It's no secret that I like Terra Vegane; I mean what's not to like. Bio (organic) product that is made with real ingredients, locally produced (for me) and tastes fantastic. But there is one thing in particular that I like, that while their products simulate(ish) their meat counterparts they don't taste and behave exactly like them. So let me introduce No-Beef Steaks the almost like(ish) beef steaks, but that are definitely vegan.
I don't even pretend that I'm not a sucker for packaging and since this isn't life or a person, go ahead and judge a book by it's cover. Terra Vegane's packaging is sexy, natural brown cardboard with stenciled lettering and a slightly faded bird lifting a dinner plate lid, simple and gorgeous.
But if all Terra Vegane had going for it was it's packaging, I wouldn't have a secret (weird?) crush on the company. I don't know the people behind the scenes so I can't tell you what they are like, but they have a hell of a good product line and the No-Beef Steaks is a hell of a good product.
I do have to admit that if you are thinking that the No-Beef Steaks closely resemble a real beef steak, I will admit that they don't. Reading that last line, I realize that I actually don't remember anymore what steak tastes like, but to me the consistency and flavor are sort of right in the middle between steak and hamburger. Which is an advantage as it increases the amount of ways you can use the No-Beef Steaks.
The flavor of the No-Beef Steaks is really great, not too strong or overpowering but on its own perfectly seasoned. If you choose to, marinate the steaks the flavor of the No-Beef Steaks won't over power the marinade. Really great balance. The consistency is perfect. I know that right now there is a bigger trend to having a faux-meat product that looks, tastes and has the consistency of it's meat counterpart and while I do see a market for that, I personally like that the texture won't confuse or trick anybody into thinking that they are eating meat. I enjoy eating vegetarian and vegan food and while I wouldn't want to go back to the days of crumbling bean burgers and mushy tofu; I also don't need to pretend I'm eating meat.
So for today's test, I decided to embrace the steak part of No-Beef Steaks and try the product out as a steak quesadilla (more American/Canadian style than authentic Mexican). It worked perfectly and tasted amazing.
I start as I usually do with music, so crank your record player up, play your favorite album of the moment, or anything by Josh Ritter.
After listening (dancing) to a bit of the music start with your salsa. Or Tomato Corn Salsa to be a bit more exact. If you have never made it before, do yourself a favor a make it tonight. Start with the following ingredients:
Finely dice the tomatoes and onion (use only half the onion) try your best to keep both the onion and tomato about the same size. Throw in the corn and rough chop the parsley. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime and some salt, a pinch of cumin (1 tsp) and smoked paprika (1 tsp) and 1 tbsp of neutral tasting oil and mix completely.
Get about half a cup (small handful) of your favorite vegan or dairy cheese and thinly slice the other half of the onion and a pepper.
Fry one of the No-Beef Steaks until cooked about 3 minutes on each side on medium heat. Remove the steaks from the pan and fry the onion and peppers until the onions become translucent. Once cooled enough, so you can slice them (1-2 minutes) carefully slice the No-Beef Steak into thin stripes (like the onion and peppers)
Taking a tortilla (I'm using flour) cover half with a 1/4 (thin layer) of cheese and half of the strips of steak and then add half of the cooked onion/peppers.
Top with another 1/4 of the cheese and fold. Put together firmly and place in a hot fry pan on medium heat. Cook each side about 2-3 minutes until the tortilla becomes a light golden brown.
Repeat process for a second Quesadilla.
Cut, serve with the salsa and enjoy.