Whether you’re trying to lower your meat intake or go entirely plant-based, meat alternatives are staples that can be included in everyone’s diets. With so many people going vegan nowadays, there are more vegan meat options on the market than ever before. Here are 6 vegan meat substitute recipes you must try.
Why Substitute Meat?
There are many health benefits associated with eating vegetarian and vegan diets. You don’t have to be a strict vegan to cash in on these advantages; however, it’s important to note that eating plant-based alternatives will be better for you than the processed options.
Vegan processed foods come with the same health risks as the non-vegan kind. For people eating more plant-based, read your labels when buying plant-based meat alternatives. Or better yet, make them yourself, with fresh whole foods.
6 Must Try Plant-Based Meat Alternatives
Tofu has been eaten for hundreds of years, and for a good reason! It’s extremely versatile and can be used in any type of cuisine. It comes in varying firmness – from silken to extra firm. When cooking tofu as a meat alternative, the key is adding flavour. Tofu is naturally bland, so people often marinate or bread it.
Here is a recipe you will love: Vegan Fried Rice | Minimalist Baker Recipes
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and can be sliced, cubed, and crumbled, depending on your recipe. It can have a naturally bitter flavour when coming straight out of the packaging, so boil it in a shallow pan of water for about 5 minutes to remove the bitterness. Then, marinate it in your favourite flavours. This is what will make the tempeh really enjoyable. From there, you can pan-fry, air fry, or bake it.
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Beans or Lentils
Chickpeas, black beans, lentils, and edamame are the most common beans used to make meat replacements. People often make bean burgers, lentil meatballs, or crumbles in place of meat. Beans pack an excellent punch of both fibre and protein. Recipes usually call for additional ingredients to help shape the beans into burgers or meatballs – usually nuts, grains, and breadcrumbs. The spices you add will be the most important ingredients when it comes to flavor.
Here is a recipe you will love: The Best Vegan Meatballs | Minimalist Baker Recipes
Used for centuries in Asian cooking, jackfruit is, in fact, a fruit. It can be pulled apart to resemble the texture of pulled meats like pork and chicken. You can also cube it to put in stir-fry or soups. Nutritionally, it doesn’t pack as much protein as other options, but it does have tons of vitamins and minerals. As with most meat vegan alternatives, the trick is in adding the proper sauce or seasoning.
Here is a recipe you will love: Spicy Vegan Jackfruit Tacos | Minimalist Baker Recipes
Cauliflower is best battered and covered in sauce to form a meat replacement. These simple steps take it from a side dish to a main course. Whether you make cauliflower wings or cauliflower steaks, you’re in for a treat!
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There are so many kinds of mushrooms on the market, you’re bound to find one you like. Portobellos are great to use as burgers or steaks and they are so delicious.
Here is a recipe you will love: Balsamic Portobello Burgers with Garlic Aioli | Minimalist Baker Recipes
Vegan meat alternatives can have a place in everyone’s diets. When you opt for plant-based meat alternatives, you’re choosing a more heart-healthy option. Not to mention all of the vitamins and nutrients you’re getting! No matter if you’re just doing meatless Mondays or going full-on vegan, your body will thank you.
If you are looking to learn how to cook healthier meals, with real food, check out the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.
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