I have never been a meat fan – I used to get a piece of free salami at the butcher if I went there as a child with my mom and I always thought it was the grossest thing ever. Thank god I had brothers who could eat it for me…
Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the cravings for something hearty, chewy and fill of texture. I think that’s why we humans love meat: because of its texture and because of the fat in it. Well, let me tell you that the plant world is full of texture and fats and if you bring them together on the right way you can easily find meat like pleasure (without harming anyone, that’s the best part!).
Have a look at my top 4 meat ‘alternatives’:
- Portobello mushrooms: Portobello mushrooms have a chewy, thick and rich consistency. You can literally grill them like a steak or slice them and stir fry them in a pan. I love to add a little bit of salt or make a creamy cashew sauce. Teriyaki sauce work super well with it too.
- Tempeh: tempeh, contrary to what a lot of people think, is not a highly processed ‘fake meat’ product. Tempeh has been around for centuries and is originally from Indonesia. It’s made out of fermented soybeans and it’s high in fiber as well as protein. I love to marinate my tempeh in some soy sauce and spices and then pan fry it for a couple minutes in some coconut oil. It also makes great bacon 😉
- Jackfruit: I discovered Jackfruit for the first time on a recent trip to Bali and really fell in love with it. The fruit itself looks amazingly impressive: it’s a large green almost oval shaped fruit. It’s actually the largest tree fruit in the world and funnily in the mulberry family. Jackfruit is rich in vitamin C and protein, it’s a little sweet but not over powering. The flesh is super rich and thick and is amazing in curries or tacos.
- Beans: beans are not only high in protein but also provide optimal texture for a lot of hearty fishes; they taste great in chilis and you can make fantastic burgers out of them. Mixed with potatoes or sweet potatoes they are just a perfect substitute for meat.
Not only are these foods above really versatile and make great alternatives in traditional meat dishes, but they are also super healthy and rich in macro and micro nutrients, which animal flesh is unfortunately not. Plus all these ingredients are super affordable and have no added cholesterol or fats which can weigh heavy on out health.
Try them out and let me know what your favorite recipes are 🙂