Substitute for chicken

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Chazza

Substitute for chicken

There are many good-looking chicken dishes on this site but I have to think about a vegetarian or two and I often end up cooking two separate meals. I don't mind, but it takes up a lot of extra time.

Does anyone have a reliable substitute for chicken to make vegetarians happy? Sometimes the meat can just be left out, but that's not really the solution I'm looking for, nothing complains like a couch carnivore denied his meat.

There must be something (like sliced aubergine?) that cooks like sliced or diced chicken for stir fries. Has anyone experimented along these lines? With egg and an unusual flour perhaps?

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Darkginger

Substitute for chicken

The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is tofu (don't groan!). I'm a committed meat eater, but spent a couple of years eating tofu when I was going through my low carbing stage - the secret to making it edible is to pre-fry it, I found, so it goes a little brown on the outside.

An alternative in Indian recipes would be paneer - a sort of cottage cheese - but more lumps than liquid, if you see what I mean. Halloumi would work in some chicken dishes too - again, I'd pre-fry it before use.

You could experiment with various beans - chick peas can be good. I used to avoid beans and pulses cos they reeked of 'home knitted yoghurt' to me - but have recently been using them more in cooking and have found they're edible after all :)

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JAMES

Substitute for Chicken.

I use a lot of Quorn, Chazza.

Available either as small pieces, like chicken breast, or as a fillet, like a whole chicken breast. I find most meat eaters are happy to eat it too.

Obviously there are loads of other varieties of Quorn available, I'm only talking about chicken substitutes here.



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sam from worthing

Chicken Subs..

you could try paneer - either buy it or i do have a lovely recipe in my profile (if they are veggies they eat FAT cows milk.

or like other have said tofu (but i don;t like that).

what are you planning on serving? could you not make the whole meal veggie? there are so many wonderful veggie dishes that even the hardest meat and 2 veg eater wouldn;t turn there nose up at - like Delias Parsnip roulade, served with all the roast dinner accompaiments - could make a meaty stuffing balls for the meat eaters and a nutty one for the real hardcore veggies.

I am really trying to continue my one meal a week veggie or rather meat free, to appease my husband.

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Chazza

Substitute for chicken

Oh look, Quote has just stopped working.

I'm trying to make slices of something that will stir-fry well, or layer up in a pie without disintigrating.

I should experiment with tofu, pre-frying must give it a bit more substance, and I hear it takes a marinade quite well. Can it be made at home?

I like paneer, with spinach and coconut (i.e. sag paneer from our brilliant local Pakistani place). That sometimes has quite a bit of bite to it. Halloumi's a bit salty for me.

Green/french beans as a vegetable are great (Salade Niçoise coming soon when the weather gets hot!) but beans as pulses aren't where I'm trying to go, not very stir-fry friendly.

Quorn could be the answer. It doesn't really appeal, but perhaps I should try to make friends. Does it have any unusual effects on the digestive system?

Sam, your paneer recipe looks good - I wonder if you can use extra pressure to make thin slices instead of the usual cubes.

What happened to soy protein? Is that still available?

I do make vegetarian dishes - I made a spinach, pine nut and ricotta pie today, with a salad (don't worry, I''m not that noble most of the time). I;m trying to appease the meat eaters though - success for me would that they didn't notice that they weren't eating meat.

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SonyaK

Substitute for chicken

"I'm trying to make slices of something that will stir-fry well, or layer up in a pie without disintigrating.

I should experiment with tofu, pre-frying must give it a bit more substance, and I hear it takes a marinade quite well. Can it be made at home?"

I usually pre-fry tofu but cut it in slices and just fry 2 sides, then cut into pieces. Quicker than frying cubes, unless you have a deep fryer - I don't.

I used to try and make it years ago - when I home made everything ("home knitted yoghurt"!!!).
Made it from soy beans but never got a good texture - more like crumbly cottage cheese, as I remember. Didn't try too often - gave up and bought it instead!!
Now it's much easier to find in shops, but make sure you buy the "Firm" variety if you want it to stay together.
The "Silken" might be OK too (if they are the terms used over your way?) but the "Soft" is for mashing up and using in desserts or mushy dishes!! Think scrambled eggs (I like scrambled tofu but could see it wouldn't appeal to some!!)

I think you can still get soy protein but don't use it myself. Think it's more like mince in texture.

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SonyaK

Quotes

Looks like the Quote thing is doing strange things again.
Most of my last post looks like its quoted!! Only the first bit is a quote.

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Chazza

Substitute for chicken

For me it wouldn't work at all. Before it was quoting everything to the last doublequote - see how your post stops quoting at"Soft"?

I think I'll pass on making tofu, sounds like a job for a pro. Might try your slicing method though. I wonder what you get if you make paneer in a bread-maker to toughen it up.

The more I remember of soy protein the more I seem to recall grumbling stomachs.

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Linzechris

quorn

I think as James has said that Quorn is your best option.
If I have veggie friends round I often use quorn and say nothing to the carnivores and they have no idea they are not eating chicken, especially if it is served in wraps (as in Enchilladas)or a curry.
Quorn sausages aren't bad either.
It doesn't have any adverse effects either as in wind or anything!
The other thing I might suggest is big mushrooms.
Obviously anyone would know they are not eating meat but they are quite 'meaty' and could be chopped up or just stuffed.
Aubergine parmagnia is my favourite veggie dish.

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JAMES

Quorn.

No, as far as I know, Chazza, it does not have any weird effects on people, it certainly does not on me but then soya does not either.

Soya (some called TVP or Textured Vegetable Protein) is still available, large supermarkets do it, but it is far cheaper for a larger pack of it in places like Holland & Barrett.

I don't mind it, but its not really meaty in texture, and Quorn can be. I made a fab curry using the chicken style pieces a couple of weeks ago and it went down a storm with everyone.

TVP can be a bit mushy, but it is also available as dried mince or chunks, and I will eat it, but just think Quorn is better. TVP you soak in a bowl of hot water for 5 mins or so and it comes back to form, Quorn obviously is sold in its ready to go state. If you do buy some, try and get the frozen, its cheaper slightly, and you also get a little more in the pack, and you can use it straight from the freezer.

As you can tell, I love the stuff! :)

x

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Chazza

Quorn sounds like the thing

Linzechris and James, thanks for the recommendation, I'll try it. I'll also see whether that paneer idea works though.

"I often use quorn and say nothing to the carnivores and they have no idea" - that's just what I want.

Big mushrooms area good idea. And veggie moussaka with a potato layer as well as an aubergine layer is a favorite of mine.

Frozen Quorn, ready to go, it's on the shopping list. Thank you everyone.

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violet eyes

substitute for chicken

If you are serving quorn to vegetarians make sure they like it first. There are many who don't like the taste or texture.
We were veggie for many years and I sometimes bought the stuff and pretended it was meat, I never took to it even at Christmas, I would rather of had the real thing. Some people are just too polite to tell the truth and eat it so as not to hurt your feelings, so always check first.

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JAMES

Quorn.

Surely you can say that about any food, Violet Eyes.

There will always be people that don't like a particular food, I would not say that any more people dislike Quorn over other foods.

It's a bit like suggesting to someone that they check first if their guests eat apples cos they were planning on doing an apple pie.

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Chazza

Checking

It's a good point. May as well ask, if possible. Look how often the cooks on Come Dine With Me serve something a guest never eats.

But still my objective is to fool the meat eaters - or satisfy them at least - not provide meat substitutes for vegetarians. In other words, to cook one dish then serve it as two dishes, one "for vegetarians", one "for meat eaters". That sort of thing, anyway.

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violet eyes

substitute for chicken

all I'm saying is don't assume that all vegetarians like quorn , many people won't eat it for various reasons.
If the apple pie isn't liked it won't be a disaster but to eat a main meal made with a meat substitute might be for some.
After all not all meat eaters would eat veal, rabbit or liver so if someone was planning to serve any of those meats you would surely check or time and money could be wasted.

 
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