We are often asked, "what do I substitute for the meat in my dishes?" and our answer is always "everything!". Once you have been vegan for a while, you won't even think about it any more. It becomes normal to cook solely with plant-based foods. Trust me, it will become less daunting and overwhelming over time.
For those who are just starting out, have a go at the following to help you on your journey:
- Veggie burgers -Make your own veggie burger patties or buy them from your local supermarket to replace the meat on burgers, wraps and sandwiches. These can also be crumbled in salads... yum yum.
- Roasts - You can experiment with making your own nut roasts or purchase a vegan soy roast. Or do what I love to do, and just make a big tray of roast veggies with a homemade mushroom sauce.
- Mushrooms - A nice 'meaty' veggie that can be added to almost anything. Great in pastas, curries, stir-fries and sauces. Finely chopped mushrooms can also be used instead of mince.
- Sausages - There are lots of veggie sausages available at your local supermarket. Use these for BBQ's, hotdogs etc... You could also try making your own!
- Chickpeas, beans and legumes - Yummy, nutritious and economical to add to curries, salads, soups, mexican, stews and any other recipe that requires meat. Also, a common base for veggie burgers.
- Lentils - Can easily replace beef mince in most recipes! Also a great base for veggie burgers or to throw into curries for extra substance and deliciousness.
- Tofu, seitan and tempeh - Easy and readily available meat replacements for nearly every recipe! Crumbled tofu is great to replace mince and scrambled eggs. Thin slices of tofu sprinkled with salt and pan-fried until crispy is an amazing chicken strip replacement.
- Eggplant - Another 'meaty' veggie that is great in curries, stirfries or made into vegan schnitzels! I have also heard that it can be fried until crispy to use instead of bacon!
- Nuts - Great for nut burgers, nut roasts and to make most recipes more filling and nutritious. They can also be blended into curry sauces for extra thickness and creaminess.
- Quinoa - Nutritious, filling, so high in protein and great to use instead of rice in fried rice.
The key is to stop trying to replace the foods you used to eat, and start loving the plant foods you will be eating. All of your meals will be more delicious and nutritious... you wait and see! Enjoy :)