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Meatless products (ground round etc.) in Toronto

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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:)

Shawn

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  1. 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

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

      1. re: kwass

        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

          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

            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

              I'd love the recipe!

              1. re: kwass

                Me too!

                1. re: Full tummy

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

                  1. re: LexiFirefly

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

                2. re: kwass

                  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

                    Sounds delicious! Thanks Lexi :)

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

          1. 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

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: kwass

                    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

                      Good to know. Thanks KAYLO!

                      1. re: KAYLO

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

                        1. re: hal2010

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

                        2. re: KAYLO

                          According to this, 4 ounces of beef has 400 mg sodium -- before adding salt!
                          http://mobile.fatsecret.com/calories-...

                      2. re: jmk60

                        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. 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

                      What is the salt content like in the Garden products?

                      1. re: kwass

                        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

                          Thanks Welshgirl :)

                    2. 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. 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. 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:)

                          Thanks,
                          Shawn

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: shawngibson

                            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.....