vegetarian burgers

5 Delicious Meat Substitutes For A Plant-Based Diet

At Equalution, we know that a one-size diet definitely doesn’t fit all. That’s why we create customised nutrition plans for EACH and EVERY Equalutioner, taking into account personal taste as well as dietary requirements. That’s right! If you didn’t already know, we cater to all dietary requirements, whether you’re dairy, gluten or nut-free, vegan, vegetarian and everything in-between. 

That includes our fast-approaching 8 Week Challenge In It Together Challenge! We’ve just launched our BIGGEST and BEST transformation package ever, with 20% off the challenge and a mega $5000 1st prize. You’ll get 8 weeks of customised nutrition and coaching with Equalution, which we can customise to suit all dietary needs.

But wait, there’s more! We’re now including a weekly online fitness program for the FIRST TIME EVER, so you can give your health, body and mind the 110% it deserves. It’s the perfect thing to boost your motivation and positivity during isolation, and help you refocus on your goals [will link to the setting goals article here, not live yet]!

Let’s get back to it Equalutioners. Plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular, and with it the demand for more meat-alternatives has grown. While it’s no secret that foods like eggplant, tofu and chickpeas make excellent substitutes for meaty ingredients, we want to talk about some other delicious alternatives you might not have tried yet...

jackfruit halved and sliced

Jackfruit

Jackfruit has seriously boomed in popularity over the last couple of years, and you’ve probably seen it pop up on restaurant menus around Australia. But what is jackfruit, and where did it come from? Hailing from Asia, it’s the LARGEST tree-borne fruit in the world (you may have already seen it at supermarkets, it’s big), and when cooked, can have a dense and meaty texture. It’s also great at soaking up the flavours it’s cooked in, making it the perfect ingredient in rich sauces to create dishes like BBQ pulled jackfruit (totally delicious) or used in tacos. 

Due to its ever-growing fanbase, it’s pretty easy to find jackfruit in big supermarket chains and health food shops across Australia. However, if you’re wanting to include it in your meal plan we’d suggest purchasing already peeled and prepared jackfruit. This is for a couple of reasons:

  • Jackfruit is famously HARD to prepare. When cut into it releases a type of milky sap, which can get very messy, and inside the fruit is embedded in a tough core, and can be hard to remove.
  • When ripe, jackfruit is deliciously sweet and described as tasting like a mix of pear, apple, banana and papaya (yum!). However, this isn’t the flavour you want in savoury dishes, so you’ll want to use green, unripe jackfruit that hasn’t developed any sweetness.

Luckily, you can buy it in a tin, in vacuum-sealed packs or even fresh and sliced into sections, so there’s plenty of handy options for you there!

assortment of mushrooms

Mushrooms

Ok, hold up. We know you’ve probably tried a delicious mushroom burger before (portobello mushrooms are just the perfect size to be crumbed and turned into a patty), but did you know there’s a WHOLE WORLD of fun mushrooms to play with? For example, Laetiporus is also known as ‘chicken of the woods’ because (you guessed it), IT TASTES LIKE CHICKEN. Hypomyces Lactifluorum is known as the ‘lobster mushroom’ for tasting like lobster, and Lion’s Mane is credited in the gourmet foodie world with being a great substitute for crab. 

Aside from all the fun mushies that taste like other foods, even just your common button mushrooms make great meat substitutes due to their dense texture. Use them in tacos, burgers, stews and casseroles, the world is your oyster (mushroom)!

falafel and hummous

Falafel

A delicious middle-eastern staple, falafel is a nutrient-rich and fantastic meat substitute. If you haven’t given falafel a shot yet, now is 100% the time to do it. It’s extremely versatile, and you can use it in wraps, salads, burgers, pizzas, to stuff veggies (like tomato and capsicum), or even just served on its own with some pita and vegetables!

Falafel is commonly made from ground chickpeas or fava beans (or both) and then can be mixed with a combination of herbs, spices and onion. It’s generally fried, and originated as a well-loved street food before taking on a life of its own in modern foodie culture.

grilled seitan with vegetables

Seitan

If you haven’t heard of this one, LET US SHOW YOU THE LIGHT! Seitan is made from wheat gluten, which might not sound like the MOST appetising thing in the world, but once you’ve cooked with it we can guarantee you’ll be in love. Boasting a chewy, meat-like texture, it works well in almost every dish you can think of. Satay skewers, hearty stews, teriyaki rice bowls and gourmet hotdogs are just some of the ways you can get creative with this vegan protein alternative. You can make seitan yourself from whole wheat flour, or most health food shops will stock premade seitan.

beyond beef vegetarian burgers

Beyond Beef

‘Fake’ meat is something that can divide the meat-free community, and we get it, why would you try and recreate meat when you can create SO MANY DELICIOUS dishes with vegetables, grains and beans alone? If you do ever get a craving for a juicy burger though, Beyond Beef is here to answer your prayers. Made from plants but looking and tasting exactly like a beef patty (we’ve tried them and can vouch for their deliciousness), Beyond Beef packs just as much protein as a meat patty (sometimes more), and uses less water, land, energy and generates fewer Greenhouse Gas Emissions than a quarter pounder beef burger. Beyond Beef also has no cholesterol, less saturated fat and no hormones or antibiotics than real beef, so it’s good for you AND the planet!

Wanting to try a plant-based diet but worried you might be missing out on essential nutrients? It’s time to talk to the Macro Gods! At Equalution, we can provide you with a customised meal plan and coaching to help you ease into the vegan or vego lifestyle, while hitting all your macro and micronutrient targets. When you’re ready, you know where to find us!



Yours in Health & Fitness,

The Equalution Team