Tag Archives: soya mince

Mock Meat: Tesco Soya Mince (Bolognese Sauce)

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I don’t think this is exactly new from Tesco, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it. They have a soya based mince in their frozen section. Unlike some of their soya pieces, this contains no egg so it’s suitable for vegans. I thought I’d give it a go.

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Out of the packet it looks like cooked mince. There is not much to differentiate it from Quorn mince, say. Once it’s cooked, however, I prefer it to Quorn. Something about Quorn mince always makes the sauce or gravy seem watery and thin. It didn’t happen with this soya mince, the sauce stayed reasonably thick. Texturally, it’s fine, chewy and substantial with a good mouthfeel. Tastewise – about the same as Quorn mince – nothing to write home about but not unpleasant either. A blank slate to add flavour to. If you want it to taste meaty, you’re going to have to add that umami flavour yourself.

I tried it in my Mum’s bolognese sauce recipe and it’s good.

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Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped into 5mm dice
200g soya mince
1 tsp dried oregano
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
200 ml vegetable stock
1 tsp dark miso paste or 1 tsp marmite
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic.
Cook on a low heat until the onion has softened.
Add the carrots, mince, oregano, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, vegetable stock and miso paste.
Stir thoroughly and sea on with salt and pepper.
Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Serve over the pasta of your choice with the fresh basil sprinkled over.

Serves 4

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Recipe: Veggie shepherd’s pie

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I have a confession to make. I’ve been a vegetarian for 35 years, but until last month had never cooked soya mince. I never liked meat much anyway when I did eat it, so I’ve never been able to see the point of using substitutes. I do have quorn occasionally and am a fairly recent convert to veggie sausages, but that’s about the lot.

Recently I had a craving for veggie shepherd’s pie (well, my protein levels are pretty lousy, and I fancied comfort food as well …) I used to make it a lot about 20 years ago when it was red lentils with everything. I didn’t go off it or anything – I just moved on to trying other things.

The recipe was resurrected and tweaked as I was staying with friends and was making myself useful by doing some of the cooking. And the domestic goddess friend just happened to have some soya mince in the freezer … Otherwise, it was a mix of whatever was in the fridge that needed using that day. So fiddle to your heart’s content!

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Ingredients

Large onion

A couple of cloves of garlic

Soya mince

Red or puy lentils (I used a small tin of the latter as there happened to be one to hand)

A couple of large carrots (cut into cubes)

Some stray mushrooms

Tin of chopped tomatoes and about a tablespoon of tomato puree

Vegetable stock

Mixed herbs, salt and black pepper

Mashed potatoes for the topping

 

Fry the onion, garlic, carrot and mushrooms. Tip the soya mince in and add vegetable stock as required – not having used it before, I was surprised by how much moisture it sucked up. Cook for about 15 minutes. Add the lentils, the tinned tomatoes and the tomato puree, and cook for another ten minutes or so. Season with salt and black pepper and also add mixed herbs. Tip into a large oven-proof dish.

Meanwhile, cook and mash the potatoes. There was a parsnip or two approaching their use-by date at some speed, so they got chucked into the mash as well. You could do it with sweet potato if you fancied a change. Add oodles of black pepper to the mash.

Spread the mash on top of the vegetable mix. Grate cheese on the top if you’re vegetarian as opposed to vegan. Warm through in the oven for about 15 minutes – longer if you want the top to go crusty.

We served it with broccoli and green beans. Even the resident meat eater, who doesn’t think he’s had a proper meal if it hasn’t included pig products, approved!