I know for myself I used to miss that little bit of fat and oiliness that comes from the chicken, especially in stir fries or soups. Now I just add a little bit in, with some middle eastern/asian dishes I add some peanut butter. Otherwise some olive oil or canola oil. Its really easy to miss that bit of fat in vegetarian cooking since most of it is fat free to begin with.
Put something that has alot of texture in your meals, like a portabello mushroom. I also second quorn products, those are scarily like chicken. The gruyere cheese one is one of the only substitues I will eat just by itself.
Remember, chicken itself is fairly flavorless (think of boiled chicken breast).
How did you used to eat chicken? Usually it's the way that it's prepared that leaves a hole in your meal. Try some different meat-analogues until you find some you can prepare that give you pleasure -- not necessarily that taste exactly like chicken, but that taste delicious in their own right. And try expanding your repetoire so you can begin to crowd out the old favorites with yummy new things.
If it's eating out that's difficult for you specifically, then I imagine it depends on where you live. I live near a restaurant called Vegetarian's Paradise that has amazing chicken-esque and shrimp-like dishes that are so close that my non-vegan friends enjoy them. www.menupages.com/restaurantdetails? re staurantid=761
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Fitness Minutes: (3,476) Posts: 878 1/27/09 10:52 A
I found Quorn is a great chicken substitute. You can even find it unbreaded in a "fillet" form, which is pretty rare. It has egg whites in it, however, so I don't eat it anymore. I do find it ironic that most good substitutes have chicken eggs in them. Health Is Wealth does make a vegan chicken nugget.
It's easy to eat vegetarian/vegan if you go to Asian (Thai, Indian, Japanese, etc) restaurants. If I'm in a pickle, I'll order a salad with no meat or a cheeseless pizza.
I have recently found that it's hard to give up meat when I'm eating out - especially with a group of people where I didn't necessarily choose the restaurant. So I guess all I'm saying is that it's been helpful to me to be mindful of where I'm eating and if someone suggests a burger place with limited vegetarian options, I simply ask if there are other places that have both burgers and veg stuff.
Fitness Minutes: (505) Posts: 515 1/27/09 9:25 A
Use vegetables as the main dish instead of feeling that you need to have meat on the plate to make it a meal. That seems to be hard for a lot of people...making a meal around veg instead of around a cut of meat. Don't feel like you need to replace it with something.
Hmm - I've never tried to really substitute meat for something else so can't really help there. What has worked for me is to cultivate taste through scrumptious recipes so I don't miss meat. Hope you find a combination of stuff that works for you!
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There are lots of soy chicken substitutes that are really yummy. Chicken nuggets and chicken patties in the frozen foods section (Morningstar Farms brand), and there are also packages of chicken (soy) strips for salads or stir fry and stuff - those are in the refrigerated section, the brand is either Yves or Lightlife. The chicken nuggets are my favorite, though!
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