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SPKRAUSE Posts: 543
2/6/13 11:28 P

A few follow-up thoughts:

[1] Ah, quite right and all that -- Dr. clearly has a good point. The way soy isoflavones can act as phytoestrogens is ... complicated.

[2] "Beans tend to make me feel ill [...]" -- Depending on whether its 'beans/legumes in general', a matter of soluble fiber and oligosaccharides, or an issue with insoluble fiber, lentils can be a good alternative, as the fiber in lentils is mostly insoluble, according to some sources (see, for example, , though others suggest that it's mostly soluble; in any case, lentils are supposedly on the lower end of oligosaccharides).

[3] "I LOVE tuna, but sustainability and mercury issues mean I can't have two cans a day! [...]" -- Exactly. I've not given up on tuna, but I've cut it out mostly, even though I love it. Between sustainability and mercury issues it's a problem. I wondered whether I would enjoy sardines, and I've found that I do. They tend to be inexpensive (not really any worse than tuna), more sustainable, and have fewer contamination issues. I don't eat them every day, but once or twice a week? Frequently. I haven't yet made a 'sardine salad' the same way I'd make 'tuna salad' for sandwiches or such, but I enjoy opening a pouch or can and adding it to a green salad, to cottage cheese, or even to cooked greens. I don't find them too fishy (though a bit fishier than tuna). The moment I touch the can opener, though, the cats come running.

Edited by: SPKRAUSE at: 2/6/2013 (23:38)
REYNINGSUNSHINE SparkPoints: (20,387)
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2/6/13 1:36 P

My Dr recently told me that with my medications and my natural hormone load (I have ovarian cysts- not PCOS exactly but like, one cyst will form and get HUGE and then pop and I end up in the hospital kind of ovarian cysts), I should monitor my soy intake. Not cut it out completely but not overload on it. Honestly, I don't like soy that much, nor am I a huge fan of grains of any kind, and I do very much love dairy products, egg products, etc. The main issue for me is that I work best on a much different ratio of macros than most people get on a vegetarian or vegan diet, especially because I have some issues with digesting fats, and the medication I'm on often drops my blood sugar too low and I need to eat more "simple sugars" to get it up so I can go about my day without feeling sick (obviously compounded with complex carbs, too, to get it to stabilize, but due to my random schedules sometimes I simply go "too long" without eating and the medication makes it worse). I'm going for more meatless meats because most red meats or pork products are awful on my digestive system, turkey and chicken get boring after a while, and I can't find cheap, tasty seafood readily in land-locked middle of nowhere that I can eat in the quantities I would need to perform the best (ie, I LOVE tuna, but sustainability and mercury issues mean I can't have two cans a day!). I go for all sorts of meatless meats- meaning, I don't really care what it is "made out of" as long as it fits what I need, and I don't want to be eating 3+ servings of soy a day (I get at least 3 servings of what I call "meat"- and sometimes 4 or even 5 to have the right ratios to feel my best). Beans tend to make me feel ill, and I can never eat enough veggies to get the right protein quantity from them.

SPKRAUSE Posts: 543
2/6/13 12:06 P

First a ramble rather than a rant, but a little tl;dr perhaps: "but I know that eating too much soy can be harmful."

Too much of anything can be -- is -- harmful. But most of the anti-soy nonsense is just that: nonsense, mostly propagated by Dr. Mercola and the Weston A. Price foundation ... both of which really *should* be ignored. Entirely. Always. That having been said ... yeah, sure, one shouldn't rely on soy for all one's dietary needs.

But if you're still eating meat and/or dairy, as you seem to be, there's really no chance that you're eating too much soy.

The original question was about 'meatless meats' ... and in a way it depends on what you mean by that:

[1] A substitute for meat, often in cooking but sometimes 'alone'
[2] Something when prepared is like a prepared meat
[3] Alternative protein

[1] gets you the MorningStar and Boca products -- including 'facon' and the like, 'crumbles' and all --, along with tofu, seitan / wheat gluten and brand names like Tofurkey, as well as Quorn on the fungal side.

[2] veggie burgers are often 'meat substitutes', but sometimes you want something that's not about meatiness, but about taking the place of where the meat would go, say, in a sandwich, so you could go with black bean burgers, beet burgers, and the like. And making your own: any of the legume-fritters, like falafel, lentil fritters, and the like. Sometimes there are pre-packaged mixes, other times it just makes sense to make your own. I think Trader Joe's has falafel mix.

[3] if it's not about replacing meat texture/flavor but about providing protein, then you can deal with all the soy 'things', tofu and otherwise, but also dried edamame; lentils in all their preparations; things like mushrooms and leafy greens as being, calorie for calorie, one of the best protein sources; and so on.

While I'm not a strict vegetarian, the SO mostly is (but still has some of the MorningStar products ... which aren't vegan ... but she loves the breakfast 'sausage'), and my non-vegetable protein sources are (a) eggs, (b) some dairy (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese), and (c) sardines. Other than that I get my protein from where she does: greens, tofu, a little soy milk with my oats, lentils and other legumes. Also: quinoa and amaranth as complete protein 'grains' (seeds, but not from grasses). And I never have trouble getting enough protein this way. Even on vegan-days (no eggs or dairy or fish) I end up fine ... usually just with higher than usual fiber.

ANYWAY ... on the soy side of things but that isn't (a) tofu, (b) isn't TVP or a Boca or MorningStar product, and (c) isn't soy milk, we both really love tempeh. It's got the fermented thing going on, it has a nutty flavor and texture, and it replaces meat in the meal without being a fake meat on its own ...

VEG_GIRL04 Posts: 2,600
2/6/13 8:22 A

I love love love quorn naked chicken cutlets - I can use them in just about any recipe that calls for chicken and it's wonderful! Also love making a quorn turkey roast, and slicing it up for wraps, soups and entrees. Finally - love the meatless meatballs. I bring a serving and a half with marinara sauce a lot to work with my lunches - so quick and easy!

I'm also a big fan of certain morning star farms products - both the breakfast patties and links are wonderful, and when I can find the italian sausage - it's great as a sandwich or with pasta.

There's also another italian sausage that I enjoy - I think the brand is called tofurkey.

POPSECRET SparkPoints: (79,624)
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2/6/13 8:22 A

There are tons of veggie burger recipes online that I can't wait to try. The only time I've ever made them I kind of made the recipe up, but it was mashed sweet potato, black beans, an egg, cumin, garlic, onion powder and cayenne. If you like spicy/salty/sweet give them a try!

SLACHETKA103145 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/6/13 7:19 A

I like making burgers at home as I have been a vegetarian for sometime and with a celiac disease diagnosis I can't use the vital wheat gluten that most of the recipes that I have. I have tried many substitutes but any starchy flour I use makes it too "pasty" or overwhelms the recipe. I have tried Oat Bran and Rice Bran. Does anyone have any ideas to share?

AUDREYUK Posts: 631
2/6/13 6:09 A

I don't think you have to worry about getting these as hot as raw meat. The products are pre-cooked. Just like if you bought something with meat that was already full cooked but just needed re-heating it wouldn't be necessary for it to reach a certain temperature.

If you have a Trader Joe's their soy chorizo is awesome! It is fantastic with eggs and corn tortillas.

Edited by: AUDREYUK at: 2/6/2013 (06:10)
TRIATHLETEGIRL SparkPoints: (55,048)
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2/5/13 4:07 P

Tofurky (turtle island brand) makes really tasty sandwich "meats" that you don't have to cook. I also love the tofurky roast for holidays. I'm vegetarian and I'll occasionally have these meatless products as a treat. Quorn is really tasty as well. I am guilty of not always heating them up all the way. Field Roast is excellent because it seems to be the healthiest, lesser processed type of fake meat, but again, it is expensive so it is an occasional thing.

Also, hooray for the person who suggested freezing the tofu before using it. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who does that on purpose! I like the way it comes out, too, because it holds a marinade WAY better than unfrozen slabs.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
2/5/13 3:55 P

Yves brand deli meats in a sandwich, yummm! Their peperoni on a pizza, also great stuff...

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/5/2013 (15:55)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,127
2/5/13 7:54 A

while it's not an issue for you i have a lot of friends who are vegan and vegetarian and i like to try and help point out the difference when i can so that they don't have to be presented with fish because people hear vegetarians eat that. so i nitpick on that one. sorry.

i can't say i ever really measure the temperature of when i cook those things. i generally put about five pieces in the microwave for about 90 seconds and let cool another 30. as long as it doesn't feel frozen i tend to eat it and i'm still here. the gardein beefless tips [i really like them, where you would find gristle in meat you get onions and peppers, which is a much more pleasant finding imo] i tend to toss into pasta dishes as i am finishing warming and i just let them heat, cut them in half, heat a little more just until they aren't frozen anymore. i never get them really hot and again, i'm still here.

one of my friends in college [dorm mini fridge] swore up and down that veg foods had much less food issues than meats, regularly drank soy milk after the expiration, left soy milk and frozen veg meals out of the fridge and freezer for imo extended periods [not days, but in the hours range, and this is florida], kept freezer foods in the fridge, and never really got sick from any of it. some of it is chance and dumb luck but i thought i would still share the anecdote.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
2/5/13 7:38 A

I've often used Yves brand (now, it does contain wheat if that is also an issue), or even the Loblaws President's Choice or Blue Menu brands.

REYNINGSUNSHINE SparkPoints: (20,387)
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2/4/13 6:44 P

Thank you Cortney!

CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (67,852)
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2/4/13 6:29 P

it is my understanding that these products need to be warmed to at least 160 degrees just like anything else.

REYNINGSUNSHINE SparkPoints: (20,387)
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2/4/13 6:18 P

I know the brands aren't exclusively vegan, and that doesn't really concern me, as I'm not vegan. I love milk and eggs and cheese way too much! But, I do only by the vegan style Boca things, because I just like the taste a LOT better.

I also don't really enjoy the taste of pork or red meat (another reason why I don't eat them). However, I do enjoy the taste of meatless "meats!" That's another reason why I eat them.

So, if I just want to 'warm' up frozen meatless meatballs, for example, it is okay not to get them "hot"?

Thank you for the links!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,127
2/4/13 2:31 P

1. Quorn and most boca are vegetarian, not vegan. I know boca does make a plain vegan one, but most of the brand is not. Or at least was not the last time I bothered to check. Most Quorn has egg whites as well, again in the majority though I do think one kind comes vegan.
2. Field roast is a great, vegan, expensive brand that uses beans and lentils as the base for its fake meats. The sage apple and the lentil basil(?) are both tasty.
3. Make your own.
are both easy and tasty.
4. Cook to heat through as long as you have stored them properly, there isn't really anything you have to watch out for.
5. I will say that none of them really taste like meat. I like Morningstar specifically because the chikn does not taste like chicken, but is packaged as conveniently. They are often flavored the same as you would find meats, but they do not taste like meats.

Edited by: NIRERIN at: 2/4/2013 (14:36)
BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
2/4/13 2:23 P

Ah yeah, I understand! I have a really hard time getting 60+ grams of protein in on a "meatless" day of 1200-1500 calories! I like beans but I can't eat 3 cups of them!

CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (67,852)
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2/4/13 2:22 P

Quorn is made from a fungus -

Edited by: CORTNEY-LEE at: 2/4/2013 (14:22)
MARIAHHELM SparkPoints: (1,421)
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2/4/13 2:19 P

MorningStar is amazing. But I guess if you don't like the taste of real meat, it wouldn't be SO awesome for you because they taste almost exactly like real meat. But, if you like chicken, they make REALLY good chicken ones too. (:

REYNINGSUNSHINE SparkPoints: (20,387)
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2/4/13 2:03 P

I am not looking to avoid soy; I just don't want to eat "too much." Quorn boasts that they are "soy free" so then how come they have TVP as an ingredient?

I don't use faux meats as a replacement in recipes; I just preform best at high protein (~25% calories from protein at least) and lower fat (~15-20%), and I consistently get too much fiber, so too much beans make me feel a little ill.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
2/4/13 1:50 P

Thinking about this more, I might also suggest considering just forgetting about finding "substitute for the meat portion of the meal" and trying recipes that are designed around beans, legumes, grains, dairy... maybe look at some vegetarian cooking sites/cookbooks for inspiration?

KSUGIRL93 SparkPoints: (26,035)
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2/4/13 1:49 P

Morning Star has a really large variety of faux meats. I think I like them better than Bocca, but I have not checked the ingredients for Soy. I cook them exactly as directed and have had no issues.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
2/4/13 1:42 P

TVP is made from soy.

Are you trying to avoid soy, or are you ok with it? I have learned a new trick - frozen tofu. Basically you just cut it into a serving size, toss it in the freezer, it turns a not-very-attractive yellowy colour, but when you thaw it out and squeeze out the excess moisture, it has a very nice texture - more spongy, less prone to disintigrating, more "meaty" i guess you might say.

Also - tempeh. Another soy product.

REYNINGSUNSHINE SparkPoints: (20,387)
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2/4/13 1:36 P

I am not a huge fan of meats. I like fish and chicken, but I don't eat pork or red meats (they always make me feel kind of ill eating them). I live in a land-locked place and fresh seafood isn't available, and you can only have so much chicken without feeling bored, so I've been making the switch to more vegan "meats" like Boca and Quorn meats.

Boca uses soy for their protein source, but I know that eating too much soy can be harmful. Quorn brand of "meat" I have right now uses mycoprotein and TVP instead of soy, but I'm not entirely sure I know what that is. On the package, it says mycoprotein is from fungi, and I am guessing that TVP is just isolated vegetable protein that they process somehow. What kind of amino acids are in these?

Also, does anybody know what temperature I cook them to? I know that they aren't like raw meat, but are there any "bad bacteria" that can get into them? Is there a temp at which the proteins are denatured?

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