Meat Alternatives: Nuggets, Crumbles, Cakes


There are so many plant-based meat alternative options out there. Having been a meat eater, it was hard finding stuff that mimicked meat well. I just settled for things that tasted good or had the right texture.

Morningstar Farms Chick'n Nuggets were my go to. They had a texture in the 'meat' and the breading that came really close to a typical fast food joint. The flavor was close enough that when I dipped them in BBQ sauce or mayo or honey mustard sauce, I was satisfied. However, when I stepped up my game and started looking out for eggs and dairy in my food, Morningstar Farms Chick'N Nuggets had to go. Now, I reach for Gardien's Seven Grain Crispy Tenders. They are totally vegan and taste great. I even like the breading on these more than chicken fingers I've had in the past. The texture of the "tender" is pretty darn close to the real thing too. I usually just eat them as is after baking in the oven, dipped in some condiment. I haven't tried preparing it in other ways yet, but stay tuned.

As for beef alternatives, I still haven't found a great replacement for a burger patty. Morningstar Farms has some really great alternatives like their Black Bean patty, but it's not vegan. It's still a more compassionate decision than real beef. For fake ground beef, I buy Gardein Ground Crumble or Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles. I tend to use it in recipes where I know I'm going to add a lot of other flavor, like tacos. The texture is right and after adding taco seasoning, you get the flavor and that beefy chewyness. I like to experiment in the kitchen and made, what I'll call, taco pasta. It was fantastic!

Crabless Cakes were a nice surprise I found in the frozen food section one day. With some tarter sauce, they were good enough to satisfy my craving for crab cakes. There is a little more breading than I would like, but it gets the job done.

While I mention my preference for a lot of Gardein products, it's mainly because they are readily available in my area and I know they are totally vegan. They also seem to be one of the few companies offering these types of alternatives with such a wide variety of products. If you're lucky, you'll even find a restaurant near you that serves an entire line of Gardein entrees. I like going to Yard House and having the jerk wings.

#vegan #vegetarian #meatless #food #gardein #morningstarfarms #chickn

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