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What to Substitute for Meat

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What to Substitute for Meat

Going vegan may seem impossible for you at times.With all of the health scares and false information that is so often spread about this lifestyle, I can understand why.So many people continue to believe that if you choose to make the switch to a vegan lifestyle you will be protein deficient and lacking in vitamins and nutrients.In reality, if any lifestyle is done poorly this can be the case for vegans and carnivores alike.What I’m here to tell you is that if done properly, living a vegan lifestyle can be abundant in not only health but happiness as well.Because as we’ve all heard before, “you are what you eat”.Today we are going to talk about what to substitute for meat, how to make some meat substitutes, and will crush any of the false information surrounding veganism that has been shared with you in the past. Let’s get started!

Meat Substitutes?

Meat Substitutes

What are substitutes for meat? What are meat substitutes made of? What is the healthiest meat substitute? Do meat substitutes even taste good? I’m sure if you’re reading this, some of these thoughts and questions have crossed your mind at least once before if not more. I am here to provide you with my answers to these questions. I’m going to start with the very basis of what this entire blog is truly about, this being what meat substitutes are. Meat substitutes are the foods we choose to eat instead of meats for either health reasons, moral value reasons, or others. Meat substitutes are foods which carry a similar nutrient content to that of meat, without involving the death of an animal. Meat substitutes are essential for a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, whether it be mock meat, or vegetables, grains, and legumes which I will get into more later. Next, I would like to continue by touching on this worry of, “are meat substitutes healthy”. The answer is not black and white, as, with any food, it depends on what you are pairing this food with and what is best for your body and your own personal health. The easy answer to this question would be yes, meat substitutes on their own are filled with various nutrients that greatly benefit our health. Now, if you smother your meat substitution in heavy oils and fry them up, overtime this lifestyle choice will definitely catch up to your health. Although, every now and again if a deep-fried dish is beneficial to our mental health, then I say go for it! Again, it all depends on the body we are dealing with. What is healthy for someone may not be healthy for someone else. The next question is the easiest to answer. Do meat substitutes even taste good? They sure do! The vegan/vegetarian substitute recipes floating around the internet are abundant. It’s all about the seasonings when it comes to meat substitutes, so as long as you know what you l like, your food is bound to fancy your tastebuds!

Oh, the Choices!

But what can you substitute for meat?? Now that we’ve cleared some of those common misconceptions up, I’m going to cover a long list of what foods can be substituted for meat. If you have been wondering what meat substitutes are good for you, check some of these out.

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Seitan
  • Jackfruit
  • Nuts, Legumes & Grains
  • Vegetables

This list of meat substitutes merely scratches the surface of all the options there are, but I think these are a great place to start. Tofu and Tempeh are both a soy-based meat substitute. Tofu is basically a block of processed soybeans, whereas Tempeh is a block of fermented soybeans. Tofu and Tempeh both pack a lot of protein into each bite whilst remaining low carb and low fat. If you are leading a gluten-free lifestyle, Tofu and Tempeh are good meat substitutes for you. Next on the list is Seitan. Seitan, also high in protein, is made from vital wheat gluten. This meat substitute, in my opinion, is the most similar to meat thanks to its texture. If seasoned correctly, you could fool many. If you have ever found yourself asking, “What is the new meat substitute?”, we can turn our attention to Jackfruit. The popularity of Jackfruit is on the rise and I can understand why. Jackfruit, as stated in its name, is a fruit. Providing an incredible nutrient profile, Jackfruit is great in tacos or smothered in BBQ sauce and sandwiched between a fresh bun. Jackfruit is definitely a meat substitute you have to try! Now let’s talk about Nuts, Legumes & Grains. When plated in tandem, some of these foods can fulfill all of your protein and vitamin needs. When paired together, rice and beans complete a full source of protein. This is amazing news because rice and beans are a definite match made in heaven. If you’re ever staring into the depths of your fridge wondering “What can I substitute for meat tonight? head over to your pantry and cook up some rice and those canned beans you have forgotten about. Next, we’re going to talk about how to make a meat substitute, vegetable edition. Brussel Sprouts, Asparagus, Green Peas, and Broccoli are all surprisingly higher in protein than other vegetables. If you aren’t always wanting to eat processed food as your substitution for meat, try making a dark leafy green salad with your favorite vegetables, some beans, and a grain. With the perfect creamy tahini or avocado dressing, you can’t go wrong. The next time you hear someone ask, “What is a good substitute for meat anyway?”, you can share all of your newly gained knowledge with them.

How To Make Meat Substitute Meals

Meat Substitute Meals

Now that you know how to substitute meat, the next step is knowing how to incorporate them into your meals. There are many ways to do so, so I will just touch on a few of my favorite ways. If I am working with Tofu or Tempeh, I love to get them sizzling in a pan with olive oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, and maple syrup. This combination of flavors is delicious and goes perfectly with a side of roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes. When I eat Jackfruit, I love sauteeing it up in some BBQ sauce, throwing it in a corn tortilla, and adding some creamy avocado vegan slaw on top. These are the most simple yet delicious BBQ Jackfruit Tacos and I highly suggest trying them out. Lastly, I want to talk about my love for a vegan burger filled with vegetables, grains, and legumes. There’s nothing I love more than a hearty black bean burger on a fresh bun with all of your favorite condiments. There is something so satisfying about biting into a burger and knowing that it’s nourishing your body. If I hear one more person ask “But how healthy are meat substitutes really?” I may just have to share this blog with them.

Moving Forward

Well there you have it, all of the information you have been dying to learn about Meat Substitutes and the role they play in a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. 2020 is the year for our meat substitute healthy living journeys to begin! If you have been thinking about changing your ways to lead a more vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, why not kick start this adventure with family members or friends. The more support you have, the easier it will be. Plus, it’s just more fun to cook and eat amazing tasting food with an even more amazing company. My advice for you is to try your best not to get all caught up in the politics surrounding this lifestyle. Know that your actions will positively impact the animals and the environment.

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