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Thursday, February 21, 2019

happy food: Beyond Sausage

While I am happily (mostly) a pescatarian (I eat tuna and salmon), my husband is a meat-eater. I don't mind making meat-based dishes for him but with a toddler in the house, lately I have been making three different meals each night for dinner. Looking through my cookbooks this weekend, I tried to find recipes that would make us all happy. (Me: Keto/pescatarian, L: Meat-based and Toddler: Whatever I can get her to try.)

When I was at Whole Foods this weekend, I discovered that Beyond Meat has a new product called Beyond Sausage. Both L and I LOVE their Beyond Burger which tastes so much like a beef burger that if I didn't make it myself I would have thought I was eating beef.  How we like our Beyond Burgers: L: On a grilled Brioche bun with crumbled blue cheese and mine wrapped in lettuce. Both topped with Maille Blue Cheese & White Wine Mustard.

So, while the baby had pasta with roasted butternut squash, L and I tried the Beyond Sausage, served with Trader Joe's Fire Roasted Peppers and Onions. It was an easy dinner that took less than 15 minutes to prepare.

First, I cut two sausages into 1/4 inch slices and added them to a skillet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, cooking on medium until the sausages were browned. Then I added half the bag of the frozen peppers and onions tossed with the sausage until heated (about ten minutes). For L, I toasted the brioche bun and served it warm. I served mine simple, in a bowl.

The Taste

Well, I've never had an Italian sausage. So for me, it tasted great, I liked the spicy slices of sausage against the fire roasted peppers and onions. For L, who loves a good Italian sausage sub (or grinder or hoagie, depending on where you're from), he thought the taste was exactly like a great Italian sausage sub. He said the texture, bite and flavor were all on par with a pork sausage and had I not told him it was a plant-based sausage, he would have thought it was meat. I asked him if I should buy it again and with a mouthful of a perfect Italian sausage grinder, he shook his head in a vigorous yes.

What Else There is To Like About Beyond Sausage

I have been a pescatarian since I was in grammar school. At the time it was because once I realized I was eating a cow or pig, I just couldn't eat something that I could bond with. So for me, Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage are a delicious way for me to enjoy the same meal as my husband. I have tried different veggie burgers throughout my life but I've never found one that I like. I also prefer to stay away from soy (just a personal choice) and gluten.

The only thing that throws me a little is that it tastes so much like meat that it feels a little strange eating it and even preparing it. The Beyond Burger, especially, "bleeds" (the secret is beets!) when you cook it, just like a traditional beef patty. It smells exactly like a burger when you cook it, as does the sausage. Each time I eat one I think "If I didn't cook this myself, I would swear it was a real burger or sausage." So, it's a good thing that it tastes like meat but also if you are a vegetarian, it may take awhile for your brain to relax and enjoy it because it does taste so much like meat.

In addition to the ethical reasons for eating a plant-based burger, there are also the health benefits. They are made without soy or gluten. They are antibiotic-free, hormone-free and GMO-free.  There is more protein (16 grams versus pork's 14 grams) and less fat (12 versus 21.)

Being on my new wellness program, I've become incredibly conscious of not only the fat and calories (in fact these take a backseat)  but also what I am putting into my body, as well as my husband's and my daughter's. I try to stock our home with as much food that is plant-based, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, GMO-free, soy-free and gluten-free as possible, which makes Beyond Sauage and Beyond Burgers a home run in my book.

I'm excited to see what else Beyond Meat comes out with. If they could create a maple-flavored crispy bacon, well Sunday brunch would pretty epic at our house.

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