Make Your Own Meat, Part II

(Recipe: Not-Your-Mother’s Patty Melt Vegan)

Yes, you really can make your own meat. It isn’t difficult and the ingredients are inexpensive and easily found almost everywhere. And all you need are plants. You simply don’t need anything from an animal, dead or alive, to make delectable, nutritious “meats” that you can afford and will never get tired of.

In fact, there are many sources of protein and healthy fats (what most people are hoping to get from “meat”) that are easily found in the plant world and require no loss of animal life. Plant based meats also taste better, look wonderfully appetizing, and are so versatile you could make some of them into ‘food sculptures’ if you want. Soy, lentils, tree nuts, peanuts, beans and legumes, peas, wheat byproducts and many other plants, fruits and vegetables are all out there waiting for you to experiment and create your own delicious “meat.”

{For the “Part I” discussion of alternative meats and how to make your own meat from lentils, please see my article,Now Is A Good Time To Switch To Alternative Meat}

Leapin’ Lentil Meatloaf – delicious and so easy to make

Better For You

I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Plant based meat is much better for you largely because it’s without all the saturated fats and cholesterol that all animal meats contain to some degree. And almost all plant based meats have plenty of fiber (which is almost completely lacking in animal meat) along with a host of nutrients and micronutrients. And of course, there is that all important nutrient: protein. Plant meats are loaded with it and some even have more protein per ounce than beef or pork.

The current pandemic has made us all very aware of the unhealthy and even leathal aspects of animal meat production. But the fact is, there has never been a virus, epidemic or pandemic that was started by plants or by food being made or manufactured from plants. Covid-19 is the most recent pandemic that has arisen from (or infests) meat plants, but it is really only the latest horror that is associated with animal meat packing and production. For example, not so long ago there was a much publicized threat from deadly Salmonella being found in chicken meat and raw eggs (in fact, this danger still exists).

I can only say that the health risks alone from all the potential viruses, toxins and deadly bacteria that can be found in animal meats is enough to turn my stomach away from them forever.

Better for Planet Earth

Sadly, there is now almost no square inch of mother earth that is not impacted by animal meat production. This is due not only to the pandemics, but also the pollution and green house gases produced from animal waste, and the clearing of the rain forests and millions of acres worldwide to make way for animal herds and the crops to feed them. And not to forget the hideous cruelty of caging and killing animals taking place in every corner of the world which thereby causes humans to undertake the dangerous, disgusting work of “meat production.” I am sorry that meat workers have such terrible, low paid jobs in such bad conditions — and I hope it may all come to an end someday soon.

Love Your Mother!

In sort of a quasi gesture to Mother’s Day (which was last Sunday) I’ve decided to include one of my earlier recipes which I call, somewhat ironically, the Not-Your-Mother’s Patty Melt. I actually think my mom would have loved this oozing grilled (plant based) sandwich — but most of her generation never imagined that delicious meat could be made from plants.

However, my mom’s generation did live through the depression and World War II and so they learned a lot about food “substitutions” and simply doing without. How I wish I could send this wonderful patty melt recipe back in time to mom and all those who thought going without animal meat was a hardship. It isn’t. Today’s wonderful homemade (and store bought) plant meats could have shown them the way. Hopefully, more and more of us will follow in that way ourselves.

Beans make great Homemade Meat!

In the “part 1” of this article, the homemade meat recipe I offered was based on lentils. And so this time I thought we’d focus on beans (always huge on protein and fiber). Please give the recipe below a try and let me know what you think:

The Not-Your-Mother’s Patty Melt

Basically, the NYM Patty Melt consists of a spicy red or black bean patty (square shaped, of course!) on any kind of whole wheat toasted bread, loaded with carmelized onions — but no cheese.

(For this Sandwich, any good bean patty recipe will do, but here is one that I like🙂

  • About 1 cup of beans per patty (canned or cooked from scratch, well drained) Multiply this and the below per each patty you make
    • NOTE: To avoid a bland tasting patty, add spices to the beans straight out of the can, or better yet, cook your own beans from the dried and use all the spices you like. For a guide for making great tasting beans for use in any recipe please see my article: “Beans in the Time of Coronavirus”
  • Mash the beans into a paste in a mixing bowl using a fork or other kitchen hand tool.
  • Suggested (especially if you haven’t seasoned the beans previously.) Use less of the following if you have pre-seasoned and more if you haven’t) Season the bean paste with: a little salt and pepper, 2-3 squirts of Soy Sauce, 2-3 squirts of Tabasco sauce, a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of paprika
  • add 1/4 cup Panko crumbs, or dried bread crumbs
  • add 2 tablespoons of very finely chopped celery
  • add 2 tablespoons of very finely chopped onion
  • If the mixture looks a little dry at this point, add a little olive oil or water, just enough to help it hold together.
  • Now mix and mash it all together (I use my hands) and form the mixture into a one inch thick square, about 4″ X 4″ (mash it to 1/2 inch thick in the pan)
    • You can now bake it, broil it, fry it, grill it on the stove, or out on the barbeque pit. Whatever suits your fancy. Cook them as well or lightly as you like, because unlike animal meat, they don’t need to be cooked through to avoid bacterial infection or disease.
  • SUGGESTION: But I suggest, for the gooiest most decadent patty melt, use a frying pan on the stove! (continued)

Now your patty is ready to cook:

  • Heat up a smaller frying pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Then put the lightly toasted slices of bread in the pan, moving them around some so they can soak up the olive oil – let them come to a golden crisp on one side only.
  • Keep that frying pan out – put in another tablespoon of olive oil.  Now you are going to add about a half cup (per sandwich) of coarsely chopped Red Onion. Stir it about until the onions are thoroughly softened and just about “carmelized.”  Scoop the gooey, carmelized onions onto a spatula and place them on top of the red bean patty.

Almost ready to eat –  Place your warm, onion laden bean patty on one piece of toasty bread; Put whatever condiments you like on the non-toasted side of the other bread slice (some great “veganaise” is out there) and you are ready to start cruising down memory lane with an NYM Patty Melt.

Pan cooked red bean patty — almost square — with sinfully sauteed red onions on top.

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