Some Amazing Plant-Based Swaps That You Should Try

The benefits of going plant-based are endless. Not only is it sustainable, it may also force you to try new foods and eat more vegetables! Here are some plant-based swaps, that may be healthier than the actual food:

1) Cauliflower 

Cauliflower- Plant-based swaps
Cauliflower Based Meatballs

It is one of the most versatile foods/ ingredients that vegans swear by! It can be used in so many ways: low-carb cauliflower rice, low-carb cauliflower pizza, cauliflower hummus, etc.

Here is how these delicious recipes are made:

  • Rice: Grate cauliflower finely, and put the cauliflower in a pot, with some seasoning. You may cook it like regular rice in water, but cauliflower already contains a lot of moisture. This is so easy, it can be literally made in a microwave! And it’s a great low-carb alternative to rice.
  • Pizza/ Fritters: Grate cauliflower finely, add salt and leave for 15-20 minutes. Then, put in a muslin cloth and squeeze out all the water. Put this in a bowl, and add salt, pepper, some flour (optional), herbs, flax egg (for binding), and some nutritional yeast (or vegan parmesan cheese). Mix this properly, and add to a baking tray lined with parchment. Form into a crust/fritter/tater-tot shape. If making pizza, add your toppings, else bake as it is, in the oven, till crisp, golden-brown.
  • Cauliflower hummus: Hummus already is vegan, but you can add some cauliflower to it, to make it creamy and skip on the oil. Freeze cauliflower for 4-5 hours, or overnight and add to a blender, with any plant-based milk. Blend till smooth. Add chickpeas, garlic, spices, salt and pepper, blend again. Store in the refrigerator, with a thin layer of oil on top, for a longer shelf life.
  • In smoothies: Frozen cauliflower can replace banana, yoghurt or avocados in smoothies, if you’re not a fan of the taste or want a low calorie alternative. Just substitute directly for added creaminess.
  • Cauliflower “chicken” wings: Love chicken wings? Substitute chicken with cauliflower and roast in the oven, with the same seasonings! 

2) Zucchini

Zucchini - Plant-based swaps
Zucchini Burger

Another amazing vegetable, with a lot of health and nutritional benefits! Use it to make the following:

  • Zucchini fries: Love fries, but you want to eat clean? Try this! Cut zucchini into ½ inch thick sticks, and bread with breadcrumbs. Add nutritional yeast, salt and pepper on top, and bake till golden brown. Serve with any dipping sauce of your choice!
  • In smoothies: Use frozen zucchini, the same way frozen cauliflower is used to substitute for yoghurt, banana, or avocados!
  • Zoodles: A low carb alternative for noodle-lovers! Spiralize zucchini noodles, or just use a peeler to make ribbons of zucchini. Cook in a pan, add any sauce and vegetables!

3) Carrots

Carrot - Plant-based swaps
Carrot Bacon

A great source of vitamin-A! Use it to make the following:

  • Vegetable noodles: Make noodles from carrots, the same way you made zoodles, and mix! This would make your dish colorful, and very nutritious.
  • Carrot Bacon: Yes, you read that correctly! Take a peeler, and make thick ribbons out of carrots. Coat these with some oil, and add salt and pepper. You may also add some liquid smoke or vegan BBQ sauce, for a really barbeque flavor, bake till crisp (150°C, 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway).
  1. Nutritional yeast: A great way to replace cheese! Add to anything: pastas, sauces, noodles, toast, sandwiches, pizzas, etc. It’s a great low-calorie alternative, and is a lot healthier.

4) Tofu

Tofu Rice

A n example of really versatile plant-based swaps, and widely loved by vegans. Use it to make:

  • Tofu scramble: Just crumble it up, and cook it to replace eggs in a scramble. Add black salt, for an eggy taste.
  • Tofu cheese sauce: This is a great replacement for your regular white sauce. Blend up some silken tofu with some plant-based milk. Add nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and garlic powder, blend again.

Use this as a dressing, a dipping sauce, or in white sauce pasta!

  • Tofu “omelette”: Blend some silken tofu with plant-based milk. Add gram flour, oat flour, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and some black salt (optional). Cook it the way you would, with eggs. Add any vegetables in the batter itself, or separately as a filling.

5) Jack-fruit:

Jack-fruit: Plant-based swaps

Another amazing example of plant-based swaps ! Directly substitute any meat (specially chicken) in any recipe.

Written By,

Amulya Sharma,

Student, NIFTEM

Also, if you have interests in learning about the uprising of meat less life, do check our article.

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