A vegetarian diet has a myriad of benefits for your health, and for reducing your ecological footprint. However, you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite dishes to live a more conscientious lifestyle. Many meat substitutes can be used to create a new take on classic meals, from burgers to Buffalo wings and other treats. All it takes is a bit of creativity and a toolbox of meat alternatives.
The most common vegetarian meats are soy-based, including tofu, tempeh, and textured vegetable protein (TVP). While tofu is made from pressed soy milk curds, tempeh binds soybeans into fermented cakes, and TVP is a more complex, synthesized soy flour product.
Legumes and Soy Alternatives
Soybeans arejust the start, though. Many common dishes rely upon legumes like chick peas, while wheat gluten, quinoa, nuts, and beans are other flavorful additions to your favorite meals.
Redefining Vegetables and Fruits
Although meat is often central to contemporary diets, many vegetables and fruits have long been used as dietary staples, especially in combination with one another. Both potatoes and eggplants are versatile vegetables that can be roasted, boiled, baked, mashed, or fried in combination with other veggies. In contrast, mushrooms are a healthy and filling meat replacement with a rich, meaty umami flavor. While a bit more rare, jackfruit is an incredibly tender and nutritious substitute that pairs well with barbecue, stir-fries, and any dish that would put meat front and center.
With this diversity of vegetarian meats, cutting animal meat out of your diet doesnot mean limiting your palate. Indeed, the reality is often an opening up to the full diversity of the vegetarian cookbook, from mouth-watering seitan wings to tofu stir-fries, mushroom burgers, and much, much more.