Meatless meals and folks who define themselves as quasi-vegetarians (those who eat animal foods sometimes) are becoming more mainstream. Meatless Monday, going meatless one day a week, is gaining popularity. Some towns and cities are promoting this idea as a way to get their citizens more interested in health. It is no wonder that meatless meat substitutes are showing up in traditional supermarkets and being offered by more companies.
Harmony Valley is a supporter of Meatless Monday and posts numerous meatless recipes on their website to provide resources for consumers. The company produces Vegetarian Hamburger Mix and Vegetarian Breakfast Sausage Mix. To prepare both products, you simply add water, stir, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. At first we didn’t think the slurry we created would ever turn into hamburgers or sausage patties, but both emerged from the refrigerator with a similar texture to finely ground beef.
The package directions say that either mix can be prepared by grilling, baking or microwaving. We tried all three. Baking was our favorite but took the longest (20 minutes). It provided a crisp exterior and tender interior. Grilling results were similar. Microwaving provided a chewier product and the outside was not crisp. The products can be used to make hamburger or sausage substitutes or as a substitute for crumbled hamburger or bulk sausage in recipes. The mixes are soy based and contain wheat gluten. Both mixes are certified vegan by The Vegan Awareness Foundation and kosher (Scroll K).
In a 3-ounce prepared patty, the Vegetarian Hamburger Mix has 120 calories, 5 grams of fat (2 grams are saturated), no cholesterol, 14 grams of protein, 8 grams of carb, 1 gram of sugar, 4 grams of fiber and 360 milligrams of sodium.
In a 2-ounce prepared patty, the Vegetarian Breakfast Sausage Mix has 90 calories, 3.5 grams of fat (2 grams are saturated), no cholesterol, 11 grams of protein, 6 grams of carb, 1 gram of sugar, 3 grams of fiber and 430 milligrams of sodium.