|(Picture from LightLife.com)|
I don't know why I've been putting it off. Maybe it was the price, or maybe it was the fear of being sorely let down. In the meantime, since becoming vegan I have made tempeh bacon a couple of times. It came out good enough to hit the smoky-salty spot, but was no contender for the "real" thing, especially in terms of texture.
Last weekend, I finally gave in and tried the packaged stuff (encouraged, of course, by a $1 coupon on the Lightlife website). When I first opened the package, I was disappointed. The bacon looked, smelled, and felt really fake. The instructions say to lightly spray a pan with oil/cooking spray and fry the strips for only a few minutes, flipping halfway through. But I am a maaajor crunchophile. My bacon always needed to be crunchy, and by that I mean that it had to crumble to pieces when crushed in my hand. Some people would have called that "burned" but I called it "perfect." So with these Lightlife strips, I fried the crap out of them, in a few tablespoons of olive oil. I fried them for about 10 minutes, at least. After a couple of minutes, they curl up all crazy and you think they're going to stay like that, but when you flip them and they start to warm up on the other side and you coax them a little with the spatula, they flatten right back out again. This is what they looked like when they were almost finished cooking:
By the time I took them out of the pan, they had shrunk (like real bacon) and when I picked them up on the spatula, the half of the strip that extended over the edge did not flop and hang, it stayed straight and solid, nice and crunchy looking. And then I tasted it.
Oh. Em. Gee.
It was so good that I actually started laughing when I tried it. It tastes just like the bacon I remember, smoky and salty. The texture was slightly tougher than animal bacon because it is leaner. I think the texture is very similar to a turkey bacon.
This bacon is also omni-approved. The response was something like, "I can tell it's not the real thing, but it's really close."
I made a BLT, putting it on whole grain bread with Vegenaise, tomato, and lettuce. It was absolutely sinful. And then I enjoyed the rest of the strips all by themselves. Yeah, I'm a beast.
With these veggie bacon strips available, I am sure that I will never miss animal bacon ever again. The Lightlife bacon strips are WELL worth the splurge.
Do you ever treat yourself to veggie meats? What is your favorite?
Vegan on a Shoestring