Although I am not a vegetarian, I don’t eat a lot of meat. I don’t like the taste of a lot of red meat, it’s a lot of work to prepare, and the idea of eating dead animal flesh turns me off just a little bit. I prefer the vegetarian version of most recipes. I’ve been trying to cook more chicken lately to get protein. But still, handling the raw meat grosses me out.
I picked up a box of Smart Life veggie protein crumbles and was curious how it would taste. It’s a soy product, and seems to be a lot healthier than ground beef (what it claimed to imitate). A serving has 12 grams of protein but no fat. So I purchased the veggie protein crumbles with high hopes (it was about $4 for a 12 oz. container, I think).
On Wednesday, I remembered that I had to try out my imitation beef, so I made stuffed manicotti with this recipe. I would normally make a vegetarian version with cottage cheese and spinach.
When I opened the package, I began to fear eating the veggie protein crumbles. They looked gross. It was very crumbly, kind of the texture of feta cheese.
I made the manicotti anyway, and I’m happy to announce that it was delicious! It tasted like ground beef, but no grease and no disgusting pieces of fat. I think I still prefer vegetarian manicotti, but if I ever have a recipe that has to have ground beef, I may just turn to the veggie protein crumbles again.
I even fooled James by not mentioning anything before he tried the manicotti. After he ate, I interrogated him “Did you like the food? Did you like that it had meat in it? Did you think the meat tasted good?” He was confused, but said that he liked it.