Quorn, Pasta, Mushroom, Pepper and Cheese Treat

So last night we decided to try a variation on an old favorite. When Meg was sharing a house with a young lady named Emily, she was introduced to one of the tastiest and easiest meals in the world.

Dead simple to make and extremely tasty.

It doesn’t have a name although you could call it Emily’s Pasta Dish. The main ingredients for the original dish are bacon, flat mushrooms, green and red pepper, pasta and cheese.

Now just in case you didn’t notice the bacon –which I helpfully highlighted in italics and bold print– I’ll point it out again. This lovely delicious treat has artery hardening, cholesterol raising, heart attack inducing bacon in it.

We decided to substitute the real bacon with Quorn bacon.

Now I don’t know if you remember or not, but I did say in another post that my first introduction to Quorn was not a roaring success. The texture was wrong and it didn’t taste quite right. Interestingly enough it was ham, another pork product, and I had a similar problem with the ersatz Quorn bacon. Meg noticed immediately that it looked more like bacon shaped baloney. I hasten to add it was shaped like English bacon. I had to agree.

Further more, to me at any rate, it tasted like baloney. I consider myself a bit of an expert as I used to dearly love fried baloney sandwiches. I know, you are sitting there thinking, “And this man is surprised that he had a heart attack?” But if you notice the operative part of the sentence is the phrase, ‘used to.’

Now the more crunchy portions of the Quorn bacon did taste a bit like bacon, but the less crispy bits did not. The dish was still enjoyable in many ways, it just did not taste as good as the rest of the Quorn dishes we’ve tried.

I guess there really is no perfect substitute for good old greasy, crisp bacon.

The recipe is as follows –if you are still interested:

4 slices of bacon (real or substitute)

3 – 4 flat mushrooms (by all means use organic ones if you wish)

1 green pepper

1 red pepper

2 – 4 bowls of cooked pasta (we use the twist aka Fusilli pasta, again you can use whole wheat or any variation)

1 tablespoon of Olive Oil

grated light cheese for topping.

If you use American style “streaky bacon” you won’t need to add any oil to your frying pan.

First start slowly frying your bacon in a pan big enough to hold your bacon, mushrooms and peppers.

Start boiling your water for your pasta

While you’re boiling and frying, cut your flat mushrooms into medium-sized pieces and then do the same to your peppers. (I’m sure everyone knows this already but, don’t forget to get rid of the seeds)

Once your bacon is cooked to your level of satisfaction (crispy or not) add the cut mushrooms and peppers.

Continue to cook the bacon with the mushrooms and peppers until done.

Once your pasta is al dente enough drain the water from the pan.

Now drain the excess liquid from the frying pan.

*If you time it right, the pasta and the other ingredients will all be ready at the same time.*

Add your bacon, mushrooms and peppers to the cooked pasta and stir.

Once you’ve plated up the dish, add the grated cheese to taste.

This is a great recipe for students or someone who doesn’t want to spend a long time preparing a delicious meal.

With real bacon or fake bacon and lovely dish.

Please excuse the blurriness of the photo, I was starving and had a hard time holding my phone still!

There is one thing I need to mention. The Quorn bacon might not have tasted like real bacon but, the dish was a lot “cleaner” with it. Making the dish with real bacon is “yummier” but “greasier.” It’s really up to you whether or not you use real Porky Pig bacon or not.

If you try it out, let me know what you think of it. Is it better with real bacon or did you prefer the imitation bacon.

Quorn Korma Another Healthy Heart Meal

So last night we had Quorn Korma. It was, as expected, delicious. I can also point out that it was easier to make than our usual chicken korma. I did not have to cut anything into small pieces apart from the mushroom that is a staple ingredient of most of our favorite dishes.

Quorn Korma. YUM

Admittedly it tasted much better than it looks in the picture. After I had taken a couple of snaps of the finished product, my daughter Meg looked at the pictures and said flatly, “It looks like dogfood.”

After surveying the pictures for a moment I had to agree, but to me it looked like more than dogfood. It looked like dogfood on rice.

This is so easy to make that you don’t really need a recipe unless you want to make the whole mess from scratch. We will be attempting a “curry” type dish from scratch later, but for now we took the easy way out.

The ingredients are simple. Well, simple if you live in the UK. We took one jar of Tesco’s finest Korma cooking sauce, –which is probably chock full of all kinds of heart attack inducing ingredients, but hey, we wanted to see what it would taste like– some mushrooms, –organic is you want to be really healthy–  and rice.

While we cooked the Quorn fake chicken in the korma sauce with our added mushrooms, we made the rice. In roughly 15 – 20 minutes the meal was made, dished up and put on the table.

It’s funny how differently you see things after you’ve had a “near death” experience. Before my tremendously exciting eventful day on the 30th of August this year I could not understand why anyone would prefer a meat substitute for the real deal.

Like Meg, I was of the opinion that Quorn, or products like it, was a sort of westernized Tofu. A strange sort of soybean curd thing that took the flavour of whatever it was cooked with.

Wrong.

The stuff isn’t made from soybean and it doesn’t absorb the flavour of what you cook it with.

The other opinion we share was our misunderstanding of why people would become vegetarians but still want meat flavoured substitutes. After the necessary changes to my diet, we can both now understand why. We are both eating healthier but are not having to live without “meat.”

So we now have a better understanding of vegetarians. The same cannot be said of Vegans. These rather eclectic “holier than thou” food snobs are completely beyond me.

Back to the recipe for a minute, I am sure that wherever you live a sort of cooking sauce exists that can be used instead of our Tesco’s finest korma sauce.

We are continuing our excursion into healthy eating the Quorn way. We are still experimenting with other vegetable type dishes and it’s on the calendar for us to attempt to do “homemade” sushi.

I will point out that I do still miss my meat, but I don’t miss the grease and the after-smell. Tonight, if the store has any, we will be trying the Quorn bacon in one of our favourite dishes.

It remains to be seen if this fungi bacon will satisfy my craving for the crisp real bacon that I adore. But, like all the other “new dishes” we’ve tried since my heart attack, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

On a completely different note, I will be putting my grimacing mug at the top of all my blog posts for awhile. Since my problem with the thumbnails the other day, I’ve had the odd person say that they liked my picture on the top. So until a lot of people complain at my apparent narcissistic tendencies, I’ll leave it up as my blog posts “calling card.”

Who is that handsome man??