Cutting back on meat in the New Year? Reducing your intake of meat may not only be good for your health (the health and fitness community continue to go back and forth on this one), but it is good for the environment.
Regardless of where you stand in the 'should we all be eating plant-based diets?' debate, we can all agree on this: more nutritious plant-based food in your stomach is never a bad thing. There are so many incredible benefits that come with consuming grains and legumes and vegetables. That's why this week we're sharing our three favorite plant-based foods to try in your favorite meat dish (sans the meat, of course).
Potatoes are hearty and affordable gifts from the soil. They are tasty no matter how you prepare them (just make sure to add seasoning) and they are an excellent substitute for meat in stews, soups, casseroles, and curries. Whether you choose baby potatoes or sweet yams, these root veggies are healthy and seriously filling. Try subbing them in one of your favorite dishes this weekend.
Legumes include a whole bunch of plant-based foods, including beans, peas, and lentils. We love beans for their fiber and protein -- one cup of chickpeas has 39 grams of protein -- and lentils because they go well in just about any dish.
If you haven't ever tried making lentil or chickpea burgers, we highly recommend it. Even if you're a big traditional beef fan, these plant-based alternatives are incredibly tasty. Further, they are a lot kinder to your wallet and digestive system. Because who likes that post-beef bloat anyhow?
Okay, so this one may seem a bit odd, but mushrooms actually work surprisingly well as a meat substitute. For starters, they are perfect in lasagna and pasta sauce. They are also excellent as the main ingredient in tacos or fajita dishes.
Large portobello mushrooms, which are low calorie and a great source of potassium, can be grilled in place of that sirloin steak, too. Topped with the right seasonings and situated next to grilled veggies on your plate, you'll hardly taste the difference!
What are some of your favorite meat substitutes? Share with us on