Switching to a vegan diet isn’t easy—especially when you’ve been used to the taste of protein-rich and flavorful meats. Not to worry; you can have your meat substitute and eat it too. Try these vegan protein trades to quell meat, egg and dairy cravings.
Soybean-based tofu, popular in East Asian cuisines, is high in protein, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Like chicken, tofu readily absorbs the flavors it’s cooked with, so toss tofu cubes into curries, marinate slices in barbecue sauce or simply bake it with cumin and roll into a wrap. Look for USDA Organic tofu to avoid GMOs.
Can’t fathom giving up Caprese salad? Creamy, fatty and velvety slices of avocado make an ideal substitute for fresh mozzarella. Plus, avocado works beautifully with fresh tomato, basil and a drizzle of fruity extra-virgin olive oil. Avocados contain fewer calories and less saturated fat than mozzarella, too.
Although it’s a no-no for those with celiac disease (seitan is made from vital wheat gluten), seitan features a “meaty” taste and texture—especially when roasted or braised with savory vegetables like celery, carrots, onions and garlic. Bonus: 1 ounce of seitan dishes up 21 grams of protein! Up the meatiness factor by cooking seitan with a dash of salty liquid aminos.
We know, quinoa doesn’t really taste like eggs. But it’s a quick-cooking grain that shares eggs’ high protein—1 cup cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein; 1 large egg contains 7 of grams protein. Plus, like a hard-boiled egg, quinoa is easily incorporated into dishes of all ilk. Cook a few extra cups of quinoa on Sunday, and stir into salads, stews and burritos throughout the week.