Being raised vegetarian, I grew up on veggie meat. Not just tofu, but a huge array of meat alternatives with names like stripples and numeat. It was all pretty commonplace to me, but probably not the norm for a lot of people. But these days with concerns about factory farming and more people adopting meat-free diets, there are more companies that are finding greater success in selling fake meat to the masses.
Lightlife is one of these companies. They've been around for more than 30 years, but I feel like I only just discovered them within the last five years. They make a wide range of products ranging from tempeh to deli meats, all vegetarian or vegan.
The other day I decided to grab a box of their breakfast links, called Smart Links Breakfast Sausage Style. I tried them for the first time today, and have a few thoughts.
What you get A single box costs about $3.85 more or less (depends upon your grocery store). Each box contains six links, and a serving size is two links and 100 calories. At least six of the ingredients are from soy, and it also contains wheat gluten so this isn't for people with soy or wheat allergies.
How to prepare You're supposed to prepare these either by frying them or microwaving them. Today, I fried these in a little oil for several minutes until they were brown on all sides.
What they are like Before you cook them they are a little more challenging to handle without affecting the shape. They really need heat to seal in the texture. But once cooked, they are very firm.
These taste exactly like Lightlife's other breakfast product, Gimme Lean Sausage. The only difference is the shape and that these take less work to prepare (you have to slice the Gimme Lean Sausage). If you've never had either, however, they are very savory and salty (each serving does have 580mg of sodium!). They do have a similar flavor to other vegetarian or vegan breakfast links or patties, so if you have had any of those in the past, you should be able to enjoy these as well.
The verdict While I like these, I am not sure I would buy them again. Even though the flavor is pretty much the same, I prefer their Gimme Lean Sauage over these solely based upon texture and firmness. Still, though, if you like breakfast links I'd definitely recommend you try these.
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