While it might be the most well-known meat replacement, tofu is far from the only vegetarian alternative to meat. In fact, there are plenty of tasty and nutritious tofu substitute options available these days.
Whether you follow a herbivorous diet or you just enjoy the occasional meatless meal, finding a delicious tofu substitute will help you keep things interesting in the kitchen. In this post, we’ve rounded up four of the best alternatives to tofu so you can enjoy a variety of meat-free dishes and never get bored with your culinary creations.
If you aren’t familiar with seitan, you aren’t alone. In short, it’s a meat alternative that is made from wheat gluten and water and then baked and sliced. Essentially, this means that seitan is very high in gluten. As a result, it isn’t a good tofu substitute if you follow a gluten-free diet.
Seitan is quite popular in Asian cuisine in stir-fries and curries as a replacement for pork, beef, or duck. It’s also frequently used to imitate meat in many of the meatless products you see in your local grocery store.
In some aspects, tempeh is the most similar to tofu since they’re both made from soybeans. But on the other hand, tempeh has a distinctive earthy taste, whereas tofu is flavorless on its own and takes on the taste of whatever food you cook it with.
It’s quite useful as a tofu substitute since you can cube it up for salads or soups (as you would with tofu). You can also crumble it up and use it to replace ground beef in a variety of recipes, including spaghetti and tacos.
Beans and legumes are another solid tofu substitute option popular with many vegans and vegetarians. It’s worth noting that beans won’t work as well as seitan or tempeh in replicating the consistency of tofu. However, you can mix them into many kinds of dishes to add protein and delicious flavor.
For example, it’s incredibly easy to swap out tofu for beans in salads, burritos, casseroles, and more. Plus, beans are affordable, come in a variety of flavors, and are easy to find in any grocery or convenience store.
Finally, there are a number of grains you can use to replace tofu in certain dishes. Quinoa, couscous, and brown rice each offer a number of health benefits and are quite versatile foods. You can also add things like olive oil, lemon juice, and spices to increase the flavor of these items.
Since these types of foods are full of protein and fiber (depending on which one you choose), they’ll help you feel full and satisfied. They also contain a number of vitamins and minerals to give you a nutritional boost.
As you can tell, removing tofu from your diet doesn’t have to be complicated. With so many delicious alternatives, you can still enjoy a tasty meat-free meal without compromising on flavor.
For more recipe ideas and meat-free meal suggestions, check out the Tastessence blog.