It’s been a few months since I started to reduce meat consumption and I’ve been pretty successful in staying with the 80/20 rule (80% plant-based, 20% meat). However, I haven’t been relatively successful in finding adequate meat substitutes. The great meat substitutes I’ve eaten so far have been in vegetarian restaurants that use some sort of evil sorcery to make seitan taste and feel like meat.
To be frank, most of meat substitutes I’ve purchased at grocery stores taste rather decent, but some do taste like a monkey’s ass…that is, if I really knew what a monkey’s ass tasted like. Once in a while though, I do end up finding something tasty and worth purchasing again. I am a big fan of Trader Joe’s Chickenless Crispy Tenders. They are perfect with a bowl of pasta or as chicken substitutes for chicken parm sandwiches. The texture is closer to chicken nuggets than real chicken meat, but it’s still pretty darn tasty.
At $2.99 a pack, the price is rather steep and the quantity is limited to about 9 pieces. The faux meat is made up primary of soy and wheat ingredients and the breading is composed of healthy grains such as oats, quinoa, and amaranth. The breading is brittle and prone to peeling off the “meat”. In fact, it feels as if it requires a bit of surgical precision handling to keep the breading intact. The breading stays on a bit better after it’s given about two minutes to rest. There’s a slight of crispiness to it, but don’t expect any major crunchiness. The best way to prepare is by baking and they cook much faster than the cooking instructions on the package. Despite the short comings, I enjoy these chickenless tenders quite a bit.