There are so many meat alternatives out in the market, but what about when you don’t have any on hand? We’ve got some simple swaps that will turn your favourite meaty classics, into meat-free dinners!
4 May 2020 - 12:06 PM  UPDATED 4 May 2020 - 1:15 PM

Green jackfruit instead of pulled pork 

The slightly stringy texture of jackfruit makes it a robust candidate for cooking, and a great substitute for the tender yet distinct texture that we want in our pulled pork. If fresh green jackfruit is hard to find, simply use canned green jackfruit in water or brine that you can find in Asian grocers and speciality shops. Replace the pork in your favourite recipe with jackfruit, and thicken the sauce beforehand because the jackfruit requires less cooking. 

Use cauliflower instead of chicken wings

The mild flavour of cauliflower makes it very suitable as a sub for chicken recipes! And it helps that cauliflower holds up well to roasting and frying, too. Simply cut the cauliflower into florets and coat as you would chicken wings. If you’re roasting the cauliflower, be sure to add a little more oil than you would for chicken, to help a dry rub stick a little better. 

Use lentils in your meat sauces

We all love a classic lasagne and spag bol, but if you’re going meat-free, why not use lentils to give you that heft and bulk that beef mince provides instead? If you’re using drained lentils that are drained and rinsed, add them in the last 15 mins of cooking to warm through, or if you’re using dried lentils, soak it overnight, then add them at the beginning of the sauce like you would regular mince. 

Use tofu in your dumplings

A quick way to make your favourite dumplings meat-free is by crumbling drained firm tofu into your filling mixture instead of using mincemeat. Add a little potato starch or corn starch to help it bind together, and voila! You have meat-free dumplings. Bonus tip: if you’re after a little bit more flavour, you can also mix in some rehydrated shiitake mushrooms that have been finely chopped. 

From charry bottoms to soupy insides....

Use eggplants or portobello mushrooms in your schnitzel and tempura

Eggplants and mushrooms take very well to coating and frying, and as we’ve seen from the eggplant parmigiana, it also goes well with cheese and a classic red sauce! Try using these robust veggies instead of your usual chicken or veal, and bring something different to your #meatfreemondays. 

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Stuffed portobello mushrooms

The 'meat for vegetarians' just got meatier with these juicy, flavour-filled mushrooms. Serve them as a side, or make them the main feature along with a salad.

Eggplant parmigiana (melanzane alla parmigiana)

It is one of Italy’s most famous dishes, yet its origins remain in dispute. The name of this cheesy eggplant bake infers that it is cooked "Parma-style" and therefore hails from the Emilia-Romagna region in the north. "Alla parmigiana" also refers to Parma’s most famous cheese, parmesan, which is frequently included. However, the recipe is just as often dubbed a southern creation due to its abundant use of eggplant.

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