Q: I am not a vegetarian. However, I do wish to reduce my meat intake.
I have the challenge of a picky wife who does not like most beans, peas, broccoli, asparagus, or other strong-flavored vegetables and beans.
Only onions, garlic, carrots, green beans, sweet peppers, baby eggplant, and some other vegetables (and salad) pass her approval.
In our meals now, we eat more vegetables and salad and use as little meat as possible when required. We are also low fat, salt, sugar, sweeteners, and preservatives eaters (without going overboard).
I've tried various vegetarian recipes and meat replacement recipes but I keep coming up against the barrier that it never tastes right. Chickpeas and black beans have that distinctive flavor that almost nothing hides.
My feeling is that the palate of the vegetarians who make these recipes have adapted, and they actually believe these recipes taste and have the texture of "meat." But from a non-vegetarian palate's perspective, they don't have much similarity, and every time another recipe fails to taste good, we get a little more pushed away from the vegetarian side.
I've tried a couple of ground beef replacement recipes but they were never the right texture or flavor. Similarly I've tried various chicken replacements but nothing was even close, except the brand Beyond Meat's chicken, which is really expensive here.
The only time I've successfully replaced meat is with Yves ground beef replacement. It's texture is similar enough to work in tacos and spaghetti, and it's slightly off flavor gets hidden by the rest of the ingredients. It unfortunately doesn't work in beef burgers, though, as it's not sticky enough.
In brief, are there any simple recipes for ground beef, chicken, and bacon replacements (and meal recipes to go with them) that do not contain mounds of oil/salt/sugar and which would please even non-vegetarians?
Whew, it's turned out to be a longer letter than I anticipated. I apologize if I wandered off course a couple of times and if I'm asking for the moon and stars.
Sent by Peter
Editor: Readers, do you have any brands of meat replacements that you like, or meat replacement recipes to share?