7 Essentials to Enhance Plant-Based Proteins

Tofu, chia and tempeh have gone from being considered dull foods to becoming the sparkling stars of our meals. We tack on the flavours and switch up textures to create vibrant plant-based dishes. Thanks to these seven tips, gone are the days when going vegetarian was a boring affair!

1. Layered flavours

The secret to keeping from getting bored of meat-free cuisine is to add as much flavour and texture as possible. And to do this, be sure to not skimp on the layers. Grilled and tender vegetables, fresh and crunchy lettuce and greens, spices, sauces and marinades; the important thing is to keep on adding!

2. Nutritional yeast

Rich in protein, this yellow, flaky yeast has a slightly salty taste similar to that of cheese. It dissolves completely in liquids and can therefore enhance any sauce beautifully. It can be sprinkled on pasta and vegetables, or even combined with breadcrumbs to coat certain foods. It is a very practical ingredient! You can find nutritional yeast in natural food stores and in the organic food section of some supermarkets.

3. Soy sauce

Indispensable in many Asian dishes, soy sauce can enhance pad thai, vegetable stir-fries and soups. Its umami taste (the fifth basic taste after salty, sweet, sour and bitter) amplifies the flavour of food. So be sure to add it to your sauces and marinades.

4. Breading

Whether it’s as nuggets or croutons, you’ll love making plant proteins crispy. Simply coat tofu with cornstarch, flour, breadcrumbs or panko before browning in a skillet. The tofu gains some texture and becomes absolutely tasty.

5. Citrus

It’s not surprising that citrus fruits bring a touch of acidity to dishes in which they are incorporated. But their contribution is particularly important in vegetarian recipes where flavours need to be deepened. Squeeze some lemon juice into a vinaigrette, include it in a veggie pâté or add a few drops of lime juice to pad thai.

6. Creamy soy preparation

To get the smooth consistency of cream in vegan dishes, pour a soy and sunflower oil preparation (such as Belsoy brand) into soups, sauces and even certain desserts. We added it to this creamy quinotto. Its thickness is comparable to that of 15% cream.

7. Seeds and nuts

For an easy protein fix, our reflex is to turn to nuts and seeds. Pecans, almonds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, for example, are used to add a touch of crunch to a salad, a smoothie bowl or as the main component of chewy bars or spreads. Since nuts can sometimes be expensive, seeds are a more affordable option.