No Meat on the Shelves? Here’s Some Alternatives.

By Sara Bondell - May 14, 2020

Since the onset of COVID-19, shoppers have encountered bare shelves at the grocery store, including the meat aisle.

A number of meat processing plants across the country have temporarily closed or are operating with reduced staff, resulting in a lower supply and more expensive cuts.

If you can’t get meat, here are some other ways the clinical dietitians at Moffitt Cancer Center say you can get protein into your diet:

Beans and legumes – Black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans and lentils have about 7 grams of protein per half a cup. You can use them in Mexican foods like refried bean burritos, black bean tacos or nachos, or add them into soups.

Marinated chickpeas can be thrown into a salad or wrapped into a pita with lettuce, tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce. They can also be made into hummus to enjoy with chips, pita or raw veggies.

Nuts and seeds – These are a great addition to smoothies, snacks and trail mix. You can also add them to oatmeal, cereals and salads. Try adding roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds to a salad to give it a nice crunch, while also increasing iron and protein intake.

Meat alternatives – Alternatives such as tofu, tempeh or seitan are great options. You can mix tempeh into stir fries, make it into “bacon” or crumble and sauté it to make a ground meat alternative for tacos or pasta.

Tofu can also be added into stir fries or made into “nuggets” or a scramble.

Seitan is made from wheat and can be used to make veggie lunch “meat” slices, hot “wings” or a barbeque sandwich. There is even a seitan chorizo “sausage” alternative.

Quinoa – Quinoa another great option that packs a protein punch of 8 grams per cup. You can use it in stir fries or fillings for stuffed peppers. Try making it into burgers or sliders or using it as a hot cereal alternative.

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Sara Bondell Medical Science Writer 813-745-1353 More Articles

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