October 23, 2009

Morningstar Crumbles

This week I'm going to do something a little different. Instead of just reviewing the fake meat product, I'm also going to give you the recipe I used it for. Most things I've done so far haven't really been conducive to recipe-sharing, but this one is a doozy. Here we go.

For this recipe I used Morningstar Crumbles. It was my first attempt with this brand of crumbles. These are frozen, like the Boca crumbles, but they don't all come in the same dog-food-like shape. The crumbles actually look a lot like meat, which I appreciate. I ended up cooking it a lot longer than the recipe said, because I went out for a walk in the middle of it (I turned off the heat while I was out of the house, but it was all still hot, therefore still cooking), but none of the textures suffered even slightly. The fake meat was nice and chewy, very similar to real meat, and my noodles weren't too squishy. This soup was amazing! I will definitely be making this again, and I strongly suggest you do too.

The recipe I used came from this site with a few of my alterations. I'm posting what I actually did below, but if you want to know how it started out, check out that link. I also just found, on Morningstar's website, this product which might also work very well for this recipe, maybe even better, if you're into sausage in your lasagne. Let me know if you try that out.

The experience:
Texture - nicely chewy, very similar to meat
Flavor - no flavors strong enough to overpower the tomatoes, garlic, basil, and oregano

Final grade for this attempt: A+

Lasagna Soup (8 servings)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pkg. Morningstar Crumbles
2 cups diced onions (I just used one of my huge CSA onions)
5 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried basil (I just sprinkled liberally - no measuring here)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (same as the basil, but roughly the same quantity)

1/4 teaspoon salt (again - season to taste here)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

One 15-ounce can tomato sauce

Two 14-ounce cans chicken broth (I used reconstituted chicken base, same amount)

1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup mini Farfalle pasta (I used some mini lasagna-shaped noodles)

2 cups ricotta cheese (I definitely used less than this)

2 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil (I sprinkled dried basil on top for garnish, since I had no fresh)

In a saucepan or stockpot (I used my Dutch oven) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and garlic. Cook, until onions are softened. Add Morningstar crumbles and break up in to small bits. Add dried basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add spinach and pasta, and continue to cook until pasta is done, according to directions on package.

Meanwhile in a small bowl stir the fresh, chopped basil (if using) into the ricotta cheese. When soup is finished, ladle into shallow bowls. Carefully add 1/4 cup (I used 2 tablespoons or so) of the ricotta to the bowl. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and basil if desired.


  1. These are sooo good in tacos

  2. I've found that the Morning Star crumbles are saltier than Boca crumbles. Which means if your making tacos (the seasoning for which is mostly salt), the Boca crumbles are better.

    I like Morning Star, but for Mexican, I always use Boca.