What foods should you replace meat with?

When we are used to inviting meat At a party, juggling vegetarian dishes can be tricky. This still very popular food is not only a source of protein, it is also an important source of iron, vitamin B12 and lipids. How can we do without this nutritional ally without running the risk of missing it in our diet?

Add a vegetable touch to your meals? Forget the usual scenario where a meal is limited to a portion of meat/fish accompanied by some starchy foods or vegetables. Transform the itinerary by replacing meat and fish with a troop of ingredients of plant origin, such as legumes, grains, oilseeds, seasonal fruits and vegetables. A simple and delicious way to explore new flavors while adopting a more balanced and sustainable approach to your food.

Seitan to store proteins

For those who want to get closer to the texture of meat, seitan is the perfect answer. Made from wheat gluten, this versatile ingredient makes its way into sausages, steaks, and even a hearty stew. Its talent for absorbing spices and sauces makes it a culinary chameleon, adaptable to a variety of dishes. Note that seitan is as rich in protein as meat. However, it has a slight deficiency of lysine, an amino acid crucial for collagen synthesis. To fill this gap, combine it with legumes like peas, lentils or kidney beans.

Tofu, the star food of the vegetarian diet

This food of Asian origin has established itself as a champion of meat substitutes. Its versatile texture makes it a culinary blank canvas, ready to absorb the flavors of your favorite sauces. Whether marinated, grilled, sautéed or dipped in curry, tofu offers limitless culinary adventure while also being a generous source of protein. However, keep an eye on isoflavones (phytoestrogens), especially if you have a history of breast cancer, and don’t forget to check your vitamin B12 intake, as tofu doesn’t provide any.

Oilseeds, your allies to ensure a feeling of satiety

In addition to their satiating power, these ingredients are full of lipids, as well as a multitude of nutrients such as calcium, zinc and magnesium. Mixed together, we find walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, sesame, peanuts and many others. The chef’s magic trick for creating a complete dish without using animal proteins? The subtle alliance of oilseeds with cereals and legumes, a gourmet fusion that reveals all the essential amino acids necessary for our diet.

Cereals, small seeds with great power

While many people are already familiar with classic grains like wheat, rice, corn and barley, it’s time to reveal the hidden scene where other grains are waiting to play their role in your meal. Among these culinary artists, we count oats, spelled, millet and even quinoa. Make the rebellious choice for whole grains, as they are the stars of nutrients and fiber, far eclipsing the white and refined versions.

Vegetables, products with multiple benefits

Beans, lentils, chickpeas… These jewels of nature are rich in protein, fiber and essential nutrients. Legumes can be turned into delicious meatballs, burgers or even vegetarian chili. Its culinary versatility and its positive impact on health make them an ideal replacement choice.

Dairy, true friends?

Dairy products, rich in animal proteins, can perfectly replace meat during a meal. Two natural yogurts, 200 grams of cottage cheese or 60 grams of cheese provide almost as much protein as a small portion of meat. For a lighter option, prefer semi-skimmed or even skimmed products, and opt for less fatty cheeses. Although dairy products provide vitamin B12, note that they are not rich in iron.

Eggs, a versatile alternative

Eggs offer a substantial dose of calcium, vitamin B12, potassium and iron. It’s a very good alternative to meat: note that it takes four eggs to equal the protein in a 100 g serving of beef. Be careful, however, the impact on cardiovascular health is still up for debate, so consult your doctor before radically changing your diet.

Spirulina

Iron is essential for the transport of oxygen in the blood and its lack can cause fatigue. O vegetarians AND vegan You may find an unexpected ally in spirulina. This microalgae elevated to the category of superfood even surpasses black pudding, providing 29 mg of iron per 100 grams. Bonus: thyme and legumes are also good options for maintaining adequate iron intake.

Plant-based industrial steaks, a bad idea?

Plant-based steaks, on the rise, mimic the texture of meat and are composed exclusively of plant-based products such as tofu, tempeh, seitan or cereals (wheat, oats, buckwheat, etc.). Their protein value varies, with some being equal to meat, others having lower values. However, these processed products, rich in additives, are not recommended for regular consumption. Instead, opt for homemade creations by following recipes available online.

Some 100% vegetarian recipes to vary your menu

Replacing meat in the dish should not be seen as a concession, but rather as an opening to a new world of flavors. Explore these alternatives with curiosity, mix them with your revenues favorites and discover a particularly delicious vegetarian gastronomic world.

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