I used to be very skeptical of vegetarian protein or rather skeptical of vegetarian protein pretending to be animal protein. I just don’t like phony and this extends to a lot aspects in my life. I’ve never been a big fan of faux chicken, beef or worse, dairy. My attempts at replacing butter by a healthier spread and cheese by vegan cheese were in vain and for those two particular products, continue to be this way at least for now.
However, I recently came across two awesome vegan products that substitute meat really well and I absolutely wanted to share two recipes using them. Both products are from Sweet Earth.
The first product I came across is this vegan bacon. I found it at Bristol Farms once and thought I would give it a try.
For something that pretends to taste like something else, I thought this product was pretty amazing. The smokiness really gives this bacon flavor. I love using it in a vegan BLT, especially with ripe tomatoes and a little mayo. By the way, I only use this vegan mayonnaise and love how versatile it is. Awesome for a quick garlic or avocado aioli.
I discovered the second product, a while ago, through Hello Fresh. One recipe used this chipotle seitan for a chili and it actually tasted great. Not sure how it would taste on its own but dressed up in a chili situation, it was great. I still have to think of other recipes where I could use but for now, we are really happy with this hearty vegan chili.
HelloFresh’s Chipotle Seitan Chili with Bell Pepper, cheddar and Jasmine Rice (serves 2-4)
-8 oz Sweet Earth Seitan Chili
-1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
-1 Red Onion, diced
-1 can Black Beans
-1 Roma Tomato, diced
-2 Scallions thinly sliced, white and green keep separate
-2 cloves Garlic, minced
-1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
-1 Vegetable Stock Concentrate (I used half of a vegetable bouillon cube)
-1/2 cup Jasmine Rice
- In a small pot, bring 1 cup salted water to a boil. Add the rice, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Remove from the heat and keep covered until the rest of the meal is ready.
- Heat 2 Tbs oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the pepper, onion and scallion whites and cook, tossing for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, tomato and seitan to the pan, and cook for 3-5 minutes, breaking up the seitan into small pieces,
- Add the beans to the pot along with the bouillon cube and 1 cup water. Simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the chipotle seitan chili on a bed of jasmine rice and garnish with the reserved scallion greens and cheddar cheese.
Vegan BLT (serves 2)
-4 slices vegetarian Bacon (you can obviously use any brand)
-4 slices good whole wheat bread, lightly toasted
-1/4 cup Vegenaise
-1 very ripe tomato, sliced
-1 ripe avocado, sliced
-1 heart of romaine lettuce, leaves separated
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until browned and crisp. Set aside and drain on a paper towel.
- Spread each slice of bread with a bit of Vegenaise and sprinkle with coarse salt (like Maldon).
- Layer the bacon, tomato, avocado and lettuce on each slice.