I've found that many pre-made fake meat (vegetarian "burger" or "sausages") products are very expensive relative to other foods. Are these necessary for a vegetarian diet?

What alternatives are used for protein sources or bringing to social occasions (such as barbecues)?


No, these fake meats are not necessary for a good vegetarian diet. In my opinion, they are mostly not tasty, fatty and not healthy. Also, heavily processed food, like they often are, reduces the positive effect a vegetarian diet has on the planet.

There are tons of great vegetarian bbq recipes in the net. I especially recommend stuffed mushrooms or pepperoni (add chickpeas or lentils). Most often than not, meat eaters loved them. Or baked (sweet) potatoes for something more classic.

For me, the main downside is that it takes way longer to prepare than simply pulling some (fake-)meat out of a plastic package.

To occasions other than a bbq, I often bring vegetarian "sushi".


No, meat substitutes are not necessary nutritionally or socially or otherwise.

Grilled vegetables are great at a BBQs!

The following items are great on the grill. Either put a fine metal mesh over the grill to prevent it from falling through (easy) or put them on skewers:

Onion, tomato, mushrooms, corn (on the cobb), asparagus, squash, zucchini, etc

All of these whole foods have protein that are sufficient to meet the average person's nutritional requirements.

When catering to a huge number of people, I'll often make carrot dogs, which are crazy cheap (buy those 10kg bags of juicing carrots) and cook-up super fast on the grill. It sounds odd, but they're really quite tasty. Most meat eaters that try them love them :) Don't skip the liquid smoke!


"I can't believe it's not meat" products are absolutely optional. Good protein sources include dairy (especially cheese), eggs, or legumes. But there are other things than proteins that vegetarian diet may tend to be low in, such as vitamin B12 or some trace elements like iron, zinc or selenium.

  • Welcome! Do faux-meat products contain those other nutrients (B12, iron, etc.)? – Erica Oct 31 '20 at 13:21

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