As the push for plant-based protein grows, so does the push for experimental ways to make non-meats taste like meats. Today, we’re talking about mushrooms made to taste like delicious, tasty, mouth-watering ribs. As a rib smoker and eater, I can say this sounds impossible. But, is it?
In 2017, Nestlé acquired Sweet Earth, a California-based plant-centric food company. After the acquisition, Nestlé turned the company into its Plant-Based Protein Center of Excellence. Which, you guessed it– is helping the company venture into plant-based meats and it is starting with the Awesome Burger.
Since Nestlé is one of the largest food companies in the world, you can expect to (eventually) see the Awesome Burger everywhere.
We are living in the age of plant-based proteins, y’all. But, even more so– the age of smoked fruit made to taste like deliciously smoked meat.
Recently, we talked about smoked watermelon as ham, but we’re one-upping ourselves today with smoked radishes.
2 cups white vinegar
½ cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons cracked whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons dried oregano
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 large rainbow radishes
1. Brine the radish: In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, peppercorns, oregano, and garlic with 2 cups water to dissolve the salt. Place the radishes in a zip-top bag or a sealable container and pour over the brine to submerge them completely. Let the radishes sit in the brine for 3 to 4 days.
2. Smoke the radishes: Remove the radishes from the brine and place in 225°F smoker over your choice for 6 hours.
3. Dehydrate the radishes: Place in a dehydrator at 120°F for 12 hours.
4. To serve, thinly slice radishes by hand or on a meat slicer. Use in salads, on cheese boards, or anywhere you’d use prosciutto or cured meats. Radishes will keep, refrigerated, for up to one month.
Vegan chicken is an actual phrase floating around the Internet these days. Why? I’m not entirely sure but it’s definitely not chicken, it’s a grapefruit peel.
Recently, Goodful took to YouTube to try it out and well, the results were not pleasant.
If you think you want to try it, you can! This particular recipe is from The Edgy Veg.
2-3 red or pink grapefruits
2 cups double-strength vegetarian chicken-style broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs worth of egg replacer (I used The Vegg Baking mix)
½ tsp sea salt+ extra for seasoning
½ tsp black grounded pepper + extra for seasoning
1 tsp dried parsley
1 cup bread crumbs
Peel the grapefruit and cut it in half. Separate the pulp from the piths (the piths will be used to cook the “chicken”) with a spoon and your fingers. Try to keep the piths in one piece when cutting them off the fruit. Also, try the best you can not to get juice onto the grapefruit.
Cut the piths in half, they will be roughly the size of a normal schnitzel.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the piths for about 15 minutes.
Remove the piths from the water and squeeze almost all the water out of the pith (without squishing it) and then repeat 4-5 times with COLD water, until the pith is no longer extremely bitter. You will have to be very careful not to over cook it, or else the texture will become literal mush.
Transfer the piths to a bowl, and cover with the double strength broth. Try to allow the piths to marinate for 1-hour or overnight for best results.
Remove the piths from the broth and allow to drain. The piths are very absorbent, so make sure you squeeze out all the marinade. You want the pieces to be almost DRY, otherwise the frying experience with be horrible, and you’ll have soggy pieces.
Rub both sides of the piths with minced garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Mix the egg replacer, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper and dried parsley together.
Dip the piths in the mixture, and then cover both sides in bread crumbs and place on a cooling rack to rest.
Heat up your oil to 365F, and line a baking sheet, as the peels rest.
Carefully lower the peels into the hot oil, cooking in batches.
Fry until golden brown, and heated through, about 1-2 minutes on each side.
Serve immediately with a dipping sauce of your choice.
Like most people, as I’ve aged, I’ve gotten a tad bit more adventurous when it comes to food and trying new things. But, also like a lot of people, I have my limits. I haven’t totally bought into the plant-based protein craze, though I’ve tried a few items here and there. The most recent craze taking over YouTube is a real doozie– smoked watermelon made to taste like smoked ham. Yes, you read that correctly– smoked watermelon.
The most popular of the smoked watermelon YouTube videos focuses on the Duck’s Eatery restaurant smoked watermelon. The eatery is known for its smoked meats, so they just took the recipe for smoked ham and applied it to a watermelon.
The second most popular smoked watermelon video actually has multiple people taste-test the culinary adventure and well, it wasn’t an overwhelming favorite.
Would you try it?
If America runs on Dunkin’ (Donuts), it will be running on a Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich soon. After testing the market earlier this year, Dunkin’ has announced they’ll roll out the product to all 9,000 Dunkin’ locations nationwide.
The sandwich sells for $4.29 and Dunkin’ CEO Dave Hoffman told CNN Business, “Right now we’re targeting flexitarians. And we want to make sure that as we roll this out, we can give the customer a chance to customize this.”
If you’re alive and breathing, you’ve liked noticed that plant-based proteins are taking over the food world. And if you’re really paying attention, you know that the one burger causing a real scene is the Impossible Burger. The Impossible Burger has been available at Burger King and Red Robin restaurants across the country and is beginning to roll out in grocery stores nationwide by the end of the year.
So, why is the Impossible Burger so different than its plant-based competitors? You guessed it– heme! Heme is a molecule that generates the flavor and aroma of cooked meat and… well, I could explain it or you could watch this video and really learn something.