Looking for a good substitute for ground beef
Gave up meat recently after watching a documentary on the food industry, but a lot of my favorite recipes call for ground beef. They're mostly things like pasta, and I was wondering what would be a good substitute.
At Wal-mart they have a protein substance and I have in the past mixed it with beef hamburger to streatch and it worked pretty well until hubby found out and said he did not like it. I am thinking again of using it to see if it would be ok inplace of beef burger as I am not using meat anymore myself.
Our family prefers Boca Veggie Crumbles. Use them from lasagna to Tacos...Consistency isn't entirely consistent with ground beef, but pretty darn close...a little more "spongy" than ground beef. My 9 year old will eat it straight from the cooking pan.
We've also tried ground Seitan, which is spongier still, and the Quorn Mycoprotein, which was fairly consistent to Ground Beef texture....we've kind of stayed away from it because of various stories we've read about on the internet about lack of testing on this mysterious fungi mycoprotein...but we occasionally have it to lessen the amount of soy we ingest.
This may sound strange, but bulgur wheat works very well as a meat substitute and it is healthy and natural. It even looks like hamburger to an extent. I have used it as a filling in tacos, as a "hamburger" speghetti sauce mixed with red lentils and tomato sauce/spices over pasta, in gravies as a "sausage" with white gravy, as a sloppy joe sandwich filling along with tomato/sauce, catsup, tomato paste, green pepper, onion, spices etc, and so on. It lends well to different sauces and spices, including taco seasoning (be careful with commercial taco seasoning packets though because so many have horrible ingredients in them, go for organic and watch the label). My omnivore husband actually prefers bulgur wheat taco seasoned "meat" to hamburger in his tacos and bulgur wheat lentil tomato sauce over his speghetti in place of hamburger. He says it is less heavy and greasy on his stomach. the texture of bulgur is similar to hamburger but slightly more fine. Bulgur wheat grain is very cheap also, and high in fiber and has a nice nutrient profile (for example a lot of magnesium and decent protein). You can find it in health food stores or organic sections of regular groceries.