Simple Guide to Meat Substitutes

Veganism means making compromises, which can be difficult for those that have grown up eating animal products, such as meat. When switching over to a vegan lifestyle, the easiest way to accomplish a successful transition is by finding substitutes for the foods that you would normally have during meal times.

Meat tends to be the deciding factor for many potential vegans, but fortunately it isn’t too difficult to find and make use of meat substitutes that not only allow you to stop your consumption of meat, but are also healthy and packed with the nutrients your body needs.

1. Tofu

Tofu is the perfect substitute if you’re looking to replace such meats as pork, beef, chicken, and seafood. Tofu is made from soybeans, and is rich in both calcium and protein. It has been a staple of multiple Asian cultures for countless years, and while it’s most often associated with vegetarianism, it can work just as well if you’re looking for a good meat substitute for a new vegan diet.

Although tofu has the reputation of being bland, it’s an extremely versatile substance that can be prepared in a number of different ways, and can be spiced to one’s tastes. Its ability to absorb flavours makes it the best choice for the beginner vegan trying to steer away from meat.

2. Tempeh

Tempeh is much firmer than tofu, and tends to have a more grainy texture. Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh has a nutty flavour that can work well with a range of different dishes. Tempeh is also packed with fibre, calcium, vitamins, and protein, and offers a great supplementation for those that want to tackle the deficiency that comes with quitting meat in the long term.

Like tofu, tempeh can be made in a variety of dishes, and can be ground up, sliced, and fried. Tempeh is a great substitute for seafood dishes in particular thanks to the texture, allowing you to make seafood-based meals while retaining both the flavour and the texture of fish –  and with similar cook times, you can sit and watch TV or play bingo for money while you wait.

3. Vegetable Protein

One upcoming substitute that has been gaining popularity is vegetable protein. It’s an inexpensive and simple ingredient to use, and can be used for just about any dish imaginable.

Generally, vegetable proteins come in either chunk or granule form, which makes an excellent substitute for mince dishes and burger patties. It is also often known as textured soy protein.

4. Seitan

Seitan is processed wheat gluten, making it a fantastic source of protein, and offers a tasty substitute for red meat while retaining both the flavour and the texture.

It can be flavoured in a number of different ways, and can successfully mimic chicken, beef, and pork.

It can be fried, braised, grilled, among many other methods, each providing the same final product, as you would find with meat. Although it can be bought at most stores, it’s also extremely simple to make at home.