Meanwhile, I am taking back the lynne naranek persona for
Tried morning star farms' fake meat strips - pretty sure they gave us bad gas!
... Fake ground beef, however, seems to be the way to go. I blogged and posted pix of dishes using textured vegetable protein a while back: this post features a "beef" & macaroni bake and "meat"loaf using 1 lb fake beef and 1 lb ground turkey.
Since then, I've experimented with...
1. Tater Tot Casserole, found on The Daily Dish, and amended to exclude, you know, dead pig.
The result? Not too bad, the ratio of taters to "meat" was off... okay so it didn't help that I only had 2/3 of the meat equivalent (i.e. equiv of 1 lb, not 1.5 lbs) ...
... then the tater tots themselves ... came out a little chewy ... (tried the tater tots all by themselves later - same result - maybe I shouldn't have bothered with a name brand?)
So a few weeks ago, we got hold of a pretty good voucher for a free breakfast at Baker's Square with the purchase of one breakfast & two beverages. Perfect! Not that we would associate said establishment with breakfast per se... but we tried it out... and omg I fell totally in love with their breakfast quiches! They all sounded *so good* ... I went for the cheeseburger quiche, and man oh man it was oh so good :D Can't remember what Kosh had (wasn't a quiche) but that was also really good.
So I had quiche on my mind...
Decided to experiment with a crustless quiche, since all I found at the grocery store was the sweet dessert pie type of ready-made crust (later I saw somewhere that I could, once again, tap the valuable resource that is the canned crescent rolls!).
Didn't follow any one exact recipe, so can't point you to anything. I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to do my own thing: first making the fake ground beef with taco seasoning, then adding canned diced tomatoes, onions, (maybe mushrooms, can't remember),
cooking together and then putting at the bottom of the pan... then adding a mixture of egg and milk and cheese over it all, then baking it for a while.
The result? Edible, but missing some oomph.
Firstly, as you can clearly see, it was mucho watery - probably should have strained the diced tomatoes better, and not used as much water as instructed when preparing the taco seasoning. In a way it's good I didn't have a crust, it would have been utterly soggy, eh? But a crust would be nice too. Although, if I had some hash browns at the bottom, that might have absorbed the liquid and provided the equivalent of a crust/cushioning... ... but the thing that makes it a quiche, the egg/milk/cheese mixture - was kinda lost in the "meat" ... I probably got the proportions all wrong.
I'll have to look harder for a simple recipe if I want to try this again!
...and two weeks ago, I decided to whip up a batch of vegetarian no-bean chili, using come chili spices that Kosh has had sitting in the pantry/larder/cabinet for y*e*a*r*s! Didn't take pictures, but wow, 2 equivalent lbs of fake meat is A LOT! I immediately froze about half, and we had chili for breakfast lunch and dinner for a few days immediately following, LoL! It was good, though.
Now, during all this experimenting, I ended up using two different brands of fake ground beef:
Just because this was the brand I recognise (I think Kim had highlighted this in her blog once, too), I tended to go for this all the time. I liked this brand because the "meat" is individually crumbled, all you need to do is empty the bag into a hot skillet and within a few minutes everything is set. Until the local grocery store seemed to run out. Seriously, the label on the shelf would be there, but that particular shelf in the freezer section would be empty! Bummer!
So then I tried this one, of equivalent price, but found in the refrigerated organic vegetables section. It's packed tightly into a brick, and in my mind is more of a bother because of course I'd pop it in the freezer at home, so I'd have to thaw it out first in order to have crumbles and not a big brick sitting in the skillet, y'know?
While I haven't done a face-off, both seem to work just fine for us.
Then I took a look at the ingredients and nutritional information. Funnily enough, the first ingredient in the Yves brand is *water*! I also noticed, however, that Yves is drastically lower in fat wile providing the same amount of carbs & protein as MorningStar Farms (okay, both are pretty low fat items, but still... 25 vs 5 cals from fat is still substantial!).
Looks like I'll stick with Yves for the time being.
Note: images of MorningStar Farms and Yves products taken from their respective websites.