Monday, 25 June 2012

Introducing: Meet Your Meat Substitutes

Balsamic Carmelised Tempeh on a Mixed Leaf Salad
I've decided to put together a series of posts called 'Meet Your Meat Substitutes' because, I must confess, some meat substitutes scare me. Yes it's true. I get nervous at the fact that they are unfamiliar and made out of new materials or presented in away that is unusual, like in a can or in a glass jar full of....juice. What is that? What if it isn't nice? What do I do with it? What if it smells funny?

But then I think, what if I'm missing out on something delicious? What if that imitation mince is the secret ingredient in the best thing I've never cooked?

So, I thought, I'll get scientific, I'll confront my fears head on, documenting my findings for science and the greater vegetarian good. You know for community and that.
Chinese Five Spice Quorn & Celery Stir Fry

The meat substitutes I'll be trying will come in two main categories. There are things that try to replicate the look and/or taste of meat like Cauldron Sausages, Quorn Mince or Tofurkey. Then there are the products that try to serve the same nutritional purpose of meat by providing a filling and potent source of protein in a meal like tofu or tempeh.

A third category for meat substitutes might also include things like peanuts, cashews, avocados and legumes act as regular sources for protein for every vegetarian.

While these are all great, I'm not going to be looking at these as part of MYMS. No. MYMS is examining the pre-packaged stuff that sells itself as a straight meat swap appealing mostly to the transitioning and/or lazy (don't be offended, everybody's lazy sometimes) vegetarians. Each will be examined for texture, taste, 'meatiness' and versatility and will be tested in at least two recipes. And I will personally try them all.

Wish me luck.

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