Looking to reduce your meat consumption or ditch meat for good? Knowing the meat substitutes is essential, especially if you have never tried any vegan-friendly diet plans before. The great news is that you can use these vegetables to replace meat in any recipe that requires it. Enjoy Buffalo wings, meatballs, and burgers without using meat with the following ten delicious vegetables.
If you loved beef in the past, lentils should become your staple ingredient right now. They make an ideal substitute for ground beef. Plus, lentils are nutrient-dense and absolutely hearty. You can use lentils when making meatballs, burgers, stews, and tacos. With a great variety of colors – from black and brown to red and green – you create a colorful vegan-friendly meal.
If you are thinking of switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet, meat cravings might be unbearably intense. This is where mushrooms will do the trick. Most types of mushrooms are healthy, earthy, flavorful, filling, and amazingly meaty. Low in calories and high in nutrients, you can use mushrooms in any recipes instead of meat.
Sweet and tasty, beets work well in burgers, tacos, stews, soups, salads, and other savory dishes. You can even use beets in desserts. Beets are a wonderful source of vegetable protein, magnesium, fiber, iron, vitamins B6 and C, calcium, and potassium, making them a great meat substitute.
A cup of broccoli will provide your body with 135% of recommended daily intake of vitamin C, as well as vitamin A, magnesium, iron, protein, fiber, and a number of powerful antioxidants. Broccoli can ideally replace meat in soups, stews, and tacos. If you can’t tolerate its taste, try using it in stews only.
Read also – 7 Amazing Benefits of Eating More Broccoli
Just like mushrooms, eggplant resembles meat, especially when you saute, bake, or grill it. You can roast ground eggplants and use them in your burgers. Eggplants are highly meaty and filling, not to mention that they are fortified with potassium, dietary fiber, magnesium, iron, calcium, protein, and vitamins A, B6, and C.
Seitan is an amazing tofu and meat alternative, so you can grill, broil, and braise it. Seitan has a hearty texture and is chewier than meat or tofu. Plus, it is plentiful in vegetable protein. However, since it is made from wheat gluten, seitan is not recommended for people with a gluten sensitivity.
Whether fried, mashed, roasted, baked, or boiled, the potato is another vegetable that perfectly replaces meat. You can use both white and sweet potatoes and combine them with other meat substitutes, such as mushrooms, eggplants, broccoli, and beets. You can never get bored with potatoes, can you?
Meat is expensive so are some of the meat substitutes mentioned on the list. Beans are cheap yet they are incredibly healthy, hearty, filling, and nutrient-packed. They are a terrific source of protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin C. There is a myriad of ways to cook beans, so feel free to experiment with them daily.
9. Tempeh and tofu
Made from soybeans, these two are often overlooked as many of us think they are not vegetables. In reality, tofu is a great substitute for chicken while tempeh can replace fish meat. Tempeh tastes bland so make sure you use various herbs and spices when cooking with it. The same goes for tofu.
Read also – 7 Yummiest Veggies for Grilling This Spring
Surprised? Yes, carrots can be incredibly meaty and filling, but most importantly, they are fantastically healthy. Rich in vitamin A, fiber, and a host of other vitamins and minerals, carrots work well in stir-fries, sautes, soups, and stews. You can also turn carrots into vegan bacon and serve for breakfast.
See, you can easily veganize almost every meat-packed meal with these vegetables. Sure, there are many more vegetables and fruits to experiment with, but the point is, life is literally possible without meat. It is all about consuming the healthy amount of essential nutrients and powerful antioxidants.