6 Marvelous Mock Meats

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6 Marvelous Mock Meats

Written by Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer

Whether you're going meat-free for religious or personal reasons, your body will thank you. Giving up meat from time to time has a tremendous effect on your health, so we can all benefit from learning about alternate and affordable plant-based proteins. Check out these half dozen meat-free staples!


Lentils are a cheap and versatile protein source. They cost about a dollar a pound in the bulk bins at your supermarket.

On nights when you're pressed for time, throw some lentils in a pot, along with a bit of onion and garlic. Add twice as much broth as lentils and let them simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, steam some broccoli or spinach, heat up some brown rice and drizzle on a bit of curry or tomato sauce. Dinner's on the table in less than 20 minutes!

Most people limit lentils to lentil soup, but these legumes have a lengthy list of uses.


Few foods are as polarizing as tofu. Say the word and watch as noses crinkle or mouths water.

Tofu, also known as soybean curd, is made by soaking, boiling, blending and straining soybeans, then adding a coagulating agent and pressing it. Think of tofu as the other white meat. Like chicken, it's a versatile protein, a blank canvas on which to test your culinary prowess. You can substitute sautéed or grilled tofu in just about every chicken recipe you have.

More Tofu Tips


It looks a bit like cereal, but it smells saltier and tastes more savory than sweet. It's a cheap, versatile and incredibly easy to use protein source that is sometimes hard to distinguish from ground meat when added to a recipe. It's TVP: Textured Vegetable Protein.

Demystify this vegetarian protein, which can be used in everything from chili and meatballs to tacos and shepherd's pie.

Black Beans

Many of us could live on black beans and rice--and several cultures do! Black beans are cheap (roughly 89 cents a can or dried for about $1 a pound). Once cooked they can be frozen and easily added to your favorite recipes.

Black Beans: The Best Beans!


What is tempeh (pronounced tem-pay)?

Tempeh is a fermented product made from soybeans, but it's not pungent like sauerkraut. When crumbled or grated, tempeh has the texture of ground meat.

It's time to try tempeh.

A Medley of Meatless "Meats"

Welcome to the wonderful world of meat analogs! You can indulge your cravings for all your favorites--pepperoni pizza, BLTs and even sausage and egg breakfast sandwiches--even when you're on a meatless diet.

Take a stroll through the frozen food section of any grocery store these days, and you'll find the meatless meats. Chicken nuggets and patties, ribs, burgers, sausage, bacon, ground meat, hot dogs, and even turkey have been made meatless.

Read more.

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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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3/2/2010 11:00:28 AM

I like vegetables and fruit, but I also like meat. I love veggie burgers they are very healthy and taste good too.


3/2/2010 10:25:06 AM

I really can't stand tofu...it is the one food that actually makes me gag! It's pretty funny actually, I just can't swallow it!

Anyway, the only soy-based product that I like is Boca's Soy Crumbles. They are great for tacos. Since I don't eat beef, I use the Soy Crumbles for me and regular ground beef for my BF when I make us tacos.

I also LOVE the veggie burgers that are made with real veggies -- not the ones that are "fake burgers" and made with soy. I mean the ones that fall apart on the grill because they are bursting with vegetables! YUMMO! I put on on a light bun with three or four PopChips (another AMAZING food), a little bit of ketchup, a LOT of pickles and some lettuce, onion and tomato. It's a HUGE burger that totally falls apart when you pick it up for like THREE Weight Watchers points. It's amazing. Truly a summer staple.


3/2/2010 9:13:59 AM

Some of the "meatless meats" are things my grandson likes more than the "real" thing. Morningstar Farms puts out sausage and bacon strips that are Wonderful. Even my meat eating friends like them.

If you haven't tried meatless stuff this type would be my suggestion for anyone's first taste.


3/2/2010 9:06:45 AM

BARBBF's SparkPage
note typo:

"Turns out the cancer rates and deaths from heart attacks and strokes went done by 50% or more"


What happened to the editing option?


3/2/2010 9:04:04 AM

BARBBF's SparkPage
I have been a vegetarian for around 15 years now. I am having a hard time understanding why people still consume the meat of slaughtered animals with such enjoyment. I looked at the poll, and it's a very sad statement on what people care about here. Even when I was a child, I looked forward to "meatless Fridays". I think it might have been during the war years...when we were supposed to give up meat so more would be available for the "fighting men". Someone did an interesting study many years ago. It might have been in Sweden or Denmark, during WWII when not much meat was available. Turns out the cancer rates and deaths from heart attacks and strokes went done by 50% or more. As soon as the war was over , and meat was once again freely available, the heart attacks, strokes and cancer rates went back up. Meat consumption is the greatest in Argentina. They also have the highest rates of cancer.


3/2/2010 8:35:27 AM

Not sure I can do it.


3/2/2010 7:48:17 AM

Enjoyed learning about other options...thanks for the slide show!


3/2/2010 7:21:49 AM


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