A vegan diet comprises plant-based foods and is devoid of items like eggs, dairy, and even honey. But if you’re a vegan or about to turn into one, don’t let your heart sink at the thought of missing out on the taste of meat. There is salvation to be found in the form of vegan meat.
Does vegan meat look and taste like actual meat? Yes and no. Although it looks somewhat like real meat, it may not taste exactly like it. But the good thing is vegan substitutes trick your eyes and palate into thinking that you’re having meat!
The idea behind vegan food alternatives is to provide you with healthy vegan alternatives for meat. Vegan meat or faux meat is made out of vegan products like wheat gluten, soy, legumes, nuts, vegetables or a combination of these. Then there are vegan meat substitutes made from veggies or fruits that can be cooked in the same way as you would cook meat.
Here are some vegan alternatives that you can add to your diet to get that ‘meat kick’.
Closely related to the fig family, jackfruit almost gives you the feeling of having shredded meat. Jackfruit pairs well with all kinds of sauces. Use a jackfruit burger patty for your barbeques, serve it with nachos or simply make a curry out of it. There are recipes to use jackfruit to make a faux pulled pork sandwich as well. Amongst vegan food alternatives, jackfruit is one of the most versatile.
How does vegan meat with vegan cheese sound? Mouth-watering, right? Vegan cheese is made from nuts such as macadamia, almonds and cashews. It is fat-free and does not include cow’s milk. You can add vegan cheese to food items like spring rolls, pizza, lasagna and dumplings.
When the goodness of beetroot is added to vegan meat, you just have to say yes to it! The earthiness of beetroot, when it’s grated and cooked as one of the vegan food alternatives, doesn’t just satiate your taste buds, but the reddish hue that it adds to your food is a treat to the eyes as well.
The vegan kin of cottage cheese, tofu can be included in all those dishes where cottage cheese is used. If used creatively, tofu burger patties can be an absolute delight.
Tofu is made from curdled soybeans and comes in different textures from extra-firm to soft. It is one of the most popular vegan alternatives for meat and its neutral flavour allows it to be used in a variety of ways. You can go for a flavoured variety like a Thai Green Curry Tofu or the simple soybean tofu, depending on your dish and preference. Grill it, fry it, bake it or enjoy it raw!
Vegan alternatives are not just limited to soy. You can even have vegan patties made from seaweed that add a wholesome flavour and protein to your diet. A variety of red seaweed in particular is said to taste like bacon. Red seaweed turns a brownish hue on being cooked and even looks like meat.
Vegan meat substitutes are as close to meat as they can get without adding anything non-vegan to them. So, get those vegan meat sausages, steak or nuggets now and make them the showstopper for your weeknight lunches and dinners!