meat alternatives: beef & pork

Originally posted over at OnceAMonthMom, as part of the Get Real series, this is my list of go-to vegan beef and pork substitutes.

These are all also vegan and whole food friendly and can make a great choice for meat-eaters trying to reduce their meat consumption a bit, too:

  • Ground Beefthis is probably the most popular meat substitute for non-vegetarians. In a rich sauce, like a bolognese or in chili, it is disguised really well and often even fools meat-eaters into thinking it’s “real” meat.

    Vegetarian Pepperoni Pizza

  • Steak Bitesgreat for Chinese stir-fry dishes.
  • Bacon Stripsgood for a mock BLT or anything calling for strips or chunks of ham or bacon.
  • Bacon Bitsexcellent on salads and as a topping for soups and casseroles.
  • Pepperoniso incredible on pizza and on sandwiches!

A few other good, no muss no fuss substitutes include:

  • substituting grilled portabello mushrooms for steak strips,
  • substituting brown lentils for ground beef;
  • substituting avocado slices in recipes that call for ham; and
  • using quinoa egg noodles (vegans can use quinoa non-egg noodles) or quinoa instead of regular noodles or rice under a recipe where you leave out the meat altogether (quinoa is a complete protein, so allows you to leave out the protein in the entree).