Learn to cook with plant-based meat: From tacos to burgers

If the goal is to eat less meat, such as New Year’s resolution or for morality or during Lent, which this year begins in March, the choice is increasingly popular is the so-called “plant meat”, which is more. found in the meat section of grocery stores or restaurants.

Also read: Is a vegan diet good for children?

These products try to imitate meat, taste, texture, appearance and smell, and although in the past the results were very far from real meat, now the similarity is very good. The ingredients to make these products usually include foods that are high in protein, such as soybeans or peas, and sometimes others, such as beans, rice, or potatoes.

Express Foods and Non-Perishable Foods are two of the companies that have grown in this new business segment, but there are many different types. In supermarkets, the plant options focus on ground “beef”, making tacos, hamburgers, meatballs or sausages; but there are also other ways to make special dishes, such as “chicken” nuggets, meatloaf or stir fry.

But how to cook with these things at home?

“Vegan is an easy alternative,” says Angela Campbell, a pescetarian (ie, her diet is vegetarian and includes fish and shellfish as the only animal sources ) from Portland, Maine, which relies on organic meat to expand its menu. nutrition. Campbell says you can use imitation ground beef and sausage in a one-to-one recipe.

They can be used in pasta sauces, stir-fries, casseroles, fajitas, and many other dishes.

Like ground beef, these plant imitations are perishable, so treat them as you would ground beef, use them quickly, within a few days, and cook thoroughly.

Also read: A vegan diet is an additional healthy option

Most of these plant-based meats cook faster than animal-based competitors and are more sensitive to cooking time. These packages of meat often warn of undercooking or overcooking. Therefore, you may want to add them to the dish at the end of cooking. Most website brands have recipes.

On the other hand, Campbell says success is more limited with “hot” products.

“Slow-soaked chicken dishes or dishes made with whole breast can never be repeated,” he explained. “The chicken [hecho a base de plantas] it is often better to skip it [en el sartén] or with a sauce prepared separately. The chicken may be brown, but it is not crispy. “

Cheyenne Cohen, a food photographer in Brooklyn, New York, eats a vegan diet at home and says, “When I used plant-based meat I never tried to be healthy. I like to get to know the texture and general feel of each type/variety and then experiment with preparations and seasonings until I find something that works well. “

Cohen likes to use soy crumbles as taco meat or in a recipe where he normally uses ground beef, and he says the swap is usually easy to make.

Instead of introducing meat substitutes as the centerpiece, Cohen calls them “a great recipe,” just one part.

For him, Jade Wong, the owner of Red Bamboo in New York City, has been running restaurants specializing in organic meat for 20 years. He said his menu caters to vegetarians and vegans looking for comfort food.

“Do you want a cold winter salad? Or do you like a chicken parmesan sandwich or a hamburger?” Wong asked.

Red Bamboo makes its own meat products (Absolute Vegetarian and Absolute Vegan) and sells them in bulk to other restaurants. Wong points out that many grocery stores’ meals are precooked, so they only need to be heated.

He suggests marinating the apple patties in your favorite marinade before quickly browning them on the griddle. And cooking soy-based meat substitutes on the grill has the visual appeal of grilled chicken.

The crumbled “sausage,” said Wong, is a perfect topping on pizza or sautéed in a pot and mixed with vegetables, or an addition to pasta dishes, perhaps with sauces and condiments.

At the restaurant, they are more creative, offering options like chicken wings with juicy “chicken” wrapped in tofu (they even put a stick in the wings to make bones).

The Gardein brand has a strong presence in the freezer, and is known for its “chik’n” products. They also make homemade meatless recipes that you can skewer or sauté. Before the butcher makes the plants, the ground, and the meat of the food and the patties with delicious things, like the turkey burgers. They also make a line of lower priced burgers under the Mainstream name, designed to compete with beef burgers not only in taste but also in price.

Some plant-based meat products are vegan, some are vegetarian, some are gluten-free, some are dairy-free. It is best to read the packaging carefully.

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