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A Vegetarian and Vegan Guide to Meat Substitutes


If you’re a newbie vegetarian, or if you’ve recently decided to go vegan, selecting a meat alternative from the grocery store can be a little overwhelming. You’ll run into meat substitutes with all sorts of strange names—like Tofurkey, TVP (or textured vegetable protein), tempeh, and even something called seitan. Never fear; your guide to vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes is here to save the day…

1. Seitan

Don’t let the name fool you—there’s nothing evil about this high-protein form of wheat gluten.  Seitan is what’s left after the starches are rinsed away and only the vital wheat gluten (or what is commonly referred to as the “white meat”) remains.

Seitan has a chewy, rubbery texture that’s slightly salty in flavor—think of a slight soy sauce tinge. And it provides an excellent source of protein (15-grams of protein per 2-ounces) for those with soy sensitivities. Know that if you reach for Tofurky (or veggie deli meats) in your grocery store, you’re almost always buying a seitan-based product.

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