I was planning to post my version of Gena Hamshaw’s sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, but there was nary a tomatillo to be found in Anchorage. Ok then, Plan B. Having just received my sample order of NEAT meat replacement products I figured what the heck, why not give their taco filling a try and just top it with sweet potatoes and black beans. Genius? I thought so…
My boyfriend was skeptical. We have been through no less than six complete disaster meat replacement recipes. There have been three “wheat loaves” of varying ingredients. No good. I’ve tried bases of seitan, tempeh and lentils which all ended with our two sad faces at the dinner table. I then moved on to spaghetti and “wheat balls”, figuring that the sauce would help to revive even a mediocre recipe. I figured wrong. Now tonight, we had what my boyfriend has dubbed “prank steak” tacos, an homage to one of his favorite meals back when we ate meat.
To be fair, this was probably the best we’ve done with the meat replacements, but only because once I’d slathered the filling with mashed sweet potatoes, sauteed peppers and onions, salsa and homemade guacamole, the flavor and texture were completely masked. On the bright side, the ingredients (pecans, chick peas, cornmeal and spices) are much more desirable than the textured soy protein and other highly processed ingredients frequently found in other meat replacements. Nevertheless, we were left with an uninspired supper. I have been banned from further experimentation with neat loaves, wheat loaves, “satan loaves” and “prank steaks”. If I was a bit younger, more hip or a member of Twitter, I’d follow this review up with a #FAIL.
I’m appealing to you, blogging community, for a worthy meatball and meatloaf substitute. If you’ve got a stellar vegan recipe, I’m all ears! Don’t make me beg. Similarly, if you’ve had success with the NEAT meat substitute, I’d love to hear about it. I’ve got three bags of this stuff to get through, and we’re not off to a great start. I see an opportunity to provide a couple of bags of tricks along with treats upcoming trick-or-treaters, but I don’t think that’s going to help promote veganism.
In lieu of an enchilada recipe, I’m reaching into my draft archives to bring you a staple breakfast recipe: Rice Pudding. This is regularly in our breakfast rotation, along with oatmeal, chia pudding, cream of barley and tofu scramble. I usually make 3 cups (dry measurement) of brown rice on the weekend, then partition the cooked rice into five 2-cup containers which can easily be tipped into a rice cooker. The 2 cup containers then provide the perfect measuring device for the soymilk which is added along with the rest of the ingredients and then left to simmer in the rice cooker on low for about 15 minutes. Just long enough to get dressed and come back to a hot and tasty breakfast.
Breakfast Rice Pudding
2 cups cooked brown rice
scant 2 cups vanilla soy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a small rice cooker. Cook on low until the rice cooker dings, about 15 miutes. Serve!