Walnut Meat & Other Nutty Adventures

So, one of the most frequently asked question about eating plant-based is, “What do you eat, then?” Many persons have gotten used to having animal flesh as the main feature of their meals and have a hard time imagining a tasty plate without meat. This is why meat substitutes are a major concern for most people considering switching to a plant-based diet. Yet, most people have never been exposed to the endless variety of animal-free foods that can satisfy their meat-loving palate. There are more options than you can imagine – some are great for the meat-lovers among us and others are treats for the gourmet fans.     

Vegan Meats (Source: VeganMiam.com)

Vegan Meats (Source: VeganMiam.com)

If you know anything about vegetarian diets, you will immediately think of fake meats or meat analogues like textured vegetable protein (TVP) – more popularly known as veggie chunks in Jamaica – or wheat gluten (also known as seitan, wheat meat, veggie steak). But, companies like Morning Star Farms, Quorn & Gardein have made it possible to pick up near duplicates of every kind of meat you can think of that are made from plants only. From burgers, nuggets and wings to sausages, bacon, and ribs, they have it all. In the early years, I tried many of them, but lately I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of processed foods I consume and I’m learning to make more whole food dishes just by stocking up on my legumes.

 

Jerked Walnut Taco "Meat" served on a bed of dark-green leafy veggies (tatsoi, mustard greens and lettuce) and carrots. Dressed with homemade cashew sour cream. (Source: Facebook)

Jerked Walnut Taco “Meat” served on a bed of dark-green leafy veggies (tatsoi, mustard greens and lettuce) and carrots. Dressed with homemade cashew sour cream. (Source: Facebook)

My gourmet-diva, sister-friend, Cheryl (of CherButters of Jamaica) is always creating some work of mouthwatering art in her kitchen. She uses a lot of nuts, seeds and other legumes to replace the animal flesh in popular dishes and always gets rave reviews. We don’t need ground beef for tacos when you have spicy walnut meat! She goes all out to make her dishes authentic and never missed the opportunity to blend up sour cream from cashew nuts. Cheryl’s tasty treats include lentils to make ‘meat’ loaves or ‘meat’ balls and even jackfruit seeds get transformed into ‘cheese’ for delicious vegan pizzas or veggies wraps. Lets just say that your tastebuds won’t ever be bored and her blenders and food processor are well-used. 

While it’s great to recreate all our favourite and more familiar dishes using meat analogues, variety is the spice of life. So, it is always a great idea to try some new recipes and get adventurous in the kitchen. As such, I want to give you some ideas. Below are some recipes I like. Check them out and try them all, then let me know how you like them.

Walnut Taco ‘Meat’

Classic Cashew ‘Cheese’

Chickpea Veggie Nuggets

Lentil ‘Meat’ Loaf

That’s four different recipes! Try even one a week, and see if you want to make them regular features in your diet. These are just more baby steps for you as you transition to more vibrant health.

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