Retro Throwback: What’s Up With the Fake Meat?

On the weekends, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago. What’s Up With the Fake Meat? was originally published in September 2012.

Last weekend I attempted to make a vegan dish from my Vegan on the Cheap cookbook. I was gunning to make these cutlets made from beans. They were easy enough to make and tasted ok, but 30 minutes later my stomach wasn’t happy with what I had done to it. Although we had leftovers, we tossed them. Sometimes my experimental vegan cooking works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Just like anything else. I’m not including any pictures here because the cutlets were not terribly pretty, but that’s probably my doing. I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying them. It just wasn’t for me.

The thing about vegetarian/vegan cooking that I am learning is that I do not seem to be a big fan of the fake meats. Even when they taste good and sit fine with me, there’s something about saying I’m a vegetarian but eating something that looks like a sausage (or chicken) but isn’t. If I’m a vegetarian, shouldn’t I not be concerned with trying to recreate meat foods in bean form? Shouldn’t I say, “Hey, I don’t eat meat, and I’m not interested in trying to pretend I’m eating it.” Why do  we try to make fake meats? They certainly don’t taste like the actual meat they are meant to represent.

The one thing fake meats can do for you is make dinner easier. If I had a fake chicken (bean) cutlet, I would certainly know what to pair with it. It makes dinner planning familiar (for me anyways, since I am used to planning meals that are meat-based). Had my cutlets been good I was already plotting a zillion ways to serve them and all of them harked back to the time when I ate chicken. Cooking vegetarian and vegan meals without a fake meat to build them around is harder when you have spent your whole life eating meat, but what would anyone expect? It’s a lifestyle change. Of course it’s going to be difficult at times.

So what’s up with the fake meat? Do you eat it? Why? Do you think it’s silly to call yourself a vegetarian or vegan and eat fake meat?


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: What are You Eating, Rats or Lambs? | The Food Surprise You
  2. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Sep 23, 2014 @ 07:10:37

    Retro Throwback:… #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


  3. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Feb 07, 2015 @ 03:49:55

    Retro Throwback:… #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


  4. Fe
    Mar 10, 2016 @ 21:38:55

    Just read this. I eat fake meat…and I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years. 18th birthday gift to me. I don’t eat meat because I try to respect as much life as I can. That said…I know the taste of meats (fish and poultry are) and don’t deny the obvious. Why deny that if you are not denying a life in the process. I am a human.


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