The Meatless Farm Co’s Meat Free Ground

By / Life / January 24th, 2020 / 3
Meatless Farms Chili Non Carne

Going meatless is the latest trend in the culinary world. We’ve been moving towards this over the past few years, with emphasis placed on vegetable-forward dishes. Now, vegans and vegetarians are looking at meat-replacement items. The Meatless Farm Co, founded in 2016 by Morten Toft Bech, helps people reduce their meat consumption by providing a range of plant-based meat alternatives.

According to The Meatless Farm Co’s website, if every household in Canada swapped one meat-based meal with a plant-based one each week, we would reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 million tonnes. A worthy cause to aim for, though in order to do so, the country’s more adminant omnivores will require a delicious alternative. This is where Meatless Farm Co products come in.

The Meatless Farm Co’s modest product line includes Meat Free Ground (a ground beef replacement) and Meat Free Burgers (essentially, patties). Coming soon are their Meat Free Sausages, which I look forward to tasting in the near future. Their meatless meats are wheat and gluten free, vegan friendly, Kosher, and high in protein and fibre. All their products are easy to cook – the instructions read much like those of their meat-based counterparts. One thing I like about their products is that you can substitute them in any recipe that calls for ground meat or patties. You don’t have to research or dream up new, veggie-forward recipes.

Meatless Farm - Meat Free Ground

The Meatless Taste Test

I cooked up the Meat Free Ground as part of The Meatless Farm Co’s Chili Non Carne recipe. They sent me the recipe in a box with all the ingredients, so it was very easy to make. The instructions were easy to follow. However, the “meat” doesn’t cook exactly like “real” meat. For one, it lacks meat’s juiciness, so you have to add enough oil to the pan – and definitely use a non-stick pan (I did not, and it burned a bit on the bottom). It smells different as it cooks too; a bit nutty and soya bean-y… not a bad smell. Once the tomatoes and spices were added to the ground, it started smelling a lot like chilli with an undertone of that nutty/bean scent.

Taste-wise, the Meat Free Ground worked well with the spices and sauce. That nutty undertone remained though, giving an odd, almost soy-like aftertaste that was a bit foreign. I imagine the more you eat it, the more familiar the aftertaste becomes until you barely notice it. Texture is probably as close as you can get to real ground beef without using ground beef. A touch chewy, though less chewy than real beef. Overall, good chilli-style dish. Edible and even, dare I say it, delicious.

That being said, my husband, who tested the dish with me, told me the texture was off and the soy and bean flavours really put him off. We then shared the Chili Non Carne with a friend without telling her it was meatless, and she didn’t even notice. She thought it was meat.

So, ultimately, I think the important thing to remember with these types of foods is that, no matter how much it looks like meat, it isn’t. If you can remember that, then you will have a better experience eating it. And, if you’re sharing it with a “carnivore”, don’t tell them it’s meatless.

The Meatless Farm / Available online or at Fortinos, Independent Grocers, Loblaws, Longos, Real Canadian Superstore, Valu-mart and Zehrs.

A freelance writer and editor, Lisa Hoekstra loves learning and trying new things. She can be found with her nose in a book or multiple tabs open on her browser as she researches the latest and greatest in the world of food, style and everything in between.

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