Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Bacon Post

It's not what you might think. Last year the folks at Lightlife sent us some products to sample and last week we received another such box of their stuff. (I'll add here that the box 'o food was free but we're not affiliated with Lightlife in any other way.)

This time we got another package of Fakin' Bacon, which is just smoky marinated tempeh strips, and also some Smart Bacon, which is thin slices of a soy-based product more akin to their mock deli slices. We fried the tempeh strips and used them in wraps - with whole wheat tortillas, brown rice, salad greens, shredded carrots and roasted red peppers. When we lived in Arizona we used to go to a place that served wraps with rice, tofu and veggies and these were based on that idea.

The next night we had some potatoes we needed to use up and I was thinking about frying up the Smart Bacon and having it with home fries and/or a tofu scramble but when I came home from work Darlene was already working on her potato soup. So we just finished that off by adding a little of the Lightlife soy sausage, then served it with some Smart Bacon pieces on top (which by the way fry up nice and crispy).

All good stuff but I'll have to stand by my earlier assessment which is that these products are generally good and definitely convenient but usually a little too pricey for us. Though once baby is here in another month or so we may really be looking for that convenience! Still, making your own tempeh bacon is pretty simple and costs a good bit less than the packaged stuff. Try my quick version of Isa's recipe some time: thinly slice tempeh strips then marinate them in a mixture of 3 Tbs. Braggs or soy sauce, 2 Tbs. cider vinegar, 2 Tbs. maple syrup and 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke. Throw a crushed clove of garlic in there too if you want then marinate for several hours. If you have a few extra minutes in the morning you can get the tempeh marinating before work, then it's ready to fry up when you get home.

Now here's a question for you. What would you do with mock ground beef? And I'm looking for something that doesn't involve tomatoes (which don't agree so well with Darlene at the moment). Typically I might use the Lightlife Smart Ground that we got in chili or pasta sauce or some similar tomato-y concoction but I'm currently at a loss for what to do with it sans tomato. Any ideas?

28 comments:

Romina said...

Whoa I have the same bowl!! I just recognized it instantly.

That bacon looks like the fake bacon for dogs, haha. I'm sure it tastes good with all the chemical additives though.

Stormy Weather said...

Shepherd's Pie? For the mock ground beef, I mean...

Vegyogini said...

I've only ever used mock ground beef to make tacos. I use the taco seasoning recipe from the Native Foods cookbook. I'm jealous of your freebies!

clem said...

Use the ground stuff for vegan sawmill gravy on biscuits. Quick, easy, filling comfort food. Some people make S.O.S. with ground instead of chipped beef so that would work too.

Katie said...

Something I make ocasionally. Hamburger gravy. Brown the burger mix with onion, garlic and anything else you want to add. Then make a white (southern) gravy and mix it all together. Serve on noodles, rice or biscuits.

aTxVegn said...

That's pretty much what I was thinking - something like Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper. Or you could add it to a tofu scramble or quiche????

Poppy said...

I've been thinking about making ma po tofu with some vege mince. You could try it.

Liz said...

Definitely use it for "tater tot hotdish".
That potato soup look delicious!

Justnathan said...

I eat it on occasion with some fried potatoes (with a little garlic and chili powder) and kale. It's a nice combination of flavor and texture.

Kate said...

How lucky are you to get from stuff. I never have mock meat food stuffs around because I just can't afford it.

Kristin said...

"mock ground beef" ->
Tacos!

Jackie V said...

I have a recipe for Mushroom and Pea Stroganoff here: http://foodblog.jkvetter.com/2007/12/16/mushroom-and-pea-stroganoff-with-carmelized-pearl-onions/

It was really good and I bet if you added the crumbles to it over rice it would be delicious!

Courtney said...

I was going to say stroganoff or maybe you could just saute up some veggies in garlic/seasonings and then add the mock ground beef to it? Or lettuce wraps? Could you put it in there? Good luck! I bet it would keep well in the freezer if you want to save it for something tomato based...

I am jealous of your box of goodies! I rarely buy them because of the price as well, so I have never tried their mock ground beef. I will be interested to hear your review!

Courtney

Anke said...

mock ground beef:

a layer potatoe slices, a layer mock ground beef, another layer potato slices, bechamel, bake, voila :-)

or stuff it into bell peppers together with some rice and bake

stuff it into halved acorn/butternut squash or zucchini

Kristine said...

Looks great!
How about some cabbage rolls (with a mushroom sauce maybe instead of a tomato sauce).
Comfy, cozy food, and I'm sure you'll have leftovers enough to bring for lunch!
Yum!
Can't wait to see what you are creating next!

Sheltie Girl said...

I can't say I'm all that keen on the Fakin Bacon, but the bowl of soup looks simply great!

Sheltie Girl @ Gluten a Go Go

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

funny, i just had the fakin bakin last night. i never buy it as it's too pricey, but while away from home it's just too convenient.

for the mock ground beef i can't help but think of my mom's pre-vegan concoction, Pot Slop. sounds appetizing, no? :) basically, it's sauteed onions and garlic, then your beef, then some small cubed potatoes and whatever spices you like. she always then melted cheese on the top of it at the end, i'm thinking your favorite cheeze sauce would be a fine sub. i've only made it with mock beef as a veg and haven't tried it in vegan form....yet. but now i just may have to!

bazu said...

this post has me craving tempeh bacon!
as for ground round, do you guys like stuffed peppers? I make a stuffed pepper (or grape leaf, zucchini, etc.) mixture with ground round, rice, and spices. sometimes I add yellow split peas.
how about filling for tacos or burritos?
how about some sort of meatballs?

Anonymous said...

I use mock meats all the time because i'm a working single mom. i've made most fot he stuff listed plus more. almost any recipie using real ground beef can be adapted. Also, I like the gimme lean fake beef and fake sausage because it's all gooey and i made great meatballs with my own seasonings.

Anonymous said...

One thing I like to do with mock ground beef is make a hash. Fry it up with some onions, garlic, spinach, peppers, braggs, then add in some chunks of boiled potatoes and mash it up a bit while it fries, you know. yum.

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Looks tasty!

VeggieGirl said...

uses for mock ground beef:

tacos, lasagna, stir-fry dishes, "meat" sauce, stuffed cabbages/peppers, sloppy joe sandwiches...

Chris said...

Wow! So many great ideas! Thanks for the inspiration. Now we might just have to go buy more of this stuff so we can try more than one of these ideas. Though we did get some tempeh as well and crumbled tempeh would work well with some of these ideas too.

funwithyourfood said...

I would do something like shepards pie or biscuts n gravy.. my grandpa had a specialty, hamburger rice. It involved lots of onion, beef, garlic and rice... that another option :)

Teddy

Doodleyboo said...

Chinese lettuce wraps or a vegan version of Ma Po Tofu! You're lucky you even have a place to buy Lightlife -- they don't distribute in Canada anymore. Boo.

Anonymous said...

My mother-in-law uses veggie/soya mince or mock ground beef in her Indian curries, and the results are always amazing. There are many curries that don't require tomatoes, so the possibilities are endless. You could also stuff samosas, egg rolls, or pitas with it.

Peace by Pastries said...

Try the sheperdess pie from veganomicon...it rocks! Or a big taco night could be fun, too...

Christina said...

I usually use crumbled tempeh for a ground beef-type of texture, because it's cheaper, and less processed, but I really like Gimme Lean's Sausage Style (the other version doesn't seem as flavorful) for two things in particular.

The first is making cornbread dressing around Thanksgiving. I like to brown the Gimme Lean, first, then the onions, celery and herbs, (including lots of sage). I usually add some fresh or dried fruit like apples, pears, cranberries, or figs.

The second thing is pizza. One of our favorite pizzas has a beer, agave, and whole wheat crust, roasted red peppers, browned Gimme Lean--which we occasionally spice up with some red pepper flakes-- and Monterrey Jack style FYH.