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Help needed - which of the meat substitute products are the best?

(18 Posts)
kjhkj Mon 13-Jan-20 10:34:11

If you are veggie or vegan or just reducing meat intake, I would really appreciate some guidance on which of the meat substitute products to go for.

As a family we have committed to halving our meat intake this year for environmental reasons but DS2 is not a big fan of vegetables and so I think the only way of us managing this realistically is to use the meat substitute products. Which are the best (taste wise) in your opinion. We are also trying to dramatically reduce all waste so I don't want to buy things that don't get eaten.

I bought some Linda McCartney mozarella burgers yesterday which we will try for dinner and a bag of quorn mince which I was going to use in a bolognese tomorrow. No idea whether these will immediately put off DS2 or not. We are fortunate in that we can spend a little bit more if that makes a big difference to taste/texture.

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TheFaerieQueene Mon 13-Jan-20 10:38:18

Personally as a vegan of decades, I don’t use meat substitutes. There are so many wonderful meat free recipes that don’t try to emulate meat but make the vegetables the star!

For a start have a look at this website. They have loads of hearty vegan recipes.

Have fun!

kjhkj Mon 13-Jan-20 10:40:09

Thank you I'll take a look. The problem is that DS2 spots a vegetable a mile off and removes it to the side of his plate, hence I think going in gently with meat substitutes is the best option for him.

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kjhkj Mon 13-Jan-20 10:41:26

He's already not happy due to our new "but no red meat" rule for meat days.

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wherethewavesarehighest Mon 13-Jan-20 10:43:18

We've just tried the Asda meat free meatballs, everyone loved them. Dp is veggie and doesn't like "meaty" texture and dd is somewhat fussy so I think they'll be a regular in our house.

Gertrudesgarden Mon 13-Jan-20 10:44:33

I really enjoy the Linda McCartney range, especially the burgers you've got. Quorn upsets my digestion, so pay attention if you try it. I like it as a product, especially the nuggests but get rather windy and have terrible heartburn when I've had quorn, so now its off the menu. Do the kids like lentils and beans? I love bean burgers and lentil loaf...both rose Elliot recipes.

Ginisatonic Mon 13-Jan-20 10:46:09

I really like the beyond meat burgers. They sell them in Tesco (frozen). Pricey at £5 for 2. Quorn mince and pieces are ok but need quite a lot of flavour added. So the pieces are good for curry and the mince is good for chilli.
We eat occasional meat substitutes but mainly eat beans and lentils. Red lentils are good for soups. I use tinned green lentils or the Daucy brand which are more like puy lentils. Or dried puy lentils for cottage pie, chilli etc. Although I use vegetables in these the main taste is the lentils so your DS may be ok with that. My DD is not keen on the texture of mushrooms for example but finely chopped in a curry or something she is fine with.
Also, if your plan is to cut meat consumption rather than eliminate it completely why not do half and half meat and Quorn or lentils/beans.

gaffamate Mon 13-Jan-20 10:46:23

Just watch the salt content, it is astronomical in most replacements

wanderlustgirl Mon 13-Jan-20 10:48:24

Chicken wise we love the vegetarian butcher what the cluck chicken. The Iceland vegan chicken is a close second.

Vivera is also another good brand, love the bacon bits in a oat or soya creamy pasta with chicken

I would mainly try different things till you find what you like there is a bit variety between them

Cohle Mon 13-Jan-20 10:49:13

Yes how do the kids feel about lentils/beans?

I think a lentil bolognese or Shepard's pie is lovely, as is a three bean chilli. Could that be a good option to mix it up?

The Linda MaCartney burgers are good, and I like the quorn southern style chicken nugget substitutes. I also like the Sainsburys shroomdogs as a sausage substitute. I find quorn mince quite soft, but my kids actually seem to like that.

kjhkj Mon 13-Jan-20 10:55:55

This is really helpful thank you. They're ok with lentils and beans at the moment but that's because they're generally in with the meat. So I already make a double portion of bolognese for example (i.e. two meals for four people) with one small pack of chicken/turkey mince and then bulk it up with lentils, courgettes, aubergines, peppers, mushrooms etc (all chopped small for DS2 so that he doesn't really notice). I know that isn't a true bolognese but its what we are used to and nutritionally its far better for them.

The suggestion of halving the meat content again and combining with quorn (or other veggie) mince is a good one to preserve some of the taste and texture they're used to.

Ive never made a bolognese with just lentils and no meat at all. Worth a go though to see if they'll eat it.

DS1 is 14 and completely on board. He hasn't touched red meat since Jan 1st and I suspect he might eventually go veggie. DS2 is more difficult.

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Thecatisboss Mon 13-Jan-20 11:10:47

DH is keen on reducing meat in our meals and got Meera Sodha East and Fresh India for Christmas. Can really recommend them, we had a pumpkin curry from East and made naans from Fresh India on Saturday both of which were fantastic.

Also had broccoli and tofu Pad Thai from East which was really good.

DH and I said could easily go veggie if food is this good.

I've also made a green lentil bolognese for dinner tonight which is just as nice as meat.

Lostmyunicorn Mon 13-Jan-20 11:17:41

I’ve got one quite rigid eater (ASD) and they will eat quorn mince bolognaise - made exactly as I do my meat version, which sounds much like yours with loads of fine chopped veg and often with red lentils too. I up the mushroom content chopped v fine in the quorn version as it helps with a more mince like texture - the quorn mince is much softer than meat.

GoldenCrunchMunch Mon 13-Jan-20 12:54:45

Fry's stuff, particulary the sausage rolls is good. Ocado sells it

kjhkj Mon 13-Jan-20 18:42:42

Hmm so DS1 has arrived home from school having watched the Channel 4 Apocalypse Cow programme and announced he is now vegetarian and so I guess we will be trying a fair few of these products!

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lastqueenofscotland Mon 13-Jan-20 20:06:01

Quorn is gross and is best used as cavity wall filler

Sainsburys shroomdogs are lovely.
Would they eat tofu? If you get the right stuff and cook it properly it’s lovely

kjhkj Tue 14-Jan-20 06:20:11

They've never had tofu to my knowledge but they might eat it. Interesting that you say quorn is gross. I'm glad I didn't buy loads!

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kjhkj Tue 14-Jan-20 06:20:43

If you get the right stuff and cook it properly it’s lovely

Which is the right stuff and how do I cook it properly?

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