There’s a misconception that there aren’t a whole lot of options out there for vegetarians to eat. Many people think how many different ways can you cook broccoli? The reality these days is there are limitless options for those who don’t eat meat. A lot of this is thanks to companies who realized that the vegetarian food arena was gaining interest and if they wanted to keep this part of the population they’d have to put in some work and come up with lots of options. Out of this came lines of food like: Boca Burger, Morningstar Farms, Quorn and many others. I have heard a lot of vegetarians and vegans turn those noses up at these types of products and I have to say that bothers me. After all variety is the spice of life. Maybe you don’t enjoy these types of foods, but that doesn’t mean those who like these products aren’t discerning. It also depends on why you don’t eat meat. If the reason is you want pure, unprocessed food then I understand you not wanting to eat the faux meat products. They are highly processed (more on that later). If however you don’t eat meat because you are an animal lover then there is no reason you can’t indulge in these foods. The reason I don’t eat meat is because I don’t want to eat animal flesh and I am against factory farms. When I buy soy sausage I rest assured no animal was harmed in the making of the product.
SO MANY OPTIONS, SO LITTLE TIME
I’m a Chef so with things like protein crumbles, soy sausage, fake bacon, etc. at my disposal the skies the limit when it comes to cooking. Sure I love cooking with seitan and tempeh, but add all these other options into the mix and I truly can think of hundreds of different dishes. A lot of love the flavor of parmesan, but rather then making eggplant parmesan all the time I can mix it up and use a breaded Quorn cutlet and top it with all the great flavors of parmesan. As I always say it’s the sauce and cheese that make the dish, not the chicken. With protein crumbles I can whip up anything from chili to enchiladas to a great pasta sauce. All these products also work well when trying to convert a meat lover. I’ve had the most skeptical carnivores come over dreading a meat-free meal and then I serve them something like my vegetarian sausage paella and they seriously say they can’t believe there isn’t meat in the dish.
HIGH ON PROCESSING, BUT ALSO NUTRITION
Vegetarians know getting their daily vitamins and minerals can sometimes be the biggest challenge. The good news is the faux meats are generally high on protein and iron and lower on fat and calories then their real meat counterparts. The bad news is if you are watching your salt intake, the sodium count can be a little high.