A few weeks ago, I was invited to lunch by my friend alwayshungry.ph. He didn’t tell me what it was about – he just told me where to meet and what time to meet. Since I was going somewhere nearby in the afternoon, I said okay. He’s a foodie buddy and we often try new restaurants together. 🙂 LOL, not a date, he’s just a friend.
We were meeting at Monde Nissin at 6750 Ayala, and I had no idea what the lunch was going to be about. What new product were we going to try? 😀
It turns out that the lunch featured Quorn. It’s pronounced “corn” but it has nothing to do with corn. I had heard of Quorn – meaning that I might have seen it on food magazine ads or something but aside from remembering the weirdly-spelled name, I had no idea what it was.
I was digging into some very nice potato salad before they told me that I wasn’t eating meat! The potato salad had some chunks of chicken, I thought the texture of the chicken reminded me of chicken nuggets with maybe some ground firm tofu mixed in, but other than that, I accepted that what I was eating was chicken before I learned that it wasn’t!
WHAT IS QUORN?
Quorn is a product from the UK. It is a sustainable, non-soy, meat-free protein product. Right now, they have 4 variants available – Chicken Bites, Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Pieces, and Mince.
In 1967, a team searching for a highly nutritious alternative protein source which could feed the world’s population discovered Mycoprotein. It was abundantly growing in a field in Marlow, England.
Mycoprotein is high in protein and fiber, low in saturated fat and calories, and has zero cholesterol. Mycoprotein is actually a fungus, which is why Quorn tastes slightly like ground up oyster mushrooms (to my taste).
WHY USE QUORN INSTEAD OF MEAT?
It is better for us and for the planet. Quorn contains 85% less saturated fat than lean beef, and has 200 fewer calories per serving, too!
Making Quorn has a lesser carbon footprint, 90% less than producing beef, 75% less than chicken. It also uses 40% – 90% less land and water compared to the different meat options.
Reading the literature, it says it takes 12-24 kg of feed to produce 1 kilo of edible beef. It also takes 15,000 – 20,000 liters of water to produce 1 kilo of beef! If that data is accurate, that means every time I cook 1 kilo of beef, I indirectly use 20,000 liters of water! Holy cow, that’s more than our monthly household water consumption.
Even if we only cook with Quorn once a week, imagine how much land and water we can indirectly, cumulatively, use less of. Not only will we be helping the planet, we will also be helping our own health.
COOKING WITH QUORN
He fried up some Quorn Chicken Nuggets – most people won’t be able to tell that it’s not chicken!
He also made some Nacho “chili” using the Quorn Mince. You use it just as you would use ground beef, there’s no special method. You just need to keep the Quorn frozen, and there’s no need to thaw! So easy!
The Quorn has the chewy, bouncy texture we sometimes get from meat. As for the Quorn Mince, it does absorb the flavors of the taco seasoning really well. If you’re not paying attention, you won’t even notice that you’re not eating real beef. For me, I’d say maybe it’s 80% close to real beef.
For me, the Quorn chicken is closer to real chicken, maybe 90%, if you’re comparing it to chicken cubes/minced chicken/chicken nuggets.
I was given some Quorn to cook with so yesterday, I made a pesto pasta with chicken (using Quorn Chicken Pieces). It was a hit and everybody liked it.
I used Clara Ole Cheesy Pesto for the sauce. I sauteed some onions and the Quorn Chicken Pieces using the pesto oil from the Clara Ole Cheesy Pesto pouch, so I did not actually add any more oil.
After the Quorn Chicken has browned a little, I added the rest of the pesto sauce. I added some minced garlic, made sure the sauce was bubbling and the Quorn was cooked through, then I added the cooked spaghetti (250 g), and just seasoned with freshly ground black pepper. I didn’t feel like it needed any more salt, and I was still going to sprinkle some Parmesan on top, anyway.
Simple, easy, and meaty without actually using any meat!
The Quorn chicken is tender enough that my senior citizen parents had no trouble chewing it, as well 🙂 It was a delicious dish that did not have any leftovers!
A quick Google search showed that some people may have allergic reactions to Quorn, but it only seems to be on the same level as people who may be allergic to peanuts, soy, etc… Most people will not have any problem with Quorn. I cooked Quorn at home and nobody seems to have had any negative reaction.
PRICE & WHERE TO BUY
Quorn prices are actually not that much more expensive. At least, it’s not as expensive as I expected. Prices range from P99.00 – P140.00. They are 300g per pack.
However, they do have some promos, and I’ve seen some where you can get 1kg or 2kg of Quorn Mince for only P100!
Well, that’s cheaper than real meat and if you find Quorn at that price, hoard! 😀
Quorn is available at most leading supermarkets like Rustan’s, SM Savemore and Hypermarket, Robinsons, Metro Gaisano, Landmark, Puregold, Shopwise, etc… List of specific supermarkets here: http://bit.ly/2i6ypj2
You can also order dishes made with Quorn at the following restaurants: Warung Kapitolyo, Cafeteria, Market on 5th Avenue, Florabel, Diabetic Diet, Shakey’s, The Sexy Chef, Fitness Gourmet, Diet Diva, the Sandwich Guy. Shakey’s! Yeah, I was surprised, too. 😀
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!