Easy Faux Meat

The perfect faux meat mixture can't be bought off a store shelf. As with any great food it must be assembled from scratch. But it's easy and entirely worth it. Best of all, because it's mostly beans, it's very low cost.

You can use this mix to make burgers, meat balls or a bolognese sauce. Anywhere meat is called for. In a lasagna or a dumpling or on a sandwich cold. The meaty texture is satisfying. The mix of ingredients is exciting.

Best of all it's easy to make.

1 can rinsed black beans
1 can rinsed garbanzo beans (lentils also work well)
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves fresh minced garlic
1/3 cup diced yellow onion
about 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup frozen corn nibblets
3 teaspoons soy sauce
Nutritional yeast
Panko bread crumbs
Corn meal
hot sauce, paprika, fresh cracked pepper, cumin, coriander, cayenne powder

It sounds like a lot of ingredients, but most of them are spices or things you should already have. You can change things up. The spice and enhancers are mutable.

Use a food processor or stick blender to combine all ingredients. Adding additional bread crumbs, yeast, corn meal or peanut butter as needed to achieve a medium firm consistency. It'll take a little practice to figure out which ratios suit your tastes. Add a little bit at a time. Keeping in mind yeast has a lot of flavor, while bread crumbs and corn meal are excellent thickeners. Peanut butter is rich and hearty, and a good binding agent, but should be used sparingly.

Taste your mixture to be sure you like the flavors. Adjust as necessary.

Chill in the fridge at least 2 hours before attempting to form into shapes or to cook as faux ground meat.

Bake burger forms on a non-stick sprayed sheet pan at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes per side. Flipping once half way through. Keep burger fairly small and thin to make certain the insides cook through. About 1/4 inch thick and 4-5 inches in diameter.

Cook meatballs shapes first in an olive oil lubed frying pan for about 15-20 minutes, turning carefully to create a crust all around. Make meatballs small. About 1 inch. Then transfer to finish cooking in a pot of tomato sauce for about 15 more minutes.

For ground meat style, spread mix over a lubed baking sheet and bake at 450 F for 10 minutes. Then saute over medium high heat for an additional 5-10 minutes in a lubed frying pan. Stirring often and breaking up clumps.


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