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Meatless products (ground round etc.) in Toronto

shawngibson Sep 11, 2013 09:35 AM

Hi all, recently been getting away from meat. I have only found one substitute so far, Yves Ground Round (for beef) that I really like. All of the products I find online are unavailable in Toronto.

So could some of you more knowledgeable people please let me know what meatless products you like that are available in Toronto?

I'm more interested in ground beef, chicken, pork, and something akin to chicken breasts, not so much into ready-to-go finished products. Stuff I can cook with:)

Thanks very much:)


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  1. l
    LexiFirefly RE: shawngibson Sep 11, 2013 10:09 AM

    Check out Kings in Kensington market (Augusta just south of Baldwin) in my veggie days they were my go to for all sorts of imitation meats. They are great!

    10 Replies
    1. re: LexiFirefly
      kwass RE: LexiFirefly Sep 11, 2013 12:13 PM

      What are the sodium levels like in the imitation meats that they sell @ Kings?

      1. re: kwass
        LexiFirefly RE: kwass Sep 11, 2013 01:50 PM

        Pretty high. I'm not sure of exact numbers. But I don't eat much processed food of any kind so they have always just been a treat for me! I have found that pretty much all imitation meats are high in sodium though. That's why I prefer to use eggplant, mushroom etc. when I'm cooking vegetarian/vegan.

        1. re: LexiFirefly
          kwass RE: LexiFirefly Sep 11, 2013 04:25 PM

          I've found the same thing. That's why even though I like some of what I've tried, I tend to stay away from them.

          1. re: kwass
            LexiFirefly RE: kwass Sep 11, 2013 04:41 PM

            My fam loves my eggplant carnitas so much that I usually make them for get togethers! We have many dietary issues in the blended family and that one solves all of them!

            1. re: LexiFirefly
              kwass RE: LexiFirefly Sep 11, 2013 05:29 PM

              I'd love the recipe!

              1. re: kwass
                Full tummy RE: kwass Sep 11, 2013 06:53 PM

                Me too!

                1. re: Full tummy
                  LexiFirefly RE: Full tummy Sep 11, 2013 07:18 PM

                  Can't post it tonight, but I'll try to tomorrow!!!

                  1. re: LexiFirefly
                    kwass RE: LexiFirefly Sep 12, 2013 04:12 AM

                    Thanks Lexi. Whenever you get a chance. There's no rush :)

                2. re: kwass
                  LexiFirefly RE: kwass Sep 12, 2013 05:20 PM

                  1 large Chinese eggplant
                  2 tsp cumin
                  1 tsp of each, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
                  1/2 tsp ground coriander
                  1/4 tsp cayenne
                  Salt and pepper to taste
                  Grate eggplant on a cheese grater and lay in paper towels with a sprinkle of salt to drain for 10-15 min
                  Heat a tablespoon if oil in a non stick pan in medium heat, add eggplant and spices. Mix and then spread out flat.
                  Cool until browned m, about 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3 more.

                  That's the eggplant, then go on to make whatever you want! I've made really yummy enchiladas with this too. Enjoy!

                  1. re: LexiFirefly
                    kwass RE: LexiFirefly Sep 12, 2013 05:27 PM

                    Sounds delicious! Thanks Lexi :)

      2. j
        jmk60 RE: shawngibson Sep 11, 2013 10:59 AM

        I buy my veggie meat at Kings Cafe in Kensington Market August Street). They also have a location in Scarborough. I find their stuff to be the best of any I've tried. If you go to the Scarborough location (Sheppard Ave) you will have more chances to sample the goods before buying.

        1. s
          shawngibson RE: shawngibson Sep 11, 2013 11:35 AM

          Thanks LexiFirefly and jmk60 - Kensington is within walking distance of work, I'll check it out, thanks very much:)

          1. a
            AverageJo RE: shawngibson Sep 11, 2013 11:56 AM

            Field Roast makes some good fake sausages and frankfurters. You can find them at the Big Carrot and the Wholesome Market (in the Beaches). I suspect they're probably available at Whole Foods too. However, these are made from wheat gluten, so if gluten is a problem for you, steer clear.

            9 Replies
            1. re: AverageJo
              KAYLO RE: AverageJo Sep 11, 2013 12:05 PM

              There is a great selection of fake meats at the Asian markets, although they are high in sodium. Try the freezers at T'n'T if you
              are passing by one, and of course if you are near Kensington then you have all of the Spadina Chinatown to explore.

              1. re: KAYLO
                jmk60 RE: KAYLO Sep 11, 2013 12:56 PM

                About sodium levels. For example, in the King's Vegetarian Stewed Mutton, a 55 gram portion has 548 grams of sodium (23% of daily values).

                A bit high I guess, but I don't add salt, so I guess I'm ok with it.

                1. re: jmk60
                  kwass RE: jmk60 Sep 11, 2013 01:02 PM

                  That is high. Are all of their products about the same in terms of sodium?

                  1. re: kwass
                    KAYLO RE: kwass Sep 11, 2013 02:57 PM

                    yikes! 55 grams is 2 ounces / quarter cup. The unsauced bag of frozen "VEGE CHUNKS" subtitled "Veggie morceau de poulet", purchased at Tnt and made by Vegefarm in Taiwan taht I just pulled from my freezer has 463mg sodium (19% DV) per 100 grams/3.5 ounces. Still high by my reckoning, but a heck of a lot more filling than 2 ounces of stew. The chunks are 200 calories (10% of my day) and have ELEVEN grams of fibre (44% of required) 14 grams protein, 12 grams carb and 10 grams of total fat (16% of the day, and only 1 gram of it saturated) And they taste pretty good, too. Soy protein and whey protein the top two ingredients. no chemical-ly ingredients listed.

                    1. re: KAYLO
                      kwass RE: KAYLO Sep 11, 2013 04:24 PM

                      Good to know. Thanks KAYLO!

                      1. re: KAYLO
                        hal2010 RE: KAYLO Sep 11, 2013 06:47 PM

                        It takes a lot of seasoning to make veggies taste like meat!

                        1. re: hal2010
                          Full tummy RE: hal2010 Sep 11, 2013 06:59 PM

                          Maybe because meat is fairly salty to start with...

                        2. re: KAYLO
                          Full tummy RE: KAYLO Sep 11, 2013 06:58 PM

                          According to this, 4 ounces of beef has 400 mg sodium -- before adding salt!

                      2. re: jmk60
                        Full tummy RE: jmk60 Sep 11, 2013 06:55 PM

                        Keep in mind that you are generally eating these items with other ingredients, so you can mitigate the salt issue by not adding more, as you say. In days gone by, cooking meat, I always added salt and sometimes plenty...

                  2. w
                    Welshgirl RE: shawngibson Sep 12, 2013 08:26 AM

                    I highly recommend Gardein products (found in most supermarkets), much better than Yves IMO. The beefless burgers are probably one of the best "faux meat" items I've ever had, they really get both the taste and texture of meat right. I also tried "chicken" tenders by the same company which were really good as well.

                    The Field Roast chipotle sausages are delicious as well. A little bit on the crumbly side, but nice and spicy!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Welshgirl
                      kwass RE: Welshgirl Sep 12, 2013 10:27 AM

                      What is the salt content like in the Garden products?

                      1. re: kwass
                        Welshgirl RE: kwass Sep 12, 2013 10:47 AM

                        Gardein products, like most processed foods, have a certain amount of salt in them. But I think as long as you're not eating it three times a day, and your sides/condiments are low in sodium, one should be OK. The items I've tried (beefless burgers, beefless tips, and chicken tenders) have good flavour and don't taste overtly salty to me.

                        1. re: Welshgirl
                          kwass RE: Welshgirl Sep 12, 2013 10:53 AM

                          Thanks Welshgirl :)

                    2. i
                      iamafoodie RE: shawngibson Sep 12, 2013 09:15 AM

                      Shawn, if you are looking for a meatless product you can cook with you might want to try a package of the widely available Bob's Red Mill Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP). It's neutral in taste so it can be flavoured with your seasonings.

                      All of the lookalike meat substitute products I've experimented with have been disappointing. But if you are wanting to add a protein component to one of your recipe's, TVP might be a solution.

                      Firm tofu can also function as a meat substitute in your recipes although it takes some adjustment to its different texture. Meat is meat, grains and vegetables aren't.

                      1. j
                        jmk60 RE: shawngibson Sep 17, 2013 02:05 PM

                        Ooops, guys. About the "mutton" at Kings Cafe.

                        I meant to sat "milligrams", not "grams". I hope that saying 23 percent of daily sodium helped a bit. So not a huge scoop of salt, but a significant amount nonetheless. Funny enough, it doesn't taste salty, but I guess that is often the case.

                        1. s
                          shawngibson RE: shawngibson Sep 19, 2013 11:52 AM

                          Hi all, so sorry for the delayed response. I'll have to look at all these responses in order to say something useful here.

                          It's been a few weeks of 'meatless' meat and so far I've been relying on Yves Ground Round (original), Blue Menu Chicken Breasts, and Licks Natural Burgers.

                          I'm finding the trick is in the spices/sauces/preparation - it makes a huge difference. I suppose, though, that can be said about any dish:)

                          I'm also finding that cheese and egg are preferable to meatless replacements of meat:)

                          Now, time to read all of the responses here:)


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: shawngibson
                            magic RE: shawngibson Sep 20, 2013 04:07 PM

                            I saw supersize packs of Yves ground round at Almost Perfect on Sheppard.

                            Can't recall the price but that store's prices are always hella cheap.

                            I'd never seen Yves ground round come in a pack that size before, either.....

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