Monday, September 14, 2015

Tastes Like Chicken, But It Isn’t



Its Meatless Monday once again and as I walk across campus, smells of fried chicken and burgers waft into my nose reminding me of past years when I did eat meat. As my mouth begins to water, as I’m sure yours is too, I remind myself that there are healthy and more sustainable alternatives for meat that often taste just as good if not better. So just what are these tasty substitutes for your classic carnivorous dishes?
 
The first thing that I’m sure comes first to everyone’s mind is soy. Now I’m not just talking about the little bean itself, but rather the infinite number of ways that you can turn it into a delicious, next level entre that can serve as the perfect replacement for chicken, beef, pork, or fish.
 
            Top of the list is tofu. When I think of all the things you can do with Tofu, I am reminded of Forest Gump’s best friend Bubba Blue, and how he rattled off the endless list of things one could do with shrimp. But now it’s Tofu. So here’s just a few for you:
 
·      Baked Tofu
·      BBQ Tofu
·      Braised Tofu
·      Broiled Tofu
·      Fried Tofu
·      Scrambled Tofu
·      Stir Fry Tofu
·      Tofu Cake
·      Tofu Loaf
·      Tofu Pudding
·      Tofu Smoothies
·      Tofu Soup…  and the list goes on.



Tofu is one of those magical substances that takes the flavor of whatever you cook or season it with, so it’s hard to go wrong. Just think of your old favorite meat dish and then just replace the main ingredient with tofu and with a little luck and the right spices you’ll never know the difference. And on the off chance that you’ve somehow run out of things to do with tofu, try Tempeh, Seitan, or TVP(Textured Vegetable Protein). Also, a couple of my favorite soy-based veggie-burgers that you may want to check out are Boca Burgers (especially the chicken and spicy chicken) and Organic Sunshine Burgers.

 If you don’t like soy or might be allergic to it, there are lots of other good vegetable substitutes that taste great. Mushrooms definitely top the list. Many people, including myself, cringe at the thought of mushrooms, but with the right spices and proper cooking technique you’ll never know your eating fungus. Try pan sautéing them with a little olive oil and your choice of seasonings or marinate and toss them on the grill to create a delectable mushroom burger. A few more vegetable alternatives that you can cook up similar to mushrooms include Jack Fruit, potatoes, lentils, eggplant, beats, and almost any type of beans. And don’t forget, the key to a good Meatless Monday is making sure to get your full daily recommended nutrition intake, especially protein!


Enjoy!
-Zack


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Take the Meatless Monday Pledge
http://www.meatlessmonday.com/pledge-to-go-meatless/
Sources: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/vegetables-that-can-substitute-for-meat/


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