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Red Meat Substitutes

February 18th, 2006

One of the things we’ve done over the past few years to help maintain weight loss is switch to lower-fat foods. So instead of full-fat milk, cheese, or meat, we buy the leaner versions. Cheese made from 2% milk really isn’t bad, and I can no longer stand whole milk, so the transition hasn’t been too difficult.

In addition, about a year and a half ago, we started buying Butterball turkey bacon and polish kielbasa. Surprisingly, we actually prefer them to the real thing and the best part is they are half the calories. The polish sausage in particular is very juicy and tender. You really wouldn’t know it was turkey unless someone told you. We also tried Jenni-O ground turkey once, but that didn’t go over nearly as well. Joe didn’t mind it, but I couldn’t stand it.

This week we tried two new items: chicken franks and Boca burgers. Yay to the chicken franks, boo to the Boca burgers. I had a feeling the chicken franks would taste just as good as a hot dog (when comparing it to something that isn’t all beef, mind you), so I’m not surprised we liked those. I’m disappointed in the Boca burgers, however, because I really love cheeseburgers and wanted to stop eating red meat almost entirely and now that’s not going to happen. The funny thing is, we didn’t mind the taste of the burgers at first, but then we noticed that with each subsequent bite, a funny aftertaste grew stronger. By the time the burger was almost gone, we could hardly eat it anymore.

So I guess it’s back to the drawing board. I just learned from the Butterball website that they make ground turkey, and since we’ve had such a good experience with their other turkey products, we might try that if we can just find a grocer that carries it.

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  1. paulw
    February 19th, 2006 at 15:17 | #1

    We eat Boca burgers. I admit they taste kinda like hamburger but not nearly so much as to fool us or anything. But we haven’t noticed any of this aftertaste you mentioned. (And unlike with real hamburgers, we do put on a lot of ketchup and mustard with the Boca stuff).

    We eat some other Boca products – their bratwurst are OK. And there are other veggie food makers. Let’s face it, though, none of them are really great. :-\

  2. February 20th, 2006 at 10:11 | #2

    We tried Boca Burgers as well. They were God awful. We wound up throwing them out. And we never throw food out.

    Ground turkey is good though.

  3. February 21st, 2006 at 07:00 | #3

    I’ve learned that there are certain things where a red meat substitute just does not cut it, and hamburgers are one of them. Good thing I don’t like beef and hamburgers much! We like Jennie-O ground turkey, but only use it for things that will have lots of flavor added, like spaghetti sauce and tacos. Jennie-O makes frozen turkey burgers that are OK, but still a little high in fat and calories to make the change worth it for me.

  4. February 21st, 2006 at 20:50 | #4

    Nothing beats red meat in terms of flavor, that’s for sure. I tried ground turkey in my chili yesterday, and while it was ok, I wasn’t impressed.

    Paul – maybe the aftertaste is tofu? I’m not sure. I’m thinking if you’re used to that flavor, maybe you don’t notice it. To us it was really strange and made us lose our appetites.

    Oh well, at least we made an effort. I really do want to eat healthier in any way I can, but I don’t want to give up the foods I love the most either.

  5. February 23rd, 2006 at 06:01 | #5

    we’ve transitioned into quite a few red meat substitutes over the years. ground turkey. turkey sausage. boca burgers. meatless breakfast sausages. and more …

    we’re not vegetarians at all, but ground beef just doesn’t have it’s appeal to us that it used to. we’ll have to try those kielbasa though … sounds yummy!

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