General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

What are some good tasting, ready-made, meat alternative products?

Asked by tinyfaery (40744points) December 31st, 2010

I know about Morning Star products. Which ones are good?

What are some other products and brands that I can try? I’m looking for quick meals, something I don’t have to cook, and that have a decent flavor. Oh, and not too much dairy. We do not get along.

My wife will be cooking regularly, but I need some back-ups for when she is not around.

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17 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Tofu is the closest to nature, the least processed and the most flexible. You can sauté, fry, bake, boil, wrap and make salad dressing with it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

SMART Italian sausage is amazing. My girlfriend is vegetarian and she gave me some and honestly I couldn’t begin to tell the difference between that and the real thing.
Veggie Patch also makes a good veggie burger

tinyfaery's avatar

@gailcalled I want things I only need to warm-up. Cooking and I are bitter enemies.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@psychocandy while you can microwave both those products, they both taste leaps and bounds better when sauteed in a pan. Just lightly brown them to get a nice crispy outside on them, especially the sausages then YUM! :P

tinyfaery's avatar

@uberbatman I think I can handle that. Though I’ll probably burn myself. :/

El_Cadejo's avatar

oven mitts ;)

incendiary_dan's avatar

Seitan is better than tofu. I’ll still take meat than either of them any day, but if I had to choose it would be seitan.

gailcalled's avatar

@incendiary_dan: Have you tried this way of eating baked, sliced sesame ginger tofu?

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/tofurecipes/r/sesametofu.htm

incendiary_dan's avatar

@gailcalled During my two and a half years as a vegetarian and the few years afterwards before I stopped eating soy, I ate dishes like that and probably a hundred others. I’m quite a foodie. :)

That is a good way to do it, no doubt. Seitan is still better in my book.

Likeradar's avatar

The MSF Chik’n Nuggets are fantastic. So are their fried “chicken” patties. I chop both up to put in salad so it’s like a fried chicken salad.

The MSF Grillers Prime burgers are also yummy and a reasonable substitute for a burger.

Kardamom's avatar

Aaaack! My whole list just disappeared. Let’s try this again.

Here are some of my favorites:

Yves Deli Slices

Smart Deli Bologa

Trader Joe’s meatless meatballs great for spaghetti, meatball sandwiches or sliced for pizza topping.

Trader Joe’s corn dogs

Morningstar Farms recipe crumbles which are great for vegetarian chili, fake sloppy joes (just sautee onions, diced tomatoes, mushrooms and add your favorite barbecue sauce) filling for burritos (add a little taco seasoning and diced tomato) or enchiladas. Or even tacos, you can get really good premade shells at Trader Joe’s like these

I’ve tried some of the quorn products and liked some and didn’t care for others. I would suggest starting out with their fake chicken patties and see how you like them. They used to make this pasta primavera with fake quorn chunks that was to die for, but I haven’t seen it lately. Morningstar Farms fake breaded chicken patties are also good. They taste kind of what I remember KFC’s chicken sandwiches tasting like if you add mayo (or vegenaise) and some lettuce. Or they taste more like a fish sandwich if you add tartar sauce.

Seitan is really good for Asian stir fry, fake chicken enchiladas or fake pulled pork sandwiches.

Some people like tempeh, but I find it a bit too sour tasting and it has a weird mealy texture that I don’t like, but give it a try if you’re not too shy.

And for breakfast or fake BLT’s Smart Bacon by Lightlife or Morningstar Farms bacon strips are really good. I even put a little bit of fake bacon into my home made macaroni and cheese along with sauteed mushrooms. It’s excellent!

And if you want a frozen meal, Amy’s fake meatloaf with potatoes and peas is really good.

My favorite regular old “fake burger” is Morningstar Farms grillers prime

If you have any Asian grocery stores near your house, they have lots of “fake meat” products in their freezer sections. They’re usually conveniently made up into the shape and size of small meatballs and can be used for all kinds of things. In our city, they are conveniently labeled with the ingredients in English.

Hopefully you can find something on this list that appeals to your palate. Enjoy.

Kardamom's avatar

Oh, I forgot this one. Trader Joe’s organic baked herbed tofu This one in the picture is teriyaki flavor, but I prefer the herbed flavor. It has the flavor of chicken or very mild cheese and can be sliced and eat cold on a sandwich, mixed with barbecue sauce for a hot sandwich or put into pasta salad (instead of chunks of chicken or cheese). It’s also really good if you cut it into cubes and put a piece of the tofu, a piece of pineapple and a grape tomato onto a skewer or toothpick as little appetizers.

crisw's avatar

Kardamom’s list is great; I would add Quorn products, which I love.

Kardamom's avatar

@crisw Which Quorn products do you like best? I’ve tasted a few that I liked, but this one which is a “fake chicken” cutlet with cranberries and goat cheese sounded really good and I didn’t care for it. They used to make this great alfredo pasta with fake chicken chunks that I loved, but I can’t seem to find it anymore. Do you like Quorn brand of fake chicken nuggets?

crisw's avatar

@Kardamom

I like the plain ones best; especially their crumbles and tenders. I don’t like their prepared products as much; I haven’t tried the one you mentioned.

Anemone's avatar

I love Boca Burgers and Boca Chik’n patties. Tofurkey sausages are great, too. If you enjoy sandwiches with “cold cuts”, the Tofurkey and Yves ones are good, in my opinion. Seitan is awesome! (I make it from scratch because I love it, but don’t like the price.)

BTW, none of the items I mentioned include any daiy or eggs, BTW. (Well, some of the Yves might, but not the ones I get.) Tofu is also good, but it can take more preparation than it sounds like you’re interesting in doing. :p Good luck, and happy eating!

pinksnowflake's avatar

Tofurky products are lovely!

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