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Lisa Schölzel

Senior Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

instagram.com/whatscookinglisa/

Has January’s promise of a fresh start had you set a culinary goal for 2021? Kudos to anyone, and everyone, who’s taken on Veganuary or Dry January. But also, hats off to those all those who deviated from their set plan (or didn't even have one to begin with): you know what’s best for you. All the same, a few new ideas for dinner can never go amiss. So to kick the year off with something different: What’s more novel than your favorite recipes, made meatless? There’s something for any diet, whether vegetarian, vegan, or alcohol-free—or with zero resolutions at all.

How to make any chicken dish vegetarian

I'm probably repeating myself when I say that although I’m pescetarian, I often take inspiration from meat-based dishes. The thing is, I still like the taste and the flavors, just not the addition of an animal protein. For example, I look at highly-praised dishes with chicken, beef or pork made by my co-workers and Kitchen Stories, take inspiration from the seasoning and prep and then ask myself: What should the consistency and texture be like on the final plate? What do I personally like? So then I simply swap ground beef or Italian sausage meat for vegetarian or soy-based ground meat (which I recently for this lasagna recipe, for example), replace chicken pieces with jackfruit, and beef with tofu. And sometimes, I just use vegetables.
One more tip: Read up on the different ways to prep whichever substitute you’re using. How do I make my tofu crispy like chicken? The answer is right here. Or, try this article, all about seitan—what it is, how to prepare it, and what to use it for (for example, schnitzel or even stir-fry meat). Often a good substitute depends much more the consistency and less on the actual taste of the ingredient.

Get creative!

Of course, there are existing vegan and vegetarian recipes you can turn to, but here, we’re getting creative, using ever-popular chicken dishes as our base. The starting point is a classic with meat, in this case chicken. Have fun experimenting!

Use meatless chicken strips

Fancy fricassee
Fajitas
Enchiladas
Mexican-inspired rice casserole
Cauliflower-pasta bake

Try tofu

Easy ramen
Pad See Ew
Rice noodle salad
Teriyaki skewers

Opt for Seitan

Seeded schnitzel with green beans
5-ingredient burger (plus a few more ingredients if you go for the schnitzel in this recipe)

Go for Jackfruit

Fragrant lettuce wraps
Stuffed avocado

And last but not least: Don’t forget cauliflower!

Chicken tikka masala (marinate as mentioned and reduce the baking time to 5-8 min).

More delicious ideas for you