Some people ridicule vegetarians because they do not eat meat. What they do not understand is the reason for not including meat in vegetarian diets. But perhaps they even know that producing meat is really awful as it involves killing animals, deforestation, polluting water, and other disadvantages. For those who want to be vegetarians and be healthy and also save the environment here are four meat alternatives that are much healthier and absolutely animal-free.
Tofu is believed to be originated from China in 200 B.C. Today, this famous meat alternative is often mixed in different vegetarian cuisines. This ingredient is made of soybeans, and can penetrate flavors. It is best if you marinate it for 30 minutes, then serve with flavor sauce or mix to any traditional dishes.
There are two kinds of tofu: fresh tofu and silken tofu. The difference between the two is that fresh tofu needs to be refrigerated to make its shape and flavor consistent, especially when used for baking or grilling, while silken tofu can be packed in an aseptic box and then refrigerated. Silken tofu is most commonly used in making delicious pie. For baking, sautéing, and frying, choose an extra firm tofu.
This is originally from Indonesia, and is created from fermented soybeans and selected grains. Tofu is primarily made from soybean milk, whereas tempeh uses whole soybeans making it more compact. For this reason, tempeh must be cooked in flavorful sauce. After cooking, tempeh is mixed with corn meal and flour, or just flour, with ground nuts and panfry on it. Since it is made from soybeans, this contains nutrients that can supply energy to the body and optimize health.
Also called as wheat gluten, seitan is made from wheat. Other than the nutrients found in most wheat, this food ingredient contains protein. Thus, a good and much healthier alternative to meat. In fact, it is best to use to replace chicken in some traditional dishes, such as curry and soup. You can make your own seitan at home, or buy at any grocery stores and vegetarian shops. It means there is no problem getting seitan to add to your meals.
4. Whole Grains and Legumes
Whole grain is another common alternative food for meat. It is packed with lots of minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin B, fiber, protein, and zinc. The same nutrients can be found in legumes and lentils, which include split peas, garbanzo beans, navy beans, peanuts, pinto beans, black eyed lentils, and kidney beans.
Believe it or not, beans are actually rich in protein that is suitable to use on soups, rice, salads and stews dishes. So, yes you can discard meat and use beans instead.
Remember that vegetarianism is not just about being healthy. It also supports the rights of animals to live. If you have been eating meat, you can also change your diet and support this advocacy by using these four alternatives instead. You won’t only guarantee an optimum health, but also save animals.