One of the biggest concerns facing those curious about plant-based food is whether or not it’s possible to stay satisfied without meat. According to a recent study published by the journal Appetite, it is, if you eat mushrooms.

The study analyzed the satiety and food intake of 32 individuals over the course of 10 days. On the first day, participants were fed a protein-rich breakfast, after which they were asked to rate their satiety, followed by a lunch later in the day. In the remaining nine days of the studies, participants were given either mushrooms or meat to consume and asked to keep a journal of the study, the second day, and the final day.

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What the study found is that on average, participants who ate the mushroom breakfast reported less hunger, greater fullness, and “decreased prospective consumption” (snacking). There were also no reported differences in energy levels between those who were given mushroom meals versus those who were given meat meals over the course of the study.

So, what makes mushrooms such a good replacement for meat? When it comes to satisfying meaty cravings using plants, mushrooms are among our top choices. Mushrooms have a natural, umami quality, a savory, deeply satisfying flavor that is associated with meat and cheese. When cooked right, they take on a meaty, juicy texture, making it a great plant-based replacement for those battling with cravings for meat.

Using Mushrooms in Place of Meat

Interested in learning how to use mushrooms to replace meat? Thanks to the Food Monster App, we have just the recipes to help you out.

Mushroom ‘Steak’Portobello Mushroom Steaks With Cheesy Rosemary Polenta

These meaty Portobello Mushrooms Steaks, drizzled with a balsamic reduction, sit atop a bed of cheesy, creamy homemade polenta. Pair this recipe by Michaell Johnson with some zesty roasted carrots or sweet potatoes, kale salad, and a glass of wine for a sweet and complete date night or holiday dinner.

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StroganoffTips for Making Your Own Noodle Sauces Without a Mix

This vegan Mushroom Stroganoff by Molly Patrick is a classic comfort food dish that pairs perfectly with a cracking fire and chilly nights. After you’ve made it once, you will quickly add it to your weekly dinner rotations until tank top season, at which point, you only might give it a rest.

Meat Sauce

This comforting, meat-free Walnut Mushroom Bolognese by Lisa Andersson and Erik Huss is a quick, easy dish that cooks in just 30 minutes. Mushrooms stand for the richness and are backed by the flavor of toasted walnut, which brings a familiar texture to this classic dish. Serve over a bed of your favorite spaghetti with a generous amount of vegan Parmesan.

MeatballsSwedish Mushroom Meatballs 1

Making the perfect veggie meatball is an art and the secret is seasoning. These Swedish Mushroom Meatballs by Cruelty Free Family are blended with fragrant onions, garlic, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, Sriracha, savory liquid aminos, and a few other spices. After being formed and baked until crispy, these meatballs are tossed in a creamy cashew sauce which tastes amazing over mashed potatoes, noodles, or rice.

On Their Own

If you like mushrooms, you’ll love these Garlic and Thyme Pan-Seared Mushrooms by Renee Press. It goes well over pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, toast … the list goes on. You can use any mushrooms, such as Portobello, Cremini, or Chanterelles as you see in the picture. But regular ol’ White Button mushrooms would work great as well. The key to delicious mushrooms is to cook them over medium heat until they release their water and start to crisp up a bit. At that point you can add lots of chopped garlic, a splash of white wine if you like, and a generous pinch of thyme. Salt and pepper to taste and they’re ready to devour!

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To learn more about cooking mushrooms so they taste meaty, read The Essential Guide to Cooking Mushrooms.

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!

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Lead image source: Mushroom Stroganoff