While a beef burrito can hit the spot when you’re in the mood for something hearty and comforting, many people are veering towards going plant-based to improve their heart health, protect the environment, or just to drop a few pounds by bulking up on more fruits and vegetables.
Yet, those cravings for your favorite animal based meals, like a burger and fries, steak, or a chicken salad sandwich are tricky to get rid of—and sometimes you want to indulge without going off that plant-based diet. Here are a few easy swaps to make, where you’re getting that meaty texture without eating animal protein.
Swap a Burger for a Plant-Based Burger
You can purchase an animal-free burger patty from the grocery store (think: Beyond Meat, for example) and enjoy a burger at home with your favorite plant-based toppings, like veggies or caramelized onions, and condiments. These burgers mimic the flavors, colors and textures of real meat, so it’ll seem like the real thing.
You can also make your own plant-based burger that’s made with quinoa, mushrooms or black beans to get the satisfying protein and the added bonus of fiber.
Swap a Steak for a Cauliflower Steak
You can still grill cauliflower and make it a “steak” served with easy sides, like a baked potato and veggies. It may sound strange, but because a cauliflower is so absorbent, you can season it to taste like pretty much whatever you want. It’s a very versatile vegetable to use in place of meat. The cauliflower saves a ton of calories and fat, and it’s super low-carb. Plus, cauliflower adds fiber to fill you up. To increase protein, add in veggies, grains and legumes that have a good amount, such as quinoa, lentils and broccoli.
Swap Beef or Eggs for Tofu
Love a beef stir-fry with broccoli and rice or a breakfast sandwich that is filled with meat or eggs? Well, you can swap animal protein for tofu, which takes on the flavors you pair it with, such as any sauces or spices. You can use a firm tofu for an easy stir-fry and pair with soy or peanut sauce, for example. Or use tofu for that breakfast sandwich as an alternative to eggs.
Swap Chicken or Tuna Salad for Tofu or Tempeh
A sandwich or salad made with chicken or tuna salad is easy to prepare and have on hand for lunch throughout the week, but if you’re going plant-based you’ll need something different. Tofu and tempeh (tempeh is a bit meatier in texture) work well with traditional lunchtime salad flavors, such as a curry or Waldorf style mix. Choose either or as a quick replacement—you’ll still fill up and get the texture you’re looking for.