Vegans and meat
For many people, going vegan is a very personal decision. Whether it’s the way that animals are treated during the harvesting process or just the ethics of it all, once having gone vegan, the challenge is how to still get that meaty texture and flavour without consuming the real thing.
It’s a common misconception that vegans don’t enjoy the taste or texture of meat. Most do, but we just don’t want the meat taste to originate from an animal source. It may be a subtle point to some people who don’t understand it, but that’s okay.
Here are a few ideas for vegan substitutes to get more meaty goodness into your food dishes.
For days when you cannot stand to eat another slice of tofu, give tempeh a try instead. The texture is more on the nutty side and it’s got a chalkier, grainier feel to it. Originating from fermented soybeans, it’s packed with calcium, vitamins, and ample doses of fiber. It does taste a little on the bitter side, but streaming it for just five minutes removes the bitter aftertaste. It’s great as a fish replacement and is also ideal to replace ground beef too.
If you’re vegan but don’t have a problem with gluten tolerance, then Seitan is an interesting meat alternative. It’s wheat gluten that’s been processed down. The texture is quite chewy. It’s denser, so it stays together when stir frying, putting it on the grill, or in the oven. Ribs and pot roasts are a good idea with Seitan because it looks the part when basted with a tasty vegan sauce.
Texturized Vegetable Protein
The beauty of texturized vegetable protein is it’s an affordable protein source that packs down and keeps for ages. It is based on dehydrated soy protein, so it must be re-hydrated to use it. It is purchasable either as little granules or in large chunks. Ideal to add to salads, as the meat in a Chili dish, or the meat component of a tasty vegan slider burger, this protein source is a flexible one that’ll fool you.
Even vegans tend to think of tofu as a one-of-a-kind protein source. It’s actually available as a silken version for soups, a medium texture version, and an extra-firm one. The extra-firm product is less well-known, but it doesn’t fall apart during cooking and packs down well. Slicing up the extra-firm tofu as meat slices, burgers, or casseroles are great uses for this type of tofu.
Whether eating cheese alternatives that are dairy-free or vegan products that take the place of animal meat, there’s a growing list of choices for vegans who enjoy the feel and taste of meat. The nut cutlet and tofu salad are no longer the only options. As more people go vegan, the food selection continues to improve to satisfy the growing demand.