VeganMoFo, Day 14: Five Fave Faux Meats

October 14th, 2008 8:53 pm by Kelly Garbato

Some veg*ns aren’t very fond of faux meats because they taste too much like the “real” thing; clearly, I’m not one of those veg*ns! Perhaps it’s because none of the faux meats I’ve tried come close enough to dismembered animal corpses to actually fool me. The products listed below, for example, are really yummy and have a taste similar to that of meat – but they also all kind of have their own thing going on, too. There aren’t any chunks of fat, or gristle, or hint of muscle texture. “Meat lite,” I guess you could call it.

As a heavy meat eater in my omni days (in high school I was known to down a package of lunch meat per day) – and a very un-creative cook, to boot – I welcome faux meat products as an essential part of my veg*n journey. Would I still be veg if not for Boca Burgers? Mostly likely. It’d be a helluva uphill trek, though.

I certainly don’t fault anyone who chooses to abstain from fake meats, though. With test tube meat becoming less of a sci-fi fantasy and more of a reality, I find myself sympathizing with the anti-faux meat crowd. While my husband, also a veg*n, is eager for test-tube meat to hit the market, I don’t think I could stomach it. Even if it’s completely free of animal products, I can’t see myself voluntarily eating anything that’s made to resemble animal flesh in taste and texture. It’s just too close for comfort.

Anyhoo, here are my top five fave faux meats, in no particular order. Given that beans make me bloat up (tmi, sorry!), I probably eat more of this stuff than I should, for protein’s sake…and yet, my diet is still a gagillion times healthier than it was in my meat-eating days, when I’m sure my LDL levels were through the roof!

1. Boca Burgers

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Mmmm, Boca Burgers! Boca and I go way back – it’s one of the first fake meats I tried upon going vegetarian. After all these years, it’s still my favorite “hamburger”/”ground beef” substitute. You can fry it up to a crisp, or pop it in the microwave or toaster oven for a healthier meal. Sam’s Club sells 16-count boxes of the giant burgers; unlike the smaller boxes (of smaller burgers), the “Big Burgers” actually fill a bun. So it makes for a very satisfying alternative to a Big Mac, especially when topped with veg*n condiments and loads of veggies.

For a yummy pasta dish, fry up some Boca, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes and garlic in olive oil and use it to top off a plate of angel hair pasta.

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It’s also great in salad!

Just make sure you buy the Original Vegan flavor; not all of Boca’s products are 100% vegan.

2. Tofurky

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Tofurkeys,” as I commonly see them (mis)spelled, have been the butt of speciesist jokes since the early 2000s, when they appeared on a number of TV shows, such as Just Shoot Me and The X-Files, (*swoon*). But they make for an awesome veggie meal, whether it’s Save-a-Turkey Day or just another Sunday. You can marinate them in soy sauce and OJ, or roast them with onions and cranberries:

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Tofurky recipes run the gamut, really, from simple to well beyond this novice’s grasp.

And Turtle Island Foods makes slices, too!

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No need to cook a whole ball every time you’re hankering for leftovers.

3. Lightlife Smart Bacon

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I was a bit of a bacon fiend before I decided I’d rather love pigs than eat them. Maybe it was all that fat?

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Well, Lightlife’s Smart Bacon may be low(er) in fat, but it’s certainly not lacking in taste. It reminds me of a low-fat bacon, maybe, but without the fatty tissue texture. It’s delish fried, but also very yummy baked in the toaster oven. Put it on your Big VEGAN Salad, or layer it with onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, Nayonaise, ketchup and mustard on your Boca Burger for a special treat.

Of course, it also works as a mid-morning side dish with your pancakes!

4. Lightlife Smart Deli Pepperoni

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Um, hello, fake pepperoni! Does it get any better than this?

Lightlife hits it outta the veg*n park yet again with their Smart Deli Pepperoni. Like the Smart Bacon, it tastes similar to the “real” stuff, but without the fat, calories and texture of animal tissue.

Now all we need is a good vegan cheese and we’ve got it made, am I right peoples?

5. Yves Veggie Breakfast Links

Yves Breakfast Links

I’m not usually a huge fan of Yves’ products – generally speaking, I think they’re hit-or-miss – but their Breakfast Links are awe-some! They’re lend themselves well to a frying pan, but are equally deletable right out of the toaster oven. They’re best with blueberry pancakes and maple syrup, methinks.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any Yves food porn; Whole Foods has been out of stock of the Breakfast Links for forever now. I am getting depressed just thinking about it, I tell you. Maple syrup-n-“sausage” withdrawal sucks.

I think I need to do some shopping tomorrow!

So, veg*ns, what are your favorite mock meats, hmmm?

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3 Responses to “VeganMoFo, Day 14: Five Fave Faux Meats”

  1. bex Says:

    I kinda like tofurkey sometimes, in sandwiches mostly with tomato, avocado and veganaise. mmmm I want one right now.

  2. VeganMoFo, Day 31+: King Kong, Vegan Junk Food & Reflections on VeganMoFo » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] rolls. Later on, we made pizza for dinner: homemade sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, black olives and Lightlife faux pepperoni for me; homegrown green peppers, mushrooms, black olives and Lightlife faux pepperoni for […]

  3. Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty – Eat Green, Save Green » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] a CSA and/or join a wholesale store such as Sam’s Club (they have Boca Burgers!) or Costco. If you can’t use or store such large portions, pair up with a friend or family […]

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