Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Plan Meals Without Meat

Any novice to a meatless diet will feel overwhelmed when faced with the new found challenge of finding a suitable replacement for meat, an old staple you are saying goodbye to, and goodbyes are always difficult. In this case, initially, it will be extremely difficult planning meals without meat. Here are a few tips. Firstly, common side dishes need to be reinforced. Secondly, use beans to fool the eyes and please the palette. Finally, add a little zest by getting saucy. With the right approach, it is possible to plan meals without a solitary morsel of meat.

Most meals with meat are comprised mostly of side dishes, perhaps a cup of rice, a helping of vegetables, and, of course, the meat. So, now that the meat is gone, the side dishes that are commonly there could stay and use a little creativity so that these side dishes can offer a satisfying taste along with a balanced nutritional value, all without meat. For example, you can add a different texture to traditional rice by adding minced, diced, chopped, or sliced cabbage, either white or red. Now you have color, flavor, and texture.

Another great meat substitute is beans. Not only do they offer variety because of the sheer number of different beans available worldwide. They also offer versatility and adaptability. Beans can be altered to take on many different textures and shapes. Additionally, beans provide you with the protein found in meats. One example of beans' diversity is that you can smash cooked beans and create a paste. Seasonings and natural herbs can be added for any flavor desired. These flavorful pastes can then be formed into a patty and fried to a light crisp in sesame oil. The end product is a bean patty to rival any beef patty on the market.

The right sauce with the right pasta makes the perfect meatless meal. Whole grain pasta combined with any exotic sauce beefed up with chunky vegetables like mushrooms, squash, and eggplant is a tasty treat without meat. In fact, a Portobello mushroom can be dipped in honey and breadcrumbs then fried. This fried sliced mushroom can be served along with a zesty sauce of any flavor you desire. This particular mushroom proves a nice replacement for the famous fried steak. How about a curried mushroom sauce with a dash of ginger over whole grain pasta? Who needs meat?

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