I had a BLT for lunch today. Last night for dinner, shrimp scampi. The day before that, chicken parmesan. And you know what – I don't feel guilty about any of it. How could a self-professed Orthodox Jew flaunt such utter disregard for the laws of kashrut, you wonder. One word, baby. Soy.
Since I was raised on all sorts of treyf delicacies before I became religious: bacon, lobster, cheeseburgers, you name it, I never gave up liking those foods, I just gave up eating them. But after a while I realized that with all the soy technological breakthroughs out there (and, yes, there are many), you can trick your taste buds whilst remaining true to your Torah. Which in my mind is a recipe for success. So I wanted to share some of my secrets with you, my dear readers, because although there's a prohibition against eating it, there ain't no prohibition against liking it.
For the record, I'm not getting paid to endorse any of these products (although maybe I should)! Soy meat can replace nearly every type of regular meat out there: ground beef, steak strips, breaded chicken, ham, and pepperoni. The key to making something taste fake treyfabulous is to pick the best soy meat on the market, sautée it in a little olive oil (since real meat comes with shmaltz and soy meat doesn't) and replace it wherever the real meat would normally go. So for instance you can make foods like tacos, lasagna, baked ziti, and stick the soy ground beef in place of the real ground beef. Chicken parmesan can be made with a breaded soy chicken patty, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Pollack is kosher fish that is made into imitation shrimp and crab meat and can be prepared with all the same ingredients as the real stuff.
Here are the winners for the various categories:
Best Soy Ground Beef: Morning Star
Best Soy Breaded Chicken Patties: Morning Star (used to be another brand that is no longer kosher, but Morning Star is still pretty good for this)
Best Soy Ham substitute: Yves Canadian Bacon
Best Soy Pepperoni: Yves
Best Kosher Shrimp and Crab Replacement: DynaSea
Best Soy Steak Strips: Morning Star
Best Soy Bacon: If you like your bacon crispy, then go with Morning Star; if you like your bacon chewy, go with Lightlife
Best Veggie Burger: None, so instead go for a real MEAT burger with melted non-dairy Tofutti cheese
I've made nearly every fake treyf dish out there, so if anyone has a request for a particular recipe, just shoot me an email and I"ll be happy to share. Happy Kosher Treyf eating, everyone, and beh-tay avon (Hebrew for bon appetit)!