St. Mark's Hospital - March 06, 2019

You don’t have to be a vegetarian or a vegan to appreciate meat alternatives. With a healthy dose of protein and a lot less saturated fat than your favorite butcher’s cut, meat substitutes are tasty, versatile and easy to find in most grocery stores.

Meat alternativeWhat it isNutritional infoHow it tastesTry it in …
Tofu Curd made from mashed soybeans and pressed into blocks; varieties include silken, firm and extra firm   Slightly sweet and nutty, though it’s usually prepared with spices or a marinade since it absorbs flavors well Your favorite foods! Silken tofu adds protein to soups or smoothies. Firm and extra-firm tofu can be marinated and used in stir fries or salads. TIP: Before cooking firm tofu, press out excess water by putting it under paper towels and a heavy can.
Tempeh Made from whole soybeans fermented and formed into firm cakes

4 oz:
218 calories
12 g fat
23 g protein
5 g fiber

Strong, nutty taste with a firm texture; can be grainy depending on variety

Stir fries, curries or tacos. It’s also scrumptious in chilis or pasta in place of ground meat.
Mushrooms A nutritious fungus; meaty varieties include cremini, button and portobello

4 oz.:
25 calories
0 g fat
2 g protein
1 g fiber

Savory, earthy umami flavor

Pastas, stews, pizza, lasagna and sandwiches.

TIP: Grill or broil large portobellos and eat as a burger.
Jackfruit Tropical fruit that looks a bit like a mango; usually found shredded

4 oz.:
108 calories
2 g fat
2 g protein
2 g fiber

Has a mild flavor with sweet and savory notes; cooked texture similar to pulled pork

Sandwiches, salads and chilis.

TIP: Since it’s lower in protein, pair with high-protein foods like legumes.
Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP) Soy flour, usu­ally made into nuggets, chunks or used in frozen foods; also avail­able as a powder

¼ cup powder:
80 calories
0 g fat
12 g protein
4 g fiber

Flavorless on its own but takes seasoning well; processed foods containing TVP can be high in sodium Tacos, chili, burgers and other dishes where you might use ground meat.
Lentils Tiny legume that comes in a variety of colors

½ cup (cooked): 115 calories
0 g fat
9 g protein
8 g fiber

Brown lentils have the earthiest flavor, green are mildest, red are sweetest Soups, stews, salads, pilafs and veggie burgers.
Seitan Processed wheat gluten with a dense, chewy texture

4 oz.: 143 calories
2 g fat
27 g protein
2 g fiber

Mild, neutral flavor that takes flavors well; very meaty texture Stir fries, sandwiches, stews, curries, tacos and more!