A Little Word on Beef-Less Ground Beef

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Everyone!

When it comes to celebrating the luck of the Irish, no city does it better than Boston.  For the past 72 hours, everything has been very green, and very boozy.

Here at the LittleWordBites kitchen, I’m celebrating with food, per usual – putting together my version of the famous St. Patrick’s Day dish, Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Only my beef is ground, and beef-less.

Beef-Less Ground Beef is a great addition in vegetarian meals because its neutral flavor quickly absorbs seasonings, and it's packed with protein.

Beef-Less Ground Beef is a great addition in vegetarian meals because its neutral flavor quickly absorbs seasonings, and it’s packed with protein.

For years, I’ve been using this fantastic Trader Joes product to “beef-up” my vegan chili recipes, and throw together easy, meat-free burgers. One little package holds six, 1/3 cup servings – each one with only 60 calories, and 10 grams of protein. With less than one gram of fat, it’s the perfect base for a variety of  healthy, vegetarian and vegan dishes.

This St. Patty’s day, I whipped up a quick batch of Beef-less Beef Cabbage Wraps.

The flavor of Trader Joes Beef-Less Ground Beef is mild – almost nutty- and I like to kick it up with a little salt, fresh cracked pepper, and recipe-appropriate spices.  Tonight, I cooked my Beef-less Ground Beef in a pan with a tiny sprinkle of olive oil, salt, pepper, dill, and garlic.

While the Beef-Less Ground Beef does not need to be cooked, per say, the texture requires a little assistance. As is the case with many soy protein alternatives, the “beef” is a bit chewy without the heat from a pan and a touch of butter or olive oil.

Once the “beef” began to brown, I added in a handful of diced yellow onion.

For the wraps, I simply peeled back the first few leaves of cabbage. I like my wraps with a little crunch, but to make them softer, you could easily steam them in a pan for a quick minute, to break down the harder arteries of the leaves.

Once the “beef” developed a nice, toasty crunch on the edges, I loaded up my wraps, and added a modest drizzle of mustard on top. The rich beef-flavor is perfectly contrasted by the bright, crisp cabbage.

The onion adds crunch, and the honey mustard binds everything together inside the cabbage-leaf wrap.

The onion adds crunch, and the honey mustard binds everything together inside the cabbage-leaf wrap.

St. Patrick’s Day is known for being heavy on the beer – so enjoy your Guiness when you eat this low-calorie, nutritious dinner instead of heavy alternatives. Skip the roasted red potatoes, and pair with a light cauliflower mash to roundout the Irish feast.

Now that I’m fed, and I have my green shirt on, I’m going to brave the Boston streets and try to get a my first St. Patrick’s day drink of the weekend.

A very-veggie spin on a hearty Irish classic, this updated dish, inspired by Corned Beef and Cabbage, is a healthy, low-calorie alternative for beef-eaters and vegetarians alike.

A very-veggie spin on a hearty Irish classic, this updated dish, inspired by Corned Beef and Cabbage, is a healthy, low-calorie alternative for beef-eaters and vegetarians alike.

Whether or not you want to keep the Irish festivities going well into the week, and plan on whipping up your own Corned Beef variation, or simply want to keep a well-stocked vegetarian refridgerator, I always keep a box of this in the freezer. You never know when you need to fill out a dish with a little texture, or a lot of protein.

Until next year, Sláinte! Cheers to your health.

Melanie

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