Are you looking for the best vegetarian meat substitutes? Well, this article lists the most amazing and best-tasting substitute to meat.
You are here in this article because it’s either you are professionally advised to eat less meat, trying to gain weight, or exercising a no-meat diet? Maybe, you just want to know more about the best meat substitute.
Well, whatever your reason is, you are in the place because this post will enumerate the best vegetarian meat substitutes. We’ll also try to explain the benefits and claims for such products.
Veggie Meats: A Trend
Though most of the humans are still enjoying meat meals, plant-based diets are now getting a dose of popularity. This is because of the left and right information of its benefits and the aggressive attempts to foil down reasons for nature devastation, which also includes unethical mass meat production.
Moreover, chefs, food scientists, and food enthusiasts are showing extreme efforts in making meatless products tasty. Efforts are seen from small burger chains to internationally-acclaimed restaurants while cookbooks and Youtubers featuring recipes for plant-based foods sprouted.
Home cooks can now try such recipes because the best vegetarian meat substitutes are now available anywhere. Here are some:
Due to its availability, low price, and flavor, tofu is considered as the most popular meat substitute, especially by the Asians. It is made by coagulating soymilk and then scooping it to form in a mold that is usually square and rectangular.
Aside from its flavor, many are seeking this as a plant-based source of protein and other nutrients. Many also love this because of its texture and flexibility — you can fry it until crispy, add it to porridge, and as an ingredient to a sumptuous meal.
Read: Tokwa’t Baboy Recipe
Another product made from soybean, tempeh is a highly-sought vegetarian meat substitute because of its flavor and benefits.
Though made from soybeans, tempeh is actually fermented beans that are slowly crushed and then formed into a tube. This has fiber and can contain more nutrients than tofu. Many also claimed that it’s more delicious and when cooking, it releases a flavorful and appetizing aroma.
You can buy tempeh in groceries. Just expect that it’s more expensive. Also, since it’s fermented, you need to cook it well before chowing it down.
Jackfruit is an in-demand natural product because of its overwhelming aroma, sweet flavor, and fun texture. Asians use the green ones as a vegetable.
When you dissect the flesh of an unripe jackfruit, you can see small strands bound together, resembling small slices of boiled pork. This property makes it a great candidate for pork recipes, of course, without the pork. Some recipes mimic pull pork while others experiment with it because it absorbs flavor well.
In Asian markets, jackfruit is everywhere and the good news is, it’s cheap.
Soyrizo, from the name itself, is a product made from soybeans, intended to mimic the flavor, pungent smell, and taste of Mexican chorizo. This is actually a product trademarked by El Burrito and being carried by other companies. There are products offering the same and labeled as soy chorizo or soybeans chorizo.
Soyrizo is super popular because it tastes and feels like a true Mexican Chorizo. Health buffs, vegetarians, vegans, and even people who want to lose weight are now turning to this awesome product to replace ground meat during taco times.
Also, unlike other meat substitutes that are bland, soyrizo are fully flavored. A good escape for people who want to stay away from meat but are craving for it.
A cousin of beans, chickpeas, and soybeans, lentils are another substitute to meat, specifically used for replacing beef.
Based on claims, which also includes, Sheela Prakash of the bankable thekitchn.com, when processed lentils are an incredible substitute to meat because of the crumbles that resemble beef in terms of texture. Of course, with proper seasonings and a dash of love, it can completely taste like beef.
Lentils are also cheap and you can find them in most supermarkets and local wet markets in your area.
Made from hydrated gluten, the protein found in wheat, Seitan is a heavenly meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans. So heavenly, you’ll forget about the name. It’s delicious, high in protein, low in fat and carbohydrates. It’s chewy, like a pressurized beef.
Seitan is available in some supermarkets and “healthy” stores. You can also order it online.
Just a pinch of salt and pepper and then, a mild sear on the pan, can make this ingredient a superstar. However, no one’s limiting your creativity.
Portobello mushroom has this meaty texture and flavor that people are craving for. Plus, it is juicy and extremely delicious. Some people make meatless burgers by chopping it and combining it with other ingredients before searing it. Meanwhile, some prefer it seared or grilled with salt and pepper only.
Though it tastes and feels like meat, portobello mushroom is not a good source of protein. In fact, a cup-full of it only contains 3 grams of protein. So, if you are aiming not just for the taste but for the nutrition or protein, we suggest you add other products like tofu, tempeh, and many more.
Portobello mushroom is also easy to find.
Gardein Chick’n and Turk’y
Gardein, a company dedicated itself to producing a meatless product, came up with the first known chicken meat substitute. It released Gardein Chick’n and Turk’y some two decades ago. Then, it’s history.
To make Chick’n and Turk’y, Gardein processed soy and wheat gluten along with other ingredients like flour, oils, seasonings, and some vegetables.
This product is reasonably at a higher price. Well, think of it, you are eating meat but at the same time, not eating meat. Also, no more dirty stuff for you because all you need to do is fry it.
This product is available on the internet and in your known grocery stores.
When chopped finely and cooked to perfection, cauliflower is a good substitute for ground pork and beef. It is used for patties, siomai, and many more. Pinch of Yum created an awesome taco recipe featuring this beautiful vegetable.
Cauliflower is rich in fiber and low in carbs. Unfortunately, this is not a very good source of protein as well. A cup of crushed caulies only contains 2 grams of protein. So, make sure to add some more protein-rich vegetables if you are aiming for a vegetarian diet.
You Can Do It
Whether it’s for your health or you just want to help Mother Nature, you need to focus. Processing tofu, lentils, cauliflowers, and many more products to a sumptuous meal will take time. However, it’s worth it!
Try these best vegetarian meat substitutes and see for yourself.