Last week I discussed the mystery of the hot dog. We learned what it's made from and realized that all it really amounts to is highly processed meat with a boat-load of preservatives. Not edible in the least! Today, we're embarking on some new and equally frightening territory. Hold on tight.
When some people don't want to consume hot dogs (and meat in general for that matter), they often turn to the vegetarian options. And what might these be? Veggie dogs! There are also veggie burgers, veggie deli meat, veggie turkey, veggie ground beef, veggie chicken pieces and the list goes on and on. From the looks of it, it seems that vegetarians have no problem replacing meat since there are so many options readily available for them. They can have some faux bacon for breakfast, followed by a mock salami sandwich for lunch, rounding things off with a chicken-less "chicken" stir fry for dinner. Oh, and don't forget about soy pudding for dessert!
How easy was that? By consuming these fake meat items, vegans and vegetarians can pick up right where they left off with the real stuff. Can you tell yet that I'm joking?
These faux meats are right up there with hot dogs. They are highly processed and full of things that are quite questionable. Here is the ingredient list from a mock salami product:
water, vital wheat gluten, isolated soy protein, tofu (water, soybeans), spices, natural flavors (including autolyzed yeast extract), salt, wheat starch, garlic and onion powder, evaporated cane juice, vitamins & minerals (dipotassium phosphate, dimagnesium phosphate, zinc oxide, ferric orthophosphate, calcium panthothenate, thiamin hydrochloride, cyanocobalamin, iron oxide), carrageenan, beet powder and extractive of paprika (for color).
You'll notice that MSG makes it's appearance again hidden within "autolyzed yeast extract". We can also see a plethora of vitamins and minerals to which you may say "oh good, this company took care of my vitamins and minerals for the day!" Not quite. These forms are not well absorbed by the body at all. And really, if we're eating a balanced whole foods diet full of fruits and veggies, we're pretty much covered in the vitamin and mineral department. Of course, the star of the show here is soy. It is something we see appearing all over the packaged food scene. Meghan likes to refer to it as "the pasticine of the food industry". It can be shaped into whatever fake goodie one's heart desires like the "turkey" in picture above.
Meghan has covered the soy issue before so I will just say a few words. The majority of the soy we come across is not organic and is therefore genetically modified. These frankenstein soy crops are abundant in North America and are not only being fed to humans but to animals too. These poor animals were never meant to consume soy. By purcahsing these fake meats and supporting this GMO soy biz are we really helping them?
I've given these fake meat products a taste and I really do think they are horrible. Vegetarian or not, meals should be enjoyed to their fullest. No sense in wasting one on some salty, gummy soy tube! Cooking with whole foods allows us to get all the good nutrients nature has to offer, not to mention upping the delicious factor by a million! This is my veggie dog offering. They are basically my favourite veggie burger shaped into a "dog" shape but could easily be made into whatever shape you like. The point is that they taste amazing and are good for us. No soy necessary.
Jen's Smokin' Pups
(Makes 6 veggie dogs)
1 can BPA-free kideny beans (or 2 cups cooked)
1/3 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 Tbs minced onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs tahini
2 Tbs - 1/4 cup water (as needed)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Process kidney beans in a food processor, or mash with a potato masher until they form a chunky paste.
- Transfer the beans to a mixing bowl and add all ingredients except water. Stir thorougly to combine.
- A little bit at a time, add water until the batter can be formed into shapes with your hands.
- Form 6 hot-dog shapes (or burgers, or whatever you like!) out of the batter and place onto the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flipping carefully after 15.
- Serve on your bun of choice (as you can see, mine was a collard leaf).
Question Of The Day: What's your veggie meal of choice?