Yves Veggie Meatless Ground Round Original.
I haven't had great experiences in the past with Yves products (except for their corn dogs…mmm) so I was a little nervous. I decided to go a fairly safe route (no, not tacos) and make a shepherd's pie. I pulled out my favorite don't-feel-like-spending-hours-in-the-kitchen-cookbook, The Best 30-Minute Recipe and dug out their skillet shepherd's pie recipe. Quick swap out the lamb for the Yves crumbles, and ta da! Dinner! Okay, I did use beef broth, and worcestershire sauce, so the meal wasn't technically vegetarian, but neither am I. Feel free to use your own recipe without those things.
Anyway, that's how I prepared this fake meat. How was it, you must be wondering by now? Well, it was actually pretty darned tasty. Plain, the crumbles had a vaguely savory flavor, with that gluten-y undertone present in so many fake meats, but it was pretty mild, so I figured it'd play nicely with other flavors. Texturally, it wasn't perfect, but it certainly wasn't mushy. There was a definite ground-beef-y chew to it, and the more of it I ate, the less I noticed the oddness of it. Overall, a good result!
I wouldn't suggest trying to bind these crumbles into a burger patty or meatballs, but mixed into a spaghetti sauce or cooked with a nice taco seasoning of your choice, it'd likely be a winner.
Texture - soft but chewy - pretty close to actual ground beef
Flavor - little odd plain, but just don't eat it that way and you'll be fine
Final grade for this attempt: A
3 hours ago