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Vegans, get ready, because this is big. If this is the first time you’ve heard about Vegetarian Plus Vegan Black Pepper Steaks, you’re welcome.
Let me give you a little background, at the risk of totally alienating our vegan/veggie audience. I was a vegetarian for 11 years, until I started having vivid dreams about killing a cow with my bare hands and eating its raw flesh. I ate meat after that for about two decades, but finding a product like Vegan Black Pepper Steaks is seriously making me consider returning to vegetarianism once again.
Oh, the sauce! I could fill a book with poetry describing it: rich, slightly sweet and spicy, thick without being starchy, perfection (yes, that was a haiku).
Don’t be put off by the fact that they come frozen in a box because seriously, I can’t imagine anyone would be disappointed with this dish at an upscale Asian bistro. The tenderloin “steaks” aren’t trying too hard to be meat; in fact, they really don’t taste at all like beef, which isn’t a bad thing. They are simply divine little chunks of salty-sweet gingery-protein deliciousness that manage to be firm without being chewy and tender without being mushy.
But here’s the key: I mix the steaks, sauce and all (do NOT forget to scrape every drop of awesomeness from your pan, for real) with Trader Joe’s confetti rice, a vegan Thai blend flavored with lemongrass and ginger. Holy shit serious goodness. There are no words. But I’m certain these little buggers would totally be delish mixed with some veggies over noodles or rice as well.
I would eat Vegan Black Pepper Steaks every day if it weren’t for the $7 price tag at my local gourmet grocery. The label claims each box contains 4 servings, but 2-3 is more like it in my opinion. And actually, even for 2-3 meals, $7 is kind of a bargain for this level of yum.