A lot of traditional meals centre around meat and so, if you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet – or you’re cooking for someone who is – then you may well be on the lookout for some alternatives to meat that you can add to your recipes and meals instead.
Plant based meat substitutes add texture to a meal and may be especially useful if you have just started to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet and you are missing the texture and taste of familiar meats that you were used to eating.
You might also be cooking for friends and family who are used to eating meat or fish and for whom these meat alternatives could be a perfect alternative for dinner.
And you never know, they might not even be able to tell the difference!
Which substitutes work well for which meats?
There are now many vegan meat and fish alternatives available. And this offering has only got bigger over the last few years as more and more people are choosing to follow a plant-based diet for health reasons, moral reasons and sustainability.
Which can sometimes make it hard to know which product to choose.
So here are our suggestions for perfect substitutions:
Best soya meat alternatives
Soy contains all 9 essential amino acids as well as B vitamins and minerals. Soya products are therefore a popular choice for meat alternatives.
Protein supports muscle growth, repair and maintenance and so anyone with an active lifestyle requires good levels of protein in their diet, which can sometimes be a challenge to get when meat and fish are not part of their diet. Soya is therefore an excellent solution.
Soya is also easy to prepare. Just soak it in boiling water for five minutes before draining and then adding to your chosen recipe.
Soya chunks can be added to curries, stir fries and even eaten on their own with a breadcrumb coating or with some spicy seasoning to add flavour. They are perfect as an alternative to chicken or beef chunks.
Soya mince is a great alternative to beef, pork or turkey mince and can be used in their place in shepherd’s pies, spaghetti Bolognese, chilli or lasagne. Simply fry the mince with onions for five minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Best meat substitutes
There are lots of meat substitutes which make great additions to plant based meals.
Mock duck is made from seitan, a wheat gluten, making it an excellent source of protein and therefore a great alternative to duck.
It can be eaten on its own or added to casseroles, curries, pies and stir fries. We love mock duck crispy pancakes, a vegan alternative to the popular Chinese starter.
Jackfruit is a fruit native to southern India and the rainforests of Malaysia.
It has a soft, chewy texture. It can be used as a tasty alternative to pulled pork or chicken and eaten on its own or added to tacos and stir fries or even used as a pizza topping! Just pull the jackfruit apart with two forks and then add barbecue sauce to give it a similar texture, taste and appearance as pulled chicken or pork.
Banana blossom is another natural fish substitute with a soft and flaky texture. It has been used in Thai cooking for centuries. Use banana blossom for delicious vegan fish and chips as well as adding it to curries and stir fries.
This vegan jerky is high in protein which is great for muscle repair, growth and maintenance, as well as fibre, which supports a healthy digestive system and normal bowel function.
It has a meaty texture, so you can enjoy the sensation of a meaty snack without compromising on your plant-based diet.
Our great range of soya and meat alternatives provide you with a range of nutrition without the consumption of meat. So whether you're looking for mock duck or nut luncheon - our range of meat and soya alternatives will have you covered.