Eight Delicious Alternatives to Meat

Posted on Wednesday, 6th August 2014

Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean giving up flavorful food, or missing out on needed nutrients that normally coming from consuming meat and seafood. There are numerous delicious meatless vegetarian options packed with everything the body needs.

Portobello Mushrooms

The caps of Portobello mushrooms are easy to disguise as burgers, and may actually taste even better than the real thing. They are dense, juicy, and very meat-like, but  much lower in fat and cholesterol. This type of mushrooms is also very easy to grill and may even be mistaken for a regular burger while being cooked.

Eggplant

When searching for meat substitutes, be sure to check out eggplant. This purple skinned vegetable has a consistency similar to that of meat and is chewier than the average vegetable. It is a perfect ingredient for meatless lasagna. Instead of chicken parmesan try eggplant parmesan for a tasty vegetarian meal.

Tofu and Tempeh

Tofu and tempeh are soy products that are wonderful alternatives to meat, and are both high in protein and low in fat. They are very versatile and can be used in many different ways as meat substitutes including burgers, stir fries, fajitas, chilies, and stews. Their texture is very comparable to meat and its mild nutty flavor is easy to season for the desired taste. Grilling or frying them makes for easy preparation.

Seitan

Seitan is another terrific alternative to meat. Sometimes referred to as “wheat meat,” it is a made from wheat gluten. High in protein with a dense, chewy texture, seitan can be used in place of just about any meat or seafood product. Many health food and Asian groceries stores carry it.

Hummus

Hummus is a traditional Middle Eastern spread made from mashed chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, and garlic. While it is not a typical meat substitute, it is a great source of protein and iron. Chickpeas are also packed with fiber and folic acid. Hummus is delicious spread on pita bread and crackers, and as a dip for vegetables.

Legumes

Legumes include beans, lentils, and peas. They are another high protein, nutrient rich option for meat and can be used in burritos, quesadillas, salads, and chilies. Some of the sturdier varieties including kidney, black and pinto beans may be more likely to stay intact when being cooked.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are another potential source of protein for vegetarians. They are great for snacking and in salads and stir fries. Peanut butter and sun butter (made from sunflower seeds) are also tasty treats and delicious on bread, crackers, apples, bananas, and celery. Some varieties, including walnuts and flaxseeds, also contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important nutrients.

Bulgur

Bulgur is a form of whole wheat grain that has been partially cooked. It is similar in consistency to rice but it has a much more protein and iron. Bulgur is also a low glycemic index food, which means eating it does not cause one’s blood sugar to spike. It is a common ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes.

There are a wide variety of delectable, healthy alternatives to meat, so many in fact it may be difficult for vegetarians to pick from the virtual smorgasbord.

 

Note: This is a guest post.

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