I’ve really been enjoying exploring vegan cooking and one of the best parts is getting exposed to all sorts of new foods that I might not have ever tried otherwise. One of those foods is Field Roast Grain Meat.
Field Roast Grain Meat is actually a meat substitute made out of wheat gluten (sorry celiacs but this is definitely not for you). I had read about how great it was and really wanted to try it. I found it at Whole Foods near the dairy section by the tofu. I decided to use it to turn this recipe, Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage, into a vegan dish.
Field Roast offers several flavors of its grain meats. I decided to go with the Smoked Apple Sage Sausages for the recipe:
At first I was a little wary. I mean it looks like meat but its not really meat. What exactly is it going to taste like? And more importantly what will the texture be like? I am very big on the texture of my food. There are certain foods I don’t like because of the way it feels in my mouth. Shrimp, lobster, scallops, and ham to name a few (hmm…all meat).
Roasted Butternut Squash and Sausage Pasta
1 butternut squash
2 apple-sage Field Roast sausages,
White onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
Penne pasta, about 8 oz
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel and chop butternut squash into 1 inch pieces (make sure to scoop out the seeds in the middle), and place in large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Spread in glass pan or baking sheet and roast in oven for about 30 minutes or until fork tender.
Meanwhile cook pasta according to directions, drain and set aside. Slice sausages into 1/2 inch rounds. Heat oil in skillet and add onion. Cook for a few minutes then add garlic. Cook a couple more minutes. Add sausages and cook until browned. Add pasta and roasted squash. Stir to coat everything, adding a bit more olive oil if necessary.
The result: I made my husband try the Field Roast first because he will eat anything. He loved it! And so did I! It is seriously the best non-meat “meat” that I have tried. The texture is really good and it had great flavor. My husband said he could seriously eat it all the time. He has already been asking when we can buy it again because he wants to try all the flavors. I thought the apple sage sausages worked really well in this recipe.
Next time I might make a few changes though. This pasta dish didn’t really have a sauce, just some oil coated all over everything. The roasted squash and the sausages were really flavorful so it didn’t necessarily need it though. However next time I might try some veggie broth mixed in at the last step. Or I might try a bit of soy cream or thick coconut milk as a substitute for the cream in the original recipe. I might also drizzle with balsalmic vinegar as the original recipe calls for that as well.
The Field Roast sausages cost about $5 for a 4 pack if I remember correctly. We only used two of them in this recipe so we had two left over for another dinner. That means the “meat” portion of our dinner cost $2.50, which is not really any more than you would spend on real meat (maybe even less!). Even if you aren’t interested in a vegan lifestyle, consider trying this stuff. It’s way healthier for you than meat and you might find that you like it better.
Can I also just throw in that another great thing about vegan cooking is that you never have to worry about contamination from raw meat? That is something my husband and I have thought of several times while cooking these past few weeks. You can cut everything on the same cutting board, you don’t have to be meticulous about washing your hands and your knives and getting nasty meat juice on the counter. Nope! It’s great!
All in all the recipe was a success and I’m looking forward to trying more of Field Roast’s products.
More pasta recipes: