These meat alternatives are sure to add a big kick of protein to any dish, and they're quite versatile to boot!
1. SEITAN: Seitain, Also called wheat gluten, gluten meat, wheat meat, or simply gluten, is an alternative to soybean-based meat substitutes such as tofu. Some types of seitan can have a stringy or chewy texture to them, making them closer to resembling meat than other alternatives. It is often used in Asian, vegetarian, Buddhist, and macrobiotic cuisines. Wheat gluten was first developed in China and has also been historically popular in many East and Southeast Asian nations. Seitan is also the primary ingredient in many mock meats you can find in stores.
Tips: This goes without saying, but gluten-intolerant individuals should avoid seitan at all costs.
Recipe: Make Seitan at Home
Our Favorite Seitan Recipe: Seitan Pineapple Jack BBQ Sandwiches
Alternatives: Seitan Wellington with a Creamy Spinach , Seitan and Mushroom Bourguignon or Potato Chip-Encrusted Baked "Chicken" Salad Sandwiches
2. TEMPEH: Tempeh, at its most basic, is soybeans fermented with a bacterial starter into a large block. Originally from Indonesia, it is made from a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans together into a cake form, similar to a very firm veggie burger patty.
Tempeh's fermentation process and retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. The hulls (or skins) are removed, and the beans are split (as in, they fall apart in two pieces). Brown rice or other whole grains may also be included. The process is rather simple and goes like this: Soybeans are soaked, de-hulled, and split, cooked (boiled), cooled, inoculated with a starter, pressed into a cake, and then left to ferment for about a day.
- Like tofu, tempeh can be crumbled into little pieces and used in things like sloppy joes, chili, or as taco "meat". If you're going the taco meat route, I'd suggest steaming it before you sautee it.
- Tempeh is much hardier than tofu, and lends itself to different applications, such as piccata, braising, and vegan-style pork chops and buffalo wings.
- A good way to start with tempeh is to find a tempeh bacon at your local health food store (or the supermarket if you so choose). if you like it, you can easily make your own!
Our favorite Tempeh Recipe: Tempeh Do Pyaaza
Alternatives: Pomegranate Sweet and Sour Tempeh, Vegan Sloppy Joes or Tempeh Picatta
Tempeh Do Pyaaza (Tempeh in Spicy Onion Curry)
3. TOFU: Finally, we come to what is, arguably, the most well-known and popular meat alternative. Tofu is a processed food made by soaking, boiling, and straining soybeans into soy milk, and then adding a coagulant, like gypsum or epsom salts, and then pressing the curds that form into a block and discarding the extraneous liquid.
Recipe: Make Tofu at Home
Our Favorite Tofu Recipe: Lentil Crusted Tofu with Awesome Dipping
Alternatives: 5 Amazing Scrambled Tofu Recipes , Thai Tofu-Vegetable Wraps or Recipe: Vegan Paneer Tikka Masala
So there you have it! Feel free to experiment with these meat substitutes and you'll be on your way to making delicious, proten-packed dishes in no time!
Want more vegan, dairy-free and meatless versions of your favorite recipes? Read these articles by One Green Planet on Yahoo below:
1. 5 Popular Egg Dishes Made Without Eggs (We're Not Kidding!)
2. All You Need to Know About Tempeh (with 5 Tasty Recipes!)
3. Learn How to Make Yummy Pizza Without Meat or Cheese (Really!)
4. 5 Mouthwatering Vegan Muffin Recipes
5. 25 Cool Summer Vegan Dessert Recipes. Hell Yeah!
6. Summer Vegan Dessert Recipe Roundup