• Becky Berberich

Meat Me Halfway

That doesn't even taste like meat. Yea. It's not. But it's still good.

The number one argument I hear all the time is, "but meat tastes so good!" That's not an argument. That's just you telling me what flavor your tastebuds like.

First and foremost: meat substitutes are not meat. As more people are eating less meat, scientists are working hard to replicate the texture of muscle tissues and blood (no joke to either of those) to make 'bleeding veggie burgers' and 'chicken you can't tell is fake.' To them I say, great! To those trying to adopt a reduced meat or meat free lifestyle I say, don't let their imperfections stop you from readjusting your tastebuds.

The things we like about meat, the smoky crisp nature of bacon, the versatility and texture of chicken, and the char of a good BBQ are all delicious qualities that you can find, in a similar form, in a non-meat alternative. I will also happily tell you that when you eat 3 veggie burgers because you're having a fat kid day, you will not suffer from the ever so attractive meat sweats. Bonus.

I will say this once and then I will say it 50,000 more times: Some things taste good and some things taste bad. If you tried tofurkey roast and spit it out, I am with you. It's dry, it's texture is still not my favorite, and I don't love the flavor. Vegans can not like the taste of vegan things. It's true.

I have spent countless hours and dollars and wasted countless hours and dollars to give you an idea of what is DELICIOUS so you don't have to wade though trash. Also, we have different taste buds, so if you try one of these and you're like, Becky, what are you thinking? I'm thinking I enjoy it and I am only making a kindly suggestion where to vegin (boom, I'm so happy I picked a name with a pun).

1) Gardein anything

Is this health food? Not really. Is it delicious and helps you enjoy lots of the delicious things that meat products have to offer flavor and texture wise? Sure thing! If you like chicken tenders, you're in luck. I use these from snacks to stir fry add ins, to putting the mini-crab cakes at the bottom of my thai soups. They're great.

2) Fieldroast Sausages (especially breakfast!)

My favorite non-breakfast variety is the smoked apple sage. They're delicious, all be it a touch dry on their own, but can massively spruce up any pasta dish, Mexican fair, or creamy spinach concoction you wish. The breakfast ones are addictive and I usually eat the whole package in two or three days when I buy them. Restraint is not my strong suit.

3) Sweet Earth Bacon

So sweet earth is probably more in the game for their delicious multi-ethnic burritos (I'm lookin at you Curry Tiger), and prepackaged microwave delights. Many of which are vegan and all of which are delicious. I just wanted to include my favorite bacon alternative. Is it bacon? Obviously not. Is it smokey, and meaty, and can get crisp? Yes. It is just a really good tasting food.

Moral of the story: try new things! And don't let yourself and others make the excuse that it's 'just not the same'. It's not! But its still delicious. I don't love doing a hard work out, but you know what? I love how I feel after. Don't focus on what you wish something was. Focus on is it good for what it is. Your universe energy supply will thank you and your tastebuds will become excited about all sorts of new takes on old textures and flavors. Life is good!

#meatsubstitutes #recommendations

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