In today’s culture of convenience we live in a world where we can obtain anything we want within minutes. Lucky for us, conscious eating has never been simpler or more delicious. Some of us have been fortunate enough to experience that moment of sheer incomparable bliss when we prepare a meal for friends and family with a vegan meat substitute... and none of our guests can tell the difference.
Many of us have even been shocked ourselves, to realize just how savory and spot-on particular meatless meat products actually taste. We’ve thought, “Is there a team of vegan mastermind scientists in a lab producing such delightful facsimiles?”
As with anything else, there is a certain hierarchy of quality when it comes to faux meat. That’s why I've compiled a list of the best prepared meatless products. The rundown contains products that boast the best consistency and deliver the most flavor. So, next time you are headed to your favorite grocery or health food store, keep these products in mind and be sure to share your favorites with us!
Just in time for the holidays, Gardein brings us a little taste of vegan heaven. The un-turkey comes breaded with wheat flour and is even accompanied with a decadent gravy sauce. Each package contains a serving for one to two conscious eaters. With no GMOs and no turkeys being harmed in the making of this meal, you could give thanks to Gardein. Feel free to add some roasted potatoes and broccoli to round out this tantalizing meal. In just 30 minutes you could be indulging in this festive feast. If a roast satisfies your taste buds more, check out Gardein’s Holiday Roast, filled with a cranberry wild rice stuffing.
We all know that the right barbecue sauce can be finger-lickin’ good, but not at the expense of our animal friends. Sol Cuisine offers tofu ribs that rival any type of animal-derived BBQ ribs and they pack 9 grams of protein per serving. Slathered with a zesty sauce made from tamari, lemon juice and a bunch of robust spices, this gluten free meatless option is sure to please vegans and meat-eaters alike.
For those who prefer milder flavor, Vegetarian Plus sells vegan fish fillets that are glazed with a light mango chutney. These guys can be baked, grilled, or sautéed. Have some fun and pair these with some wild rice and a super salad to give this meal the nutrient-boost your body needs. While you’re at it, why not top of these fillets with some thyme or dill? Made from non- GMO soy protein, there’s nothing fishy about this product.
Owning a wok comes in handy for preparing this meatless chicken product, as Chinese chefs often use woks to make flipping vegetables and different meats more manageable. Wok and Roll! However, if you find yourself sans wok, a non-stick pan will do the trick. After cutting the chicken substitute into small pieces, stir-fry seasonings such as soy paste, barbecue sauce and salt with water. Once the seasoning boils, combine mixed vegetables of your choice with the teriyaki chicken. A tip to thickening the sauce is adding one tablespoon of cornstarch. Next time you have a hankering for Chinese food, put the take-out menu down and look no further than your freezer. While May Wah Vegetarian Market is located in Chinatown, New York City, you don’t have to be a New Yorker to get the goods. The family-run store delivers to all across the United States.
Pasta can often be a vegan’s best friend. Heck, it can be any chef's best friend. As one of the most versatile staples, I'm always looking for ways to deck out a pasta dish. Nate’s Meatless Meatballs come in three varieties: Classic Flavor, Savory Mushroom, and Zesty Italian. All three options are perfect for when you don’t have time to chop, mold and cook vegan meatballs on your own. When you combine Nate’s Zesty Italian meatballs with marinara spaghetti or lasagna, that’s amore. Nate’s Savory Mushroom option can be paired with bread and your favorite nut cheese, or combined with a barbecue sauce. Finally the Classic Flavor can be placed inside a sub sandwich with tomato, vegan mozzarella and basil. Experiment with each variety-at only 4.5 grams per three meatless meatballs, you can enjoy this guilt-free, cruelty free product.
Embrace the bragging rights that come with introducing your friends to these incredible meatless products. Feeling inspired? Maybe throw a meatless meats soirée and implement the party rule, BYOMM (bring your own meatless meat), allowing guests to try several products and combinations. Don’t forget there are other awesome meatless meat products at your local grocery store, just waiting for hungry, conscious eaters to snatch them up! You could also satisfy your meaty cravings by incorporating various ingredients to mimic meat flavors.
Lead image source: Sweet On Veg/Flickr