This post is basically just a review of Light Life's Smart Ground. I've tried their original version the other day and didn't want to skip doing a review of it.
Since I am the only one here who doesn't eat meat, I would be eating the whole package myself. It's quite a bit for one person and must be eaten or frozen within 3-5 days of opening the package. I normally buy MSF Griller Crumbles because it's frozen to begin with and I can just use a small amount and put the rest back in the freezer, a plus for MorningStar Farms. I chose to use the Smart Ground in two different type meals rather than eat the same thing all week or have to freeze part of it. After having done that, I've decided it may have been better to freeze part of it.
The first meal I made with the Smart Ground was chili. When opening it, the compressed brown bumpy mass is not very eye appealing, so I was skeptical about the taste. I used half the package of SG, a can of diced tomatoes, a small can of Rotel tomato & green chili sauce, a can of kidney beans with part of the liquid, onion powder, chili powder, garlic, and Mexican oregano. I topped my bowl with a little shredded cheese and had a couple of cheese biscuits on the side.
This turned out as good or better than my usual chili recipe, which I normally make with MSF Crumbles. I noticed that the SG doesn't seem to soak up the liquid, like the Crumbles do, which is a plus. The chili I make for DH with hamburger is always soupier than the chili I make using MSF. I probably could have eaten another bowl if I hadn't also eaten 2 biscuits.
I had another bowl the next day for lunch with an ear of corn and garlic cheese toast. The chili was just as soupy the next day as when I first made it.
I was not as impressed with the second meal I made with the Smart Ground, but that may have had more to do with the fact that it was thrown together in a hurry and there was a little too much SG for the amount of sauce (a 15 oz. can) I used. I just used plain tomato sauce with chopped green pepper & onion, Italian Seasoning, garlic, black pepper, and extra oregano. The sauce tasted better before adding the SG, which seemed to overwhelm it and take away from the flavor of the sauce. It also didn't help that my meal was interrupted and instead of reheating my plate I just ate it sort of cool. I would have used more sauce with the amount of SG I had left, but I was worried about making too much for me to eat within the next day or so. I think I will just crumble what I don't need from now on and freeze it. However, I did like the Smart Ground and will probably get it again and see how it freezes. I'll try to remember to update the review with the results, for now I am giving the SG four stars. BTW DH will eat the MSF crumbles, but wouldn't try the SG unfortunately because of the unappealing appearance.
Looks have a lot to do with what we eat. I had seen this product before and because of the appearance was hesitant to try it. I guess looks can be deceiving and in this case it was much better than it looked. Have you tried Smart Ground yet? What is your favorite meatless ground beef substitute?