To help you on your plant based journey, I’ve put together some simple steps so that you can easily turn a traditional main meal into a delicious vegetarian dish. And if you haven’t already you need to check out my post on Transitioning to a Plant Based Lifestyle: Why, How and What to Eat
You don’t have to use all the steps, just whatever works for you to help you achieve the goal of a wonderful tasting vegetarian main dish recipe.
1. Substitute the meat portion of the dish with tofu, egg, mushrooms, lentils or cheese.
Adding a fried egg to a sandwich in lieu of meat or scrambled egg to fried rice are great non-meat substitutions. Adding mushrooms to pasta to replace meat or substituting lentils in mincemeat dishes like lasagne or shepherd’s pie.
2. Replace chicken stock with vegetable stock.
Often a recipe is so close to being vegetarian already, that all you’ll need to do modify the stock choice.
3. Increase the vegetables to account for the meat you’ve removed.
Add extra vegetables that are already in the recipe, or new vegetables that correspond to the recipe’s flavour. For example, courgettes and red peppers are great additions to Mediterranean or Mexican recipes.
4. Account for flavour loss that sometimes comes with a reduction in less saturated fat that meat often provides by adding additional spices, herbs, finishing oils (such as truffle oil or oil olive) or aromatics.
This is an important step, as meat can often add a lot of flavour to a recipe, especially in recipes where the meat is browned and the browned bits left behind and incorporated into the dish.
5. Substitute rice or pasta with protein-rich quinoa or add lentils and beans.
By substituting another protein source for the meat, you’re adding bulk back into the recipe which will keep you feeling full.
6. Adding additional condiments like spicy sauces, vegetarian gravy, dipping sauces, garlic oils or mint sauce to dishes can create more flavour as well as adding moisture and roundness
to a dish.