Since becoming a semi-vegetarian/pescatarian, I’ve mainly stuck with basics. I almost always would turn my nose up to fake meats, since the real stuff grossed me out anyway and generally stuck with fish and vegetables. However, a few weeks back, I had dinner with one of my oldest friends and got to try vegetarian barbecue riblets. Abigail, to whom I am referring, has both a vegetarian friend and sister in her life constantly exposing her to the wonders of meatless meat. Since her sister was joining us that night for dinner, Abigail prepared ultra healthy green bean salad, sweet potato fries (o.m.g.) and of course Morningstar Farms very own Hickory BBQ Riblets. I was hesitant at first, but quickly allowed my hunger to take over. Before I knew it, I was a meatless convert.
Since this infamous night, I have started exploring my options a bit. For instance, shortly after the BBQ night, I braved my way in to the meatless deli section of the grocery store to purchase Lightlife Smart Deli sliced turkey. The next day I had to travel to Webster Springs, WV to get some coverage of a 4-H camp being held there and decided it would be a good idea to make a veggie wrap using my new sliced turkey. After the first bite, I thought, “Wow, this isn’t so bad at all.” However, after the third bite, things took a turn for the worst. I suddenly had a bad after taste with each bite and eventually started eating around the creepy stuff. In short, Lightlife is probably a fantastic company with great products, but their sliced turkey is not for me.
After that unfortunate experience, I tried my luck with a veggie burger, provided once again by my dear friend Abigail’s family. It was a smash. A+ for the veggie burger! So at this point I was 2-1 with meatless meat product and still trying to forget a horrendous experience with a veggie dog back in 2008. (I’ll spare everyone the details about it simply melting in the water I attempted to boil it in.) So since Morningstar Farms had a decent track record with me, I had decided it was time to try their meatless frozen entrees.
Now this was definitely stepping into murky waters as far as quality goes, because as far as I had known, these were a relatively new concept. I decided to go with the Sweet & Sour Chik’n and I am happy to report that this too received an A+. Being a recovering Chinese food-aholic, sweet and sour chicken was always something I pined for and probably would break my own rules for, but thankfully, now that I’ve discovered the wonders of Morningstar Farms, I won’t have to. I swear to soy, this stuff was dead on. Not only was it good for a frozen meal, but the meat substitute was really great too. The peppery sauce had a hint of sweetness that made everything taste just right. Plus, I saved a ton of calories in comparison to what I would have consumed from a Chinese restaurant.
So the moral of the story here is that meatless meat can be a great adventure for vegetarians. It can fulfill all of those weird cravings we all inevitably get and can save us the heartache of having to give up the things we love. However, brand does matter. If you’re going to go veg, go Morningstar Farms all the way.
Meatless meat products final score: 3-1.