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Vegans/vegetarians . . . will you pop in to help me think thru meat analogues?


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I'm a very, very, long time vegetarian. For the first few years I was a vegetarian. That was followed by a long period of being vegan. When my daughter was ~1 or 2 I went back to being veg instead of vegan. Fwiw, I guess . . . that's just background.

 

Back in the day there weren't all the cool fake meats that there are now. There may have been a few but they didn't exist in my universe so I never knew. Later, when they came available, they didn't really appeal to me. I did like to have the odd box of hamburger patties and pkg of hotdogs for the times I ate those items with friends. I can't help it: I've always wanted to have them at cook-outs. On a regular basis, though, no.

 

Till the last couple of years . . . My daughter really likes them and they're so easy to add to the meal for a protein. Her favorites are quorn meatballs and qourn chicken gruyere (which we rarely have b/c she's also lactose intolerant). She likes the quorn naked cutlets marinated and made into a pasta salad. She loves morningstar farms bbq ribs, too. She, like me, likes the hamburger patties and hotdogs only once in a while and usually when we're going to a cook out.

 

I never really ate them often so I didn't worry about it. Once in a while wasn't going to kill me.

 

Now that my daughter likes them so much and they're coming into our meals more and more often, I'm rethinking.

 

I realize the complete/incomplete protein debate lately seems to be leaning toward myth but just to know . . . are these fake meats considered complete protein?

 

They are just soooooo processed. We're not really processed food ppl with the exception of the meat analogues and condiments (ketchup, mayo, mustard, et c.). That's not to say that we never eat processed food but really quite rarely with those exceptions. Still, I do like to say that if God invented it and made it for us, it's good food. If it was invented by scientists and created in a lab or manufacturing plant . . . not so much. Quorn, my goodness, the way they created/manufacture it . . . :svengo:

 

I build all our meals first with a protein and fruit and/or veggie and then add from there. I have pcos and the high protein foods and balancing are supposed to prevent more cysts and possibly reduce the # of existing ones. My own personal jury is still out on that, though. So, increasingly, it has become so easy to make those breakfast and lunch proteins a meat analogue. I'm ashamed that I've gotten to this point.

 

I'm thinking of attacking this moral dilemma ;) on two fronts. 1) eliminate most of this fake meat. 2) identify the least offensive/most natural of these and when we do use the analogues, use those.

 

Are you still reading?

 

So . . .

 

What are your thoughts on this?

What do you think are the most natural/least offensive products?

Are fake meats a complete protein?

What would make an excellent protein that isn't a bean or a dairy product?

 

:bigear:

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...

I'm thinking of attacking this moral dilemma ;) on two fronts. 1) eliminate most of this fake meat. 2) identify the least offensive/most natural of these and when we do use the analogues, use those.

 

Are you still reading?

 

So . . .

 

What are your thoughts on this?

What do you think are the most natural/least offensive products?

Are fake meats a complete protein?

What would make an excellent protein that isn't a bean or a dairy product?

 

:bigear:

 

Soy is considered a complete protein. Morningstar and Boca are soy-based. I believe Quorn is engineered to be complete, but don't know for a fact. Unless your daughter is eating ONLY fake meat, she is not likely to be suffering from a lack of protein.

 

Non-fake meat, non-dairy, complete proteins -

 

Nut butter on whole grain bread

Stir fry that included nuts served on brown rice or other whole grain

Eggs

Hummus and pita (sorry, hummus is made from beans)

Homemade veggie burgers

 

Why no beans?

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Why no beans?

 

Oh, because we eat plenty of beans: we eat them often and we eat a wide variety of them. This week we had ansazi on monday with okra, kale sauteed with carmelized onions, sliced tomatoes and cornbread. On Wednesday we had that again eventhough we had something else planned b/c everyone liked it and requested it again and I had the stuff. Friday we're using the ansazi to make cheese and bean enchiladas. Last week we had pinto beans and roasted potatoes on monday, pasta salad with beans on wed, and polenta topped with a toss of pinto beans, tomatoes, chunks of mozz, basil, salt, pepper, olive oil, squeeze of lime on the weekend. Next week will be a different bean in different ways. I'll freeze the left overs to add to soups, et c.

 

Other weeks are similar. We have beans aplenty. I need other ideas.:001_smile:

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There is some controversy over soy for some. I prefer non -GMO soy products, so Morning Star Farms products are out here. Amy makes organic non-meat patties.

 

Some products that I am fine using as part of a varied diet: Tempeh, Amy's products that are organic, organic tofu, organic soy hot dogs, seitan.

 

We tried Quorn and the kids like it fine, but for some reason it rather freaks me out. lol

 

Other foods would include nut butters, nuts, seeds, avocado, oils, all sorts of beans & rice, quiona and the like.

 

We raise our own eggs, too. Not vegan, but certainly these eggs are from healthy, cared-for, organically -fed and pastured chickens. :) To me, a good egg is one fabulous gift.

Edited by LibraryLover
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There is some controversy over soy for some. I prefer non -GMO soy products, so Morning Star Farms products are out here. Amy makes organic non-meat patties.

 

Some products that I am fine using as part of a varied diet: Tempeh, Amy's products that are organic, organic tofu, organic soy hot dogs, seitan.

 

We tried Quorn and the kids like it fine, but for some reason it rather freaks me out. lol

 

Other foods would include nut butters, nuts, seeds, avocado, oils, all sorts of beans & rice, quiona and the like.

 

We raise our own eggs, too. Not vegan, but certainly these eggs are from healthy, cared-for, organically -fed and pastured chickens. :) To me, a good egg is one fabulous gift.

 

Our own concerns for soy are the gmo soy and some health issues with non-fermented soy. My girl and I like tempeh but Dad doesn't. I especially like smoked tempeh. mmmmmm. We generally choose non-gmo tofu, et c. and fermented soy products. Except the fake meat. You know, I made seitan once and everyone here really liked it. I made it with better than bouillon, though, and that isnt' exactly good-for-you food stuff. I need to remake that. Any good ideas for the broth?

 

Quorn freaks you out? You and me both, sister! We use a lost of the things you mention, though. I seem to be alergic to quinoa; it makes my eyes puffy. Amaranth seems better for me.

 

And . . . we, too, have chickens. They should start laying any day now. We cannot wait to have an egg from our chickie-girls!

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I can't deal with Quorn anymore. It tastes (can be made to taste) fine but it is too synthetic for me.

 

From http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168892

"I'll take a stab at "new categories" -- In vitro (vat grown) meat.

 

http://www.peta.org/feat_in_vitro_contest.asp

 

The reason I wrote "foods that rats won't eat" is that awhile ago I was reading up on Quorn, which is indeed a meat substitute pretty popular in the UK at least. It is a mycoprotein produced in vats. It tastes okay but I had reservations about really using it in home cooking (for one thing, it is easy to overcook). I poked around on the web and came across a couple of blog comments about how rats and dogs won't eat it, and how the Quorn factory seems to have no rodent problems. I know it is all hearsay, but you know, Quorn is not so terribly tasty and inexpensive that I really care to mess with it.

 

I can hardly wait to see the contenders for the PETA vat meat prize. I can only imagine ..."

 

Well, my dog will eat it but she also eats razor blades and underwear. How's that for an endorsement? I wonder if they'll pay me to let them put it on their box.

 

I'm converted. down with quorn. Now to convince my daughter to vary her favorite lunch.

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I don't think you need to worry about protein if you are eating beans that regularly. We don't eat that fake meat stuff either. :ack2: If I'm going to eat not-food, it had better be yummily chocolate coated or it's not worth it. We like tempeh, providing it is cooked nicely. You can certainly prepare it badly. There are lots of ways of preparing it badly! Dh likes to marinate it in kejap manis and stir fry it. A few times, I have marinated it in orange juice. It's very good :)

 

Have you compared your diet with the RDI? You are probably fine. It's pretty hard not to get enough protein, really.

 

Rosie

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I don't think you need to worry about protein if you are eating beans that regularly. We don't eat that fake meat stuff either. :ack2: If I'm going to eat not-food, it had better be yummily chocolate coated or it's not worth it. We like tempeh, providing it is cooked nicely. You can certainly prepare it badly. There are lots of ways of preparing it badly! Dh likes to marinate it in kejap manis and stir fry it. A few times, I have marinated it in orange juice. It's very good :)

 

Have you compared your diet with the RDI? You are probably fine. It's pretty hard not to get enough protein, really.

 

Rosie

 

You marinated the tempeh in oj??? Okay, I want details! Straight oj?

 

Well, my focus on the protein is not a general protein issue but a pcos thing. Otherwise I wouldn't worry. I'll google rdi, though . . . and kejap manis.

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My thoughts on this: Fake meat is junk food and best treated as such.

 

Nuts provide a lot of protein.

 

Don't worry too much about protein. American are protein crazy and normally consume amounts that far exceed the quantity necessary.

 

My mother was horrified when we became vegan.The first year, my kids grew 3 and 4 inches and gained 6 and 8 pounds, respectively, and I am not overly particular about their diets (we eat healthy, but I don't worry too much about making sure their meals are perfectly balanced).

 

Tara

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You marinated the tempeh in oj??? Okay, I want details! Straight oj?. . . and kejap manis.

 

I think it was orange juice with a couple of spices tossed in. I couldn't find my recipe when I wanted it the other day so I just used straight orange juice, freshly squeezed. I think pulp free orange juice would be lacking.

 

Kejap manis is Indonesian soy sauce, it contains some sort of sweetener, so it's quite different to regular soy sauce, temari and shoyu. I have a vague idea they use honey, which I know strict vegans don't eat, but I'm not a strict vegan, but I can't be sure because we're out of it.

 

Rosie

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My thoughts on this: Fake meat is junk food and best treated as such.

 

Nuts provide a lot of protein.

 

Don't worry too much about protein. American are protein crazy and normally consume amounts that far exceed the quantity necessary.

 

My mother was horrified when we became vegan.The first year, my kids grew 3 and 4 inches and gained 6 and 8 pounds, respectively, and I am not overly particular about their diets (we eat healthy, but I don't worry too much about making sure their meals are perfectly balanced).

 

Tara

:iagree:with Tara on a few things she posted. Americans are protein crazy and protein is over-rated. (And for the spelling and grammar police, I'm sorry if I spelled over-rated incorrectly with the hyphen in there).

Like Rosie said, if you are eating beans also, you don't really need to worry about "am I getting enough protein?"

The lady that wrote Diet for a Small Planet explained complementary proteins in her book. She also included things that I found questionable (powdered non-instant milk for one). If you can find that book, or Recipes for a Small Planet, both contain recipes with balanced (complementary) vegetarian proteins.

She also wrote a lot about political concerns, world hunger and her point of view. She studied it; instead of taking everyone's word for it that we're all gonna starve. Both books are great material.

I am really surprised you haven't read more!

Recently we had morning star brand grill burgers (non-meat) and I thought it was pretty good and a nice introduction to veggie burgers. Eating vegetarian can sometimes be rather time-consuming, unless you're more into mostly raw food. ;)

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I have a similar veg history as you, except that we did eat Morning Star in the 70s. My parents only ate seafood, and a little bit of dairy, so I don't have a very meaty past. :D

My own mom will have nothing to do with fake meats, she says it's repulsive to her. I'm a veg married to a vegan, raising vegan kids.

 

We do use, and enjoy fake meats. Unapologetically. I find that there's a lot of people who rank your veganness off this decision (even from meat eaters). The veg and vegan scene can ego trip pretty bad. Happily, the older I get, the less I run into this.

I can totally respect someone not wanting to eat fake meat, for a variety of reasons. But fake meat isn't meat!

For me, I enjoy experimenting with the texture and flavors. It's just another ingredient to play with. Usually when I use them it's being used as one of many ingredients in a homemade meal. I do try to limit the pre fab type stuff.

We eat a vegan lamb, and sometimes people freak out over it. They think it's hypocritical, but I can't relate to that thinking I guess. The lamb is made basically of four ingredients, mainly mushroom. You could just as easily name it mushroom nuggets.. it's not lamb.

 

I wouldn't let my daughters live off fake meats though. Getting hooked on any frozen food is a not so good thing. I'd limit it, and always have her eat it with fresh foods. I think you have a good "one, two attack". :)

 

BUT..fake meats have been used for centuries, it's not a modern concept. It has a rich history beyond Boca or Tofurky. I think it's no big deal to enjoy the healthier versions (once you've figured out what those are) (I have no idea which products that would be :001_smile:).

 

 

Here's an interesting little article touching on what you were saying about these "meats" coming from a manufacturing plant. It talks about the environmental effects of the products.

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/health-well-being/blogs/chicken-vs-chickin-are-fake-meats-green.

Edited by helena
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BUT..fake meats have been used for centuries, it's not a modern concept.

 

Yeah? That's a bit of food history I haven't tripped over. Do you have any favourite links? (I don't see anything hypocritical about eating fake meats, but I'm not predominately an ethical vegan.)

 

Rosie

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Yeah? That's a bit of food history I haven't tripped over. Do you have any favourite links? (I don't see anything hypocritical about eating fake meats, but I'm not predominately an ethical vegan.)

 

Rosie

 

I don't have any links, but I do believe Buddhist monks have been not only using tofu, but also seitan for a very long time.

Here is a random blog that says a little bit about it. This is basically how I understand it as well.

http://wheres-the-meat.blogspot.com/2007/02/i-promised-several-posts-back-to-post.html

 

I live with vegans, and that's enough vegan for me. :)

I slip out for the occasional cheese platter. It's my naughty little secret.

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Thanks, guys! I love the discussion. I just wanted to mention *again*;) that as a vegetarian and regular ol' eating person, I don't worry about protein in the least. Honestly, I'd think one would have to be fairly close to malnutrition to be protein deficient . . . especially in America.

 

To my great annoyance, my poor little ovaries are beset by cysts. The PCOS diet, which is supposed to inhibit cyst growth, is high in protein. It's a matter of inhibition of cyst growth, that's all.

 

Now, back to our regularly scheduled discussion. :001_smile:

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