Don't Sacrifice Your Meaty Faves - Vegucate Them!

September 12, 2017

Some of us are old enough to remember when plant-based diets were considered extreme. But so much has changed – the culture, the research, us! Choosing to eat more (or only) vegetables isn’t some puritanical declaration. Now it’s something we do for our own wellness, and for our planet’s.

But it also means that many of us who grew up with meaty faves are at a loss for savory inspiration, especially if we don’t want to reach for super processed or gluteny “meat alternatives.” And it turns out that amazing vehicles for creative, veggie-based recipes are also the most common items in your pantry. Here are tips for how to use them and one ingredient you may not have tried:

1. Beans and Legumes

Do you shed a single tear when you see a juicy burger? In addition to making a hearty and savory base for soups, stews, and a variety of Latin dishes, beans can be mashed into a flavorful burger patty.

Hack: beans might be even better than beef at absorbing spices, so your sophisticated palate won't be disappointed if you develop a signature spice mixture or infuse a basic patty recipe with detoxifying turmeric or tangy Hoisin.

2. Mushrooms

You can't get much closer to a steak sandwich than simply grilling a Portobello mushroom cap with a sprinkle of salt and putting it on your favorite sourdough or gluten-free bread.

Hack: dip your sammy in a cup of veggie broth like a classic French Dip without the meat sweats.

3. Jackfruit

A fruit, yes, but the slightly-sweet stand-in can make a savory stir-fry, pulled "pork" sandwich, or anything else typically paired with BBQ sauce. Imagine a Thai-inspired pineapple fried rice with jackfruit instead of chicken - the sweetness perfectly balanced with heat and tang for a total Umami experience!

4. Cauliflower

We saved our favorite superfood for last. What may be surprising is just how versatile this seemingly bland, colorless veggie can be. Sliced as a "steak," grated into a flaky, just-like-dough pizza crust, or drenched in your favorite dipping sauce as a substitute for chicken wings, there really is no limit to what you can do. And no limit to the CAULIPOWERFUL products you'll see from us in the future ;)

Go easy on the planet, but hard on flavor. And don't forget, any of these veggie substitute ideas can be a pizza topping! So grab a CAULIPOWER crust and get vegucated.

For more veggie-based food hacks, follow us on Pinterest.