Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Product Review - Beyond Meat: Chicken-Free Strips...

Okay, so I totally intended to review Beyond Meat way back in Spring when I first tried it, but things get away from you and now I’m a little late to the game. Does everyone know about Beyond Meat already? Well, in case you don’t Beyond Meat is the latest Vegan Meat on the scene. This stuff is really cutting edge, it looks like chicken, it feels like chicken, and it tastes like what I remember chicken to taste like. I’ve tried quite a few of the vegan meats on the market, and though I don’t hate any of them I have to admit that some are better then others, and Beyond Meat is definitely the best. It’s better and more realistic then any other vegan meat product out there, it doesn’t have that seitan aftertaste that a lot of vegan wheat meats have, nor does it have that tofu aftertaste that a lot of soy based vegan meats have. Beyond meat isn’t grainy, it isn’t mushy, it doesn’t taste like dough, or soy, it’s not too soft, nor too firm, it’s perfect. In fact it’s so realistic that I have successfully fooled the most ‘die-hard’ omnivores into believing that it’s actually chicken.

Now I’m not the sort of person who promotes using store-bought vegan meats regularly, they shouldn’t be the staple of anyone’s diet, but every now and then it’s nice to kick things up a notch, and if you like vegan meat then you’re gonna love this one. Hell, even if you don’t like vegan meat - or think you don’t - you might really come around if you give Beyond Meat a try. Certainly it’s worth trying once just for the sheer novelty factor alone, although I have had vegans tell me that it’s actually too realistic, so much so that it discomforts them.

BBQ Beyond Meat Wraps 

Currently Beyond Meat only offers Chicken-Free Strips in three flavors, Lightly Seasoned, Grilled, and Southwest. I’ve tried all three and I liked them all, but Grilled is maybe my favorite, closely followed by Southwest. The strips are Gluten-Free, and are made primarily of Non-GMO soy, Pea Protein, Amaranth, Carrot fiber and spices.  The first time I tried Beyond Meat I made BBQ Chicken wraps to go along with some vegan poutine that I made. The second time I used them in a standard chicken salad with red grapes, walnuts, green onion, and vegan mayo. The third time I used them in a broccoli carrot stir-fry, and each time they were out-of-this-world delicious.

From what I hear the peeps at Beyond Meat would like to develop a number of meat-free products. It’s their goal to be the leader in this industry, and to always be on the cutting edge of vegan food technology. I read an article about Beyond Meat Last year that had some quotes from Ethan Brown the Beyond Meat Founder in which he stated that he wants to ‘redefine the category.’ Rather then call meat or vegan meat, meat he wants them to be called protein. His goal - a hugely ambitious one - is to make his vegan meat - or vegan protein - products so realistic that they will be sold in the Meat counter at grocery stores rather then next to the tofu. Certainly an interesting concept, and probably the first time anyone’s thought to try it, or the first time anyone thought it was possible.

Here's a shot of that delicious poutine.
The Recipe is from Bryanna Clark Grogan's book
"World Vegan Feast"

I am definitely interested in seeing where this company goes next, and I’m eagerly waiting to see what their next vegan meat product might be, and when it will drop. This is definitely a company to keep your eyes on, and if you're interested in learning more about the company and the products you can check out their website.

Beyond Meat


  1. To be honest, that sounds creepy to me :)
    There might be some vegans who gave up meat for health reasons and are still craving meat - for them this product is probably very welcome.
    But for me ... the taste of real meat is just sickening. I can't even it a bocca burger, it's already to close. There are so many lovely vegan dishes out there, no need for me to revive something I detest.

    But for all the (I guess mostly male) vegans who feel they need something meaty between their teeth, by all means go for it :)

  2. Quite a few vegans are indeed 'creeped out' by Beyond Meat, but eating plant meat doesn't bother me because I know it's just plants, no matter how realistic it is. I was never fond of the taste of pork, or red meat when I was an Omni, but I did like chicken then. I don't miss the taste of it now, and going vegan was easy though once in a while I enjoy the novelty of a product like this.

    Certainly I do not eat these kinds of things often, I am like you, I prefer simple, whole-food, plant-based meals. Typically I eat a lot of bowls of rice, with diced sweet potatoes and kale or cabbage. =)

  3. Man, Beyond Meat is awesome! It really is kind of creepy how similar to (what I remember) the taste of chicken it is. It is nice to have once in awhile like when you are having fajitas or the like. It doesn't bug me that it tastes similar to animals b/c I know it's not. You just have to remind yourself of that, I guess. I'm not necessarily eating it for the feel of it but rather what it adds to the complete dish. I can't wait for them to come out w/ new stuff! - M

  4. Hi :-) I haven't tried Beyond Meat yet but can't wait. It is terrific for older vegan newbies like me to have that extra dimension on my plate and to be able to cook familiar dishes. If I had a child again I would worry about all of the antibiotics, hormones, salmonella, and CJD possibilities too. I would feel really good serving up faux meat instead. I like their idea of just calling it protein. An added bonus is that you don't really have to cook it as it is a kind of ready meal so no worries about under or over cooking it as with meat. Omnivores could even add a little chicken or beef etc to meatless protein, or eat vegan five days and cook a joint of meat at weekends - anything that brings down the consumption of those poor animals. So I think it would be great to be able to go to your local shop and have a variety to choose from, and to go out to dinner and have alternatives on the menu with no yukkie after tastes. Dieters could really get used to it too. Dreaming along if we had widespread availability the price would also be reduced and vegan would then be a good bargain!

  5. Hi Mel Jackson. You're right the vegan meat alternatives are really fantastic for people who want them, and they can be really helpful for those omnivores who want to go veg or just want to cut back on meat. I know quite a few non-veg people who eat the vegan meats just so that they can cut back. Any little bit helps, for sure.

    I think if it were more popular then it would definitely be lower in cost. However people compare vegan meat to animal meat and say animal meat is cheaper but in reality animal meat is subsidized by the government. If people had to pay the actual cost for animal meat it would be far more expensive then vegan meat. Plus the cost to our health and the cost to the environment.

    if you try beyond meat let me know what you think! I'd love to hear back!