This April Fools’ Day, why not fool your family and friends by serving them vegan meat? Let them take a bite (or a few!) before revealing that the delicious food they’re enjoying is actually totally cruelty-free, as well as good for their health and easier on the environment.
You can substitute versatile vegan meat in any recipe that calls for animal flesh and serve it as usual. With its “fooled-you” flavor, your family may never know the difference. Many plant-based “meats” taste so much like their animal-derived counterparts that they’ve been known to fool even ardent “carnivores.”
Unlike animal flesh, vegan meat is high in healthy plant protein and fiber, low in saturated fat, and free of cholesterol. Eating plant-based food helps prevent obesity, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, strokes, osteoporosis, and even impotence.
Here are a few of our favorite recipes to inspire you:
Seitan (pronounced “SAY tan”) is one of the most satisfying foods to use as a meat replacement in recipes. Made out of wheat gluten, seitan has a mild, unique flavor that’s easy to pair with other ingredients, and it also has an interesting chewy texture that is often used to mimic chicken. It’s an easy, inexpensive, and soy-free meat alternative that can be used in a wide variety of recipes.
Use the homemade seitan to make this delicious Macadamia-Encrusted Seitan With Mango Broccoli Slaw.
Too much meat or too much filler can ruin a meatloaf, but this vegan version gets the balance just right. The base of the recipe consists of a combination of vegan beef crumbles (any brand will work, but you could also use soaked granules of TVP—textured vegetable protein), oats, bread crumbs, and a mix of liquid and spices. It may be tempting to skip the Worcestershire sauce if you don’t already have a vegan version on hand, but don’t do it—the sauce adds a savory richness that cannot be achieved with other ingredients. Finding vegan Worcestershire sauce is easy anyway, and several grocery-store brands are accidentally vegan. Just be sure to read the label and leave anything that says “anchovies” on the shelf.
Inspired by the traditional Filipino stick barbecue, this tangy tofu variation is a tasty (and heart-healthy) spin on the classic! This flavorful marinade pairs perfectly with rice or bread.
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