Most people think of vegetables as bland and boring. However, if you’re creative enough, you can make vegetables hearty and meaty.
As winter is approaching, many of you may crave heartier and meatier foods given the cold. This is why I decided to extract some tips from an interview I’ve done previously.
Below are five tricks to making meaty vegetables and developing a passionate love affair with greens, satisfying your voracious appetite 😉
#1: Use condiments with “umami character”
The umami character is a profile and texture you get from meat, which is considered a six-taste sense.
If you have the liquid aminos or soy sauce (Tamari) without the meat, you’d have a similar “meaty” taste and tones. It is not salty, sweet, or bitter, but fills your month. Vegetarian options like mushroom and ketchup have that same feel to it.
#2: Use “Hearty” Ingredients
Use ingredients like Portobello mushrooms. Mushrooms’ textures are chewy, and thick, which mirror meat in some way.
In contrast to crispy lettuce, you can bite into the mushroom, which makes the vegetable taste more like “meat”.
Many vegetarian restaurants use Portobello mushrooms, instead of processed soy patties, as filling for the veggie burgers given mushrooms’ texture.
Starches from tuber vegetables like pumpkins and sweet potatoes can also make you feel fuller.
#3: Love your spices
When you spice up your vegetables, you give them diverse and unique flavors that stimulate your taste buds.
#4: Add legumes and brown rice
Legumes such as lentils or black beans and brown rice serve as a satisfying and hearty side dish.
#5: Spice up your vegetable cooking technique
- Grilling – When you grill your food, there’s “smoking char” taste from your grill that you’re familiar with. When you apply that to vegetables, the taste mimics that of meat.
- Braising – Naturally heartier for meat lovers.
- Roasting – Roasting is a great way to add texture to your diet. Think roasted sweet potatoes.
- Pureeing – When you roast and puree your vegetables, you change the veggies’ look and texture completely. You can try pureed soup.
- Dehydrating – If you are craving for some crisps, heat up your oven on low heat and roast your vegetables. Better yet, stick your vegetables into a dehydrator and make some veggie chips.
- Confit your vegetables
- Pair vegetables with sauces and dips– Make sauces and dips with a blender like Vitamix. For instance, you can make a cream-based dip like a cashew dip and pair it with steamed vegetables.