10 healthy meat substitutes

One of the main disadvantages of a vegetarian diet is the exclusion from your diet of nutrients that must be regularly ingested with animal products (beef, poultry, fish). For example, omega-3 fatty acids, as a rule, the source of these crucial minerals, is fish: salmon, tuna, herring etc. in addition, there is a lack of protein, iron, the source of which is usually lean beef or chicken.

The lack or complete absence of only these three components of food is detrimental to health, so for vegetarians there is a good reason to find healthy meat substitutes.


Walnuts, pine, macadamia and almonds can be powerful substitutes polyunsaturated acids omega-3,6,9. They also are high in protein and dietary fiber, which is so important for a vegetarian diet.

Nuts combined with most of the dishes that usually contain bits of meat, such as roast vegetables, cereals. Adds spice to salads, sandwiches. Additionally, the nuts themselves are a great snack, so a handful of nuts – a perfect snack during the working day.


Soy burgers, soy bacon, soy chicken, soy hot dogs and sausages – anything you can notice more and more vegetarian soy products that can replace meat. And meat products contain soy.

The use of soy products has many health benefits. First, it (soy) is high in protein, low in fat, contains no cholesterol, and has anti-cancer properties, especially for colon, prostate and breast cancer.

Burghul (Bulgur)

Barley from specially treated wheat grains. As a General rule, use hard wheat, but other options are possible: soft grade or a mixture of several varieties of wheat.

To prepare Bulgur, wheat scalded with boiling water, steamed in special vats and dried. After that wheat bran partially removed and it is crushed. Bulgur is a form of whole wheat and is recognized as a whole grain.

In North India Bulgur also known as “Dalia”.

Bulgur can be used for soups, baked goods or for stuffing. Its high nutritional value makes it a good substitute for rice or couscous, used in the preparation of sausages, rolls.

Bulgur, unlike the poor on nutrients white rice is rich in fiber is 12-20 grams and protein is 13-17 grams, a good source of potassium and iron. The bulgur has a low glycemic index of 48.


This bean curd made from coagulated soy milk, to the milk add salt or acid (e.g., calcium sulfate). The finished tofu is soft like gelatin, the blocks of white colour, almost without taste and with a delicate aroma.

Soy cheese – a low calorie food (70 kcal), there are almost no carbs (1.5 g) and fat (3.5 g). A great substitute for chicken and beef.

Tofu is of several varieties, differing from each other by the amount of moisture. “Fresh tofu” – the most soft, not pressed, and is usually sold completely immersed in water. “Fresh tofu” or “tofu” is a complete substitute for milk cheese and eggs, use it for smoothies and baked desserts. Often eaten as a dessert. In China prefer to eat it with pickles and hot sauce.

Another kind of tofu – “tofu FEM” still contains a lot of water, but has the firmness of raw meat (or soft cheese).

Very firm tofu – Dou-Gan, which translated from Chinese means “dry tofu”, contains a minimal amount of moisture and has the consistency of boiled meat. It usually is rolled into tortillas, then cut into strips. It turns out that something like a cooked noodle that can be served cold or fried.


If you are looking for a meat substitute for some of your favorite Italian dishes, then pay attention to the eggplant. This fleshy, purple vegetable is commonly used for lasagna and pastas. Full of protein and iron in eggplant very much, but they are rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, b vitamins and potassium.

Portobello mushrooms

Mushrooms are used extensively in cooking, in many cuisines (especially Chinese, Korean, European, Japanese and Indian). They are called “vegetable meat”. In Europe, North America, the most widely mushrooms – edible mushrooms native to these places.

Variety of mushrooms with a darker flesh has several names: Italian mushroom, brown mushroom, crimini (cremini) mushroom-chestnut. Mature brown mushroom fully spreading its territory, it becomes flat and dense, not like an ordinary mushroom. If the white mushrooms are attractive in appearance, Mature brown mushrooms lose any attraction, so for marketing purposes it was decided to give them a new name of Portobello (there are different spellings “portobello”, “portabella”, and “portabello”).

Portobello-calorie product, only 22 calories, is typically eaten cooked, raw or as a garnish. Dietary mushrooms are a good source of protein, b vitamins such as Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic and folic acid, and essential minerals selenium, copper, iron, potassium. Contain almost no fat (>1%) and cholesterol.

Portobello is a great substitute for beef steaks. They are thick, juicy and have a meaty texture that makes them just as tender and delicious as beef.


Beans, peas, peanuts are part of legume family. Legumes are one of the best sources of vegetable protein, folic acid, iron, magnesium and potassium – this makes them an excellent meat substitute.

Legumes require long-term heat treatment. For the full assimilation of protein, consumed preferably with foods rich in methionine (an amino acid), for example with bread.


Tempeh is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. Doing it, like tofu from soy, but the beans remain intact, they are boiled, add the leaven, fermented and shaped into briquettes.
Pace unlike tofu richer in protein, dietary fiber and vitamins, iron, calcium, vitamin C, omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated acids. Tempeh has a firm texture and an earthy flavor which becomes more pronounced with age. Baked, steamed, deep-fried or grilled, tempeh is a good substitute of meat and fish dishes.

Seitan (Seitan)

The easiest way to describe Seitan is to call it “wheat meat.” Seitan is made from the protein part of wheat, it’s wheat gluten. This is an alternative meat substitute known for its high protein content comparable to meat. Seitan is used interchangeably with meat substitutes based on soy.

Get it: mix the flour with water and shape the dough. Then the dough was washed under running water to remove the starch and knead. After this is about 1/6 of the dough from the original amount of flour – this is gluten. The resulting gluten cook on low heat for another 1-2 hours.


Hummus is not exactly a meat substitute, this product is likely to replace mayonnaise, which is commonly used for sandwiches.

Strict vegetarians who exclude any animal food, including mayonnaise because it contains eggs. Can use hummus is an excellent replacement for mayonnaise.
Hummus is made from chickpeas (pea). Chickpeas boiled and crushed with a blender. Then add sesame paste, olive oil and various spices (lemon juice, garlic, pepper, etc.). It turns out mashed potatoes with a creamy texture and delicious aroma.

Hummus is rich in protein, fiber, also can be used as a source of iron, vitamin C, and folic acid. Depending on the recipe hummus contains different amount of monounsaturated fat.

Vegetable protein is often considered inferior replacement for meat protein due to the absence of the amino acid methionine. Missing this amino acid and protein in chickpea, however, hummus is full of protein. Sesame paste is a necessary component of hummus contains a significant amount of methionine that complements the protein of the chickpeas.

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