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10 Vegetables That Can Substitute for Meat


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The good news is that you are trying to eat veg! The bad news is that you’re thinking how much you will miss all your old favorite foods. Well, guess what? The better news is that going veg doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the dishes you love most. Pretty much anything you used to eat can be made with plant-based ingredients – even really meaty dishes like burgers, meatballs, and Buffalo wings. It just takes a little imagination, a bit of creativity, and the benefit of some tips and guidelines to help you create delicious vegan versions of those recipes. Soon you will be making delicious, satisfying meals that will satisfy your cravings, and before you know it, you will realize you don’t even miss the meat at all. Get your veg on with these 10 substitutes:

  1. Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan, and TVP

    You may not think of tofu or tempeh as vegetables, but they are plant-based and made from soybeans. TVP, or texturized vegetable protein, is also made from soy. Seitan is made from wheat gluten. The meat in any recipe can be replaced with one of these plant-based options. Tofu makes the perfect swap-out for chicken whether you want Crispy Tofu NuggetsMoroccan Cutlets in a Lemon-Olive Sauce, or chunks for Chinese food like Kung Pao TofuTempeh is wonderful for fish dishes because it has a flaky texture. Try it in “Crab” Cakes or to make Breaded “Fish” Fillets. It can also be ground up to act as ground beef for Tempeh Meatballs or tacosTVP comes in all shapes and sizes and it can replace any meat including ground beef. Try it in this Chik’n Salad with Cranberries and Pistachios or in Tacos Sin Carne. Seitan can be flavored to taste exactly like beef or pork. You won’t believe the decadence you will get in a plate of Balsamic BBQ Seitan Ribs or a thick, juicy Seitan Steak in Beurre Blanc Sauce.


  2. Mushrooms

    When you want that meaty taste, that umami, mushrooms are the way to go. Their flavor is rich, earthy, and meaty, especially cremini or Portobello mushrooms. They are healthy and filling and can replace meat in any recipe. My favorite way to eat mushrooms is to saute them in vegan butter and add thyme, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Then I serve them over polenta unless I’m piling them up on a crispy roll to make a French Dip sandwich. Try mushrooms in this Mushroom Stroganoff or as a vegan “Lamb” Burger. Impress your dinner guests by serving them Stuffed Mushrooms with Pecans and  Portobello Wellington .


  3. Jackfruit

    If you have not yet tried jackfruit, you need to go out and get some. Technically, jackfruit is a fruit but incredibly, it can stand in for meat in savory dishes. You can buy it raw or already cut up in a can. Jackfruit has a very slight sweet taste but not so much that you can’t use it to make a decadent, satisfying Philly Cheesesteak. Jackfruit is perfect for barbecue sandwiches, stir-fries, or any dish that uses beef, chicken, or pork.


  4. Eggplant

    When anyone goes veg, eggplant is probably the first vegetable that comes to mind, but you can do so much more with it than just make parmigiana. Eggplant has a rich, meaty taste and it’s very versatile. If you think you’re not a fan of eggplant, try it in these Eggplant Burgers and you will change your mind. Other delicious ways to eat eggplant include Vegan Mozzarella-Stuffed Eggplant Meatballs, crispy Eggplant Fries with Marinara Dipping Sauce, and spiralized Eggplant Noodles.


  5. Lentils

    Lentils have always been a stand-in for meat since the beginning of veganism. Lentils are hearty and can replace ground beef easily. Lentils come in a variety of colors such as green, red, brown, and black. They cook up quickly, are inexpensive, and a small amount goes a long way. Definite recipes to try are Red Lentil Burgers with Kale PestoLentil MeatballsDouble Decker Lentil Tacos, and South Indian Lentil Stew.


  6. Beans and Legumes

    Beans and legumes are amazing. They are inexpensive, healthy, filling, and there are so many to choose from: black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, aduki beans, chickpeas and black-eyed peas, to name just a few. Beans make for hearty soups, stews, and chilis. How about a White Bean and Kale Soup or a Tamale-Inspired Bowl with Beans? Beans and legumes can replace the meat to make incredible Hoisin Black Bean BurgersBlack-Eyed Pea Italian Sausages, or Chickpea “Tuna” Salad.


  7. Cauliflower

    Right now I bet you’re thinking, “How can cauliflower replace meat? It’s so white and bland.” Well, it can. When you season it and cook it up right, cauliflower can be the star of any dish. I like to use cauliflower to replace the chicken in Asian dishes like Cauliflower Manchurian and even Buffalo wings. You can slice the cauliflower into steaks and make an incredible Cauliflower Piccata. You can even make a pizza crust out of cauliflower. See? Cauliflower doesn’t seem so boring anymore, does it?


  8. Potatoes

    Potatoes are not just for side dishes. They can be the main ingredient in so many dishes. Whether you roast them, boil them, bake them, mash them, or fry them, potatoes are always a favorite. Start your meal with a Creamy Potato and Cauliflower Soup.  Potato Samosas with Coconut-Mint Chutney are spicy and delicious. Add potatoes to your burgers like in this Moussaka Burger with Béchamel Cheese Sauce and this Spicy Potato Cauliflower Burger. Don’t forget potatoes when it comes to dessert – that’s right. You will be blown away by this Chocolate Potato Cake.


  9. Beets

    Beets are nature’s candy. They are sweet and delicious and perfect for salads, but they have another side to them. Beets are also earthy and work well in savory dishes especially when roasted as in this Sesame Roasted Beets and Greens Dish. Amaze your guests with a beautiful platter of Beet Carpaccio and then treat them to Roasted Beet Burgers with Cumin-Scented Ketchup. Finish the meal with Beetroot Chocolate Frosted Cupcakes.


  10. Nuts

    Ok, technically, nuts are not vegetables but they can be used to make vegan cheese and to replace meat in your cooking. Nuts can be incredibly “meaty” and can make a hearty and rich “meat” loaf for dinner. Nuts are often added to vegan burgers for added “meatiness.” Try these Kidney Bean –Walnut Burgers with Mississippi Comeback Sauce.

    As you can see, when it comes to replacing meat in your meals, your options are practically limitless. Stop thinking of vegetables as side dishes and move them to the front of your plate. With all the hearty, “meaty” recipes you can create, there is no way you will miss the meat.

    Lead image source: Vegan Jackfruit Philly Cheesesteak


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127 comments on “10 Vegetables That Can Substitute for Meat”

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Shanasy
1 Months Ago

Thanks for this informative article. I have shared this with my FB group "10 Minute Plant Based / Vegan Activism" https://www.facebook.com/10MinutePlantBasedVeganActivism/ - where I post daily tips on how to do activism for PB diets in 10 minutes or less in a positive manner.


Reply
mack
1 Months Ago

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Reply
jessicastephen22
1 Months Ago

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hills
1 Months Ago

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2 Months Ago

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Reply
Volotche
18 Apr 2017

Omg sniff my anus. What a shitty story.

David L, Ollis
2 Months Ago

WOW!!!
This is the most wonderful thing i have ever experience and i need to share this great testimony.
About how i get my ex back after a breakup.
I never believed it, because i never heard nor learn anything about it before.
Hey guys my wife and I have been married for 15 years. For over five years I have been dealing with jealousy issues because of flirting and her having emotional type affairs with other men. I felt like my masculinity was in question and if I said the way she was acting bothered me, it seemed to make matters worse or I was accused of being controling. During this period I did state I wanted a divorce if the behavior was not going to end: texting men a night, leaving for the weekend without letting me know where she was going or not responding to messages. We do have a son and basically it\'s been him and I for the last year on the weekends. She disconnected completely from being a good wife and mother. In April she said she wanted a separation and I said no we need to get into marriage counseling. We did try that, but she was not very responsive and didn\'t give any effort. Afterward she was adamant about separation and divorce. I continued to say no and that we needed to save our family. She presented a separation agreement and I had to hire a lawyer. Because of the above behavior my lawyer suggested a private investigator. The investigator discovered my wife was having an affair with a close friend of the family who also is married with children. We know the extended families. I feel like I should tell this man\'s wife about what happened. This adultery has devastated me emotionally, I feel betrayed and I\'m physically drained. I know my wife is passionate in terms of her sexuality, and I can\'t get the thought of them out of my head. It makes me question my own manhood, and I feel very inferior or that he must be a better lover or what ever. The problem is my wife pursued him. She would go to him and she lured him into this adultery. I felt this was coming for some time and could not stop it. She was not only lying to me but also to our son about what she was doing and where she was going. My family is important, my son loves her and as crazy as it sounds so do I. Can you respond with a course of action on how to proceed? I was still have a very huge place in my heart for her. so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Ahmed can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my wife came to me and apologized for the wrongs she did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I, my son and my wife are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Ahmed. as it is a place to resolve marriage/relationship issues, do you want to be sure if your spouse is being faithful to you or Do you want your Ex to come back to you Contact.: E-mail: [email protected] or call/Whats-app: +2348160153829 save your crumbling home and change of grades its 100% safe. I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you.
David L. Ollis, 43yrs, UK


Reply
Virgina Bennett
2 Months Ago

Dear Ms. Parsons: Thank you for letting us know that there are many more fruits & vegetables out there, which can give us greater choices when trying to keep vegan. But there\'s something else I\'d like to point out. "Healthy" and "healthful" are NOT synonyms! Please check your dictionary & compare them. Then stop "dumbing down" the English language!
As you might guess, I\'m a former professor of writing courses AND a former editor for a major NY publishing house + a university press.


Reply
Baka
24 Apr 2017

If you used to be a professor of writing courses how come you keep putting \\ in front of your apostrophes?

Terri Scappin
2 Months Ago

Just curious why you do not have a print button on your site or on any of your recipes? It is very frustrating as I really like a lot of your recipes, but can\'t print unless I do a lot of manipulating with my editing.


Reply
Kerry Davidson
29 Apr 2017

Just hit Ctrl P to print the pages. If you only want a part of the page, then highlight that section and when the page where you print comes up - go to the bottom (you may have to click "More Settings") and then tick "Selection Only". You can send to your printer, or Save as PDF - and you\'re good to go. Sounds like a lot, but once you\'ve don it a couple of times, it will be easy

Tony
4 Months Ago

Pretty good list, thanks, but FYI: Jack Fruit has almost no protein, so is not a good meat substitute.


Reply
betty
01 Apr 2017

it is a good meat substitute taste-wise. And it\'s not about protein. It\'s a fruit! (Most americans get too much protein anyway, and protein can be eaten in other things)

Marietta Villalobos
1 Years Ago

Vanessa Gibson


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