Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles
I discovered Beyond Meat last year and love their meat-free, gluten-free, GMO-free products! Beyond Meat has chicken-free strips and recently came out with a new line called Beef-Free Crumbles and I was asked to try it. OH my goodness! I am in love! This Beef-Free Crumbles from Beyond Meat tastes so good you would never ever know it is not a beef product. The best thing for me is it is gluten-free! It is so very hard to find vegan gluten-free beef or chicken substitutes. I am so happy Beyond Meat has filled this gap.
Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles is 100% plant protein ( from pea protein ) but you’d never know it. It has half the fat of regular ground beef with as much protein, in fact it has between 10 & 11 grams of protein per serving! It has a beef like mouth feel which is important to some. Beef-Free crumbles are available now in stores and come in two flavors, Beefy flavor which I would in place of anything that regular ground beef recipes call for. It is also available in Feisty flavor which is a south-west inspired spicy flavor, It is a bit “spicy hot” for me. But then I don’t tolerate any type of hot spice very well. If you wonder what Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips are like see my Chicken-Free Strips Recipe Here.
I was inspired by Emeril Lagasse’s Recipe for Eggplant and Potato Moussaka to try out the Beef-Like Crumbles, so I made some variations and wound up with this yummy Moussaka.
Vegan Eggplant Moussaka Recipe:
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 & 1/2 cups olive oil, plus more if needed
- scant 2 cups sliced thinly potatoes, I used purple potatoes
- 3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill
- 5 Tablespoons Butter or Earth Balance
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 packages Beef-Like Crumbles, Beefy flavor
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup dry red wine, I used a Cabernet
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water, I used bottled
- 2 Tablespoons minced parsley
- 1/2 cup salt ( for soaking the eggplant )
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 2 & 1/2 cups non-dairy milk, I used mixture of coconut (canned) & almond milks.
- 2 eggs or egg substitute for 2 eggs
- 1 & 1/3 cup grated dairy free cheese, I used Daiya
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Place the eggplant slices in a large bowl and cover with water. Add 1/2 cup salt and stir then let sit for 20 minutes and drain the eggplant slices. I also rinsed them in water and then drained them.
While the eggplant is soaking, heat 1/2 cup of the olive oil in large skillet and fry the thinly sliced potatoes in batches. I used purple potatoes to go along with the feeling of purple eggplant. Fry on each side about 4 minutes each and drain on paper towels.
After potatoes are fried, take 1/4 cup more olive oil and put into fry pan. Fry the eggplant in batches until they are golden on both sides…approximately 3 minutes side. You will need to keep adding oil in 1/4 cup increments as you fry the eggplant as it soaks up the oil. Drain each fried eggplant batch on paper towels to drain the oil.
For the meat sauce: Next in a large fry pan, heat the butter or earth balance and cook the finely diced onion in it until tender. Add the 2 packages of Beef-Like Crumbles , garlic oregano and cook. I try to have a fried appearance of the Beef-Like Crumbles. Then add red wine and cook until it evaporates. Then add tomato paste, water, parsley. Cook until almost all liquid is evaporated. Salt & Pepper to taste and take off of burner and set aside.
Next for the béchamel Vegan Sauce, Take a medium sauce pan and add remaining 3 TB of butter or earth balance. When hot, add flour and cook, stirring 2-3 minutes as it browns. Stir in coconut milk, stirring until smooth and thick. I had to put this in a blender to make it nice and smooth after I cooked it. Then I returned the mixture and added 3/4 cup Daiya cheese and eggs or egg substitute. Set this mixture aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Lightly grease 9 x 13 casserole dish
- Layer fried potatoes on the bottom
- Layer 1/2 the eggplant on top of potatoes
- Layer 1/2 the meat sauce on eggplant
- Layer 3/4 cup of béchamel sauce over the meat sauce
- To with 1/8 cup of nutritional yeast sprinkled evenly over top
- Repeat Top with Eggplant
- Top with meat sauce
- Top with remaining béchamel sauce
- Top with remaining nutritional yeast
- BAKE uncovered 1 hour & 30 minutes. Let stand 40 minutes prior to serving to set up.