One of the main issues that detracts people from switching to a vegan diet is that they must give up on meat. But this need not be an issue as many vegan recipes are as good as meat recipes. Not only that, but manufacturers are also making different types of vegan meat products like burgers, sausages, ground meat, etc, that taste and feel like real meat. Besides, there are multiple vegan substitutes for meat, and the purpose of this article is to explore some of them; read on to know more about them.
Tofu is made using soybeans, and it is a rich source of protein and calcium. It is an excellent substitute for beef, chicken, seafood, and pork, and it is used in many vegetarian and vegan recipes. Because of this, it is a staple in many traditional Asian cuisines for ages. One of the biggest complaints about using tofu is that it is soft, bland, spongy, and tasteless. This is not the case because you can buy extra firm tofu, or you can buy normal ones and squeeze the moisture out of it. It is a good meat substitute because of its firmness and chewiness.
Tofu is a good ingredient for preparing a vegan meal because it is particularly good at absorbing the flavors of other ingredients. So, it can be used as a substitute for meat in non vegetarian recipes. You can cook it in different ways like grilling, stir-frying, and many more. When cooking tofu, follow the tips shared below to make the perfect dish.
- Squeeze the water out of tofu
- Make the tofu firmer by freezing or refrigerating it
- Marinate the tofu to fill it with flavor
- Give the tofu a dry rub when frying, this gives it a crunchy texture and added flavor
- When making a tofu-based dish, choose the right type of tofu.
- When cooking, cut the tofu into smaller pieces so that it absorbs maximum flavor
- When cooking tofu, make it crisp and ensure that it does not get soggy.
Tempeh is made by fermenting soybean, and it is available in the form of cakes. It has a firm and grainy texture along with a nutty flavor. It can be sliced, diced, or grounded and added into vegan recipes. Tempeh is popular among vegans because it is rich in proteins, vitamins, fiber, and calcium. Some people will find its taste bitter, and this can be reduced by steaming it before using it in a vegan or vegetarian dish. On cooking, its texture perfectly emulates that of fish, and hence, it is an amazing substitute for fish in some seafood recipes. Likewise, it can be used instead of ground beef in several recipes.
Listed below are the different ways to cook the tempeh.
- Ground, cubed or chopped
Tempeh is firmer than tofu, and this makes it more versatile for cooking as a meat substitute. Also, it easily absorbs the flavors of other ingredients and hence can be used in Chinese, Indian, Mexican, or Italian cuisines.
Seitan has the most meat-like texture, and it is a perfect substitute for meat in many recipes. It is processed wheat gluten with a chewy and dense texture, and it is a good source of protein. Depending on how you flavor seitan, it can taste like beef, chicken, or pork. Besides, it can be grilled, braised, or fried, depending on the type of meat dish you want to cook. Some of the vegan recipes that can be made using it are steak, seitan ribs, pot roast, hot dogs, sausages, stew, salad, seitan wellington, and many more.
Textured Vegetable Protein
Textured vegetable protein is dehydrated soy, and it is available in the form of chunks or granules. You can rehydrate it and use it as a good substitute for meat in cutlets, meatloaves, burgers, or beef dishes. Some dishes that can be made using it are vegan Irish lamb stew, taco bowls, vegan chicken salad, and many more.
Gluten-Free Vegan Meat
Gluten-free vegan meat is for those who do not want to include gluten in their diet. It is made by using different plant proteins and flours to create vegan meat that is like seitan, and it can be flavored in different ways. Gluten-free vegan meat can be used for making cutlets, sandwiches, as a substitute for chicken and turkey, and so on.
Raw jackfruit has a mild taste and chewy texture like meat when cooked. Like tofu, seitan, and tempeh, jackfruit easily absorbs the flavors. So, it is an ideal meat substitute in Mexican, Indian, and Chinese recipes. Besides, it is a perfect stand-in for making vegan pulled pork. It can be roasted, barbecued, added as a meat substitute in salads, etc. Above all, jackfruit has high nutritional value because it has high amounts of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and B vitamins.
It should be obvious to you by now that you have a wide variety of meat substitutes when making vegan recipes, and we hope that this article will help in your switching to a vegan diet.