Carbs & Rec: You had me at “Meat Tornado.”

September 14th, 2014 11:21 am by Kelly Garbato

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Carbs & Rec - The Meat Tornado (0015)

“You had me at Meat Tornado.” If there’s a single quote that’s come to define Ron Swanson, food-wise (and what else is there really?), it would have to be this. Second maybe to “Give me ALL the bacon and eggs you have.” Let’s just say the message boards are going nuts.

Just look at all the Meat Tornado merch and fan art available online!

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Weirdly enough, as I was planning the menu for this VeganMoFo, I realized that the Meat Tornado had long since lost any and all context for me: I had no idea what a Meat Tornado was, even if it was one of the first things to pop into my head. As always, the internet is our friend.

Ron: I am starving. I haven’t had lunch since yesterday,
so I’m gonna head over to Calahan’s…
Andy: No, don’t go there, they totally skimp on pickles. Let me go to Big Head Joe’s for you. They have the most insane burritos.
Ron: I don’t much go for ethnic food.
Andy: No no no. Trust me. They have one that’s called the meat tornado.
Literally killed a guy last year.
Ron: You had me at meat tornado.
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Burritos! Yes! Any excuse to roll my favorite foods into a tortilla and shotgun it like wild dogs are mere seconds away from snatching it from the jaws of Kelly. (Which they totally are. Rennie, I’m looking at you.)

Though I stressed over the recipe for weeks, it turns out that veganizing this bad girl was a piece of cake. Especially since the ingredients remain unnamed and thus open to interpretation.

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I wanted to use one of every type of “red” meat I could think of: sausage, beef, pepperoni, bacon, ham. (Am I missing something? It feels like I’m a meat or two short!)

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In the end, I was limited by availability (the alt food stores in my area are kind of the worst) and time (as in, I didn’t have enough to make all of these meats from scratch). So I went with what I had in the fridge: Gimme Lean Ground Round, Gimme Lean Sausage Style, Lightlife Smart Bacon, and Tofurky Kielbasa.

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At the risk of making this a not-Meat Tornado, I also threw in some roasted red peppers, onions, and tater tots. As it turns out, tots? Make way better hash browns than actual hash brown potatoes.

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The result can be summed up in one gif.

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Okay, two.

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Here’s the recipe, but feel free to swap out the ingredients for your own favorite vegan meats, prepackaged or homemade. You really can’t go wrong with a Meat Tornado.

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Jelly Belly Kelly’s Meat Tornado

Makes two to three extra-large burritos, or four medium-sized burritos.

Ingredients

olive oil
~ 7 ounces (1/2 a tube) Gimme Lean Ground Beef
~ 7 ounces (1/2 a tube) Gimme Lean Sausage Style
4-6 strips of Lightlife Smart Bacon
1-2 links of Torfurky Kielbasa, diced
1/3 of a red or yellow onion, diced
2 cups frozen tater tots, defrosted
1/4 roasted red pepper, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large frying pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the Lightlife Smart Bacon according to the instructions on the package (i.e. until brownish and crispy on both sides). Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.

2. In the same pan, combine the Gimme Lean Ground Beef and Sausage. Crumble into bite-sized bits, using either your hands or a large plastic spoon or spatula. Cook on medium until browned; reduce the heat to low to keep warm.

3. In a second frying pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and cook for several minutes. Add the Kielbasa and cook for several more minutes, or until the Kielbasa begins to brown; add the red peppers, tots, and salt and pepper to season. As they cook, mash the tots into a hash with your spoon. When nicely browned, remove from heat. Combine the contents of the two pans, mixing well.

4. To assemble your burrito, lay down one or two slices of Smart Bacon, followed by a generous helping of the filling. Fold and enjoy.

Carbs & Rec - The Meat Tornado (0010)

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4 Responses to “Carbs & Rec: You had me at “Meat Tornado.””

  1. Jojo Says:

    Oooooh yeah! I could go for a meat tornado fo’ sure!

  2. Carbs & Rec: You had me at “Meat Tornado.” | The <spb> Says:

    […] Carbs & Rec: You had me at “Meat Tornado.” » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info. […]

  3. Jill Says:

    Ron Swanson is the best character to ever be created. EVER. I love your vegan meat tornado!

  4. Julie Says:

    Very impressive! :)

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