Want to go vegetarian but cannot stop giving in to your craving for meat? No worries, because there are many products out there that can easily replace meat and are 100% vegetarian. Going vegetarian does not mean you have to give up those dishes that you crave. They can be easily substituted by plant-based vegetarian products that are easily available in any local market. Even if you eat meat for protein, better vegetarian products give you the same benefits. These dishes are easy to make, and here is the top ten list.
Jackfruit is a fleshy fruit that grows on trees. It is chewy and juicy by texture, and hence it is a very good substitute for red meat. If you cut up jackfruit in chunks, it looks similar to beef or chicken, which makes it top of this list. It only has a light flavour and can go with anything, making it a versatile product. Jackfruit is also rich in protein, which makes it even better.
Tofu or its variant tempeh are not vegetables or fruits, but they are plant-based. They are made from processed soybeans. Dishes using chicken can be easily replaced by tofu that has a similar texture. Tofu makes a great replacement for dishes like chicken nuggets and fried chicken. It is also healthy and a great protein substituent.
Arguably, one of the most common substituents for meat is mushroom, only behind in popularity for its cost and availability. If you want a meaty texture and similar taste, you want to go with the variety of mushrooms out there. Mushrooms can be used to make versatile dishes like soup, sandwiches, and burgers. You could pass it off for meat, and it would be hard to tell the difference.
Maybe the most common vegetable found in our pantry, potatoes are a great substituent for meat. Like meat, you can roast, fry, boil and mash potatoes and put them in burgers, sandwiches, and so on. The only downside being a higher quantity of carbohydrates, potatoes are a great substituent for meat, and it is easy to cook.
Seitan is made from wheat gluten, and it is necessarily a leftover processed wheat. When starch is removed from wheat, rinsing with water, it leaves behind a protein-rich food with a texture similar to meat. Seitan even tastes a bit like meat, so it is ideal for making food like sandwiches and burgers, with double the health benefits.
TVP (Textured vegetable protein)
Textured vegetable protein is a byproduct obtained when oil is extracted from soybeans. TVP is high in protein and easy to cook. It is also really versatile and can be used in many dishes. Since it comes as chunks, it looks and feels like minced meat, making it a great meat substitute.
Cauliflower is another vegetable commonly found in our pantry that can prove an effective substitute for meat. It appears white and bland, but it can be very similar to meat with proper seasoning and cooking. It can be used to replace chicken in Asian dishes like chicken Manchurian. If fried, cauliflower also gives a crispy feel like meat,
Eggplant is usually the vegetable most favoured in vegetable dishes like curry dishes. But eggplant has a meaty texture and taste that makes it a good fit for meat. It is also healthy and can be fried or made a part of burgers. It also replaces fried chicken as it tastes great with dips and sauces.
Lentils are also a very good replacement for meat, and it is almost as healthy as meat. They can replace ground meat products like ground beef. Lentils also come in a variety of colours and tastes, which makes them better. They can be added to burgers; they can be made similar to meatballs, and so on.
Beets are usually used for salads and dressing, but they are sweet, delicious, and perfect for meal replacement. If they are roasted or fried, they make a good replacement for meat dishes like burgers and sautés. Although this isn’t necessarily a ‘meat’ substitute, you can also drink beet juice. It is very healthy and can help maintain the blood level in your body. Moreover, they have a lot of nutrients, and you gain very few calories.