Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Family Foodies CBC Final Answer

Here is the final installment of the CBC, cross blog conversation, with Family Foodies.

FF: I would love some suggestions for “fake meat” products as an foray into vegetarian eating. What are some of your recommendations?

TheVQ: Having just been on Culinate, at the Table Talk Meatless chat with @Kimodonnel from The Washington Post's A Mighty Appetite, here are some suggestions that we discussed: Boca Burgers (my meat-eating husband likes these), Field Roast sausages and roast, Tofurky brats and Italian sausages, as well as Gimme Lean and Lightlife products.

Many people like using the Morningstar Farms products but they seem overly processed to me. I try to stay away from eating soy protein isolate, and prefer items based on beans and grains. But many people new to the veg world go for the meatier tasting items which often contain more processed soy. There are also all the soy hot dog products that kids often like. And once you get them in the bun with stuff on them, it's hard to tell they are not meat (but what do I know about that?).

My husband used to like Yves Veggie Pepperoni so much that he called it turkey pepperoni. As an aside, I will tell you that on his own my husband decided that pepperoni is gross and no longer eats it. I consider that progress.

FF: I see you have a cookbook devoted to pressure cooking, and your blog bio says you are a pressure cooking advocate. Can you talk about your passion about pressure cooking and what you recommend for someone who has never used a pressure cooker?

The VQ: First, let me clarify that my cookbook The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment is about vegetables throughout the year, and has a chapter on pressure cooking. I have a DVD on pressure cooking, Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look, Delicious Dishes in Minutes that comes with a recipe booklet. What follows is my pressure cooking story.

I fell in love with pressure cooking when my son was about 2 or 3. I didn’t have a lot of time yet I wanted to feed him nutritious foods. He was a vegetarian, mostly vegan, from birth. He loved lentils, especially as soup. The first item that I perfected in the pressure cooker was Shane’s Fabulous Lentil Soup which has both red and green lentils. It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, including prepping the ingredients. Using my pressure cooker made me feel like a great mother. So I learned to cook other things in it. Shane also loved beans, especially black and garbanzo beans. They take 6 and 12 minutes, respectively, after they’ve been presoaked. I would always make extra and freeze them.

If you are new to pressure cooking, or just want to see it, take a look at my pressure cooking website to see my video clip from my DVD. You’ll see how easy it is to use. Did I also mention that using a pressure cooker helps preserve some nutrients, and that the food looks and tastes great? You can also read my pressure cooking blog or see me on You Tube at TheVQ.

I think that using a pressure cooker is perfect for a family to make cooking fast, easy and delicious. Food tastes and looks better than in a crock pot, and you can wait until late in the afternoon and decide what to have for dinner on a whim, and actually get it on the table on time. I highly recommend it.
I hope that I’ve answered your questions. If anyone has questions, please feel free to comment here and I will get back to you.

Thanks for this great conversation.


The Queen Mommy said...

FANTASTIC! Thanks for these great tips & links - I get to spend some time reviewing them and figuring out more about pressure cooking. That is really exciting - I love quicker & healthier meal preparation ANY time!

Thanks for the great conversation, Jill. It's been very educational and fun.


The Veggie Queen said...


I had fun, too, since I often forget that people need much more basic info than I offer.

Your questions made me think more about that.

Good luck.

Lo said...

I know that veggie "meats" shake things up and make life interesting (and I like them). But, they're still processed foods. And we've been trying to cut back.

Can you speak to the health concerns that processed products like Boca burgers pose?

The Veggie Queen said...


The Queen Mommy specifically asked about fake meat products. I do not recommend that people eat them often, or even at all, except when making the transition to vegetarian or vegan.

You are correct. They are processed foods, and are best not eaten. There are some burgers that are better such as the Sunshine Burger which is based on sunflower seeds. It doesn't taste meaty or have that meat texture so the "meat eaters" don't like it.

I make bean burgers, and have one that I make with black beans and quinoa that I might get around to posting some time soon.

Thank you for commenting. I hope that this helps.