Ground Beef Substitute for Vegetarians
This recipe comes from a reader, Jessica, who says this recipe (one I’ve been searching for as a stand-in for the more processed “beef” substitutes you buy in the freezer section) is great in chili, tacos and spaghetti.
I’m so excited to see how this works out and you’ll likely see it cropping up in other recipes soon. But this deserved a post of its own. The is a vegan recipe, too. Bonus! I’m excited that it just takes whole foods. I’ve altered Jessica’s original recipe based on ingredients I have in my usual pantry, subbing out gluten for mushrooms and potatoes.
Ground Beef Substitute
- 2 cups dry Brown rice
- 2 cups dry Green lentils (like these)
- 2 tablespoons Montreal steak seasoning
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten* (like this)
- 1 cup rolled oats
*for a gluten-free option, replace wheat gluten with:
- 1/4 cup diced and sauteed or marinated mushrooms
- 1/4 cup mashed potatoes
Boil rice, lentils and steak seasoning until slightly soft (I put them in my rice cooker on brown rice setting). Drain any excess water, if necessary. Combine with remaining ingredients. Spread into a large pan (13 x 9) and bake at 300F for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to evenly dehydrate mixture. Store in portion-sized freezer bags. It will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week or freezer until used.
Another split decision. I absolutely love it this ground beef substitute. My husband likes it, but says it isn’t really all that beefy. So, I’d say give it a shot and decide for yourself. I think it’s great, and is beefy enough for me. Maybe I’ll kick the steak seasoning up a notch next time. I’m really excited to try it out in recipes. I have no idea how it will hold up in chili and other liquidy recipes. But yum, it’s great and not processed food. And, it costs about $1 to make. Win!
UPDATE: I’ve gone with the wheat gluten option the last several times (since I stock it in my pantry now). The only other change is cooking the batch in a larger pan. I use a large 13 x 9 baking dish to spread the “beef” out more. Also, the husband has become a fan of it now.
UPDATE 2: NUTRITION FACTS (10 servings per batch)–Serving Size 99 g, Calories 380, Calories from Fat 66, Total Fat 7.4g, Sodium 452 mg, Total Carbohydrates 59.4g, Dietary Fiber 14.4g, Protein 18.6g