Try these 5 tasty alternatives to meat

By October 21, 2019Food & nutrition

Swapping out meat for alternatives has ample benefits. For example, the vegetarian diet contains fewer calories, has less fat and could make you gain less weight.

These nutritious, tasty alternatives to meat will satisfy your taste buds and have you wanting more.

Mushrooms

Craving a steak? The large meaty tops of immune-boosting Portobello mushrooms are ideal. They may not taste like steak, but the texture makes it a good swap in dishes like skewers or stacked burgers. Make your mushroom steaks by marinating the mushrooms in a large sealable plastic bag. Use olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and spices of your choice or use a steak marinade if you prefer. Grill them on high for five to seven minutes.

Great on fresh rolls as a burger, on a skewer or on their own.

Legumes

If you’re a fan of lasagne with ground beef or a hearty sausage breakfast, legumes are the perfect swap. They’re packed with protein and vitamins. Lentils and beans are particularly good choices because if they’re prepared properly, they have a similar texture to ground beef. Use your legume of choice as a substitute to make meals like lentil lasagne and chickpea burgers.

For lasagne, combine cooked lentils with herbs, pureed tomatoes and spices. Layer with lasagne sheets and sprinkle with a cheese of your choice.

Cauliflower

From boiling to mashing and even as rice, this fluffy looking vegetable is well known as a delicious alternative in meals. But did you know you can use it as a swap for poultry too? Prepared with the right ingredients, cauliflower steaks make a great main affair or a scrumptious side dish. Furthermore, munching on cauliflower will give you a B-vitamin boost.

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To prepare, place cauliflower steaks on a baking sheet in a tray. Marinate with olive oil, lemon juice and spices of your choice. Roast for 15min on 200 °C. Flip and roast until tender and golden. Good toppings include roasted tomatoes, cheese and olives.

Eggplant

Known for its meaty texture, eggplant will satisfy even the most carnivorous palate and it’s filled with fibre and nutrients, but low in calories.

To prepare the eggplant parmesan, use sliced and peeled eggplants. Dip them in egg and breadcrumbs. Bake in an oven for 5 minutes per side at 175 °C. Once cooked, layer on a bed of spaghetti sauce in a baking tray.

Sprinkle with cheese and repeat until you’ve used all your ingredients, ending with cheese. Bake for 35 minutes and sprinkle with basil.

Tofu

A vegetarian favourite and the sweet spot when it comes to a chicken alternative, tofu takes on the flavour of whatever it’s seasoned and cooked with. Tofu comes in a firm, medium or silken variety, so choose firm tofu if you’re substituting it for meat in a recipe.

Tofu works well as substitute in numerous dishes, including stir fries, rice dishes, curries, sandwiches and even scrambles. The softer, silken kind is perfect for making smoothies, while the medium kind makes for creamy, delicious soups.

To use tofu, unwrap it and drain any excess liquid. Wrap it in a clean, dry dishtowel for 10 to 15 minutes so it’s completely dry. Then cut or crumble.

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