Why the obsession with mock meat?
This is an interesting question. The main reason why we like recreating meaty dishes is we miss the way meat tastes!
I think this is true for many vegetarians but for some reason or another there’s some amount of shame associated with wanting to eat things that impersonate animal flesh. But let’s be honest: for lots of us (vegetarian or otherwise) meat was something we grew up eating. Many of our favorite dishes as kids featured fried chicken, cheeseburgers, bacon, what have you. And while there are plenty of veggie-centric dishes out there that are just as good, we wanted to come up with ways to pay homage to some of our favorite dishes in a new, humane way.
Another reason impersonating meaty dishes is so much fun has to do with introducing friends and family (maybe who aren’t super into the non-meat way of doing things) to the amazing world of mock meat! To be honest I’ve always hated the phrase mock meat, but moving on….There are lots of people out there who think fake meat is gross just because they’ve never been exposed to a decent specimen. The perspective that phony meat is unappetizing at one time may have been valid, but now it’s simply outdated. Who better to set the record straight than you, their trusty, laid-back, and non-confrontational vegetarian friend who just so happens to have them over for dinner a lot and make them all manner of astonishingly delicious meals?
I made one of your recipes and it didn’t taste exactly like meat.
So sorry! We do our best, but sometimes getting ultra-close to that exact razor edge of meaty deliciousness is, well, not possible.
That being said we can guarantee a couple things: everything on our website has been tried, tested, and eaten (in its entirety). Every attempt we’ve made on a faux meat creation has been done with care, research, and an extensive amount of tweaking.
One thing we can also say is that while not everything we make mimics meat to the point of a lawsuit, everything on here is delicious (at least from our perspective)!
I am vegan. Is there anything on this site that I can make?
Absolutely! Most of our recipes contain a notes section where we suggest ingredient substitutions for our vegan friends. We attempt to make our recipes as vegan friendly as possible from the get-go and we also will feature a vegan desserts section in the future.
I have strong political views on vegetarianism that I would like to share in the comments section. Can I?
You can say anything you want! However, our site is devoted first and foremost to making vegetarian food, not arguing about it. We acknowledge there are lots of people who want to make a vegetarian meal for a number of reasons. We at VFL are vegetarians for ethical reasons, but we know lots of people who shy away from meat for health, religious, environmental and non-specific purposes.
We understand that there are strong emotions associated with the state of meat production, and we suggest plenty of great books and resources on this issue in our Loves page. However, to keep our site as universally welcoming to everyone (vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike) we ask that when commenting you keep your eye on the prize: the food! Comments are moderated and anything incendiary simply won’t be posted.
Any constructive criticism you have about making any of our recipes is always welcome!
A lot of your recipe feature products that are hard for me to find! Any help?
We are lucky enough to live in an area that has lots of great stores for buying phony meatstuffs. If you aren’t though, take heart. Every recipe or review has a link for buying the feature products that might be a little harder to come by. Even we’ve ordered things online for creating our dishes, and while we admit it can take a little extra effort or money, in our mind it’s worth it!
Many of your recipes contain processed mock-meat products. Why?
Our goal at VFL is to recreate the experience of eating omnivorous dishes. To do that, we oftentimes will recommend using commercially available fake meat goods that are produced through corporations.
We do this for two reasons. (1) Many of these products have been made via years of professional lab testing to mimic the taste and texture of meat. At VFL we like experimenting and taste testing as much as anyone, but we feel there is no reason to disregard these companies’ products who have more money, resources, and time then we do. Another, more important reason we use these products is (2) we feel strongly that one of the true barriers to people eating vegetarian food regularly is accessibility. Many people feel vegetarian food isn’t tasty, easy to make, or worth their attention. By bringing these products to the forefront and allowing people to see that they aren’t scary or weird and can be used in quick, delicious recipes, people are much more likely to give these products (and a vegetarian lifestyle) a try. At the heart of this experiment, that is our goal.
However, we understand and respect that many people do not want to purchase any processed food or food from corporations and would much rather eat foods that only contain only all-natural ingredients that don’t mimic meat at all. Totally cool! Whenever possible, we include a notes section that suggests alternatives to the processed ingredients included.
Can I use your recipes, content, or pictures?
We’re flattered you like our ideas enough to share. For anything you borrow, please credit us and link back to our page. Thanks!