Monday, April 19, 2010

Meatless Monday #2

A friend of mine recently gave me a few packages of "meatless meat". When I was vegetarian, I used to use soy ground "beef" in lasagnas, Shepherd's Pie, spaghetti, etc. After a while, I realized that I'd rather be using more natural and unprocessed ingredients in my vegetarian dishes. Though meatless meat is made from soy protein, pressed tofu, rice, gluten, and legumes, I wanted something not as processed. Au lieu of meatless ground beef, I used an assortment of veggies and spices. I also ate A LOT of beans and legumes. Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, lentils...You name it, I ate it.

I found that a lot of my favourite cuisine didn't even have much meat in all their dishes anyway. Japanese, Lebanese, Thai, Vietnamese...There are so many dishes from different countries that don't include meat.

Middle Eastern cuisine with its falafel, tabouleh salad, Babaganouj, and hummus was always one of my favourite options. Indonesian food was also a go-to choice for me. A little bit of spicy kick and many recipes that don't include meat = the perfect dinner for me! A trip to Bali almost a decade ago, only reinforced what a vegetarian paradise Bali is!

Today's Meatless Monday dish (much to my beef farmer husband's chagrin) has meatless ground beef in it. I made my version of Vegetarian Black Bean Chili.
I sauteed some meatless ground beef with diced onions and minced garlic. I added diced tomatoes and homemade tomato sauce, black beans, corn kernels, and chickpeas. To add a bit of colour, I chopped up some spinach (I don't usually put spinach in chili, but I wanted to clean out our veggie compartment in our fridge) and let everything cook in a large pot.

I hadn't cooked with meatless meat in YEARS, so I was praying that the recipe would turn out. Hubby kind of cringed at the mere thought of "meatless meat". He really enjoyed the chili and said it was "very good". I know that secretly, he'd prefer it to have real ground beef in it, or just no meatless meat.

Little One thoroughly enjoyed her meal. Then again, our 17 month old will eat anything and everything right now. We couldn't get over how much she LOVED the meatless ground beef! Crazy girl! TWO bowls of vegetarian chili...and then she wanted mango for dessert!


Barbara said...

Such a good eater, your little one! And for hubby to even try meatless meat I am so impressed! My man would most likely take a pass on that. LOL.

Looks like a yummy meal.


t said...

I remember your vegetarian days. You used to make this awesome tofu dish with ground chili pepper flakes and I can't remember the other infredients. It was sweet and spicey though. And you always had the most amazing veggie burgers! Made of legumes, beans, etc..

Hey remember that girl at one of the parties who said "I'm vegetarian. I just eat hamburgers, hot dogs, and pepperoni on pizza!" HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH! That was too funny..

J at said...

I'm with you. Not a big fan of the meatless meat. It's OK, but mostly tastes a bit like chemicals to me. I'd rather go vegetarian chili, or meat chili, but not fake meat chili. At least the one time I tried it, I didn't care for it.

C said...

LOL! My husband is very much a meat and potatoes man. Like you, I'm impressed he even gave it a try!

C said...

Funny you should mention that! I have been craving those veggie burgers and haven't been able to find them anywhere anymore! :(

C said...

P.S. YES! I remember that girl! Too funny! "I'm vegetarian, but I eat pepperoni, hamburger, hot dogs"...I think she also said chicken and bacon. Soooo, basically she wasn't vegetarian! :)

C said...

Totally with you on this one :)

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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