Everything You Need To Know About Making Meatless Dishes

These tips will help you eat healthier, better.

IMAGE Majoy Siason

Any attempt to eat better, healthier should be an easy thing to do. Vegetables are plentiful, fruits are abundant, and meat alternatives are actually available in supermarkets as well as online grocery stores. 

It's not always easy changing your eating lifestyle. There are sacrifices to be made with regards to ingredients if you opt to do go meatless. It can be made easier with a little help in the guise of tips on how to use these meatless alternatives and how to make better use of the produce available.   

Here's an easy guide on how to better prepare and cook meatless dishes:   

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1 Turn to the soybean and its product, like tofu.

Tofu is the ultimate meatless option. For anyone who has decided to go meatless, this highly versatile soybean product is a lifesaver. That's because tofu is a chameleon when it comes to flavors! You can make a square of this sponge-like food taste exactly how you want it to taste since it can absorb those flavors so well. Not only that, but it can also mimic the textures that you miss in meat.

Squeezing out the excess moisture from tofu for a firmer texture that can be like meat. Crumble the tofu to mimic your morning scrambled eggs if you're also going egg-free. You can even use soft tofu and soy milk as a substitute for your dips and sauces that formerly used eggs and milk as well.  The possibilities are endless with the humble tofu! 

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2 Use more vegetables. 

You'll have to get used to eating more vegetables as well as wider range of different vegetables to eat more satisfying meatless meals. There are vegetables that may not be your favorite but need to become the bulk of your meals to be filling.

Take a chance and try out different vegetables and preparations so you can identify the produce that you love eating. It is totally fine to leave out the okra from the sinigang and the ampalaya from the pinabket, if you don't like them

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3 Take advantage of seafood. 

Seafood is technically not meat so for those who are not super strict with their meatless dishes, seafood can be their salvation when it comes to looking for meaty substitutes that can help wean them from their meaty cravings. This includes shrimps, squid, shellfish, and range of fish that you can find in your seafood aisle of the palengke and supermarket. What's so fantastic about this swap for meat is that this cooks faster and can be tastier, too.   

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4 Turn to mushrooms. 

Mushrooms are said to be the ideal meaty substitute because it can be made to taste like meat. These normally mean the expensive big mushroom, the portobello. However, you don't need to shell out money to buy this giant mushroom. Instead, you can take advantage of it by not only using canned but also dried mushrooms, too. Dried mushrooms have a fantastic flavor that you can easily add to dishes to give it instant umami. 

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5 Swap in beans. 

The heartiness of meat is what makes and keep you full. If you are missing its bulk, swap in beans for meat! Beans, especially the canned version, are easy to use in many recipes because you just open the can and dump it in, including the liquid. The liquid is great for thickening stews and soups but if you're looking to do a drier dish such as a stir fry, draining the beans is fine to do, too. Plus, beans such as these crispy chickpeas or garbanzos make a fantastic snack that meat just won't be able to compete with. 

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6 Give veggie meat a try. 

It's a stretch but there are veggie meat products that you can try to help you get over your meat cravings. From faux bacon to sausages and chicken nuggets, you can relive and experience your meaty meals with "meat" made with vegan-friendly alternatives so you don't have to feel guilty about cheating on your diet.  

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here!


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