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Four plant–based meat you should take on your next summer

Summer brings many opportunities to light a grill and cook up a bounty of juicy meats, corn on the cob, and potatoes for a backyard barbecue.

But as more Americans are embracing a plant-based way of eating, traditional BBQ foods are shifting.

In fact, a survey from Nielsen found that more than one-third — 39 percent — of Americans say they are actively trying to eat more plant-based foods.

1.We know that eating more plant-based [food] is good for us and also the environment,” says Vanessa Rissetto, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian in the New York City area. “Tofu, lentils, Impossible Burgers are all great alternatives to meat that are tasty and not just brown rice and steamed vegetables. Also, more plants means more fiber, which is good for your gut health and helps with feeling full.”

So, if you’re one of those people who are trying to increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet — or you’re cooking for someone who is — let this list of plant-based foods inspire your next summer BBQ menu.

2.Fake meat burgers
addition to plant-based fake meat options, roasted carrots look a great deal like hot dogs, and if they’re cooked right, they can taste and feel like one, too.

“A roasted carrot spiced with cumin is excellent in a whole-wheat hot dog bun topped with well-seasoned cabbage,” says Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian and founder of Maya Feller Nutrition.

Low and slow is the key to the carrot-turned-hot dog. This temperature setting for roasting allows the veggie to become tender and toothsome, and it infuses the vegetable with any spices or rubs you’ve applied.

Carrots are low-calorie, so you might feel a bit is lacking from your meal if you only eat one. You can help your satiety by eating a spoonful of a hearty grain salad in place of potato chips.

3.Veggie hot dogs
proper handling, tofu tastes and cooks a lot like chicken or pork.

“Extra-firm tofu grills really well,” Feller says. “I like to marinate it in ginger, garlic, and coconut aminos with a dash of red pepper flakes.”

If presenting tofu steaks in place of regular ones won’t fly, get a bit more creative.

“You can go a little unexpected by grilling slabs of extra-firm tofu and building your menu around tofu banh mi, with a build-your-own sandwich bar with all the fixings — pickled carrots and radishes, sliced jalapeños, cilantro, hoisin sauce, mayo,” Pittman says.

4.Tofu steaks
You may think of potato fritters as winter fare, when they’re often topped with sour cream or apple sauce and eaten as part of a holiday celebration.

But really the small, round veggie pancakes are great as a year-round alternative to meat and fish patties.

Feller likes potato and broccoli fritters. Pan-fried in a bit of oil, fritters can seem rich, so balance them with a topping of fresh tomato salsa. Or dress them up with a no-cook sauce like chimichurri or pesto.

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