|Fakey meat balls with white gravy topped with onions|
I remember tagging along with my sister as she drove all over Tucson trying to find the ingredients she needed for a healthy vegan diet. It is so much easier to avoid eating meat these days. Grant it, Dan and I aren't vegan. That's just not sustainable with our lifestyle - yet. It is so much easier being vegetarian than to be a vegan. There are so many popular dishes that are already vegetarian - pastas, pizza, gnocchi, enchiladas, burritos... There are even vegetarian tamales without lard!
My son Jeremy has been a vegetarian since he was seven, so I had lots of practice revising what the family had for dinner to vegetarian versions. Now Dan and I are moving towards a vegetarian lifestyle for our health and the health of the planet. (Though we still have fish once a week.) It's all a process. I believe that if everyone cut back their red meat consumption, that would have greater impact on the planet than a few members of the vegan community doing it perfectly. So let's start there!
I have also made fakey chicken-fried chicken by adding white gravy and serving it with mashed potatoes. Yum! A recent favorite is a twist on that. Smother the fakey meatballs with white gravy! (For best results: Microwave the meatballs then add them after the gravy is cooked. They will be firmer and won't turn your gravy pink). Serve the gravy on a heaping pile of mashed potatoes with sauteed onions on top of that. The onions make it even more savory! We use cow milk, but I'm sure there are ways to use other kinds of milk if you are vegan. Again, it's all a process. It can be difficult changing eating habits - especially when it comes to comfort foods. This recipe definitely qualifies as comfort food with me! Yum!
But my family's favorite veggie meat is definitely soyrizo. We like the taste better than greasy chorizo. (And who knows what goes into that...) We are have been putting it in our breakfast burritos and tacos for years and I'm still not sick of it. Can't speak for the boys...
|Stirring eggs into soyrizo|
For breakfast burritos, I saute the soyrizo while I microwave a medium size potato. Then I cut the potato in to cubes and saute them with the soyrizo. Finally I stir a couple of eggs right into that. (I call it my moist maker.) When the eggs are lightly cooked I add grated cheddar cheese on the top, turn the heat down and cover with a couple of flour tortillas (and a lid) until the cheese is melted. That also warms up the tortillas and makes them nice and moist.
Breakfast tacos are even easier - especially if you have a son to grate up the cheese and cut the avocado! I saute the soyrizo, then stir in a couple of eggs. I serve them with slices of avocado, grated cheddar cheese and chunky salsa on a soft corn tortilla. You can fry up the tortilla if you want, but there are thick, soft varieties that don't even need frying.
|Soyirzo breakfast tacos with cheddar cheese, avocado, and salsa|
For an easy, unprocessed dish, you can always just soak some beans over night and throw 'em in the crock pot in the morning... They'll be done in time for a late lunch. Just add salt and cumin. Or put it in your solar oven to be ready by dinner. Easy smeazy!
MORE INFORMATON on the environmental and health impacts of veggie meat
The FoodPrint of Fake Meat