I sometimes crave vegan processed meat substitutes.
Don’t judge me too harshly. I know they’re not great for me and they need to be eaten in moderation. But occasionally some chik’n strips really hit the spot! I was so excited when I saw that my local food co-op had an owner deal on Beyond Meat’s Chicken-Free Strips that I had to stock up. They are very easy to prepare–you just heat them up!–and they taste great. Vegan meat substitutes can run the risk of being bland or having a weird texture, but these strips heat up well and are versatile enough to put in any number of dishes. Furthermore, they’re good for you! They’re very low in fat and contain no cholesterol or saturated fat. They’re also gluten free!
Not only are these good for you and tasty, but Beyond Meat is a company that espouses vegan and environmentally friendly values. Their mission is to create plant protein products that will replace animal proteins because plant proteins are more sustainable, healthier, and far kinder to animals.
I think these are great for folks who are interested in trying vegan food but are not too gung-ho about tofu, quinoa, kale, or other die-hard vegan classics. Even omnis will like these! Exhibit A: Alton Brown recently wrote about them in Wired. Check out my adaptation of his sweet potato hash published there.
Beyond Meat Black Bean-Sweet Potato Hash
1 package Southwest style Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips (chop them up into smaller pieces if you’d like to)
1 medium sweet potato cut into small pieces
1/2 a medium red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup black beans (pre-cooked)
any other veggies you see fit to fry up (broccoli! carrots!)
small amount of oil (I used olive)
salt and pepper to taste
Tip: I added a little agave nectar because I like sweets.
First add the oil to a cast iron skillet (or non-stick frying pan if you prefer) and heat on low-medium heat. Next, add the onions and sweet potato and saute until the onions are browned and the sweet potatoes are softened. Then add the red bell pepper and continue to cook until that’s softened. Stir in your spices to taste. Add your black beans and your Chicken-Free Strips and cook until heated through.
This dish is hearty enough to be a meal on its own, but you can serve it with rice or in a tortilla or in a box with a fox and it will still be delicious.
Also by Samantha:
Photo: Samantha Lester