DIY Soy-Free Vegan Pepperoni, Meatballs, and More

Trying to avoid soy? Make your own hearty faux meats that don’t require tofu or tempeh.

These days, it seems that everyone is learning about the many health benefits vegans enjoy by eschewing meat and all the cholesterol it contains. Of course, I consumed my share of soy-based faux meats when I first adopted a vegan diet, but too much soy can cause problems, either because of estrogenic effects, goitrogens problems (problematic for those with low thyroid), or even allergies. As a result, many people try to avoid soy altogether.

After turning more toward a whole-foods, minimally processed diet, I began to play with other meat alternatives. I discovered myriad ways to enjoy the robust, savory flavors I sought using vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Most of these faux meats offer a substantial protein boost as well, so you can use them as you would soy-based dishes (with the exception of the Beetaroni).

Next time you’re in the mood for a veggie burger or deli slice, consider one of these alternatives instead. They’ll offer your body a welcome break from soy—plus a unique hearty main dish to boot! (Note: these recipes do contain Bragg's, tamari, or soy sauce; for entirely soy-free versions, use coconut aminos instead, or simply omit.)

Let the soy-free feast begin!
Soy-Free Vegan Ground Beef
Vegan Pepperoni
Vegan Meatballs
Soy-Free Vegan Shawarma Sandwiches

Ricki Heller is an educator, writer, natural nutritionist and the author of three vegan cookbooks.

Photo by Ricki Heller

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