Adding in plant-based meat extenders to a meat dish is a way to combine the best of both worlds! Plant based foods added into meat dishes boost flavor, add volume, and are budget-friendly.
Mushrooms can add B vitamin, selenium, and fiber to a dish while also adding flavor. Use 8 oz. raw, small diced mushrooms per 8 oz. of raw meat.
Lentils are similar in texture and color to cooked meat, and are good sources of protein, fiber, iron, and folate. To raw ground meat, add cooked lentils in a ration of 3:1 or 2:1.
Mashed beans may be used as a binder in meatballs or burgers. Use ¾ cup mashed beans added to one pound of meat as binding agent.
Prunes help lock moisture into meat and add fiber to the dish. Soak prunes in hot water for 5 minutes, drain, puree and use 2-3 prunes per one pound of raw meat.
Whole grains and seeds add volume and nutrients to meats. Use 1 cup bulgur or quinoa per pound of raw meat, or it may be used as a binding agent. As a binding agent use ¾ cup dry oats or 1 tablespoon hydrated chia seeds per pound of raw meat.
Cheyenne is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in the Charleston, SC area.