Inside Versatile Veggie Cooking: Substitutes for Meat

There are many different substitutes for meat.

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There are many different substitutes for meat.

Aubrey Bohen, Reporter

A big part of going vegan is finding a substitute for meat. Vegans have to find different main cuisines. Some substitutes for meat in your meal can be tofu, frozen items, or using a vegetable as an alternate.

Online platforms craze over using vegetables as a meat substitute. From corn on the cobb baby back ribs to portabella steaks there are ways around everything. Swap pulled pork with jackfruit, ground meat with mushrooms, and even try okra crab cakes. There is a substitute for everything. Seasoning your vegetables will bring more flavor. Treat a cauliflower steak like a normal one and it can taste similar. But ultimately, vegetable substitutes won’t taste exactly like meat. If you’re using vegetables expect to taste vegetables.

Tofu, seitan, and tempeh are some substitutes that don’t taste like meat. Like using vegetables, how you season it will determine the meaty flavor. Both tofu and tempeh are made of soybeans, seitan is made from wheat gluten. Tempeh can have as much protein as some meats. “One cup of chopped tempeh pieces has 18 grams of total fat” Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC said. Tofu absorbs the flavor of the sauces you use, put tofu in marinated dishes or virtually anything. Because of its different textures to choose from tofu can be used in most traditional dishes instead of meat. Seitan also absorbs the flavor of what it’s cooked in, it’s even possible to make it at home.

Frozen items now are one of the best ways to get a meaty flavor without the meat. Impossible, Beyond Meat, Morning Star, and Gardein are just a few examples of frozen meat substitutes at your local grocery store. Impossible and Beyond Meat taste and look extremely similar ground beef. Check the freezer section for meatless fish sticks, chicken-less nuggets, and so many other options.

Going vegan doesn’t mean only eating side dishes, Explore the different options of meat substitutes and find what works best.