8 Vegetarian Takes on Bacon

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Get the smoky, crispy taste of bacon without the meat

8 Vegetarian Takes on Bacon

bacon

With all the bacon backlash that has flared up over the past month, meat lovers are running for the hills and vegans are rejoicing. Having bacon in moderation does not pose a problem but in order to satisfy your bacon craving in a healthier way, there are a few techniques you can use when seasoning and making your food. 

Bacon Salt

Bacon Salt

If you want your eggs, potatoes, or roasted vegetables to taste like bacon, Bacon Salt is a zero calorie, zero fat, vegetarian, and kosher seasoning that gives the same flavor as bacon. You can even sprinkle it on popcorn for a unique touch.

Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs

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Sautéing breadcrumbs in olive oil and butter will cause them to brown, leaving you with the perfect bacon-like texture. You can add salt and smoked paprika to the breadcrumbs to create a similar taste. Finish off by topping your mac and cheese or green bean casserole with this savory treat.  

Chipotle Chile Peppers and Smoked Paprika

Chipotle Chile Peppers

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A little spice can go a long way, especially if you are trying to lock in that bacon flavor in your food. For the smoky taste, add chipotle chile peppers or smoked paprika to your grilled tofu or tempeh.

Coconut Flakes

Coconut Flakes

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Nutritionist Keri Glassman uses coconut flakes seasoned with maple syrup to create imitation bacon for a BLT. Tossing the coconut flakes with coconut aminos and maple syrup and baking them for 10 to 15 minutes in the oven will give you the same crispy and sweet taste.

Grill Your Ingredients

Grill Your Ingredients

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You may be surprised but grilling your peppers, tomatoes, onions, and eggplant with salt and pepper will create a healthy meatless alternative. Grill them to your desired crispiness and you will forget about bacon all together.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Mushrooms naturally have a meaty, earthy flavor so they are the perfect replacement for meat. Umami, portobello, and cremini mushrooms can replace meat or bacon in any recipe. You can use a similar seasoning and sauté them in vegan butter.

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

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Bacon is infamous for the high fat and salt content, so if you are replacing bacon with a vegan or vegetarian option in the recipe, you will need to add a dose of salt and fat. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is a healthy vegetarian option that will provide the perfect dose of flavor you are looking for.

Tempeh

Tempeh

Photo Modified: Wikimedia Commons / Christian Franke / CC BY-SA 3.0

If the texture of bacon is what you miss the most, sauté crumbled tempeh in coconut oil until it is brown and crispy. Then, lower the heat and add a dose of soy sauce. The tempeh will absorb the soy sauce and you will get crispy vegan bacon bits.

Get the smoky, crispy taste of bacon without the meat