When most of us non-vegetarians think of tofu hot dogs, meat-free turkey and fakin’ bacon, we conjure up images of odd food items that may look like the real meat deal but taste far from it. But as any vegetarian or anyone who has dabbled in veg-eating can tell you, the world of veggie burgers has undergone quite a makeover in recent years largely in part to the growing popularity of vegetarianism.
Quorn Foods are one of the lesser known meat-free alternatives, in comparison to Boca Burgers and Morning Star veggie sausage patties. This England-based company has created a line of meat-free products that boast a nutritional profile and taste-factor that rivals any best-selling veggie burger.
While most meat-free products use soy, all 11 varieties of Quorn products are made from mycoprotein, a powerhouse ingredient that is actually a fungi that contains less fat, fewer calories and more fiber than meat. Mycoprotein is also an excellent source of lean protein, completely soy-free and contains all nine essential amino acids.
Quorn was generous enough to send DietsInReview a sample package of a few of their most popular sellers and we were won over with the taste, texture, and versatility of this super nutritious and incredibly diet- and vegetarian-friendly line of meat alternatives. The line includes mycoprotein-based “chicken” products like Naked Chik’n Cutlets, Chik’n Patties, Chik’n Tenders and “meat” products like Meat-free Meatballs and Beef-style Crumbs. Quorn has also expanded its line of protein-packed eats with its Gruyere Chik’n Cutlet, Cranberry & Goat Cheese Cutlet and Southwestern Chik’n Wings.
As a former vegetarian, now flexitarian, I can’t rave enough about Quorn. The texture is similar to (you guessed it) chicken, but its taste is much more flavorful; and while many soy meatless products have a bit of grit to them, Quorn products offer a real “meat-like” chew that made me wonder if I was in fact eating meat.
The Naked Chik’n Cutlets, Tenders and Meat-free Meatballs were a huge hit in my household. Cutlets, which contain only 80 calories for each chicken breast-sized serving, 11 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and 2.5 grams of fat can be easily dressed up by adding your favorite marinade or barbecue sauce. Tenders are great for tossing in a stir-fry with tons of fresh veggies and with a few drops of flavorful sesame oil, soy sauce and a couple grates of fresh ginger, you’ll fool even the most die-hard lovers of chicken stir-fry. The Quorn website features countless recipes for how to use their products in yummy dishes.
With so much enthusiasm and eagerness over supporting a more green planet and lifestyle, choosing a diet that is respectful to our bodies and our planet is necessary for our survival. Studies show that by replacing just one meat-based meal each week with a vegetarian one will greatly offset our ecological footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water waste and land disturbance. So do your part this week and with whatever meal you choose to go vegetarian with, swap it out with a Quorn product. You won’t be disappointed.
May 22nd, 2009