There was a time, admittedly, that I couldn’t conceive of a plant-based weight loss program.
As my head turns gray and because of the perennial battle to cease shopping for new, bigger pants I discover myself more and more favouring vegetable-based meals. So are numerous Canadians. In line with a study by Emma Bedford there are greater than three million Canadians figuring out themselves as vegan or vegetarian.
Whereas I utterly respect those that select vegan and vegetarian diets out of a respect for animal welfare or the detrimental implications on the surroundings, my journey relies much less on ethics and extra on a private journey to stay a more healthy life-style.
With that in thoughts, I attempt to create vegetarian meals that don’t sacrifice flavour. As I create vegetarian fare, I discover myself digging additional into my spice cupboard, exploring new methods so as to add flavour to my meatless meals. I additionally discover myself taking a look at greens by way of a meat eater’s lens. It’s simple sufficient to eat vegetarian mush, however I usually really feel unhappy if I haven’t used a knife and fork to eat my principal course. I’ve supplied some suggestions for meaty greens and different plant-based substances to fill the necessity for a meaty principal course.
Neglect the meat: greens and plant-based substitutes
Eggplant: What’s previous is new once more
I really feel that is the apparent alternative however, then once more, I lived by way of the late 90s and early 2000s when for those who have been vegetarian going to a restaurant your choices exterior of stir fries have been eggplant, mushrooms or tofu. With so many extra choices now discovered on restaurant menus, I really feel like eggplant deserves a renaissance. Eggplant naturally is available in a steak like form when sliced and salted (removes the bitter juices) it wants solely to be grilled or pan roasted to ship a satisfyingly wealthy texture and flavour.
Cauliflower: A clean canvas of flavour
If eggplant was the de facto alternative of the early 2000s, cauliflower steaks are the identical for this era. Roasted or grilled cauliflower nonetheless has a little bit little bit of a agency construction and whereas by itself might be fairly gentle in flavour when positioned in an oven at excessive temperature, or pan seared, it positive factors numerous nutty flavours. Cauliflower can also be a clean canvas for flavour, readily and fortunately taking up the flavours of spices.
Beans: the brand new beef?
As somebody who nonetheless eats meat, I can’t with a straight face conform to this phrase I discovered on-line whereas researching meat substitutes, however I can agree they provide a depth and richness of flavours that may attraction to meat lovers. In addition they present protein and fiber. I really like including Indian and Southwestern flavours corresponding to chile, chipotle, cumin, and coriander to black beans and chickpeas. The density of the bean, supported with a binding agent (cornstarch and almond flour is a vegan and gluten free choice), will can help you type them into patties and sear them like a steak.
Meaty mushrooms corresponding to portobellos or king oysters are vegetarian classics as is tofu and its firmer, meatier model generally known as tempeh however I not often discover myself craving both of the latter choices. After all, there’s a new market of vegetable-based meat substitutes – famously discovered at a few of your favorite drive-through eating places – however I are inclined to favor the simplicity of greens.
Roast Pumpkin and Chipotle Soup
Indian Spiced Cauliflower Steaks with Aromatic Potatoes
Vegetarian Chili Brownies
The method of roasting greens brings out a sweetness and within the case of cauliflower a nutty aroma. I take pleasure in this type of delicacies with full-flavoured fragrant white wines corresponding to Viognier, oak-aged white Rioja and fruit ahead, and white Rhone blends, whether or not produced in France or elsewhere. Higher embrace the nutty, sweeter tones with of the meals with related character in a beer. Attain for caramel-scented purple ales and nutty brown ales.
- Cono Sur Viognier (NSLC, $13.49)
- The Wolftrap White (NLC, $17.28)
- Les Jamelles Viognier (PEILCC, 750 ml, $16.99
- Breton Brewing Redcoat Irish Crimson Ale (NSLC, 473 ml, $4.19, PEILCC, 473 ml, $4.49)
- Smithwick’s Draught Irish Crimson Ale (NLC, 4 x 500 ml, $15.99)
Roasted, toasted & smoked pumpkin soup
1 small pumpkin, quartered, seeds eliminated
1 tbsp olive oil
1 massive onion, peeled, quartered
2 cloves garlic, pores and skin on
2 chipotles in adobe
1/4 cup honey or brown sugar
Pumpkin seeds, toasted, for garnish
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 F. Halve pumpkin, take away seeds*, after which halve once more. Brush pumpkin with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Place on roast baking sheet. Toss onion and garlic with remaining oil and place on baking sheet together with pumpkin. Bake for 35 minutes. Take away from oven and take away pumpkin pores and skin. Heat vegetable inventory. Take away pores and skin from garlic and place in pot together with roasted onion and pumpkin. Convey to a boil after which simmer for quarter-hour. Take away from warmth and puree till clean. Serve heat topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.
*Set an oven to 300 F. Toss pumpkin seeds in a few tablespoons of almond butter and a beneficiant pinch of salt. Bake on for 45 minutes, stirring sometimes.
**Mark’s Tip: Ramp up the warmth by including a pinch of chile flakes
Cauliflower, sliced lengthwise into ½-inch thick items*
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp cumin, floor
1 tsp coriander, floor
1 lemon, juice
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine olive oil with cumin and coriander. Place cauliflower on baking sheet and brush either side of cauliflower steaks with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for quarter-hour. Flip and roast for an extra quarter-hour. End with lemon juice. Serve steaks over our Aromatic Potatoes with Cauliflower recipe and end with cilantro sauce.
*Use any remaining cauliflower florets for our aromatic potatoes dish.
Aromatic potatoes with cauliflower
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled, diced
½ lb. yellow fleshed potatoes, cubed
1 tsp cumin, floor
1 tsp coriander, floor
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
3 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
Instructions: Set a pan over medium-low warmth. Add the onion and potatoes. Sauté till browned. Add the spices and sauté till aromatic. Add the tomatoes and cauliflower. Convey to a boil then scale back to simmer. Simmer for quarter-hour. End with sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
1 bunch cilantro, stems included, chopped
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
2 limes, juice
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
Instructions: Place all substances in a blender. Mix till clean.
Chili spiced vegetarian brownies
1 cup oats, floor into flour
2 cups almond butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup dairy-free darkish chocolate (dairy free), chopped
1 cup honey
1 tbsp chili flakes
1 tbsp baking soda
Chili sugar, for garnish
Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix floor oats, almond butter, cocoa powder, chocolate, honey, salt, chili flakes and baking soda in bowl. Combine properly. Switch to a greased 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clear, the brownies are executed.
Mark DeWolf is a connoisseur of all issues food and drinks. He is a inventive director with SaltWire and native fare is his specialty. You can subscribe to his Follow a Foodie newsletter here.