Product: Neat – A Healthy Replacement For Meat Original Mix + Recipe Bonus – $4.99+
I am so excited. And the reason why is simple. I have found the meat replacement, Neat, at a few of my local stores. My Kroger, my Meijer, and even a few of my natural food stores now carry these little pouches of meat replacement goodness. Now, mind you, I’m not one who often will replace meat in a dish. I usually will use something like tofu or mushrooms instead, but there are some recipes (from my childhood, especially!) that just call for using an actual meat replacement. I have a few go-to brands that are gluten-free as well as either vegetarian or vegan. But ever since I received a pouch of the Mexican Mix from Neat in my Cuisine Cube back in October, I was hooked. I just had nowhere in this area to purchase it on my own.
Up until yesterday, my pantry held the Italian Mix and the Original Mix. I’m using a few things up in my pantry (I have a bit of an overstock, HA!), so I decided I would go ahead and bake up some of the Moon Rabbit Foods pie crusts that I had from another Cuisine Cube. I could freeze two of them, and then give using the third one a shot in an old family favorite, which I would adjust to make gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian.
With a pie crust baked up…it was time to make the filling. As I was using my mom’s recipe, I began to brown the sweet onion while I mixed up the ingredients for the Neat Original Mix. This is really easy. Simply empty the Neat mix into a bowl, add two eggs (or egg substitute) and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix well. Once the onions had began to soften, I added the neat mixture and cooked it on medium heat for about 7-10 minutes, chopping at it as one would with regular ground beef. It looked and smelled perfect. I added the tomato paste, cooked it a few moments longer and then put it all in the pie crust. On went the topping of Daiya cheese and…into the oven it went.
Before I talk more about the original mix, let me tell you a bit about Neat. Neat is a meat replacement that is derived from nuts and other non-GMO natural ingredients. It is a product that was created by a mother of two children who decided that they were going to become vegetarians. At first she would puree beans into sauces to help her girls get the protein they wanted, but after awhile, everyone got tired of it. And that was when she got into the kitchen, experimented, and created what is now marketed at Neat. Neat comes in this shelf-stable pouch in a powdered form. All you do to prepare it is pour the pouch into a bowl, add two eggs (or a vegan egg replacer), plus two tablespoons of water. Then, you just cook it in a skillet, as you would ground beef, for about 7-9 minutes. It’s really easy…and really delicious too.
So, a vegetarian and gluten-free Cheeseburger Pie…that was what this was used for. When I sliced through the pie crust and the filling, I was just anticipating the crumbling and falling apart. But Neat surprised me. Much like my mom’s recipe (which used real meat as I wasn’t a vegetarian at that point), this all stuck together and made for a perfect slice. The Neat seemed to be the meat replacement I was looking for. And it was the perfect choice for this recipe for sure. I dished up two slices of the Gluten-Free and Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pie and handed one to my roommate and settled in with mine. My roommate took the first bite and said that it tasted dead-up like a cheeseburger. That’s good. She’s not a vegetarian, nor is she dairy-free or gluten-free like me. But this impressed her. It impressed her a lot. The most disappointing aspect of the dish was the pie crust and that was a whole unrelated product, and it still worked out well in the end.
The Neat Original Mix is fantastic. I mean, it is so close to the real thing. As I said, I don’t often do meat replacements, but sometimes when revisiting old recipes I grew up with, it is necessary. I don’t think any other replacement for beef will come close to what Neat does for these dishes. This is the second time I have used a Neat product and both times I have been beyond impressed. The taste and texture are phenomenal. Even meat eaters won’t realize they aren’t really eating meat. That’s the wonder and the glory of this product. Anyone can have it (unless they have a nut allergy) and enjoy it. It was, for the second time, love at first bite. And it was wonderful to be able to adapt an old family favorite to fit my dietary needs.
Let’s now take a look at what goes into the Neat Original Mix. This product is made up of pecans, garbanzo beans, gluten free whole grain oats, organic whole grain gluten free cornmeal, garlic, onion, sea salt and spices. Simple. Delicious. Clean eating! It is gluten-free, non-GMO, and kosher.
As for nutrition, the Neat Original Mix is a powerhouse. A serving is 40 grams and there are 4 servings per pouch. One serving will provide 190 calories and 15 grams of fat. You will also be getting 232 mg sodium, 11 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams of sugar, 4 grams fiber, and 4 grams of protein. It is filling, so it makes a fantastic substitute for meat. But there is that added bonus of protein from the nuts that are blended into the mix.
It really did make a great addition and the perfect substitute for actual ground beef in the following recipe…
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pie
Prep: 10 minutes; Cook 30 minutes
- 1 package Neat – A Healthy Replacement For Meat Original Mix
- 2 organic cage-free eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 gluten-free pie crust (either made from scratch or bought at the store)
- 2 cups Daiya Mozzarella Cheese Shreds
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Pour the Neat – A Healthy Replacement For Meat Original Mix into a medium bowl. Add two eggs (or egg replacer if vegan) and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix well.
In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, brown the Next Mexican Mix and onion. Cook until vegetables begin to soften and the Neat can be chopped into a meat texture. Add the tomato paste and stir well. Allow it to heat through for a few minutes to marry the flavors together.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust and top with 2 cups of Daiya cheese shreds. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and pie crust is browned (with any luck). Slice and serve.
I have fallen head-over-heels for Neat. It is, without a doubt, the healthiest replacement of meat out on the market. I am thrilled that it is more available in my area. In fact, with so many places carrying it, I’m guaranteed to be able to pick it up at one place or another when I need it for a dish.
Neat…you are by far my best find and my favorite substitute in old family recipes. Nothing else can do what you do! So much love.