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4 Vegetarian Protein Alternatives For Meat


If you are vegetarian or plan on switching to a vegetarian diet soon, it’s essential to know about protein alternatives to add to your daily meals. Many popular meals revolve around meat as the main ingredient, but there are plenty of options to make a delicious meal without any meat products. Continue reading for four great vegetarian protein alternatives!

Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are an amazing alternative to meat, as they can be cooked similarly and be eaten on a sandwich, burger, fajitas, and much more. Simply marinate the mushrooms with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any herbs and spices of your choice for about an hour. Then grill the large mushrooms or saute them on high for five-seven minutes. Add them to a burger with cheese, caramelized onions, and other toppings, or slice them up for vegetarian fajitas.


Cauliflower is a very popular meat alternative, as the vegetable can be used for vegetarian wings, ground “meat”, the base for soup or vegan queso, and so much more. With the help of a food processor, cauliflower takes on a texture that can be similar to meat- and may even be preferred to meat! To make your own ground “meat,” break one cauliflower into small pieces and pulse in a food processor, add five oz of mushrooms, then add in onion, garlic, and spices to make a great alternative for tacos or pasta.


Tofu can often be substituted for chicken or fish and can be used in a variety of meals. If you plan to use it as a meat alternative, it’s important to buy the extra-firm variety to get the right texture. Be sure to drain off the excess fluid and allow it to marinate in a sauce for a while, as it doesn’t have much flavor on its own.


Lentils make another great alternative for your dinner and are a rich source of protein, fiber, iron, potassium, and more. When using lentils as an alternative for ground beef, one cup of uncooked lentils will be equal to one pound of ground beef. With your vegetarian ground “meat,” you can use lentils for burgers, meatballs, meatloaf, tacos, shepherd’s pie, stuffed peppers, and more!

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Hearn Kirkwood is a private Food Service Distributor that specializes in produce, meat, poultry, dairy, and fresh seafood in the Baltimore, Washington, and Virginia area. We have been servicing our valued customers for over 70 years, and we are dedicated to providing all of our customers with the freshest and tastiest products available at competitive prices (and delivered with unparalleled customer service). For more information, give us a call (410) 712-6000 or visit us online and on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn!