Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Fake Meat & Quorn

i hosted book club at my house last night. do not be mistaken - "book club" as defined by our group of attendees means "get together for dinner at someone’s house, drink wine and keep discussion of book(s) at a minimum." always a fun time.

dinner turned out super tasty and for those of you that asked… recipes are below.

anyways as you all know i like to dabble in vegetarianism every now and again and since doing so have discovered a number of fake-meat alternatives which are surprisingly pretty good.


actually, since i’m on the topic and i want everyone to know… my position on meat eating is this:

i believe that animals are part of the food chain and that there is nothing wrong with eating meat. what i do oppose is the way animals are treated on factory farms. click on the link and look at all the pictures - its unbelievably awful. a couple of years ago i saw the documentary Peaceable Kingdom and if you get a chance to watch it - do. its not on netflix, but i think megan has a copy and she’ll definitely loan it to you. after watching the film and the atrocities committed at factory farms i truly believe it is our responsibility as decent human beings to buy sustainably-raised meats whenever possible. not only are you choosing to eat an animal that was treated humanely, but eating an animal that hasn’t been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics is healthier and tastes better too.

so cruise to whole foods or real foods or even better yet the farmers market. and if foster farms chicken is your only option then think about tofu, eggplant, portabella mushroom, garden burger or any number of fake-meat alternatives. do it!


anywho, back to fake-meat. i have a couple favorites… the frozen meatless meatballs from trader joes are super good simmered in marinara, frozen chickenless nuggets from trader joes are perfect when you are craving something fast foodish (ummm… don’t even get me started on fast food), morningstar farms tomato and basil pizza veggie burgers have a great flavor, tofurkey is great by itself or used as an alternative to sliced up italian sausage in any recipe, and my new favorite which i used last night:

ummm… its good. and it sort of actually tastes like chicken. well, it doesn’t exactly but if it was any closer it would almost be too weird. i’m definitely going to be trying out other quorn products and you should too!

so here are the recipes for the chicken and the salad, taken straight from epicurious. enjoy!



**i found that the sauce thickens up quite a bit so i had more milk on hand to thin out the sauce and used at least another half cup. i also found i needed to increase my cooking time… but i have a new oven and suspect the temperature might be off. what i did last night was increase the recipe by half and then kept about a third of the sauce in the pan. when the chicken was about 10 mins from being done i added the frozen quorn to the saucepan and simmered (covered) for about 10 mins.**

1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
1/4 cup dry Sherry

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup milk
1 medium apple, peeled, diced
6 boneless chicken breast halves, skinned, patted dry
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Place currants in small bowl. Add Sherry and let soak 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 8-inch square baking pan. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium skillet over low heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add flour and curry powder and stir 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Mix in currants with Sherry and apple. Season to taste with salt.

Arrange chicken in prepared pan in single layer. Cover with sauce. Top with almonds. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.



**i followed the recipe exactly except i used more than 1/4 tsp salt to mash the garlic and i used a bag of arugula and didn’t chop it. lovely flavor and i can’t wait for the leftovers.**

1 cup lentilles du Puy (French green lentils) or brown lentils
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup couscous
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 bunch arugula, stems discarded and leaves washed well, spun dry, and chopped
2 cups vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 pound feta, crumbled (about 1 cup)

In a small saucepan simmer lentils in water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes, and drain well. Transfer hot lentils to a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cool lentils completely, stirring occasionally.
In a saucepan bring water to a boil and add couscous and salt. Remove pan from heat and let couscous stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and cool completely, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl whisk together garlic paste, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir lentils and dressing into couscous. Chill salad, covered, at least 3 hours and up to 24.

Just before serving, stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you so rad? LOVING all your rad recipes! No rsbt for me! Thanks for the good vegetarian tips!

Do you need to quit your job and write a weekly column for sfgate?


2:05 PM  
Blogger jacquie said...

You forgot to say that those Quorn chicken-less cutlets can double as a strapless bra.

8:47 PM  

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