Monday, June 21, 2010

Quorn Quesadilla vs Beef Quesadilla - A meat free, soy free alternative

        *Quorn foods are made with mycoprotein, from a nutritious member of the fungi family. Mycoprotein is the ingredient common to all Quorn products. Mycoprotein is a nutritious meat-free form of high quality protein. It is a good source of dietary fibre, and is low in fat and saturated fat. Mycoprotein is a good source of quality protein and dietary fibre, has zero cholesterol and is low in fat, especially saturated fat. Quorn products do not contain genetically modified ingredients.
        All Quorn products contain mycoprotein, which is not soy-based, but is made from a member of the fungi family. It is grown and harvested under strict quality controls and we can therefore reassure you that it is not a product of genetic manipulation. All of the other ingredients used in Quorn foods are purchased by us to a specification which requires that they are not genetically modified. We are working with our suppliers to ensure that this specification continues to be met.* - Taken from the official Quorn website. If you want any further information it's all there on the website, contact details, what products are available, where to buy, etc.

        Okay now for the fun stuff, so the lovely Fiona from Mark Communications sent me some Quorn products to try after I attended the launch night. I was sent 3 of the products which will be available, Quorn mince, Quorn pieces and Quorn Sausages. My initial intention was to do a bit of a cook off to compare all of them but I had a great idea to do a bit of a blind taste test to see if my victims would be able to tell the difference between the Quorn product and the real deal. Oh boy was the idea a flop, the resulting products though were yummy. Instead of cooking 3 dishes x 2 (Quorn vs real deal) I ended up just doing them one at a time. Well, I've only cooked with the mince so far as the other two products are still in the freezer. I decided to make quesadillas with Quorn mince and regular beef mince.

        Sample A - Quesadilla filling. The quesadilla recipe I used comes from the Taste website. I did have to adjust the cooking times and methods for the Quorn mince as it didn't require as much cooking time as the beef mince.

        Sample B - Quesadilla filling. Ryan was meant to stay out of the kitchen while I was cooking so that he couldn't see which was which. He ended up seeing what I was cooking because he couldn't stay away from me ;). His comments were that you could definately tell the difference. I agree, regular meat/mince is definately fattier and also firmer in texture. No matter how much more liquid I added to the Quorn mince it managed to just absorb it all and the mixture wasn't as moist.

        Assembling the Quesadillas in the pan to toast before putting in the oven to completely cook.

Sample A, I can't even remember which one this was.

Sample B, Ryan playing with presentation.

        Sample A & B together, served like this you wouldn't really be able to tell, appearance wise. So the verdict? Ryan and his brother could definately tell which one was meat and which one wasn't. I couldn't even remember which one I used first, I think I was too hungry to care very much. The Quorn mince is alot lighter and slightly spongey in texture. Suprisingly though Ryan's brother actualy preferred the Quorn mince quesadillas.
        I also save some of the Quorn mince and regular mince to take home to do a taster on the family. In my opinion the Quorn mince really needs a sauce to go with it otherwise it can be quite dry. I remember enjoying it as a bolognaise sauce at the launch. The quesadillas were an easy dinner option too with not too much mess to clean up! And because it wasn't overly heavy and was easy to clean up after there was time and tummy space for dessert afterwards.

        Another quirky item which Ryan's mother has around the house, she bought this vase for something else but because she didn't end up using it it's now become a rice container, she managed to find a plastic lid that fitted the top perfectly. Our friends always comment on what a cool container it is =D.

        So the next day I decide to make nachos with the leftover quesadilla fillings. I probably shouldn't have done a sample A and sample B because as soon as I told the sibblings to try each one and tell me the difference they all look at me funny. Being meat eaters, the brothers wern't too fussed with the Quorn mince and happily ate it after I told them it wasn't meat. They could definately tell though that one wasn't quite as "meaty". I found that for the nachos, the Quorn mince dried up a little after I put the plate under the grill to melt the cheese. It might not be the best thing for this dish and I guess if you really wanted to go vegetarian then beans would probably be the better option.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

It's interesting seeing all of these quorn posts pop up everywhere! I think people really seem to enjoy it.

Richard Elliot said...

Looks great. Quesadillas make such fantastic snacks. Ohh to be in Mexico...

Mark @ Cafe Campana said...

Mmmm interesting comparison. I wonder if they have quorn in little Mexican villages. It is good to see a meat substitute that doesn't taste like rubber. I may have to give it a try.

Laura said...

I think quorn is become a blogger favourite at the moment.
i'm itching to try it, just waiting!

Being a gal who doesnt eat red meat, quorn is a perfect alternative. i'm hoping it tastes as good as it sounds. i'm a fan of light & fluffy!

Sarah Vino said...

Ooo i like! I'd like to blend both and see what happens. Haven't tried quorn yet but will if I see it.

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Hi Lorraine: Yeah it's definately an intresting product, I guess people wouln't blog about it if they didn't enjoy it.

Hi Richard: This is actually the first time I've had quesadillas =D Shame we didn't get to try any of the food when we crossed the border!

Hi Mark: Haha I guess vegetarian Mexicans would be eating bean quesadillas? The fact that my taste testers didn't reject them, I guess it was good enough to eat.

Hi Laura: I hope that you don't get disappointed when you get to try it!

Hi Sarah: Hehe actually I did blend both together in the end as I only had a small amount of each leftover so combined it to make Quorn/Beef nachos. Covered in salsa, cheese and sour cream I couldn't really tell the difference =D