That’s right, I don’t eat no meat… but I do still enjoy a meal that is more than just steamed asparagus and carrots.
Just because I am a vegan, doesn’t mean I eat like a rabbit (though some of my friends my claim differently).
Truth be told, I love food, I love presenting (plating) food, and I love food that looks like a meal.
Of course my vegan journey didn’t start off perfectly, but with time I learned to cook full meals that look just like anyone else’s home cooked dinners, except mine are of course void of steak and chicken.
One of the biggest questions I get from people is: what do I eat in place of meat… tofu?
Nope, I actually don’t eat tofu, unless we’re out to dinner and it is the only option. That was the case Sunday when we grabbed Thai.
So if I don’t eat meat, don’t eat tofu… what makes my plate look more appealing than some veggies tossed on to it?
The Best Meatless Meats For Vegans
Tempeh is a fermented soy bean product. The fermentation process is the only way to break down the tough covering of a soybean so that you can actually digest absorb the nutrients. Otherwise, soybeans are pretty worthless and can even be unhealthy for you (hence why I don’t eat unfermented tofu often).
Tempeh comes in blocks and are often found in the produce area of most grocery stores. I have yet to shop at a store that didn’t carry it.
I love tempeh because it’s extremely easy to prepare: Slice to preferred portion size, marinate how you want and either bake, toast, steam or pan sauté it. I even grind it up sometimes to make ground “burger” and meat balls.
Who said that beans had to be kept in their form? I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like a black bean burger, but let me assure you, black beans aren’t the only ones that can be used.
Black eyed-peas are great because their color is actually more like ground turkey than others and they work really well for making meatballs with.
Garbanzo beans make delicious dinner pancakes, falafels and even faux chicken salad.
Yes, nuts! If you’ve never tried my walnut taco salad, do it!
Who knew that soaking chopped walnuts for a few hours in water, then tossing them in taco seasoning just like you would burger on the stove top would create a delicious taco filling?
It does! So good, that Dan and I actually prefer our burritos and tacos with it. Plus it’s loaded with healthy fats and proteins so it’s extremely filling. A little goes a long way.
It’s great to use in lasagna too.
Cashews ground up with a bit of water and garlic makes a delicious cheese spread and used in soups creates almost a Velveeta taste.
Recipe at: Totally Veg!
To be honest, this one is still new to me, hence no recipes here. But I love the taste! Seitan is wheat gluten that is made by washing wheat flour dough until all the starch dissolves leaving behind insoluble gluten.
It sounds not so appetizing and to be honest, with all the anti-gluten talk I avoided it for quite a while. That is until I ate at a local vegan restaurant and I decided to bite the bullet.
It resembles steak and the flavor is delicious! Basically it takes on the flavor of whatever seasonings or sauce you put on it, like tofu. However, I prefer the more hearty texture and flavor over tofu any day.
Since I don’t have a gluten intolerance I have no issues consuming gluten but I understand that some might be weary of it.
If you can eat gluten, try this out. It’s great on salads, in wraps and stir fries and just as a main side to dinner.
Meatless Just From Time To Time
Even if you’re not vegan, why not try a meatless dinner from time to time simply to help expand your palate, and to try new things? Not to mention that research shows that if everyone goes meatless from time to time our greenhouse gas emissions would decrease and so would your grocery bill!
To help, of course check out the recipes above or give this one a go.
I made it jut this past weekend and Dan was raving about. There is something about food being “smothered” that makes it comforting and delicious.
“Baked Herby Tempeh Smothered With Creamy Mushroom Sauce”
1 Block Tempeh, cut in half and then each sliced down the middle to create 4 equal pieces.
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Cup Baby bellas
1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
1/2 Cup Onion, sliced
1/4 Cup Bell pepper, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 Cup Vegetable Broth
1/4 Cup Red Wine
1-2 Tbsp Hummus
3 Tsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tsp Grainy Mustard
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1. In a small bowl, whisk together: 2 tsp Italian seasoning, mustard, vinegar and pour over the tempeh. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
2. Heat up the oil in a skillet on med-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper and garlic, sautee until fragrant (1-2 minutes).
3. Add in Mushrooms and tomatoes and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add in broth, wine and the other tsp of Italian seasoning. Lower the heat to med-low and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
4. In the meantime, place the tempeh in the oven on broil for 3-5 minutes, until slightly browned around the edges.
5. Stir in hummus to the mushroom sauce, until well incorporated.
6. Turn everything off, place one slice of tempeh on a plate, top with sauce, add the other half and finish off with another layer of sauce.
Serve with veggies of choice. Here I had parsley mashed potatoes and baked brussels sprouts.
Do you ever go meatless?