Veggies That Sub for Meats

Let hearty, garden-fresh veggies replace some of the meats in your diet.
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Photo By: Courtesy Chef Gabe Kennedy

Photo By: Courtesy Chef Gabe Kennedy

Photo By: Courtesy's Johnny's Selected Seeds

Photo By: Courtesy Johnny's Selected Seeds

Photo By: Courtesy Chef Gabe Kennedy

Charred Eggplant with Tahini, Harissa and Herbs

"Eggplant is perhaps one of the meatiest of all vegetables," says celebrity Chef Gabe Kennedy. "Slow roasting and getting a nice char on the vegetable imparts a smokey flavor that is reminiscent of grilled meat." Kennedy, who has served as a private chef for the Clintons, among others, prepares an eggplant dish with "some tahini for creaminess and harissa for a touch of heat. Raw onions, fresh tomatoes, herbs and a simple vinaigrette brighten the dish and create unique textures. This is great for entertaining and quite dramatic. Split the eggplant in half, get creative and impress your guests.”

Vegan Tacos

"Eating plants feels good," Chef Gabe Kennedy says. "If you do it right, you don't even think about it. This simple appetizer (Vegan Tacos) is easy, delicious, refreshing and sure to impress the guests at your next dinner party or summer BBQ. Sliced jicama as a taco, smashed avocado as a filling and pomegranate seeds for a juicy pop is all you need. Get creative and add some herbs, lime and onion into the avocado for some additional flavor. Not only is this cheaper then your traditional tacos, it will leave you energized and feeling alive."

Colorful Cauliflower

Nutrient-rich cauliflower provides vitamin C, fiber and folate. Because it absorbs flavors easily, you can spice or season it for a variety of recipes. Use it instead of chicken in Chinese dishes, cut it into steaks, whip up a cauliflower curry stew, or crumble the florets and cook them like ground beef. Cauliflower florets can also be rolled in bread crumbs and cheese, sprinkled with hot sauce and served like Buffalo wings.

Black Turtle Beans

Going meatless, whether you're doing it now and then, or all the time, means you need a healthful, filling substitute at mealtime. Midnight Black Turtle Beans, with their earthy flavor and high protein content, fit the bill. Their dense, meaty texture will also please your palate. Refry them or use them in chili, burgers, soups and stews, among many other dishes.

Warm Mushroom and Pine Nut Salad

"Mushrooms...they are magic," says Chef Gabe Kennedy, "And, quite frankly, one of my favorite ingredients. They are hearty, delicious, full of umami and the perfect substitute for meat." He makes a Warm Mushroom and Pine Nut Salad that is "hearty, healthy and vegan. Mushrooms cooked with some shallot, balsamic vinegar and honey make for a perfect topping to spicy arugula. This dish is great for entertaining because all you have to do is cook the mushrooms and toss them on top of the salad. As the glaze dresses the greens, and the aroma fills the room, your guests will be beside themselves when they find out this is vegan."

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