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Choosing to cut down on your meat consumption can be a bit challenging when it comes to re-learning how to cook and feed yourself. Enjoying tasty food is one of the greatest pleasures of being alive, and I understand why meat-eaters get wide, scared eyes when I tell them I haven’t eaten chicken in more than ten years. Though I don’t eat chicken, I certainly can taste it!

There are many recipes here on One Green Planet with “chicken” in the title and chicken flavor, and it’s much easier to mimic your favorite chicken dishes than you may expect. Here are some ways to cook plant-based meals with all the favorite flavors and textures of chicken.

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App  — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! 

1. Choose Extra Firm Tofu

Tofu is a wonderful ingredient to use as a base for your chicken-inspired, chicken-free dish. There are several types of tofu for sale, so making sure to buy firm tofu instead of silken tofu is crucial. Firm tofu has more of a tough, chewy texture that is better for mimicking chicken. Using tofu is also a good choice because it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with, so you can achieve your desired chicken taste with ease. Make sure to remove excess moisture from the tofu by wrapping tofu in a dry towel and flipping it multiple times, so the liquid drains from both sides equally. Use extra-firm tofu in this Vegan Paneer Tikka Masala.

2. Try Tempeh

Tempeh is a soy product like tofu, but it has a much tougher and grainier texture than tofu. Depending on the recipe you’re making, choosing tempeh over tofu is a good bet. For cold dishes, like this Mock Chicken Salad, using tempeh as a stand-in for chicken is a good idea.

3. Use Chicken-Flavored Bouillon

For making soup and stews in particular, throw in a vegan, chicken-flavored bouillon cube or base to give an overall chicken flavor. There are several chicken-flavored stocks and bouillon cubes available at the grocery store that are not made with any chicken. Use chicken-flavored bouillon in this Gluten-Free Vegan Chicken and these Potato Chip-Encrusted “Chicken” Salad Sandwiches.

4. Choose Cashews and Nut Milk for Creaminess

Many chicken dishes have a nice creaminess to them that is like comfort on a plate. Luckily, in plant-based cooking, we have a few options for adding a rich, creamy texture and taste to vegan dishes that help to mimic chicken dishes. In this Chicken-Less Pot Pie Soup, use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, soy creamer, and soy milk to get a similar creamy consistency and taste like a creamy chicken dish.

5. Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast and Spices

Since the base ingredients like tofu can take on whatever flavor you cook with it, choose the same spices and herbs as you would for a chicken dish. Nutritional yeast, onion powder, and garlic powder work well. Use onion, garlic, and smoked paprika in this “Chicken” Green Chili and Hominy Posole.

Thanks to the bounty of vegan food products available like tofu and soy milk, as well as go-to spices like garlic, onion, and paprika, making chicken dishes into a vegan-friendly dish is much simpler than one may think!

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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!

vegan oil free orange chicken

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammationheart healthmental wellbeingfitness goalsnutritional needsallergiesgut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acnehormonal imbalancecancerprostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

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