Protein is a macro-nutrient that is essential in our diets, but we don’t need as much as the USDA would lead us to believe. I love me some beans, lentils, tofu, and seitan, and on occasion I will eat some meat analogs. You have to be very careful in choosing these fake meat products. Stay far away from anything made with soy protein isolates. These have been linked to health problems like cancer. The best sources of plant-based protein are whole foods like beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, and also fermented soy like miso, tempeh, shoyu, tamari, and natto. If you eat processed soy and fake meats every once in a while that’s not that big of deal, but don’t consume them as your primary source of daily protein.
I’ve tried some plant-based protein substitutes with surprisingly great taste and texture, but there are many brands that are not so tasty. My favorite is European company Viana, which graciously gave me 4 different kinds of their meat to try when I stopped at their booth at the Natural Products Expo. I made the most delicious tacos for days! I tried the Organic Veggie Cevapcici (Yugoslavian Sausage), Organic Veggie Gyros by Viana, Organic Spicy Vege Kebob by Viana and the Organic Cowgirl Veggie Steaks. I really like that this is an organic product and sourced with non-GMO soybeans. From their website it looks like it’s manufactured now in San Francisco, but I’m not for sure. If it’s still made in Europe and shipped here than this is not a eco-friendly product. I need to find that out.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Viana in any natural food stores, but Vegan Essentials has plenty you can order online! And, lucky for you this week’s giveaway is a $30 gift card at Vegan Essentials for anything in their online store! But hold the presses! If you place an order by Saturday of Viana vegan meats, then you get a container of Soyatoo cream for each package of Viana you buy! So don’t wait for the giveaway, head on over to buy some Viana now!
To enter the giveaway here are the rules:
1. You must live in the United States. No PO Boxes.
2. Please subscribe to my blog and enter your email address so I can contact you if you win.
3. Tell us why you would benefit from having a gift card to Vegan Essentials.
4. Become a Fan on my Facebook page
5. Follow me on Twitter and Retweet about this giveaway (@TheBlissfulChef)
6. Become a fan of Vegan Essentials on Facebook
7. Add Vegan Essentials on Twitter
Hint: Be sure to leave one comment telling me how many things you did from the list (for example say in one comment that you have 3-7 entries, the first 3 are required. If you already do the extra credit you can count those in your total, so you would then have 7 entries if you did everything).
A winner will be chosen next Friday, April 30th. Good luck!