When it comes to meat substitutes there are two main categories: processed and unprocessed. In this blog I will address benefits and downsides of both and give you some quick and eAZy recipe ideas.
Processed Meat Substitutes: Generally they are exactly what they sound like - plant-based options made with other ingredients to look and taste like meat. While some can be GMO and mostly junk, there are some that I personally recommend and enjoy a few times a week.
Here is how I look at it - if you are going to eat conventionally raised meat that has
antibiotics, hormones and steroids and has a horrible imprint on the environment as well as your body, then plantbased options will always be superior, no matter how processed they are.
However, we want to raise the steaks (haha!) here and with that I mostly eat Beyond Meat products when I crave animal protein. Their products are non-gmo, soy-free, gluten-free, loaded with protein and taste fantastic. My favorites is their ground "beef" that can be used in burgers, tacos, pastas, lasagna and other things you would use ground meat for. If you are short on time, you can always get already seasoned bratwursts or their meatballs. Heat them up and mix up with your favorite pasta or veggies for a quick dinner.
Z-TIP: If you don't feel like eating Beyond Meat too often and want to get more whole foods, mix it up with walnuts and chopped mushrooms, then season as you'd like. You will get more volume and excellent flavor and it will be only 1/3 processed.
My latest creation and obsession recipe is this Truffle Pasta:
1 package of ground Beyond Meat
1 package of gluten free fresh pasta by Taste Republic (or try Mung Bean pasta by 365 Brand for extra protein)
1 bag of mushroom medley from Trader Joes
Follow Your Heart Provolone dairy-free cheese
Follow Your Heart Parmesan dairy-free cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sabatino Truffle Zest
Saute ground Beyond Meat beef in a pan while cooking the pasta (this fresh kind only takes 2-3 mins), then add mushrooms and let them defrost and heat up in a pan. Cover with Provolone, then add cooked pasta and truffle zest. Mix all together.
Serve in a bowl sprinkled with parmesan and olive oil. It is soooo good!
If you want to try other brands, just check out your local grocery store frozen section and read the labels. Make sure you are getting non-gmo products, organic is best.
Unprocessed Meat Substitutes:
The best unprocessed meat substitutes are:
NOTE: I suggest pairing beans, lentils, nuts and seeds with rice or quinoa to get complete protein.
You can find many recipes to make using these, including veggie burgers, meat loafs, tacos (I love making them out of anything!) The challenge with them is that they take longer time to make. However, if you are in a pinch, here is one of my favorite eAZy meals:
1 Pack of Frozen bag of Protein Blends French Style (French lentils and beans) by Whole Foods Brand
1 Pack of frozen quinoa
Fresh baby spinach
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Heat up the lentil mix and quinoa in a pan and serve with the rest of ingredients! Done.
Another option is you don't want to get anything but ONE item, try this - Butternut Squash Lentil Coconut Dal! Just heat up and serve. Gluten-free, dairy-free, organic meal in a pouch is my top Fast Food. (See if your local Costco carries them for extra savings).
And last but not least, here is my 2 favorite video recipes- 3-Minute Chili in a Sweet Potato Video and Lasagna. They are a mix of processed and unprocessed, and come out sooo yummy! They are super simple and even a person with zero cooking skills can make.
Let me know how you like these and if you have any questions for future posts!
1/22/2021 08:44:51 am
These look delicious! Thanks for the super useful AZ Tips, as always!!
1/23/2021 03:04:51 pm
So happy you liked the post!
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