Since the start of the year (check it our here), we’ve been trying our best to go meat free each Monday at GoodnessMe Box HQ.
…So what do we substitute our animal protein with? Here are three healthy, tasty and easy-to-prep meat substitutes on our rotation. By Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor Melissa Fine.
“Temp-what?” Pronounced ‘temp-ay’, this minimally processed soy-based wholefood originates from Indonesia, and has actually been around for more than two thousand years.
So if it’s made from soybeans, how does tempeh differ to tofu?
- For one, tempeh is a fermented food. Its production involves cooked soybeans being fed with one or more strains of beneficial bacteria. The result is a functional food that’s a good source of probiotics (good bacteria), as well as prebiotics – the ‘food’ on which probiotics thrive.
- Unlike tofu, the soybeans in tempeh remain intact. This means tempeh is not just rich in protein, but also in filling, good-for-your-gut fibre.
What about the taste? Denser than tofu, tempeh is nutty and slightly sweet. Don’t let its appearance put you off – it’s not the prettiest of foods – a slab of stuck together brown soybeans if I’m being honest…But tempeh looks fine once you crumble it or slice it thinly – plus it’s awesome in a stir-fry, adding a satisfying, almost meaty taste and texture to your meal.
2) Canned Chickpeas
A great source of fibre and good quality carbohydrate, chickpeas also give you some protein.
Why am I recommending the canned ones? Apart from being convenient, the fermentable sugars (FODMAPs) in canned chickpeas leach out into the can’s water, making the chickpeas easier to digest and less likely to give you gas or an upset stomach…Just make sure you rinse them well. If you don’t have a sensitive stomach, you can boil some raw chickpeas up.
Keep a can of chickpeas in the pantry and you have your next Meatless Monday sorted: The perfect salad, soup or stir-fry topper, chickpeas are an inexpensive way to bulk up a meat free meal.
Bump up the protein content of whatever you’re having further by adding a sprinkle of your favourite nuts and seeds (try chopped tamari almonds and pumpkin seeds) and cheese – chickpeas work well with creamy feta or tangy goat’s cheese.
If you think tofu tastes like sponge, chances are you aren’t cooking it right. Tofu is awesome because it takes on the flavours of whatever seasonings you cook it with, so it can work in a variety of cuisines.
Plus tofu is also low in carbs and high in plant protein – just make sure you go for organic or non-GM (genetically modified) varieties, where the soybeans haven’t been messed with.
We’re loving Bonsoy's new premium Nigari Tofu at GoodnessMe Box. Apart from being traditionally prepared and organic, there’s so much you can do with it, thanks to its unique, firm silken texture. Here’s how we’ve been enjoying it:
- Blended into smoothies and vegan desserts to make them extra creamy
- Served chilled and drizzled with ponzu and shallots; A no-fuss lunch or dinner for Meatless Monday, serve with a green salad and brown rice for a light, balanced summer meal
- In this Perfect Eggplant and Tofu Stir-Fry
What are you making for Meatless Monday? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Spiral Foods’ Bonsoy Nigari Tofu is prized for both its texture and taste. This style of firm silken Tofu has its roots in traditional Japan and is made with Nigari, a traditional firming agent and a naturally occurring sea mineral. Our Tofu comes in a convenient long life box, requiring no refrigeration until opened. For more head to www.bonsoy.com