At Ward’s Supermarket, we pride ourselves on our high-quality, expertly butcher-cut meats. But did you know we also have what you need if you follow a specialty diet that avoids meat? Many people turn to a meatless or plant-based lifestyle due to health concerns, climate change, or the emotional push for more ethical treatment of animals. And, while meat alternatives of the past have traditionally had a bad reputation for being tasteless, grainy messes, today’s will rock your socks off through guiltless flavor you and your family will love!
The Most Popular Meat Substitutes
Among the most commonly bought meat alternatives are tofu, tempeh, seitan, and jackfruit, although culinary creativity allows new types to emerge regularly.
To-fool Your Taste Buds
Tofu, also known as bean curd, has been a staple of meatless eaters for a long time since its origin in China some 2,000 years ago. Made when soy milk coagulates, it shapes into its recognizable cube form as it thickens.
Tofu comes in many different types, including silken, soft, firm, and extra firm, and it’s good to be aware of these as other recipes may call for a specific variety. It has a mild, bean-like taste that makes it a versatile addition to many dishes, and it can be marinated and grilled, fried, or even made into buffalo wings!
A cousin of tofu, tempeh is also made from whole soybeans that are soaked and dehulled, then cooked partially and fermented with Rhizopus mold. This unique process creates an even healthier food with a higher protein, fiber, and vitamin content.
Produced in the form of a firm cake, its earthy flavor has been called mushroom-like or nutty and intensifies as it ages. Popular tempeh uses include fried, steamed, blackened, or crumbled, and it can be included in salads, soups, or even sandwiches.
Meet “Wheat Meat”
Seitan, otherwise known as “wheat meat,” is a form of wheat gluten made by rinsing away wheat dough starch. What remains has a meaty, chewy texture that makes it a helpful gateway food to ease into a meatless diet.
Suitable for grilling or stir-frying, its portobello mushroom flavor can be easily adapted with seasoning. Seitan is used in many vegetarian products sold commercially, including Tofurky slices, meatless hot dogs, and fake bacon, to name a few.
The New Contender: Jackfruit
While many of the meat alternatives we have mentioned here are useful substitutes for meat, finding one to stand in for pulled pork or chicken has been more difficult – until now.
Unripened jackfruit, a large green, tropical fruit grown in Asia, does not taste much like fruit at all. Its stringy texture makes it an MVP for many vegetarian dishes due to how well it takes seasoning and mimics meat texture. Many restaurants have begun using jackfruit in tacos, and this bbq recipe will fool even the most meat-loving guest at your table.
Get Your Meat Alternatives at Ward’s
We have only scratched the surface of available meat alternatives, and no matter what your diet requires, Ward’s Supermarket has got it for you. We carry the meatless meats and vegan cheeses as well as the other locally sourced, fresh ingredients that help you take your recipes from bland to BLAM in no time. Stop into Ward’s today and get your meatless meals on in the most delicious way!