Many people who transition or attempt to transition to a plant-based diet find access to meat replacement products to be helpful. This makes sense – most of us were raised eating meeting, enjoying hamburgers, hotdogs, ground beef tacos and many other things. So, I think it is only reasonable that we would be looking for familiar textures and flavors. Plus: given that meatless and vegan meat replacement products are now easily accessible at least in major grocery store chains in US, many of us with busy lives default to grabbing a bag of meatless crumbles. It’s easy and in many cases quite delicious!
However, if you want to maximize the health benefits, or don’t live near a grocery store stocked with meat replacement products, you should learn how to make some of them yourself. One of the easiest thing to make is ground beef substitute, and my previous version made with mushrooms and TVP (textured vegetable protein) is one of my most popular posts. Here, I wanted to share a super easy recipe for a ground beef substitute that is ideal for tacos, enchiladas, fully-loaded nachos or any other dish that usually uses well cooked and fully caramelized ground beef.
The recipe is very simple, but it does take a bit of time. It used quinoa as the protein source and practically the only ingredient. This grain is rich in protein, vitamins, fiber and minerals, and if you have not tried it yet I strongly recommend it. You can use quinoa almost anywhere you use rice, like in stuffed eggplant or gumbo. Given the high protein content, quinoa can be a great alternative to using gluten when making things like gluten-free vegan BBQ ribs. And, of course, quinoa tastes great by itself more or less, in simple side dishes like this one.
I hope you give this new take on ground beef substitute a try!
Quinoa-based Ground Beef Substitute
What you’ll need:
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup to 2 cups water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
What you’ll do:
- Bring 1 1/2 cup water to boil, then add quinoa, lower the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Check quinoa half way through and add more water if needed. Let the cooked quinoa cool completely before moving to the next step.
- Place cooked quinoa into a large mixing bowl, add nutritional yeast, oil, chili powder and tamari or soy sauce (tamari sauce is a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce). Mix well. If you are busy or planing ahead you can prepare this mixture a day ahead and store in the fridge until ready for the next set.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).
- Line a large baking sheet with some parchment paper and spread the quinoa mix, forming an even thin layer.
- Roast for 20 minutes, then take the quinoa-based ground beef substitute our the oven, mix well, and return for another 15 minutes. Check again to make sure that quinoa is nicely roasted, crunchy and well-browned. If so, you are done, if not place it back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so. Let the mixture cool then use as a taco filling, a pizza topping or to make some delicious enchiladas!
Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2019
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