Are you digging plant grub but can’t get full on tofu? Or maybe you just don’t want to get full on tofu. YET. So until you’re there, here are 3 of the BEST plant-powered meatalicious products around. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with good ole beans and rice or pasta fagioli, but these dudes are perfect for vegetarian flirts and XL appetites.
1. Soy Chorizo. The package and casing scared me at first. But, once I stabbed through it, I realized the possibilities were endless. It’s spicy, has a great chewy and meaty texture, and is super filling. There are lots of brands, but the Trader Joe’s 2.5-ounce serving has 140 calories, 9 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, 8 grams carbohydrate, and just 1.5 grams saturated fat. Add it to soups, chili, nachos, potatoes, tacos, or potatoes for a hearty Mexican hash dish. Normally, I panic with processed foods and their list of 900 chemical ingredients, but the one at TJ’s tastes incredible and has just 8 completely identifiable ingredients (1 being water): textured soy protein, water, soy oil, distilled vinegar, salt, spices, red pepper, garlic. Whats Good at Trader Joe’s?–unrelated to Trader Joe’s or Bitchin’ Dietitian–has a cool review of it.
2. Field Roast’s Frankfurters. These grain-based (compared to soy-based) veggie hot dogs are THE BOMB. I knew it last night when my soy dog UNenthusiastic husband had a second one. They have a mildly spicy taste, but still made it past my anti-spicy child’s taste buds. The ingredient list is longer than the chorizo’s, but contains all recognizable items: filtered water, vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed safflower oil, naturally flavored yeast extract, organic expeller pressed palm fruit oil, barley malt, natural liquid smoke, garlic, onion granules, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, spices, paprika, sea salt. Each frank has 190 filling calories and 21 grams of protein. The rest of the nutrition info is here.
3. Trader Joe’s Beef-Less Ground Beef. Another wheat gluten concoction, this stuff is incredible mixed with brown rice, black beans, and salsa and then stuffed into cooked peppers. Or, add it to marinara sauce with frozen chopped spinach atop elbow macaroni for a healthy spin on Hamburger Helper. It’s basically fat-free with a 1/3-cup serving containing 60 calories, 10 grams protein, 2 grams fiber, and 0.5 grams fat. Check out another review and more ideas here.