Whether you’re turning vegetarian/vegan or simply trying to cut down on meat, it can be worth exploring a few plant-based alternatives. Such alternatives can help to capture the texture or flavor of real meat to help satisfy that craving, while also containing the protein you need. Below are just some of the best vegetarian meat substitutes.
Tofu is a curd made from soybeans. It can come in various degrees of softness from a paste to a hard texture more similar to a steak. This versatility makes it very popular as a meat substitute.
On its own, tofu doesn’t taste of much. However, it absorbs other flavors well – when combined with herbs, vegetables and sauces it can be absolutely delicious.
These baked tofu recipes give you an idea of some of the ways you can prepare tofu. It’s the type of food that you can easily experiment with.
Tempeh is a protein-rich food made from fermented soybeans. Unlike tofu which is flavorless on its own, tempeh has a distinctive nutty flavor.
Because tempeh is tougher than tofu, it is often used to imitate tougher meats like steaks and bacon. Barbecued tempeh is very tasty and worth trying.
Check out some of these hearty tempeh recipes for ideas on how to use this food in your cooking.
You can practically use any beans as a meat substitute. Black beans tend to have a great texture and appearance for simulating meat. They don’t have a strong taste but are good at absorbing other flavors, especially salt and savory flavors.
Black bean burgers are very popular. The black beans can offer a creaminess, which has mouthwatering results. Check out this post for tips on making your own black bean burger.
Yes, this is a fruit – but it can be a surprisingly good meat substitute. When ripe, jackfruit tastes quite sweet. However, before it goes ripe, it tends to have a more bitter savory taste and has a firm gelatinous texture.
Along with black beans, jackfruit is popular in burgers. In fact, it is often combined with black beans as a meat substitute. You can explore different ways to prepare jackfruit online.
Note that jackfruit doesn’t contain too much protein, so you’ll want to be sure you are getting enough from other sources in your diet.
Beyond Meat is another branded meat substitute sold in the US and other places around the world. Beyond Meat aims to be the most convincing plant-based meat substitute available.
You can shop for Beyond Meat products online. You could use them to make burgers, mince and sausages. You may even be able to find Beyond Meat products at restaurants like McDonalds.
You can see what you think of the taste; I thought the taste was ok when I first tried these patties, but as I had them another couple of times, I started to dislike them a bit. I don’t find them as tasty as a piece of meat would be.
You’ll also want to note that Beyond Meat contains quite a bit of saturated fat and sodium, so take that into account when planning your diet.
These products are worth a mention, though, as they do provide nutrients and can help those seeking to cut down on meat change things up a bit.
Have questions? Comments? I would love to hear what you think below!