This week our guest blogger, nutritionist, mom and vegetarian Cara Wright talks about meat substitutes for vegetarians.
Luckily it is becoming easier and easier to find healthy, palatable, non-meat options in the grocery store. Just a few years ago the only meat-substitute I could find at the supermarket was water-logged tofu. Yesterday I was at the local Wal-Mart and was amazed to find VeggiePatch meatballs and hotdogs. Stores now have entire sections in the refrigerated and frozen food aisles for organic and non-meat products. Gone are the days of making tofu stirfry every night! Now you can experiment with a host of veggie products that are more appealing to everyone in the family. My one year-old daughter Evelyn is a big fan of the VeggiePatch brand of foods. We enjoy their chicken nuggets, meatballs, and broccoli bits. Even my husband, a declared meat lover, recommends the nuggets and corndogs! The “chicken” and “meat” are actually texturized vegetable protein and astonishingly have the exact taste and texture of real meat. Evelyn loves the meatballs cooked in a bit of Prego VeggieSmart pasta sauce which contains over a serving of vegetables in ½ cup. (We also like Prego HeartSmart and Rao’s pasta sauces). Tomato sauce and toddlers is a messy combination but I love seeing her gobble down a plate full of healthy protein and vegetables. Served with steamed carrots, cubes of cheese, and sliced grapes for dessert, this is a go-to meal that I can make in no time after a long day. I’m curious to know if other people have experimented with meat substitute. I am always excited to try a new product! Any favorites that people can recommend?