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Cooking Vegetarian with Meat Substitutes

Have you been trying to go vegetarian but have a weakness when it comes to meat? You shouldn’t be ashamed. Most people who quit their aspirations to become vegetarians simply cannot move past their love of meat. Luckily, there are plenty of meat substitutes out there that can help you duplicate the fantastic taste of meat, and still maintain and vegetable based and cruelty-free lifestyle.
 
 
Tofu
 
The most famous meat substitute is tofu. The reason for tofu’s widespread popularity is the fact that it soaks up whatever flavor you place on it. Tofu has an extremely neutral natural flavor, making it easy for spices and other strong flavors to completely overshadow it. If you are considering going vegetarian, you can still enjoy a summer barbeque by grilling up a piece of tofu in replacement of a rack of ribs. However, tofu does take a little more prep time than meat. The best way to get the most flavor into your tofu is to marinate it in spices and sauces for a least a half and hour before cooking.
 
If you purchase tofu to fit your vegetarian needs, bear in mind that there are different types of tofu. If you do wish to have that summer barbeque, you will want to purchase tofu that is firm. Water-packed tofu is harder and will not fall apart. You can cut a piece of water-packed tofu and it is sure to keep its shape. There are also softer types of tofu that can lose their shape, making them ideal for cooking sauces, soups, and desserts. Silken tofu is soft and prefect for dishes that need to have a relatively liquid texture.
 
Eggplant
 
For some vegetarians, one major meat temptation is a good cheeseburger. You may think that by going vegetarian, you are giving up your ability to enjoy a juicy burger. However, you will happily find that isn’t the case. Eggplant burgers have been feeding vegetarian cravings for years. You can grind up eggplant to make a burger that will look, feel, and taste like ground beef on your tongue. Just like tofu, eggplant will absorb the spices that you place on it. When you rub spices into your eggplant burger and combine it with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and all the other accoutrements that you like on your burger, you will be shocked at how delicious it can taste.
 
Protein
 
Vegetarians should remember that there is far more to meat than mere taste. Meat is a huge source of protein and for many, it is the largest source of protein. To maintain a healthy vegetarian diet, you will need to make sure that you are consuming plenty of alternative protein sources to make up for the lack of meat in your diet. Luckily, tofu is also a wonderful source of protein. You could also consider incorporating more eggs, beans, and nuts into your diet. If you still find that you are not getting a sufficient amount of protein, you can also begin taking protein supplements. You can take protein pills or opt for protein shakes. Some delicious protein shakes can even provide you with a healthy way to get your chocolate fix.