When you want to stay away from non-vegetarian food yet retain the aura and aroma of it on your dinner table,how about trying some meatless meaty meals? You read that right, meaty meals do not necessary have to include meat or poultry. Vegetarians can, indeed, enjoy the best of non-vegetarian recipes without including any meat among the ingredients. Try these purely-vegetarian ‘meaty’ recipes and see if you did miss your regular fare:
2 cups of lentils (green or brown) – rinsed
2tbsp ground flaxseed, plus 5tbsp of water
2 medium carrots – peeled and cut in half length-wise
1 large red onion – peeled and cut into 8 pieces
6 to seven large portobello mushroom caps – stems removed
2 cloves of garlic – peeled
1½ cups bread crumbs
1 can (400g) sun-dried tomatoes
2tbsp of dry Italian seasoning
Ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Combine the flax seed and the water until creamy.
Let sit for at least 15 minutes. In a medium saucepan, cover the lentils with water and cook till soft. Drain the excess water and pulse slightly in a blender, just to break up the grains. Put the carrots and onion on a rimmed baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and roast for five minutes. ‘
Add the mushrooms and continue to roast until the vegetables are caramelized and easily pierced.
Remove and cool. Now, place the vegetables and the garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until they are cut into small pieces.
Add to the lentils in a bowl along with bread crumbs, flax paste, two chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Stir until well combined.
Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Line a one pound loaf tin with parchment paper, and put the lentil loaf mixture in the pan. Bake for 55 minutes.
Remove the loaf from the oven, cut two slices, then evenly drizzle the juice of the sun-dried tomatoes on the entire loaf. Then continue to roast for 5 more minutes.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for ten minutes, before slicing.
Vegetarian ‘Beef’ Bourguignon
3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
250g smoked tofu
400g extra firm tofu – cut into cubes
250g cremini mushrooms – sliced
250g small button mushrooms – halved
2 yellow onions – chopped
1 leek – sliced
3 large carrots – cut into large sticks
4 stalks celery – cut into large sticks
500g tomato juice
2 cups mushroom stock
2tbsp nutritional yeast
2 bay leaves
1½tsp dried thyme
2tsp cracked black pepper
1tsp coriander seeds
3tbsp all-purpose flour
Roasted potatoes and onions – to serve
Heat half the olive oil over medium heat in an oven-proof dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 120° C. Add the smoked tofu and fry for several minutes. Once the tofu has started to brown, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the pan in small batches and let them brown. Remove and set aside with the smoked tofu. Add the remaining half of olive oil and then the dried extra firm tofu and brown it. Remove from heat and keep aside with the smoked tofu and mushrooms.
Now, add the onions to the pan and sauté until they’ve browned, too. Add the leeks, carrots, and celery and sauté to mix. Add the smoked tofu, mushrooms, and tofu and sauté to heat. Add the tomato juice and stock and stir. Season with nutritional yeast, bay leaves, thyme, pepper, salt, and coriander. Stir again and cover with a tight lid. Place in the oven and bake for an hour. Just as you’re ready to serve, in a small saucepan, melt the margarine and whisk in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes and add to the stew, whisking well. Taste for seasonings and adjust. Serve hot, with more onions and roasted potatoes
Crispy Seitan ‘Chicken’ Strips
200g store-bought seitan
1/2 cup milk
1 cup oil to deep fry
Any favourite dip – to serve
For bread crumb mixture
1 cup bread crumbs
1tbsp nutritional yeast
Slice the seitan into strips. Heat oil for deep frying into a pan. Let it warm up while you prepare the rest. Prepare three separate bowls – add the milk to the first bowl, the flour to the second, and the breadcrumb mixture to the third.
Start by dipping each piece of seitan in the milk, then coat in the flour on both sides, finally, press each side firmly down in the breadcrumb mixture.
Drop the seitan into the hot oil and fry until both sides are golden brown. Take the seitan strips out with tongs and place on a plate to cool. Serve with a salad or any favourite dip.
Paneer seekh kebabs
1 cup paneer (cottage cheese)
¼ cup boiled and mashed potato
2tbsp rice flour or all-purpose flour
1tsp finely chopped ginger
1 onion – minced
2tbsp minced capsicum
½tsp cumin powder
1tsp chaat masala
Salt and chilli flakes, to taste
2tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Oil for deep frying
Mash paneer, add grated potato, finely chopped onion, capsicum, chaat masala, cumin powder, salt and chilli flakes. Taste, and adjust spices accordingly. Now add rice flour or wheat flour and breadcrumbs and mix well. Add chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Take skewer sticks and form long sausages around them (around 10-12cm long). Heat oil to medium level, deep fry and serve hot. You can also avoid deep frying and shallow fry them on a hot plate or brush with oil and grill in an oven or air-fryer.
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