First, we had the pink slime showing up in our beef supply and now that there’s evidence of mad cow disease rearing its ugly head in California, many people are thinking twice about that burger.
I don’t blame them.
While mad cow is rare, why take a chance? There are plenty of amazing vegetarian meat substitutes out there, and I’m not just talking about tofu. This is the 21st century and vegetarianism simply isn’t what it used to be. There are more options, better tasting meat substitutes and amazing recipes everywhere you look.
If you’re at all worried about what kind of nasty mad cow bacteria might be making its way to your mouth from beef, take a chance and try a meat substitute instead.
Alternatives to Beef: Avoiding Mad Cow
Veggie Burgers: There’s no shortage of varieties. In fact, veggie burgers are widely available in many different brands at grocery stores and most restaurants.
Tempeh: This traditional Indonesian food is made from fermented soybeans and other grains. Unlike tofu, which is made from soybean milk, tempeh contains whole soybeans, making it denser. Because of its density, tempeh should be braised in a flavorful liquid (see recipe below) for at least one hour prior to cooking. This softens it up and makes the flavor milder.
After braising, you can dredge the tempeh in flour, corn meal, or a mixture of ground nuts and flour and panfry it. Then try adding it to a sauce and continue cooking it for an enhanced flavor. PETA’s famous Tempeh Creole recipe is an example of how satisfying tempeh can be.
Seitan: Also known as wheat gluten, seitan is derived from wheat and is a great source of protein. Try seitan as a chicken substitute in your favorite recipes. We recommend trying Seitan Piccata or Macadamia-Encrusted Seitan With Mango Broccoli Slaw. You can find seitan at most health food stores—but if you are feeling adventurous, you can make it at home.
Whole Grains and Legumes
Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, protein, B vitamins, and zinc. Legumes include pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, peanuts, and black-eyed and split peas. Use beans as a protein source in salads, soups, stews, and rice dishes. – Source
Flickr photo: viÃ«tor
If the vegetarian route is working out for you, why not take it a step further? Once you’ve been off beef for a couple of weeks, you’ll experience increased energy and focus.
Why not challenge yourself even more by implementing a raw diet? Besides the added energy, it will help knock off a couple ponds as well.
Five years ago, 28-year-old Angela Stokes, found herself morbidly obese, chronically ill and depressed. “I had no interest in health and was eating myself into the grave with junk foods,” she says.
Frustrated with conventional medicines and yo-yo diets, Stokes looked for alternative methods of healing, and discovered that making changes in her diet was the ultimate medicine.She went on a raw food diet, and has since lost 160 pounds.
Although the concept behind mad cow can be somewhat jarring to understand, it’s an easily avoidable issue. Look into the ways grains and beef substitutes can benefit your health, and help you to avoid the onslaught of mad cow disease.