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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?

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:

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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