have a naturally chewy texture, and that might help. I had something recently that might have been tempeh (bought for me by someone else and vaguely described as vegetarian chicken hmm), which I doubt is processed any more than tofu, and that was chewy. How do you feel about Quorn? I like it, and one of the reasons is texture.

Nuts and seeds are nicely crunchy.

Ricekrispie22 Sat 12-Oct-19 18:41:13

Nut loaf/nut cutlets
Lentil loaf
Cheese pudding www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/savoury-cheese-pudding/ or recipes.sainsburys.co.uk/recipes/leftovers/cheese-and-tomato-bread-and-butter-pudding
Frittata
Falafel
Bean burgers

MoMandaS Sat 12-Oct-19 18:41:32

What about puff pastry tart? Either individual ones or big one cut up. Can have all sorts of toppings and serve with salad or steamed green veg, or roast veg or whatever, depending on what's on the tart? (I'm using the word 'tart' loosely here!)

SupportHuman Sat 12-Oct-19 18:43:48

Pie! We do a gravy type pie with veggie mince/beans in an onion gravy, and a creamy one with brocolli/leeks/smoked tofu in a white sauce. Both topped with puff pastry.

Whole flat mushrooms baked with garlic and thyme and then topped with mozzarella.

Bean burgers (Jack Monroe's kidney bean ones are delish and very easy).

Quiche or frittata if you do eggs.

Toad in the hole.

LordEmsworth Sat 12-Oct-19 18:43:50

Plain tofu and process it yourself? So drain and press, marinade and grill. I particularly like tikka... actually tikka paneer also. Grilled mushrooms are quite meaty. Make your own beanburgers / veg cutlets. Roasted whole cauliflower, or cauliflower steaks. Braised fennel / celery. Halved baked squash.

NannyR Sat 12-Oct-19 18:44:06

Seitan is a meaty textured food that is made from wheat gluten. You can buy it ready made but it's pretty easy to make yourself (if you can get hold of vital wheat gluten, my local co-op sells it). I make a big batch and freeze it in "steaks" and chunks. There are lots of recipes available on line.

CileyMayRhinovirus Sat 12-Oct-19 18:44:32

Cheese coated in bread crumbs
Cauliflower "steak"
Nut roast
Quiche or frittata

Thecurtainsofdestiny Sat 12-Oct-19 18:47:32

Big slices of aubergine or marrow fried in garlic and peanut butter (with fresh chilli for adults). Like steak but veggie.

CurryAndCobra Sat 12-Oct-19 18:49:02

Paneer, Haloumi, Tofu, Cauliflower, Beans mashed and made into burgers/patties, Chana Dal soaked ground and steamed to replace chicken/meat.

cricketmum84 Sat 12-Oct-19 18:49:39

Roasted squash. Just halve a butternut squash, spray with oil and a dry spice rub and roast in the oven. Anything that's left chop up and add to veggie stock and blitz to a soup.

Mushroom sausages, especially good in a casserole with butter beans.

Big portobello mushrooms

Spicy bean burgers - home made with whatever beans you have in.

cricketmum84 Sat 12-Oct-19 18:51:01

Sorry also filo pastry tart with feta, sweet potato and beetroot smile gorgeous with new potatoes and asparagus!

Also broccoli quiche. Iceland do a vegan chorizo that goes lovely in quiche.

TemporaryPermanent Sat 12-Oct-19 18:51:35

One of the nicest barbecue or grilled dishes I know is portobello mushrooms with finely chopped onion, garlic and vinaigrette on them. This sort of thing

I'm also a huge fan of curried eggs a la 70s, eggs mornay etc. Hard boiled eggs in any form, basically.

FancyAPint Sat 12-Oct-19 18:58:46

Feta, beetroot and onion pie (or tart) with puff pastry yum!

sammi0805 Sat 12-Oct-19 19:03:42

Jamie Oliver has just done a meat free series on channel 4, there are some lovely recipes on there.

BristolCat Sat 12-Oct-19 19:08:00

Massive portobello mushrooms treated in the same way as burgers. Or stuffed with various concoctions and baked.

Borgen Sat 12-Oct-19 19:15:34

I'm mostly replying to place mark as for some reason "watch this thread" has disappeared from my app but:

Bean chilli in burrito or taco form (and fried plantain/banana on the side)

Onion tart (rough recipe: caramelise and soften a variety of onions, and then mix with egg, in a pasty base)

I know this is an obvious one but pizza!

Quick freezer meals - veggie fingers (peas/carrots/corn covered in mash and then breadcrumbed)

Katsu-style curry where you roast the vegetables first (sometimes with a light batter too) and then make curry. Changes the texture.

lljkk Sat 12-Oct-19 19:38:12

Do you eat wholegrain versions of things: brown rice & wholemeal flour, I mean? That adds a lot of texture to the meal as a total.

Fluandseptember Sat 12-Oct-19 22:04:15

oh, amazing! thank you - great ideas!

I've never had much enthusiasm for burgers, but thinking of them as more of a fishcake substitute would work (ie eaten w rice etc., not in a bun). They wd also be great for instant suppers.

Halloumi is great - we should have it more often. Really brightens food up.

And I do need to get into making fajitas/tacos etc. more. Everyone like them but I have never made my peace w buying wrap-type things (and it's not realistic to make them at the moment).

All whole grain stuff. It's the stuff that goes w the wholegrain rice/barley/cous cous etc. that I'm trying to diversify!

Seitan - is it nice??!

GrumpyHoonMain Sat 12-Oct-19 22:09:24

Chilli paneer, contrary to it’s name, doesn’t have much chilli. It’s crispy paneer in manchurian sauce. You serve it with rice or naan.

MotherofPearl Sat 12-Oct-19 22:11:11

I love Nigel Slater's white bean sausages. Substitute the anchovies in the mayonnaise for capers to make it vegetarian. It's in his book Real Food but I found it online here:

https://gourmay.net/recipes/vegetables/white-bean-sausage-with-anchovy-mayonnaise/

Fluandseptember Sat 12-Oct-19 22:15:41

ooh those both sound lovely.

whatisheupto Sat 12-Oct-19 22:19:31

Chickpeas add good bite I think. Lovely texture and easy to add to most stews and casseroles.

MotherofPearl Sat 12-Oct-19 22:22:53

And I'd suggest panko crumbs for the sausages - gives them a lovely crunchy outside.

ivykaty44 Sat 12-Oct-19 22:23:31

Jack fruit

I use it in chilli con carne
Fake pulled pork

AtleastitsnotMonday Sat 12-Oct-19 23:02:02

Consider adding dried fruit to things like stuffed veg, curries, and tagines things like apricots, cranberries dates all help with chew.

thatwasMauijustmessingaround Sun 13-Oct-19 04:18:21

Get Jamie Oliver's new veggie cook book! It's brill 😊

OliveOwl Sun 13-Oct-19 04:24:46

King Oyster Mushrooms
Marinated Tempeh

cricketmum84 Sun 13-Oct-19 13:51:46

There's some really good options in Lidl at the moment. I'm having a spinach, cheese and garlic wellington for dinner today instead of chicken that the rest of the family are having. They also had curried cauliflower tarts, goats cheese tartlets and a cashew nut and cranberry nut roast.

thecatwiththesilveryfur Sun 13-Oct-19 14:08:10

Can anyone recommend any good tofu recipes? I've never been able to manage to make it taste of anything, however I marinade it, but I've had it done beautifully in restaurants so know it can be done!

cricketmum84 Sun 13-Oct-19 14:21:41

@thecatwiththesilveryfur if you have an oriental supermarket near you pick up a jar of salt and pepper seasoning although you can make it yourself with salt, pepper, sugar, five spice and crushed chilli. Use sparingly as it's quite strong.

Squish as much liquid out of firm tofu as you can and cube it. Toss it in cornflour with a bit of the salt and pepper seasoning and then lightly shallow fry. You can also stir fry some onions and peppers with it and sprinkle sliced chillis and a tiny bit more seasoning on top.

thecatwiththesilveryfur Sun 13-Oct-19 21:48:37

Ooh, thank you, sounds lush! Sounds like it may have been the cornflour I was missing. How would you season it to use in curry, etc.? (or would you fry it for that too?)

GeoffreyAndBungle Sun 13-Oct-19 22:01:53

Another vote for Lidl 's frozen veggie offerings, I absolutely love the carrot, cashew and quinoa nut roast, have it with veggie gravy 😋

cricketmum84 Sun 13-Oct-19 22:06:57

Yep it's the cornflour that makes it go crispy, I'm not keen on the texture of it doesn't have that crispy coating lol!!

I haven't made a curry with it before but think I would add a bit of garam masala or tikka or tandoori powder to the cornflour and shallow fry it or bake it maybe before adding to a curry sauce?

Wavyheaded Tue 15-Oct-19 10:02:25

Loads of healthy veggie/vegan recipes on Youtube.

You don't have to always go for a meat substitute as a main. Just have veggies, they can be a main by themselves.

- Stir-fried veggies, very quick and easy, with rice or noodles. And you can add/make up your own sauces to vary the flavour.

- I also add pasta sauce from a jar to turn it into a veggie pasta dish instead.

- You can fry tofu/tempeh pieces to add to it if you want to add extra protein.

- Tofu sausages - the best ones I find in Whole foods/Health foods. Linda McCartney ones are awful (IMO!)

- Chickpea curry/bean curry

- Veggie/Vegan lasange - you can get vegan cheese (though IME they're not brilliant)

- Millions of recipes for veggie curries available online.

- Quinoa salad is great.

- Oven chips and veggie burgers! And you can also get sweet potato oven chips these days.

- 'Buddha bowl' salads - great for lunches

Fluandseptember Tue 15-Oct-19 11:34:22

amazing - thank you so much for such a lot of ideas. I'm going to make the veggie sausages this evening.

You've also reminded me that (apparently) a good way to make tofu nicer is to freeze it and defrost it - makes it much firmer, which sounds like it'd be good with the salt and pepper and cornflour spicing. Will try!

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