Fake Meat Goop can be served at least five ways:
1) Over pasta. Usually mixed with extra tomato sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Can also be baked into fancy lasagne or spaghetti pies.
2) Over baked potatoes, topped with sour cream or cheese and optional hot sauce
3) In tacos with lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and hot sauce.
4) Baked into enchiladas
5) Add extra broth or bouillon, and red or pinto beans. Serve in a bowl with crackers or rice, sprinked with cheese and onions, as a chili.
It’s a forgiving recipe, really. Just be sure to be patient when sauteeing the vegetables, and avoid oversalting with salty spice mixes, and you can hardly go wrong, I think. If you have a decent taco supply, think picadillo, which is the ground beef filling in tacos. If you only have Taco Bell, forget I said this.
Acquiring the two difficult ingredients
Really, the whole secret is a good fake meat. Use TVP intended for burgers if you can’t find crumbles; this will be extra work crumbling it up as it cooks. I prefer “Smart Ground”, the regular (not “Mexican”) flavor. If your fake meat is not dark in color, adding a bit of worcestershire sauce helps in color as well as flavor. (Soy sauce is not recommended.)
Also I think a little bit of mole’ really helps. Mole’ is not made out of moles but it does have an odd ingredient if you are not used to it; viz. chocolate. (Actually, mole’ really means nut-based sauce, and the thing that makes it a mole’ is not the chocolate but the nuts. However, the commonly available stuff in the states is usally labelled mole’, is a black paste, and contains chocolate and other spices.)
- canola or evoo
- 1 lb soy veggie burger crumbles (Smart Ground preferred)
- 1/2 cup veggie broth or reconstituted bouillon (or free-range chicken broth if you are not a purist)
- up to 1 cup italian tomato sauce or 1 can chopped tomatos
- 1 tbsp Mexican (common, black) mole’ sauce or 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
- sauteed vegetables (see below)
flavorings (optional, but try to at least get some chili powder):
- black pepper or white pepper
- good quality mild chili powder (look for kinds with no salt)
- worceschestercestshire sauce (ensure it’s vegetarian if you are a purist), or similar
- tabasco or cholula
this can be anything, but onions and bell peppers usually dominate. My standard version is
canola or evoo
1 large white onion
2 bell peppers
1 small can green chiles
four or five cloves of garlic
Other good choices are zucchini sliced thin, corn off the cob, shredded carrots. Anything you might fancy in a chili. But onion and garlic are necessary, and peppers are usual.
I often double the recipe and keep extra veggies aside for another dish.
chop fine, e.g.,
one large white onion
two green bell peppers
warm 3 tbsp oil to medium heat in a 14″ pan
add vegetables and stir to coat
reduce heat to medium low
add garlic through garlic press or pureed into vegetable mixture
add salt to taste
sautee patiently, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown and quite soft and sweet (15 minutes)
I usually add mild green chiles from one of those tiny cans if I haven’t got any Hatch green chilis in the freezer, or anyway, smoked, seeded, peeled southwest peppers, e.g., Hatch or Anaheim etc. Poblanos would work too. Slightly hot canned green chilis are nice too. Chop ’em up.
Stir seeded, peeled and chopped, canned or smoked green chiles in and cook a few minutes until the chili peppers are heated through.
remove veggies from pan and set aside. If your kids are extra fussy you may choose to blend them.
Er, blend the veggies, not the kids.
II The Fake Meat
In a large (14″) pan, insert 3 tbsp oil. Put on medium heat. When oil is heated up, crumble in fake meat and sautee, stirring, for about five minutes. (If your fake meat is wet rather than crumbly, you will have a lot of work to to breaking the stuff up into tiny bits, and it will take longer. Keep sauteeing and crumbling until it is fine enough for a chili.)
Add spices to taste, including unsweetened cocoa powder if using, but not including mole’. Stir to coat.
Make an opening in the middle and pour in the broth. When broth is boiling, add mole’ paste and crush with back of a wooden spoon until mixed with the broth. Stir into the fake meat.
Add the sauteed vegetables from the earlier step.
Add tomato sauce or crushed tomatos. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Let flavors blend. Voila. Foodstuff!
Keeps nicely in fridge or freezer. And it has 1001 at least 5 uses! From clean kitchen to clean kitchen in about an hour.
Oh, yeah, released into the public domain and all. Please call it “mt’s veggie picadillo” rather than its real name.