I’m A Quorn Convert (Well Almost)

Quorn logo

I’m a meat lover and I don’t hide this fact; it’s not unusual to find me at some foodie event in London tucking into a delicious gourmet burger. But quite early on in the life of this blog I looked into the effect that my/our love of meat has on the environment.

Not long afterwards I challenged myself to go veggie for a working week and on day five of the challenge I cooked a chilli con carne made with Quorn mince instead of beef. At the time I thought it was ok but not quite as good as the meat it replaced.

Since then I’ve been trying all sorts of other Quorn products and I’ve come to really like some of them…one in particular.

Quorn “Chicken” Pieces

Chicken was always the meat that I ate the most of and it has the lowest environmental impact of the 4 main meats (chicken, pork, beef and lamb) so I didn’t put finding a replacement for it at the top of my list of things to do.

But one day I was milling around the supermarket and I noticed that these Quorn “chicken” pieces were on special offer. It seemed like an ideal opportunity to try them out and I have to say that I haven’t looked back since.

I don’t think I’ve personally bought fresh chicken since (although I have bought pre-made chicken meals on occasion when I’ve been feeling particularly lazy). There just isn’t really a need anymore because this Quorn replacement is brilliant. These pieces have now become a staple in my diet thanks to my love of pasta, curries, stir fries, paellas and wraps. I probably have them about 2 or 3 times a week and most of those meals will contain zero meat at all.

They certainly have their own unique taste and I can only describe it as somewhat savoury but I find it very moreish and it blends well with the flavours of the sauces I put with them.

They are also very cheap indeed; a packet costs me £1.75 and lasts for 2 meals (and I have rather large evening meals). Compare that to the equivalent free range chicken breast which costs £4 – £5 for the same weight so they’re less than half the price.

My advice to everyone reading this is to go and get some of these “chicken” pieces and try them out.

Other Quorn Products

I’ve tried a number of other Quorn products and some have found their way into my meal plans while others have not.

First up is the Quorn mince that I used in my veggie challenge. It still has a place in my freezer for when I do a Bolognese or a con carne and as long as you have plenty of other flavours going on, the difference isn’t that noticeable. Beef mince is maybe slightly tastier but again the Quorn wins hands down on price.

Next I tried the Quorn sausages but this time I was hugely disappointed because they were not really a substitute for regular sausages at all. They tasted fairly rubbish and I’ve not bought any more since. I’d stick with regular pork sausages (outdoor reared of course) if I were you.

I like a pie now and again with steak and ale being my number one choice so to see how Quorn compared I bought some of their meat free alternatives one day. While they don’t quite stack up to the high end meat pies, they were just as tasty as your bog standard Pukka or cheap own brand ones. If the company could improve the thickness and taste of the gravy then I think they’d be even more of a winner. They certainly go down nicely with some mash and veg.

Given the success of the pieces, I thought I’d give Quorn “chicken” fillets a try but they were a huge let down. I don’t know whether I just cooked them badly but they tasted fairly bland and not like the pieces at all. I’ve got some more in the freezer and I’ll try them out again but my first impression is that they are not worth buying.

Quorn “chicken” nuggets, on the other hand, were a real winner and I’d be very surprised if kids could tell the difference between them and a regular chicken nugget. They’re not something I’ll eat that regularly but they were tasty nonetheless.

The Quorn roast was an interesting one as you cook it wrapped in a plastic film and it was in a cylindrical shape but I thought it was very nice and with the usual roast veg and gravy it was a meal befitting any Sunday lunch time.

I don’t often have meatballs with pasta but by this point I was very much enjoying these taste tests so I bought some and, like the mince, they are nice but not quite as tasty as the beef they are designed to replace.

I’ve not tried the Quorn burgers and to be honest I don’t think I ever will. I am a bit of a burger snob and while I don’t mind having a spicy bean burger as a substitute once in a while, there’s no way that I’m going to have a full-on beef substitute.

I never quite realised just how many products Quorn have in their range (you can see it here) and while I’ve almost exhausted the offerings of my local Morrisons, there are some others that I would like to try so I’ll be hitting other supermarkets near me in search of them.

One a side note, while perusing the Quorn selection, I also discovered plenty of other meat free products in the frozen aisle and some of these have proven themselves to be genuinely tasty too. So I’m not only going to encourage you to try Quorn yourself but all the other veggie options that you find alongside too.

I write this not long after the Guardian revealed the shocking state of the British poultry industry and the potential health and animal welfare issues it harbours. Maybe it is time you moved away from cheap chicken and gave Quorn a try.

I’ll be updating this page as and when I try new products so keep an eye out.

Steve (156 Posts)

I am chief writer and editor on Green Steve. Blogging since 2011, I like to delve into a wide number of topics to help people reduce their carbon footprint. You should follow me on Twitter here. And add me to your Google+ circles here.

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