Q&A With Lily Kunin
What are some easy “Food swaps” for replacing meat with vegetarian options?
It’s easy to swap meat when you have a hearty, satisfying protein-rich vegetarian option. Some of my favorite swaps are lentils for ground beef in bolognese, crispy shiitake mushrooms in place of bacon, or a veggie burger made with whole grains instead of your traditional burger. My cookbook, Good Clean Food, is filled with easy swaps in dishes like my spaghetti squash + mushroom meatballs and my lentil tacos with corn avocado salsa.
I find that a lot of vegan recipes focus on processed, artificial meat and cheese substitutes, and there’s definitely a place for those, but I usually prefer vegan recipes that just focus on natural flavors like vegetables and legumes. What’s your favorite vegan recipe with simple ingredients?
I love my white bean vegetarian chili and have been making it all winter long. It’s a super easy recipe and is incredibly satisfying. It’s filled with protein from the white beans, a touch of sweetness from the tomatoes and corn, and a bit of crunch from baked tortillas. You may already have many of the ingredients in your pantry!
Do you have any tips for readers looking to move towards a more “Flexitarian” diet and reduce meat consumption?
Yes! It can be helpful to think about reducing meat consumption at certain meals, like keeping breakfast and lunch vegetarian and opting for a meat option solely at dinner. Pack almonds, whole grains, seeds, beans and legumes into breakfast and lunch options to keep you satisfied and full. Keep lots of vegetarian snacks on hand like hummus and veggies or almonds so you’re prepared if hunger does strike. Finally, fill your plate with greens and veggies and reduce the serving size of meat on the plate. You’ll be surprised how little you need to feel satisfied!
What’s your favorite crowd-pleasing recipe that impresses even hardcore carnivores?
I love making tacos for a big group! My ground cauliflower tacos with spicy almonds & crunchy slaw are a major crowd pleaser. They are easy to make and fun for a crowd. I like setting up a topping bar with avocado, salsa verde, jalapeños, cilantro, shaved radish, and more.
We’ll be sharing more of Lily’s recipes this weekend, so stay tuned!