Sundays tend to be a good day for coming up with new ideas for what to eat as one has more time to experiment, and so it was for Margaret and I, so we decided to add “meat” to our traditional veggie taco routine.
In this case, it was Beyond Meat (TM), a meat substitute that, to date, is the most realistic alternative for those who want to reduce their meat consumption, but still miss the texture and taste of meat–in this case chicken.
I’ve written about Beyond Meat before. It’s a produced by soy and pea protein, amaranth, carrot fiber and a few other ingredients that are mixed, compressed and extruded so that it comes out the right texture, and that part of the product is spot on. The taste, however, may not meet a meat-lover’s standards, but neither does most over-processed white chicken meat. No worries, just add some seasonings or marinade, as we did with this batch, using lime juice, cilantro and jalapenos.
I’ve found the best way to lock in the flavor with a product like Beyond Meat is to cook it on a skillet or grill before serving, as the heat opens up the fibers and lets the marinade and seasonings permeate the strips.
Of course, many Vegans will say, “why bother with meat substitutes. Just learn to live without.” In fact, many Vegans are a bit appalled that one requires the “taste” of meat to be satisfied. So be it, but they miss the point–or that is. the points. First of all, meat substitutes like Beyond Meat are a quick, easy and substantive way to eat well without a lot of work, and many people do not have the time nor inclination to get elaborate in the kitchen. A quick toss on the skillet, salt and pepper and then tossed into a salad, over rice or in a sandwich, and your have a great, protein rich meal in minutes. And that leads to the second point. If one believes, as I do that our current food and meat production is unsustainable and environmentally problematic, then we should encourage products like Beyond Meat as a great way for non Vegans to at least reduce their meat consumption.
Case in point, my son, who is not a Vegan, had his fair share of our tacos last night saying, “Tastes good to me.”