If you’re not using meat in your dish, there are many other interesting ways to provide bulk and quiet hunger pangs. While some of these options are also good sources of protein, others need to be combined with different foods in order to provide a complete protein.
Vegetarian meat alternatives
Close to familiar meat form and texture. May contain spices or other flavouring to simulate meat taste. Substitute wherever you would use meat.
Comes in many forms including extra firm, firm, soft and silken. Soft, smooth and flavourless on its own, it is a prime candidate for flavourful marinades, sauces, and seasonings. Add to soups, stir-fries, and scrambles.
Sold in flat, rectangular pieces. Has a slightly earthy taste and chewy texture. Crumble and add to soups, salads, or pasta, or serve in a sandwich.
Made from cooked wheat gluten, it has a chewy texture and is a good source of protein. It’s commonly used in Asian dishes.
Pulses (beans and lentils)
Available dry or canned. Firm texture, may have slightly nutty flavour. Add to soups, salads, stews or casseroles, or make into “meat” balls.
Porcini, shiitake, and portabello mushrooms add umami flavour and hearty texture. Can be eaten raw, cooked in salads, sauces, soups, and sandwiches, or grilled.
Choose unripe or canned in water or brine to avoid sweetness. Grill and shred like pulled pork, slice into "steaks," or add to stir-fries and salads.
Mild taste absorbs flavours easily. Chop and eat raw, slice into "steaks" and oven roast, add to curries and stir-fries, or boil and mash or put through a ricer.
Cost-effective, filling, and absorbs flavours readily. Boil, bake, roast, mash, or fry. Try sweet potatoes with black beans in enchiladas.
Fennel and artichokes add textural interest and presence on the plate. Roast with olive oil and add to salads or dips.
Roasted and caramelized, it plates nicely and adds rich colour. Roast or boil and add to soups or salads.
Nuts & peanuts
Enhance food with a nutty flavour and crunch. Add to salads, pasta, desserts, etc. (Note: Nuts are food allergens. Identify on menu and check with guests before serving.)
*Not a good source of protein.