Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chicken-less Entrées- Meatless Versions of Classic Chicken Dishes

Here are three of my favorite chicken-less recipes- classic chicken entries, but without the chicken!  Chicken pot pie, chicken & dumpling soup, and chicken & dressing casserole are among my top favorite chicken dishes.  I have chosen these because they can be easily adapted to meatless versions. 

You can use a variety of vegetables, and switch them up.  I think the key is not to overuse the same vegetables in everything.  I have therefore developed these recipes with very little overlap or repetition of vegetables between recipes. 



Vegetable Pot Pie

2 cans cream of potato soup
2 soup cans milk
1 butternut squash, cubed
2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets
2 cups corn
8-12 asparagus spears, cut in 1 ½ inch pieces
1 cup sliced leeks
1 frozen deep dish pie shell, thawed, or 1 refrigerated (rolled) pie crust

1.  Empty soup into 11” X 13” casserole dish.  Fill cans with milk, and empty into dish.  Use spatula to scrape sides of can if necessary.  Stir or whisk to blend. 

2.  Stir in vegetables. 

3.  Top with pie shell.  There will probably be gaps.  Cut off excess to sides, if any.  Add pieces to gaps. 

4.  Bake at 350° for 60 minutes. 



Vegetable & Dumpling Soup

1/3 package of frozen flat dumpling strips, such as Annie’s Old Fashioned
1 bag frozen green beans, 10-16 oz
1 bag frozen lima beans, 10-16 oz
1 can sliced carrots, drained
2 cups frozen corn
2 boxes vegetable broth, about 1 liter
1 can cream soup
1 can water

1.  Empty broth into 5-6 quart Dutch oven pan, or stock pot.  Bring to a boil. 
2.  Break frozen dumpling strips into 1” pieces, and drop into boiling broth.  Cook at low boil for about 15 minutes.

3.  Add green beans and limas.  When mixture returns to a boil, time and cook another 30 minutes. 

4.  Add corn, carrots, soup and water.  Continue cooking at a low boil until all vegetables and the dumplings are cooked done. 



Cornbread Dressing & Vegetable Casserole

1 14-oz bag Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing mix, herb flavored
1 can cream of celery soup
3 cups hot vegetable broth
3 eggs, beaten
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced or quartered
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 medium sweet onion, diced

1.  Empty stuffing mix into a greased 11” X 13” casserole dish.  Pour broth on stuffing and stir to moisten. 

2.  Add eggs and cream soup.  Scrape can with spatula if necessary.  Stir into stuffing.  Stuffing should be well moistened, and loose.  Add additional broth if necessary.

3.  Stir in mushrooms, onions, and artichoke hearts. 

4.  Bake at 350° for 60 minutes. 

Chicken-less version of casserole with cornbread dressing


Meatless Mondays

I think these meatless versions of favorite chicken dishes make great family entrees.  Why not consider having Meatless Monday at your house? 

Meatless Mondays were introduced during World War I, and backed by President Hoover as an initiative to support the war effort by conserving staples.  Meatless Monday was resurrected in 2003 as a movement to promote better health.  Many medical experts and nutritionists now endorse less meat and more vegetables in our diet.  Environmentalists also endorse reducing meat consumption, as a measure to be kinder to the environment.  This is all a simplification of course.  The issues are more complex. 

Regardless, if you have decided to reduce your own meat consumption like I have, for whatever reason, you’ve come to the right place.