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The Nosh Pit - Veggie Alternatives to Meaty Dishes

Why can't vegetarians participate in sloppy joe night? Now they can!

By: Anthony Marcusa
Published: April 29th, 2013 in Culture » Food » Recipes
(clockwise) Quinoa sloppy joes, Portabella burger, veggie gyros, chickenless nuggets

It could get messy, but it will always be memorable. Every week in the Nosh Pit, we’ll lead the gathering of an impassioned group of foodies, offering delectable dishes, seasonal treats, and other goodies to nosh upon.

We’ll introduce the timely scenario – what to bring to an obligatory sports party or contribute to a spring picnic--and share some auspicious recipes. Spice up a soiree, diversify your dinner, or help convince those reluctant souls that ‘soy substitute’ is not synonymous with ‘stale.’

Recipes are best shared, passed from one sated soul to the next, with everyone adding just their own flair, and creating endless yummy possibilities. At a concert, people shed inhibition and share passion in a moment of synergy and excitement; they will do the same in the Nosh Pit, directing their unparalleled enthusiasm towards food.

Veggie Alternatives to Meaty Dishes

Go Veg! Seriously, try it. Whether you want to diversify your eating habits, challenge yourself to be more disciplined or creative, or seek to make your body and the environment a bit healthier, a diet tending towards more vegetarian or vegan options is the way to go.

What follows are a collection of recipes that hope to nudge you towards that way of eating, offering some delicious and clever meals. Alternatives abound when it comes to everyday meat dishes, as you can get your burger, steak, and chicken fix, among others, without actually eating any meat. A common misconception is that the meat substitutes are bland; the recipes that follow should prove otherwise. If you’re just going veggie for a meal, a day, or giving up meat entirely cold turkey, so to speak, here are some Nosh Pit recipes to get you started.

Portobello Steak from Happy Herbivore

Ingredients:

Directions:

Line a large frying pan with a thin layer of broth. Remove stems from mushroom and set aside. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes over high heat. Add remaining ingredients, except for the mushrooms, and turn to medium. Add mushrooms, cover and cook for five minutes. Gently flip mushrooms over and cook for 5 minutes more, adding more broth as needed to prevent sticking or burning. Plate mushrooms and spoon leftover juices on top.


Crispy Chickenless Nuggets from Happy Herbivore

Ingredients:

Directions:

· Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk non-dairy milk and lemon juice together until foamy with bubbles.

· In a medium bowl, mash chickpeas with a fork or potato masher until coarse. You don't want any whole beans left, but don't overly mash them so that they are pureed and resembling refried beans.

· Alternatively, you can pulse the beans in a food processor 10-15 times and transfer processed chickpeas to the bowl. Add in TVP, crumbs if using, vital wheat gluten, mustard, spices and agave.

· Add in 1/4 cup water and mix with a spoon. Gluten should form almost instantly. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead for about a minute, getting out any excess bubbles and making sure the gluten strands form.

· Mold the mixture into ball and set aside. Pour cornflakes into a separate bowl and mash until very crumbly, like thick and slightly bigger bread crumbs and set aside.

· Re-whisk non-dairy milk and then pour mixture into a shallow bowl. Break off bouncy ball-sized portions of the gluten and flatten in the palm of your hand to it resembles a nugget shape.

· Dip into the non-dairy milk mixture so that it's coated on both side then press into flakes on each side, making sure it's completely coated.

· Place nugget on a cookie sheet and repeat with all nuggets. Bake nuggets for 10 minutes, flip and bake another 10-15 minutes, until nuggets are firm and crispy.


Pseudo Satay Celery Sticks from Vegetarian Times

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 1½ Tbs. toasted sesame oil
  • 4 tsp. sweet chile sauce, such as Mae Ploy, plus more for dipping
  • 2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 10 large celery stalks, each cut on bias into 3 sticks
  • 3 large carrots, finely grated (1 cup)
  • ¼ cup black sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Stir together peanut butter, lime juice, sesame oil, chile sauce, and soy
sauce in bowl until smooth.

2. Spread 1 tsp. peanut butter mixture inside each celery stick.

3. Stir together carrots and sesame seeds in small shallow dish. Dip celery sticks in carrot mixture, filling-side-down, to coat filling with carrots and sesame seeds. Serve with small bowl of chile sauce.

Related articles: The Nosh Pit, Vegetarian, Vegan, Jewish, Organic, Veggie, Alternatives, Recipes, Healthy, Meaty, Sloppy Joe, Burger
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