The veggie quest – Brought to you by the letter Q

I tried two new foods last week as a part of my quest to limit my meat intake (preferably to eventually eliminate it) and start eating more animal and environmentally friendly. Unfortunately for me, and maybe for you, they didn’t quite turn out the way I hoped. And I don’t know if it was because of the actual products themselves of the ways I prepared/ate them.

The first thing I tried was Quorn Grounds. If you remember, I sampled Quorn Chik’n Nuggets and had a pretty favorable review. In fact, I plan on getting more soon because they were an easy dinner or lunch paired with some green beans and rice or mashed potatoes.

I figured Quorn Grounds (which are a substitute for ground beef or ground turkey meat) would have a similar review. The label on the back said that they could be used in everything from tacos to burgers and meatloaf (the food not the singer). I decided to surprise Sean (bad choice) and mix them into our spaghetti sauce for a meaty spaghetti dinner. Perhaps I mis-read the directions or was actually supposed to “brown the meat” first, but the grounds turned into mushy goop in the spaghetti sauce that would make even the strongest of stomachs gag. As soon as I saw them, and most definitely as soon as I tasted it, I knew I had wasted half the bag of grounds. Fortunately I hadn’t used all the spaghetti sauce, so we just had a truly meatless and meat-substituteless meal. We still have half a bag left so I may try again and see if there were just some directions I didn’t follow that I was supposed to.

The next vegetarian dish that I was going to whip up for myself was quinoa (pronounced key-nwah). Quinoa is like a super food. It has all 9 essential amino acids and is a complete protein. I had been making stir fry with brown rice for my lunches at work, and was just going to substitute the quinoa for the rice. One Sunday night I made the stir fry and quinoa (you make it essentially the same way you make rice) and put them in three Pyrex containers for lunches.The first day I tried to force myself to finish the WAY TO LARGE amount of quinoa paired with the way too small amount of stir fry veggies. I couldn’t do it and sneakily made my way to the back room to rid my bowl of the excess quinoa. Don’t tell Sean because it was about $6/lb for that lovely grain. The texture was fluffy like couscous… a grain I despise. And for some reason I couldn’t help feeling that it tasted like fish. Like there was sushi at the bottom of my stir fry. It made my stomach turn. Hey, I love sushi, but not with the stir fry combo I made. I forced myself to eat the rest of the quinoa, but had a sad stomach after each time.

Again this may have been due to poor preparation or how I was eating it. Maybe quinoa is only good for one day and starts to taste like fish as it goes bad. Who knows? But for now I’ll stick to brown rice and meatless spaghetti sauce.


2 thoughts on “The veggie quest – Brought to you by the letter Q

  1. Hmm. I agree, quinoa is really difficult to prepare. I applaud you for trying to go veg though! I was for about a year and a half and it cleared up a bunch of health problems that I had. A really great recipe book you may look into is “Saving dinner the vegetarian way” ( I found it to be a really great start to cooking vegetarian since all of her recipes are based around beans (TONS of beans), tofu, or tempeh. The magazine “vegetarian times” is a good source too.

    On a similar note, have you checked out the website ( for finding farm fresh eggs/milk? Granted, pretty much all of the milk advertised on the website is unpasteurized, but it’s proven to be a good resource to find quality eggs and quality meat too. It’s how I found my farmer, and now that I’ve been to her farm, seen how her animals are treated,what they eat, and how they are slaughtered, I don’t have a problem eating poultry/beef from her farm.

    p.s. I love your blog! 🙂

  2. The only Quorn product I like is their naked cutlets. Those grounds don’t ever taste good. Try the Morningstar grounds instead, but I would only use half the amount you normally would for ground beef; otherwise it starts to get kind of mushy like the Quorn. Browning the Morningstar Crumblers before use or throwing them in a dish frozen seem to have about the same taste. I’ll have to try that Quinoa stuff you mentioned; I actually like couscous.

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