25 Ways to Save Money By Substituting Meats in Your Meals

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How to substitute meats in your cooking

We all like to experiment with different foods and flavors. We may find a dish we like and want to try it again but find that the recipe calls for ground beef or lamb. Depending on what you have available, you may not be able to use it. What do you substitute instead? Here are some tips:

1) If the meat was used as a thickener (a roux ), try using pureed white beans (cannellini). You can also use finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions.

2) Instead of using ground beef, mix 1/4 cup cooked brown rice with 1/4 cup tomato sauce and seasonings such as garlic, salt and pepper as well as other herbs such as basil, oregano and thyme.

3) If you have a recipe that calls for ground lamb or pork, use 1 cup of cooked lentils instead. You can also try using finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions. Don’t forget to add some additional spices!

4) If the meat was mixed into a bean dish (such as chili), try using pureed white beans (cannellini). You can also use finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions.

5) Chicken is often used in stews and casseroles with rice. Instead of chicken you could try using small chunks of firm tofu seasoned with grated ginger root and sesame oil then baked until done.

6) If the meat was used in a casserole with rice, try using cooked wild or brown rice mixed with chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions.

7) Separately sauté equal amounts mushrooms and diced onions (or other vegetables you like). Mixed together they can substitute ground beef when added to sauces and casseroles.

8) For recipes that call for sausage, use 1 cup of cooked brown lentils which you pureed in a food processor until it has the same consistency as the sausage

9) When making chili, use 1/2 teaspoon each cumin powder and ancho chile pepper (dried poblano peppers). In addition try adding 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.

10) Foods such as lentils and beans give the “meaty” texture to foods that vegetarians and vegans like. One cup of cooked black beans or red kidney beans can stand in for one pound of ground beef when making burritos, tacos and chili.

11) When cooking with eggs (such as quiche, omelettes or hard boiled eggs), try using 1/4 cup silken tofu blended until smooth then add to the rest of the ingredients and bake as usual.

12) When making meatloaf, use an equal amount of cooked brown rice instead of bread crumbs along with chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions. You can also add diced green peppers and a small amount of crushed pineapple.

13) Try using cubes or chunks of extra firm tofu (pressed to remove excess water) that has been seasoned then baked until done. You can even try marinating it overnight in tamari sauce, sesame oil and grated ginger root before cooking.

14) When making meatballs, use an equal amount cooked brown rice instead of bread crumbs mixed together with finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions. You can also add diced green peppers and a small amount of red wine for added flavor.

15) When making spaghetti sauce, use an equal amount of cooked lentils instead of ground beef along with finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions. For additional flavor you can add some red wine along with garlic, basil and oregano.

16) Instead of using chopped meat in salads, use finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions to give the salad a “meaty” feel without having to sacrifice animal flesh.

17) When making casserole dishes that require meat (such as lasagna), try using an equal amount cooked brown rice instead of bread crumbs mixed together with finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions. You can also try adding diced green peppers for added flavor.

18) If you have a recipe that calls for sausage meat (like breakfast muffins), use 1 cup of cooked lentils which you pureed in a food processor until it has the same consistency as the sausage.

19) When making enchiladas, use an equal amount cooked brown rice instead of either tortillas or bread crumbs mixed together with finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions along with diced green peppers for added flavor.

20) When making chicken pie, use 1 cup of cooked wild rice instead of either pastry crusts or bread crumbs mixed together with finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions along with a small amount of diced green peppers to add that “meaty” flavor. You can also try adding some red wine along with oregano and basil for additional flavor.

21) If you have a recipe that requires ground beef (like tacos), use 1/2 teaspoon each cumin powder and ancho chile pepper (dried poblano peppers). In addition try adding 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.

22) Instead of using chunks of chicken in salads, use finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery or onions to give the salad a “chicken” feel without sacrificing animal flesh. You can also add some sun-dried tomatoes along with olives for additional flavor.

23) For recipes that call for sausage meat (like breakfast muffins), use 1 cup of cooked brown lentils which you pureed in a food processor until it has the same consistency as the sausage.

24) When making chili, use 1/2 teaspoon each cumin powder and ancho chile pepper (dried poblano peppers) for an “enchilada” flavor. In addition try adding 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.

25) When making stir-fry dishes, use chunks or cubes of extra firm tofu (pressed to remove excess water) that has been seasoned then pan fried until done instead of meat. You can even try marinating it overnight in tamari sauce, sesame oil and grated ginger root before cooking.

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