So, hereâ€™s my first big observation about going on a vegetarian diet: faux meat is not really a substitute.
Itâ€™s not that hard to go without meat at the moment – but, Iâ€™m only 3 days into it. Thereâ€™s no ‘Cheeseburger In Paradise’ moment where Iâ€™m dreaming about meat. Part of that is probably â€˜cause I already minimize my intake of red meat, so moving forward without any meat is more like an extension of my existing eating plan than a radical departure.
But, back to the main point: if you buy a meatless hamburger expecting a hamburger, more often than not youâ€™ll be disappointed. Out of 3 suppers so far, the most successful was meatless tacos – those were done using vegetarian refried beans and avocados as the base.
If your mouth is primed by the appearance of something that looks like and has the shape of meat, but it tastes and feels nothing like to, itâ€™s disappointing. (All of the following are not paid endorsements, blah lab blah). Iâ€™ve had Boca burgers, and theyâ€™re pretty good: they just donâ€™t taste like meat.
Impossible burgers and Beyond stuff is pretty damned close to burgers (Beyondâ€™s chicken is questionable), close enough that it passes the â€œis that meat?â€ Test when you put it in your mouth. Iâ€™m not saying itâ€™s amazing, but good enough.
When I cooked hamburgers yesterday, it was disappointing. The burgers werenâ€™t bad, justâ€¦ they didnâ€™t pass that test. I would have been better thinking of them something like a package of grains rather than meat. Added downside was they only had 4 grams of protein per patty, which wasnâ€™t good eating.
Then there was tonightâ€™s hot dogs. They wereâ€¦ close? They had the right texture – unlike the burgers. The flavor, though, was more like the lowest quality hot dog. The Vegetarian chili I put on top wasnâ€™t bad at all, though if I was gonna sit down and eat a whole bowl of it, three would be cheese, sour cream, and maybe some Fritos in there. (The advantage of vegetarian -vs- vegan. I can smother shit with cheese and sour cream. Everything is better with cheese on it! 🙂 )
Meat replacements are getting better over time – I remember some stuff in the late 90’s, early 2000’s. Boca burgers were good, but almost all the rest was… wow, bad. And my sample set here is still small – I haven’t tried BBQ jackfruit rag, for instance, and there’s some rather interesting mycoprotein (fungus) out there. I’ll be experimenting with tofu, but… well, I’m not a huge fan of tofu. There’s a whole host options the choose from and experiment with.
But, I circle back around to my original point: if your brain is set for experiencing meat in your mouth, then you’ll be disappointed. Even Impossible isn’t “quite right” even though it’s close. I’m not saying any of the meat substitutes are bad – just that managing expectations may help if this is the path you find yourself on 🙂 Don’t slap a carrot on a hot dog bun and call it a vegan hot dog: call it a grilled carrot, so our mouth and brain know what’s coming 🙂
Morning weight in: 228 (ok, little surprised at that.)
No workout today – well, sort of. We cleaned one of the AirBnB units, cleaned out part of the basement at the apartment complex, etc. so, still plenty active, and my watch was even sure part of that was a workout.
Food: rice and eggs with hot sauce (and kimchi juice I had left over) for breakfast, cottage cheese and rice with kimchi (which, sounds nasty – itâ€™s really good.) supper was vegetarian chili dogs.