You don’t have to completely give up the meat dishes you love, there are lots of plant-based foods that make very tasty substitutes for meat. Legumes especially work well, here's how the hearty legumes can replace beef, chicken, pork, and even bacon in your favourite recipes.
Use Chickpeas Instead of Chicken or Turkey
The colour and chewiness of chickpeas can mimic that of chicken and turkey meat. Roughly mashed, chickpeas can stand in for poultry in your favorite sandwich salads. Blended with breadcrumbs, they can be turned into mouth watering burgers and kid-friendly nuggets. You can also just add them whole to recipes for soups and curries.
You can use equal weight of cooked chickpeas for cooked or raw chicken or turkey in a recipe.
Substitute Lentils for Ground Meat
Tiny size and tasty, green, brown, and black lentils are one of the easiest plant food swaps to make. The switch works for everything from pie to pasta sauce. Replace 450g of ground meat with 2 cups of cooked, drained lentils. Keep cooking time to around 30 minutes (reduce it if necessary) so the lentils stay whole and firm. Pre-cooked boxed or canned lentils also do the trick when time is short.
Turn to Bean Burgers for Bigger Cuts
Take away the bun and give bean burger patties different shapes to turn them into steaks, cutlets, and chunky pieces that can be added at the last minute to hearty stews. Most bean burgers can be cooked and frozen for make-ahead ease.
Get a crunchy, smoky, bacon-like fix from crispy roasted beans.
Toss 1½ cups any type of cooked beans with 1 tablespoon chili powder, smoked paprika, or your favorite spice blend, then roast them at 200ºC, 400˚F or Gas Mark 6 on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 35 to 40 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely, then use anywhere you’d use bacon. Store roasted beans in an airtight container to keep them crisp for up to 3 days.
Why not.. Make your own meat substitute
Known as Seitan and much easier than you think to create at home. Seitan is high in protein and low in fat and calories. Seitan works well in stews, stir-frys, soups and curries. Click here to try our Seitan recipe