A friend of mine recently gave me a few packages of “meatless meat”. When I was vegetarian, I used to use soy ground “beef” in lasagnas, Shepherd’s Pie, spaghetti, etc. After a while, I realized that I’d rather be using more natural and unprocessed ingredients in my vegetarian dishes. Though meatless meat is made from soy protein, pressed tofu, rice, gluten, and legumes, I wanted something not as processed. Au lieu of meatless ground beef, I used an assortment of veggies and spices. I also ate A LOT of beans and legumes. Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, lentils…You name it, I ate it.
I found that a lot of my favourite cuisine didn’t even have much meat in all their dishes anyway. Japanese, Lebanese, Thai, Vietnamese…There are so many dishes from different countries that don’t include meat.
Middle Eastern cuisine with its falafel, tabouleh salad, Babaganouj, and hummus was always one of my favourite options. Indonesian food was also a go-to choice for me. A little bit of spicy kick and many recipes that don’t include meat = the perfect dinner for me! A trip to Bali almost a decade ago, only reinforced what a vegetarian paradise Bali is!
Today’s Meatless Monday dish (much to my beef farmer husband’s chagrin) has meatless ground beef in it. I made my version of Vegetarian Black Bean Chili.
I sauteed some meatless ground beef with diced onions and minced garlic. I added diced tomatoes and homemade tomato sauce, black beans, corn kernels, and chickpeas. To add a bit of colour, I chopped up some spinach (I don’t usually put spinach in chili, but I wanted to clean out our veggie compartment in our fridge) and let everything cook in a large pot.
I hadn’t cooked with meatless meat in YEARS, so I was praying that the recipe would turn out. Hubby kind of cringed at the mere thought of “meatless meat”. He really enjoyed the chili and said it was “very good”. I know that secretly, he’d prefer it to have real ground beef in it, or just no meatless meat.
Little One thoroughly enjoyed her meal. Then again, our 17 month old will eat anything and everything right now. We couldn’t get over how much she LOVED the meatless ground beef! Crazy girl! TWO bowls of vegetarian chili…and then she wanted mango for dessert!