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Plant-based mince Vs Beef mince

ipiddockipiddock Member Posts: 97 Member Member Posts: 97 Member
Hi,

Haven't posted for a long while. I watched the Game Changers on Netflix recently and I must admit it did get me thinking. I know all these programs have an agenda, but the science presented in this program made sense to me.

So, my wife and I have decided that we are going to reduce red meat in our diets. We do however use minced beef to make things like Bolognese, Cottage Pie, Chilli and Burgers. We tried Quorn in a Cottage Pie recently, and while the taste was OK, the texture was slimy.

We've now begun investigating the alternative 'fake beef' mince, like what you see used in the Impossible range, etc. The first thing I did was compare the nutrients of 100g of 'fake beef mince' and 100g normal lean beef mince. To my surprise the 'fake beef' is higher in calories, higher in fat, higher in saturated fat, higher in sugar and higher in salt/sodium. In my opinion, not looking like a healthier alternative.

Does anyone have any recommendations of a good plant-based mince?

Thanks

Ian

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Replies

  • tracybear86tracybear86 Member Posts: 145 Member Member Posts: 145 Member
    Gardein is our go to, we like the flavor and texture best for most situations. Keep in mind when using plant based "beef" a lot of times you do not want to cook it in liquid as this can cause sliminess or break it down into a paste. Beyond and Impossible may work better in this sense but for most of the others it works best to cook and season it separately and then add right at the end.
  • earlnabbyearlnabby Member Posts: 8,057 Member Member Posts: 8,057 Member
    I have used it in things like chili and sloppy joe's. Being in the US, the main brands available are Boca and Morningstar Farms. I prefer Morningstar because it is less salty.

    I have to be careful about eating anything soy based. If I eat too much of it, the phytoestrogen causes me to develop benign cysts so I limit my use of any plant based meat alternative.
  • BarbaraHelen2013BarbaraHelen2013 Member Posts: 1,258 Member Member Posts: 1,258 Member
    Whilst I enjoy some of the Quorn products I’m not keen on the mince either, although it is more successful if you make sure not to overcook it. Add it just for the last 10–15 mins of your sauce - for example, for bolognese I’d make a base Italian Tomato Sauce and put the Quorn Mince in once the sauce has cooked down and developed full flavour. It’s not so bad then!

    I find a similar thing with Pea Protein Mince, the texture isn’t great, especially if overcooked.

    I generally choose to cook things like bolognese style sauces with red or brown lentils. Meals like Chilli I’ll more often use Beans and veg etc.

    If you want a direct minced beef substitute though I’d say you’ll do better using dried TVP mince. Rehydrate it in stock and brown and use exactly like minced beef. Texture is good and it easily takes up your spices, herbs and other flavours.

    I’ve also recently (last week) made the following recipe. I’ve only used it for tacos so far but it was really very very good!

    https://www.powerhungry.com/2019/06/vegan-ground-beef/

    Here it is, before I portioned and froze the rest in 100g portions

    nny2qkm544y1.png
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 1,994 Member Member Posts: 1,994 Member
    I make my own. I take around a cup of cooked and cooled brown rice, a few dates (I like around 6 or so), some rinsed Dark Red Kidney beans (one can), a few TBS of Tomato paste (around half a can) and some lightly roasted walnuts (also around a cup). I make taco meat, stuffed peppers and many other things with it. If I'm making tacos, I use some taco seasoning.

    It looks a bit mushy at first, but pulse it, use a bit of EVOO and fry it after you make it. As it fries up, it will eventually dry up and taste resemble hamburger meat in both texture and appearance. Plus, I know exactly what's in it, which I like.
  • Strudders67Strudders67 Member Posts: 742 Member Member Posts: 742 Member
    If you are actually still eating meat what I would suggest is bulking out your cottage pie with brown/green lentils, so it's still meaty but you're still cutting down your intake. I eat pure green lentil cottage pies happily as a veg, but I got the idea from penny-pinching threads by meat-eaters who suggested using it as a bulk filler.

    I think if you like the taste of meat you're not going to be impressed by too many of the fake meats, because they just aren't meat.

    Not what you asked but this ^^ is what I do. I tried quorn a few times and really couldn't see the point of it. Having said that, I've noticed a few UK supermarkets giving over separate aisles to vegan produce now, so perhaps better options will come to the market. I won't be the one testing them out though.

    I bulk out quite a few of my meals with lentils or split peas or by adding more veg. What might have been a 6-portion bolognese or Shepherd's Pie gets bagged or boxed in to 8 portions as it's been padded out. My Red Lentil Chicken Stew gets more lentils and less chicken. Per meal, my meat consumption is reduced but the taste isn't compromised.

    I make vegetarian dishes that don't call for meat substitutes. The bbcgoodfood website has a lovely lentil ragu recipe or try making vegetarian chilli, pasta bakes or mushroom / veg risotto. I always have a variety of veg curries in my freezer, bagged in portion sizes. I found a great aubergine and chickpea curry recipe on the cupfulofkale website and also have good recipes for spinach, chickpea and potato curry and blackeye bean curry. If I fancy having some meat, I won't bother with any rice but can grill a chicken breast or salmon fillet and have it on top of a portion of veg curry. There are good burger recipes around that use mushrooms, too, I've just never tried any.
  • Jacq_quiJacq_qui Member Posts: 272 Member Member Posts: 272 Member
    Probably not what you are thinking of if going veggie is your aim, but I don't buy beef - we use turkey mince if we want a meat dish for this sort of thing. We also eat quite a bit of veggie stuff, 5 bean veggie chilli is a family favourite. However we quite like oumph burgers and green cusine ones, both 'fake meat', both pea protein I think, so could you consider something like this to chop up and put in, rather than a minced meat version? Also high in calories so we don't have them very often.

    Like you we try to reduce our meat consumption, beef is the worst by far - although if you saw the David Attenborough Extinction bbc documentary (still on iplayer!) then you'll know, as I have now learned, that soybean, used for animal feed -including poultry- is massive contributor to amazon deforestation so you literally can't win and my turkey solution isn't much of an improvement.
  • VegjoyPVegjoyP Member Posts: 1,036 Member Member Posts: 1,036 Member
    There are many interesting and new ideas coming out all the time. Pecans and nuts or seeds could work possibly, tofu crumbles, tempeh, edamame, black soybeans and Beyond Meat is good for alternative to meat.. I agree with posts about switching to plant based dishes that are loaded with veggies, avocado, seeds, etc.
    Check out Tabitha Brown on YouTube. She is awesome! Look for pecan tacos, jackfruit recipes and other cool stuff she does.
    I went from carnivore to omnivore then pescatarian and now plant based but also vegan. I have never felt better.
    edited October 13
  • Davey862Davey862 Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member
    I honestly think eating those alternatives to meat are more of a "once in a blue moon" treat vs something you should be having on a regular basis.

    Eating plant based foods is more than just no longer eating meat and cheese, its about changing your view on what you are eating in general. Avoiding processed foods altogether, and really thinking about what nutritional benefits you can gain from what you are considering eating is most important.

    Those fake meats end up being terrible nutrition wise, and I would much rather focus on "eating the rainbow" along with beans or lentils.
  • ipiddockipiddock Member Posts: 97 Member Member Posts: 97 Member
    Thanks for the replies, yes I am based in the UK. All interesting perspectives and points of view in this thread. Wasn't looking to go veggie or vegan. The idea of being able to replicate the meat experience using only plants just sounded appealing, but not at the expense of healthy nutrition. As someone pointed out, this fake beef is highly processed, that's the issue with it. It will be interesting to see how this market develops, however it will always be considered processed. The turkey mince is a good shout, I may just go that route for now. Appreciate all the input though. :-)
    edited October 14
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,536 Member Member Posts: 22,536 Member
    Conversation with a friend who is an omnivore but limits red meat:

    Him, 12:52 PM
    Just cooked and ate my first beyond burger.

    It feels disgusting. Not a great smell while cooking. Tastes good.

    Me, 2:36 PM
    Huh, weird that it would smell and feel disgusting but taste good. Did you try it in chili too?

    Him, 2:37 PM
    No, I thought I would see what it tastes like by itself first.

    I may use the rest in chili just so I don't have to touch it very much.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,061 Member Member Posts: 24,061 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Conversation with a friend who is an omnivore but limits red meat:

    Him, 12:52 PM
    Just cooked and ate my first beyond burger.

    It feels disgusting. Not a great smell while cooking. Tastes good.

    Me, 2:36 PM
    Huh, weird that it would smell and feel disgusting but taste good. Did you try it in chili too?

    Him, 2:37 PM
    No, I thought I would see what it tastes like by itself first.

    I may use the rest in chili just so I don't have to touch it very much.

    I also find the smell while cooking unappealing (too rich?), but the finished taste and smell are fine to me. My husband (who eats beef) says he finds the smell kind of "odd," but not necessarily unappealing.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,536 Member Member Posts: 22,536 Member
    If you are actually still eating meat what I would suggest is bulking out your cottage pie with brown/green lentils, so it's still meaty but you're still cutting down your intake. I eat pure green lentil cottage pies happily as a veg, but I got the idea from penny-pinching threads by meat-eaters who suggested using it as a bulk filler.

    I think if you like the taste of meat you're not going to be impressed by too many of the fake meats, because they just aren't meat.
    Not what you asked but this ^^ is what I do. I tried quorn a few times and really couldn't see the point of it. Having said that, I've noticed a few UK supermarkets giving over separate aisles to vegan produce now, so perhaps better options will come to the market. I won't be the one testing them out though.

    I bulk out quite a few of my meals with lentils or split peas or by adding more veg. What might have been a 6-portion bolognese or Shepherd's Pie gets bagged or boxed in to 8 portions as it's been padded out. My Red Lentil Chicken Stew gets more lentils and less chicken. Per meal, my meat consumption is reduced but the taste isn't compromised.

    I make vegetarian dishes that don't call for meat substitutes. The bbcgoodfood website has a lovely lentil ragu recipe or try making vegetarian chilli, pasta bakes or mushroom / veg risotto. I always have a variety of veg curries in my freezer, bagged in portion sizes. I found a great aubergine and chickpea curry recipe on the cupfulofkale website and also have good recipes for spinach, chickpea and potato curry and blackeye bean curry. If I fancy having some meat, I won't bother with any rice but can grill a chicken breast or salmon fillet and have it on top of a portion of veg curry. There are good burger recipes around that use mushrooms, too, I've just never tried any.

    I made this sausage and lentil soup last night:

    https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/sausage-kale-and-lentil-soup-recipe-2200991

    It calls for a pound of sausage and a cup of lentils. (It says 1.75 C in the recipe but 1 C in the video.)

    I could easily reduce the sausage by half and increase the lentils and my OH would not complain about lack of meat.

    For other recipes I have replaced half the sausage with ground turkey or chicken. While this might work with ground beef as well, it perhaps would work better with new recipes. I'm not messing with my tried-and-true meatloaf recipe ;)

    As said above, another option is to make the red meat dishes less often and have vegetarian dishes that don't call for meat substitutes more often.
    edited October 14
  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,373 Member Member Posts: 5,373 Member
    I replace 25%-30% of meat mince with quorn and don't notice any difference in taste or texture. This is for recipes such as bolognaise, chilli con carne, sloppy joe's.
  • chocolate_owlchocolate_owl Member Posts: 1,507 Member Member Posts: 1,507 Member
    I try to make vegan dishes once or twice a week, and I never opt for fake meat substitutes. I make my own burger patties with chickpeas and lentils. I've made vegan bolognese with finely chopped mushrooms (include porcinis, they're so rich). My favorite chili uses three kinds of beans (plus pumpkin for texture). Plants can shine on their own without trying to imitate meat.
  • durhammfpdurhammfp Member Posts: 429 Member Member Posts: 429 Member
    I make my own. I take around a cup of cooked and cooled brown rice, a few dates (I like around 6 or so), some rinsed Dark Red Kidney beans (one can), a few TBS of Tomato paste (around half a can) and some lightly roasted walnuts (also around a cup). I make taco meat, stuffed peppers and many other things with it. If I'm making tacos, I use some taco seasoning....

    Sounds great. Do you pulse it all together in a food processor or just mash it all up or what?

    Though I'm by no means a vegan (I eat small wild fish and occasionally eat yogurt) I have just lost my taste for red meat. And I'm not a big fan of commercially-made faux meat analogues. I have nothing against people eating Beyond Meat burgers but to me homemade just tastes better. And like you said, you know what goes in it.

  • nooshi713nooshi713 Member Posts: 4,237 Member Member Posts: 4,237 Member
    The Beyond Meat is high on calories. Lightlife and Yves are lower.
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