It’s that time of year when many people decide to eat less meat. The “whys” are varied: sustainability and concern for the planet, health considerations, ethical concerns about the treatment of animals.
An increasingly popular option is “plant-based meat,” found on grocery store shelves to restaurants.
These products aim to mimic meat in taste, texture, appearance and smell, and the resemblances are now quite impressive. Ingredients usually include a vegetable protein, such as soy or pea, and sometimes other beans, wheat, or potato.
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are the two monster names in this field, but there are dozens of brands. In the fresh produce aisles of grocery stores, plant-based options focus on ground “beef”, hamburger patties, meatballs and sausages. In the aisles of the freezer, there are that and also many products designed to reproduce specific dishes, such as “chicken nuggets”, pies or stir-fry kits.
So, how to cook with these products at home?
“Plant-based meats are an easy substitute,” says Angela Campbell, a pescatarian living in Portland, Maine, who relies on plant-based meats to enhance her cooking. She says she can use the 1:1 imitation ground beef and sausage in recipes.