Did you know that meat can take up to 72 hours to break down and digest in the human body (mostly because it lacks fiber) whereas plants only take a few hours or less? By increasing your intake of plants, you also increase your fibre intake (meaning you *ahem*, poo more) and will probably experience a noticeable increase in energy levels.
There are many ways that animal products can be easily substituted for a vegan alternative but to truly achieve a meat like texture and taste using only plant-based ingredients you have to think creatively and be prepared to get let loose in the kitchen. Thankfully there’s lots of recipes out there which have done all the out-of-box thinking outside of the box and hard work for you! Here’s 8 easy swaps that will entice your palette and trick your taste buds…
8 Super Easy Food Swaps For New Vegans
1. Hot Wings for Buffalo Cauliflower
You may think you are in love with deep-fried, spicy-coated chicken wings from popular fast-food restaurants, the thought of never eating a chicken wing again making you hesitant to give them up? Worry not, buffalo cauliflower has a very similar bread-like, seasoned coating and when cooked properly will closely mimic the texture of chicken.
2. Hamburgers for a Black-Bean Patty
The average human only needs between 40-90g of protein per day and it does not require much (if any), effort to obtain more than an adequate amount of this nutrient from entirely plant-based sources. On average, Americans who follow a 100% plant-based diet consume 70% more than their DRI of protein anyway!
In contrast to the heart-detrimental components in red meat, black beans are actually very healthy for your heart; swapping a hamburger or beef patty for a black-bean based patty will fight and decrease your risk of heart disease and it tastes amazing too.
3. Whey Powder for Plant-Based Protein
Whey protein can easily be swapped for any of the many existing plant-based protein powders such as rice, pea or soy. These powders come in a range of different flavours and closely mimic the taste of whey protein. Why not add them to a post-workout smoothie, bake with them or combine with cacao, cinnamon or banana in your protein shake. Avoid carmine as it’s animal based.
4. Cold Meat Slice Sandwiches for Hummus and Fresh Veges
Vegan sandwiches don’t have to be boring or lacking in cold deli slices. Take your sandwich game to new levels and get creative with the abundance of fresh, vegetable ingredients! Start with a (more than) hearty dollop of hummus or spread then add lettuce, beetroot slices, chickpea ‘tuna’ or capsicum rings. Voila! You have a tasty sandwich.
The combinations are endless and remember, you can never have too many fillings!
5. Chicken Quesadilla Filling for Potato Filling
When next making this traditional Mexican dish, try using potatoes in place of chicken and cheese. When cooked, they have a similar texture and flavour. Why not add nutritional yeast to give it that cheesy flavour or try your favourite vegan cheese.
6. Dairy Cheese for Nut Cheese
Yes, it is possible to be addicted to cheese. However, there are many reasons to ditch dairy and adopt plant-based alternatives instead! Vegan ‘cheeses’ are frequently made with a cashew or soy base and with a little trial and error, you can make your own. Or like most people buy ready-made vegan ‘cheese’.
For those looking for a dairy cheese alternative which closely mocks the texture and flavour, aged cashew cheese is definitely worth a try!
7. Chicken Kebabs for BBQ Tofu
Everyone loves a good BBQ, with smoky flavours and usually a few drinks! Traditionally, skewers or kebabs on the BBQ have meat or seafood and a few veggies, but met can easily be swapped for tofu or tempeh and paired with flavoursome, colourful vegetables. When char-grilled, they will be a hit at any BBQ. Try our tofu BBQ skewers.
For bonus points, add a hearty dollop of BBQ or sweet chilli sauce.
8. Taco Mince for Lentil Bolognese
‘Seven days without a taco makes one weak.’
If like most people, you adore this popular Mexican dish you don’t have to miss out by removing the mince filling. Swap mince for lentil bolognese for healthier easy to digest alternative to meat.