Simple Meat Substitutes for Nearly Every Meal

For more than two decades, award-winning dentist Dr. Azadeh Khajavi has been providing a range of dental care services to patients in San Diego. While much of her practice focuses on dental implants, she also provides cosmetic dentistry services and TMJ care. In her free time, Dr. Azadeh “Amy” Khajavi enjoys cooking a variety of dishes, specifically ones that do not use any meat.

Many individuals may think that changing to a vegetarian or vegan diet means giving up their favorite meat dishes, but in fact there are several meat substitutes that can provide both the taste and protein that would otherwise be missing. Following are just a few examples of popular meat substitutes.

– Legumes: beans, lentils, and other legumes are great substitutes for meat because they are affordable and still come with a good dose of protein. Legumes can be easily mixed into a salad to replace meats such as chicken and tuna or can be made into a patty and used on a burger in place of ground beef.

Tempeh: made from cooked soybeans, tempeh has a slightly nutty flavor and a somewhat firm texture. The product offers around 19 grams of protein per cup and can be used to replace meat in everything from sloppy joes and shepherd’s pie to Reuben sandwiches.

Nuts and seeds: an easy substitute for meat in morning breakfasts and snacks, nuts and seeds are full of protein and a number of other nutrients. They are an especially useful substitute for vegan diets when protein from eggs is not an option, and can be used in a wide variety of ways.

Seitan: with a somewhat chewy texture, seitan is made from processed wheat gluten and easily fits into a range of dishes. Thanks to its neutral flavor and malleability, it can be easily seasoned and sculpted into shapes resembling everything from shrimp to ribs. These qualities make it a great substitute protein for kebabs, stews, and barbecue.