Sunday, 29 March 2015

Meat-Free Meals: Quorn Review and a recipe

Have you tried Quorn before? I've eaten their burgers and sausages many times - I'm not vegetarian, but they are much lower in fat and calories (and Slimming World syns!) than the meat versions. Sometimes you just can't beat a beefburger... but as I am watching my weight I often choose Quorn instead, and do really enjoy them. I didn't realise though that Quorn had so many products in its range until I was sent a few vouchers to try them.

Quorn products are made from Mycoprotein which is basically a fungus (like mushroom) with added minerals and so on - though it tastes nothing like mushroom. It is low in saturated fat and high in fibre, and has a similar texture and appearance to meat, and the taste is not that different either - perfect for people who don't want a beanburger but something actually resembling a hamburger, for instance.

The Quorn website is really interesting- as well as information about how it is made and the full range of their products, there are recipes and even a restaurant finder where you can put in your postcode and find restaurants which serve Quorn products. I didn't even realise that any did, but there were dozens around where I live, including Wetherspoons, Beefeater, Slug & Lettice, Pizza GoGo and more.

I could choose whichever products I wanted with the voucher and as I've had the burgers and sausages before I wanted something different. I thought a good taste test would be to compare one of their products to the meat version - since I am not a vegetarian, I choose Quorn for health reasons but it also has to taste good!

So I bought the Quorn lasagne - £3 for a 500g pack - and compared that to a beef lasagne I bought for my boyfriend. First of all it was good value for money - obviously beef is more expensive -but the nutritional information on the front was eye-opening when compared to the beef lasagne, though it did have more salt if you eat the whole pack (to be honest this would only serve two with a lot of veg or garlic bread on the side). You also get a lot longer on the best before date than with the beef lasagne.


Other leading supermarket's lasagne
Quorn lasagne

I like lasagnes that have a lot of cheese sauce rather than being too dry, and this one was perfect. I actually forgot I wasn't eating meat, it tasted that good, and with some veg on the side it made for a very filling meal, and is definitely something I would choose again. You can also buy Quorn mince to make your own lasagne, or spaghetti Bolognese following the recipe here.



Quorn lasagne. Mmm, cheese....
The second Quorn product that I tried was the meat-free bacon rashers. I know a few vegetarians who say the thing they miss most is bacon - and I also know one vegetarian who doesn't eat meat apart from bacon! I've never been a huge fan of bacon but as it does seem to be one of the things that vegetarians miss out on, I thought I'd see what this alternative tasted like.


The texture is completely different to bacon - it reminded me more of thin slices of Spam, or the turkey bacon I've eaten before. Like the turkey bacon, there is no fat in this so nothing to crisp up when you cook it, but it is incredibly low in fat and calories.


The flavour did remind me of bacon, but it clearly wasn't bacon - so if you're vegetarian try it and see what you think - it can't replace bacon entirely but then nothing can! I used these in a recipe for baked eggs - look out for this on the blog later - and it worked really well, but the rashers I ate on their own weren't quite as good as the texture was unfamiliar. But I think if you are vegetarian and really miss bacon, you should give these a go!



Finally I tried the 'roast chicken' sliced fillets. On their own they had a similar taste and texture to chicken and weren't bad. These are already cooked (unlike the bacon) so can be eaten straight from the packet for a healthy snack.


You can also cook with them and I decided to use the 'chicken' strips to make a variation on burritos. I had some leftover rice which I put into a small pan with the chicken, some chopped red pepper, a dash of water to stop it sticking and then as an afterthought some sweet chilli sauce and heated it through.


I used this to fill a flour tortilla which I then wrapped up; it was delicious!
 

Now I know that there are so many Quorn products in the range I won't just be sticking to the burgers or sausages, when I want a low fat alternative to meat.

Thanks to Quorn for sending me the vouchers.  I was not required to write a positive review. All comments are my own.

1 comment:

  1. a great review and round-up... obvs The Viking is a veggie and he eats a heck of a lot of Quorn but we've not tried the ready made lasagne as I like to make my own... i'm sure it's nice although it doesn't look so nice? He LOVES their bacon or facon as we call it... it works well in a BLT. x

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