Vegan Shrimp

Posted in vegan on October 23, 2011 by Noble

I always hated eating fish when I was a kid. Nothing about it appealed to me. I hated the smell and taste. Eating freshwater fish was always a pain. You had to pick out all of the small bones, and I was really scared of swallowing them. I can remember being forced to stay at the dinner table until I finished my fish. I was often reminded that we did not waste food in our house, and I had to finish what was on my plate.

The only exception I made when it came to seafood was shrimp. I loved shrimp. It’s not one of those things that I missed when went vegetarian, but I was stoked to find vegan shrimp in the freezer section of Wheatsville and Whole Foods.

I tried out two different vegan shrimp products this week. The first was from a company called Vegetarian Plus. The “shrimp” were not breaded, so I decided to make a “shrimp” scampi using a recipe that I found online. I made a few substitutions and changes to the recipe.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 ¾ cups of vegetable broth

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of sliced mushrooms

3 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoon of crushed pepper

1 package of vegan shrimp

1 16 oz. package of linguini

The sauce that I made came out okay, but the “shrimp” seemed to soak up the flavor of the sauce making it difficult to see if the “shrimp” came close to tasting like shrimp. The texture seemed close to the real thing. I would like to try this again, but next time I’ll probably just eat the shrimp plain first before putting it in recipes.

The second “shrimp” product comes from Sophie’s Kitchen. This one was breaded. I kept it simple this time around and just baked the “shrimp” in the oven. The breading and the texture made this brand perfect for a vegan style po-boy.

While I enjoyed both products, Sophie’s was probably my favorite. Check both products out at your local natural grocers or health food stores.

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The Beginning

Posted in Uncategorized, vegan on March 3, 2011 by Noble

Becoming a vegetarian or vegan seems quite simple these days. In almost every major city there will be at least one vegetarian or vegan restaurant, and many restaurants also offer a meat-free option on the menu. Most major grocery stores have meat substitutes in the frozen foods section. If you say the word vegan, someone will have an idea of what you’re talking about. This was not always the case.

I first went vegetarian in 1991 while living in Copperas Cove, Texas. I started out as an ovo-lacto vegetarian because it was easy. If I didn’t have time to cook a full meal, I could always eat eggs or a grilled cheese sandwich. While I had no problem just eating salads and vegetable side dishes, I still craved the texture of meat. I didn’t want to eat meat for ethical reasons, so I started trying out various meat substitutes. To this day I still enjoy my meat substitutes, and I’m always willing to purchase and try out any of the vegan meats and dairy substitutions that I can find.

I love breakfast sausages both link and patty. For a while the Morningstar breakfast links were vegan, but of course they made changes to the ingredients and started adding egg and milk products. The Boca breakfast links aren’t vegan either. I always stay vigilante and check the labels. One week I’m stoked that I finally found a vegan product, and the next week when I check the ingredients I notice that the manufacturer has added egg or dairy products.

Well this week I wanted to share with you a product from the company Sol Cuisine located in Canada. They make a very fine breakfast patty. I wasn’t able to get mine to look the way that it does on the package, but despite the appearance, the taste was superb. The texture was pretty consistent, and you could probably make crumbles out of these and use them in various recipes. I chose the traditional route with the patties and fried them. And just like frying pork breakfast sausage, they leave your kitchen and home smelling like fried food. If you’re trying to be a healthy vegan, you can also bake or microwave the patties.

I just happened upon these in the Whole Foods in North Austin, Texas. They were on sale, so I hope that Whole Foods isn’t planning on discontinuing the product. If you can’t find product in your local grocery, you can go to Sol Cuisine. They have a list of retailers on their site.