Friday, May 23, 2008

It looks like meat

We don't eat meat.

This is difficult for some people to understand, especially where we live. Many Nebraskans were raised on dinners of meat and potatoes. They grew up on farms and sometimes ate the family cow for dinner.

"What do you mean you don't eat meat?"

We get this a lot.

And that's fine; I generally offer a succinct answer about how there are actually plenty of other foods that don't involve animal flesh that we eat. We're certainly not lacking for nutrition or calories. And, to be clear, we're not judgmental about what others' eat. If you want to eat meat, that's your choice. Just like choosing not to is ours.

So anyway, I became a vegetarian about six months after marrying one. It was my own decision and one I reached one day when Dane said, "If you care about animals so much, how can you eat them?"

He was right, so I decided to try the whole vegetarian thing.

Five years later, it has stuck. (For the record, I did have a small amount of turkey three years ago when I was pregnant. I am not sure why I did this ... I'm blaming the growing baby).

So we've gotten used to eating beans in dishes that traditionally would require ground beef. In tacos, for example, we use either black, refried or pinto beans.

A few weeks ago, though, we were having friends -- carnivores -- over for dinner and I thought maybe we'd try the "Smart Ground" veggie ground beef. It's really all soy, but it sort of looks like hamburger. Dane, though, told me we could not try it with friends because we'd never prepared it before and you just can't try new things on guests.

OK. So it sat in our refrigerator until tonight when I took it out and cooked it.

Cooking it really only amounted to cutting open the vacuum-sealed package, plopping the soy crumbles into a frying pan, breaking them apart like I remember my mom doing to hamburger when she made tacos and then waiting for them to get hot.

It looked so much like meat it was gross.

Weird, huh?

Dane wouldn't even eat it, opting instead for a bit more adult version of Ramen noodles (Thai Soup, but it still comes in a package that you cut open and dump into boiling water).

I did eat it. And it was really good.

But still. It just didn't seem right. And I'm not sure if I'll buy it again.


Anonymous said...

I totally understand. I've never had this stuff, but I've had other similar products that have the crumbled soy in it, like a vegetarian chili mix. I liked the taste of it, but the meat-like texture kind of put me off.

Veronica said...


Thank you for commenting! I had two posts in a row with no comments for days. And I'm glad you understand what I'm saying

So, OMG, the tornado in northeastern Iowa last night! You are OK, right? From what I read, they didn't go up to Decorah. But still. I knew you were going camping last night, too? Did you get to go? The house of our former editor in Waterloo was destroyed in the tornado, I guess. He lived in Dunkerton. I feel so bad; he was really nice and while we were there was putting in all of his extra time fixing up that house.

Anonymous said...


Yes, I'm okay. The tornado didn't hit Decorah at all. We were under a tornado watch and we got a few sprinkles of rain for a bit, but nothing more than that. We didn't end up going canoeing or camping because of the possibility of severe storms.

My co-worker ended up having a barbeque at her house with a bunch of people instead, so I went to that and then we went out to the bars in Cresco last night. It wasn't very bright of me to start drinking at noon and not stop until 1:30 a.m...hehe. But I had fun. Dealing with the resulting hangover today, however, was not so fun. =)

That really sucks about your former boss. Hopefully, he is okay though? All the news I've seen on the tornado has looked really awful.

Ashley said...

I am totally with you sister! :) I wouldn't eat it either. I absolutely HATE hamburger, pork, hot dogs and I'm beginning to not eat chicken anymore. By the way, I reset my Google account (obviously I had one...) and now I am able to comment!!!