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Meat Alternatives Tips

Read these 16 Meat Alternatives Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Vegetarian tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I satisfy my taste for meat?

Experiment with Substitutes

There are countless soy and vegetable-based meat substitutes on the market that will make your transition to meatless fare a piece of cake. You can buy frozen ground beef or sausage substitutes to use in tacos, sloppy joes, chili and lasagne. You can also find many varieties of veggie burgers, meatless hot dogs, vegetarian deli slices, and other meat replacements to satisfy any desire you might have for some of these "comfort foods".

How can I make flavorful tofu burgers?

Tofu Burgers with Taste

If you think that tofu burgers are bland unsatisfying, think again. A tofu burger will be as flavorful or unflavorful as you make it. Looking for a good idea? Try making some delicious smoked tofu burgers that will leave no room for complaints. Before getting started, grill some firm tofu over mesquite chips for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, follow the recipe below:

  • ¼ cup finely diced bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of dark sesame oil
  • 4 ounces of cremini mushrooms, finely diced
  • ¼ jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Smoked tofu
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • 2/3 cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg white
  • Oriental-flavored cooking spray
  • Whole-wheat hamburger buns
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  1. Sauté the bell pepper, chopped onion, garlic, and jalapeno chili in sesame oil until tender (about 5 minutes). Add mushrooms and soy sauce and sauté for 3 to 4 additional minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir tofu, rice, and breadcrumbs into mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg white and form “burger” shapes.
  3. Spray a large pan with cooking spray and meat on medium until hot. Spray the tops of the “burgers” with cooking spray and turn until cooked and browned on both sides.
  4. Serve on buns with sliced onions.

Do I have to eat grains and beans together to make sure I receive enough protein?

The Truth About Protein Combining

According to nutritionist Bonnie Minsky, vegetarians should consume at leart one or two complimentary grains every day. In her book, Nutrition in a Nutshell," she explains that Ezekiel's Bread is an ideal biblical example of plant protein combining. Also, contrary to popular opinion, beans and grains do not have to be consumed together, but can be consumed at any time within a 24-hour period.

How can I satisfy my taste for meat?

Substituting Meat

When you replace the meat in your recipe with plant-based ingredients, you should expect the finished product to look and taste different than when it was made with meat. The difference isn't necessarily better or worse, just different. It may take some getting used to, but with time you may prefer the new version.


Tofurkey Italian Sausage

If you've read my Lifetips book, you know I love anything by Tofurkey! These are the only tofu-based meat substitutes on the market (most are based on unhealthy, processed soy mutations like "soy protein isolate," "soy protein concentrate," "texturized vegetable protein," or "hydrolyzed vegetable protein.")

When most people think of Tofurkey, they think of fake turkey. But this Italian sausage by Tofurkey is a total home run. It contains 50% less fat than typical pork Italisn sausage. Also, the Tofurkey sausage has NO cholesterol, while pork sausage usually has about 65 mg. One serving (which is one link) contains 29 grams of protein...and is delicious!

Tofurkey uses non-genetically modified soy beans and other non-gmo ingredients. The sausages contain sun-dried tomato, basil, garlic, and other spices! The flavor is unbeatable and very fresh. Plus, they make great hot dog substitutes. Learn more at

You can't lose when you cook these Tofurkey Italian sausages. Cook them cut up in bite-size pieces (my preference) or as they are (in links the size of hotdogs). You can grill them on a low temp in the skillet (they brown quickly). Cut them up into a veggie egg scramble. Unlike a lot of other fake meats, these sausages do not need to be over-cooked to avoid being mooshy. Like animal meat, once they're golden brown, they're done.


What are meat alternatives?

Soy Meat Alternates

Meat alternatives made from soybeans contain soy protein or tofu and other ingredients mixed together to simulate various kinds of meat. These meat alternatives are sold as frozen, canned or dried foods. Usually, they can be used the same way as the foods they replace. With so many different meat alternatives available to consumers, the nutritional value of these foods varies considerably. Generally, they are lower in fat, but read the label to be certain. Meat alternatives made from soybeans are excellent sources of protein, iron and B vitamins.

What is a good source of vegetable protein?

Protein Sources

Nuts are a wonderful source of protein, and they can actually lower cholesterol levels. Also, try cooking with quinoa, a quick cooking ancient grain full of especially high-quality protein.

How is my diet harmful to my health?

Too Much Protein

Most people in developed countries eat TOO MUCH protein (often double the recommended amount). High protein intake can lead to calcium loss and osteoporosis. It also contributes to high cholesterol, heart disease, and kidney disease.

How can I get added protein in my vegan diet?

Add Powdered Tofu for Vegan Protein

For extra protein in your diet, add 1/2 a package of silken tofu to smoothies or stir-frys. No one will notice the difference.

What are the differences between soft, medium, and firm tofu?

Differences in Tofu Consistency

In the process of making tofu, hot soy milk is blended with a coagulant to form a curd. At this stage, soft tofu is poured directly into its package. For medium to extra-firm tofu, the curd is poured into a mold, covered with cotton, pressed to form a block, cut and then packaged. The textures of each type of tofu vary greatly, and each has specific uses in recipes.

How much protein should I eat?

Limit Your Protein

It's best for most people to limit their protein intake to 70 grams per day. Most people who eat diets that center on meat or lots of dairy products exceed this level.

What is a new and different way to cook tofu?

Grilled Tofu

For a tasty variation on tofu, try grilling it on your barbecue. Press firm or extra-firm tofu for 30-60 minutes to remove excess moisture. Brush with a mixture of soy sauce and sesame oil and grill, basting with the same mixture until browned, about 5 minutes per side. To prevent your tofu from sticking, brush your grill generously with oil beforehand.

How do I press tofu for use in a recipe?

Pressing Tofu

To press tofu, and remove excess water, remove the tofu from the package and place it on a dinner plate. Place another plate of equal size over the tofu, and weight it down with 2-3 cans or other similar weight. Press the tofu for about 15-20 minutes. Discard the liquid and proceed with your recipe.

Why do so many vegetarian recipes call for medium pressed tofu?

Pressed Medium Tofu

Many recipes call for pressed medium tofu. The smoothness of medium tofu is beneficial, but the water content may be too high. Therefore, tofu must be pressed before using to remove excess water and preventing the liquid from weeping and causing your dish to be soggy.

What is silken tofu?

Silken Tofu

Silken tofu is particularly silky in texture. Like other tofu on the market, it ranges from soft to extra-firm. Silken tofu is poured directly into an aseptic box and needs no refrigeration before opening.

Where do I buy soy products?

Where to Find Soyfoods

The more popular soyfoods such as tofu, meat alternatives, soy sauce, soy flour and soybean oil, can be found in supermarkets. In natural and health foods stores you will find the greatest variety of soyfoods. Asian food stores carry most of those soyfoods used in East Asia. Several products, such as textured soy flour, textured soy protein concentrates, soynuts and soynut butter can be obtained through mail-order catalogs.

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Guru Spotlight
Linda Handiak