As discussed before, I am one of those vegetarians that actually miss meat.  I haven’t been meatless long enough to have “forgotten” what meat tastes like, and sometimes I crave it.  So, I’m constantly on the lookout for faux meat that actually tastes good.


When I spotted this Italian “Sausage” at the store, I knew I wanted to use it to make…. 


Stuffed Acorn Squash!


Because these sausages are a little calorie (270), sodium (620 mg), and fat (13 gram) heavy, I had 1/2 a sausage (which still packed 15 grams of protein)!


Inside my pre-cooked acorn squash (baked at 350 upside-down in a casserole dish filled with a little water for 40 minutes), I stuffed:


  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped zucchini (lightly grilled first)
  • 1/2 a Tofurky sausage (lightly grilled first)
  • 1/8 cup cheddar cheese


And then I baked the entire thing for another 15 minutes at 380.


The result was AMAZING!


Tofurky, you did not disappoint!  The “sausage” tasted salty and rich, and it even had a similar texture to real sausage.  But it didn’t taste TOO much like real sausage (none of that crunchy-skin thing), which was good in my book.


Yum!  I had a Snickers Fun Size for dessert.  🙂


Before lunch, I went on a 3.0 mile run.  I fueled up with a mini Oh She Glows bar:


I’m trying to run all my shorter runs at Half Marathon goal pace to prepare myself for my upcoming race.  Only 10 more days!


  • Duration: 27:10
  • Distance: 3.0 miles
  • Mile 1: 9:16
  • Mile 2: 9:04
  • Mile 3: 8:54


‘Twas an excellent run!  Even Maggie was excited for me.  🙂 Look, she got her little wiener legs off the ground:

IMG_4599 IMG_4600

I have an 18.0 miler on the schedule for tomorrow.   Eck!


What’s your thoughts on faux meat?  Or do you just do the “real thing”? I don’t like to eat a lot of faux meat because it’s highly processed and filled with sodium, but sometimes it tastes really good!  I did have faux chicken strips over fettuccine once, and they tasted a little TOO much like the real thing for me to be able to enjoy it.



  • jen trinque November 4, 2009, 12:45 pm

    I feel the same way about fake meat – sometimes it’s good, but overall it’s too processed for me to eat it frequently. And I really do not like it when it seems too much like the real thing! I do like Amy’s California Veggie burgers, which taste nothing like beef and have all regular ingredients and aren’t overly processed. I like fake pepperoni, too!

  • Neely November 4, 2009, 12:53 pm

    Love the faux meat scene… Morningstar almost anything is good in my book, but there are some losers out there, too.

    Oh and mark my words… there is NO “good” faux bacon. None.

  • Laura November 4, 2009, 12:54 pm

    Caitlin- if you have time, why don’t you try making your own fake sausages, it really doesn’t take too much time- you get to stand on the shoulders of giants (!!), you can make loads of sausages, burgers- for your tail gates- at once and then freeze them for later. They’re great because you can vary what you put in= fat, salt, veggies/olives etc, beans/tofu etc and CHEAP! I make ones with vital wheat gluten, bean flour/beans/tofu and all kinds of spices. They don’t taste too like meat, and don’t taste too vegetarian- have a look at Vegan Dad or if you feel like having a go, they’ve perfected the art… 😉

    • caitlin November 4, 2009, 12:55 pm

      oooooooooooooooooooo that looks fun!

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers November 4, 2009, 12:55 pm

    aw maggie is a cutie pie! i like fakie meat… the morningstar farms crumbles taste like real ground beef!

  • Marlene November 4, 2009, 1:05 pm

    I totally agree with Laura – making your own is the way to go! My go-to recipe for vegan sausages is this one from Everyday Dish:

    Oh man it’s good. The steaming makes them SO moist. And very easy to modify for different flavours.

    But if you do buy fake meat, Tofurkey is one of the best. They’re tofu is all organic and “safe”. But I agree with you, the nutritional info on those freightens me too!

  • megan November 4, 2009, 1:06 pm

    I think the only fake meat I’ve ever had is some type of ground meat substitute. can’t even remember what it is right now. i’m a little grossed out by all of it… but I’m not a vegetarian, so I guess it doesn’t matter all that much. 🙂

  • Lindsey November 4, 2009, 1:08 pm

    I tried going vegan for about two weeks and did the whole fake meat thing and didn’t enjoy it. It was too processed for me and I didn’t feel like it was really adding any nutritional benefit to my meal.

  • MelissaNibbles November 4, 2009, 1:16 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Quorn Chik’N cutlets. They actually taste more like turkey, but that’s okay with me.

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) November 4, 2009, 1:17 pm

    I’m not a vegetarian but I love veggie burgers. Sometimes I actually prefer them to real burgers.

  • brandi November 4, 2009, 1:18 pm

    great job on the run!

    the only “fake meat” thing I eat is some veggie burgers, but I like homemade ones best. I haven’t tried many of the faux meat products – some of them just scare me! But, i’m also not a vegetarian.

  • alli November 4, 2009, 1:18 pm

    great run!
    i’ve had boca burger before. i like it. i don’t have it very often, but i will use it chopped up in stuffed bell peppers, the meat loving husband didn’t even notice it wasn’t “real” beef!
    i’m going to try your stuffed squash this weekend for sure!
    you must be liking your veggies more these days?

    • caitlin November 4, 2009, 1:20 pm

      im trying!! LOL

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 4, 2009, 1:19 pm

    I have an aversion right now to meat, but I don’t think I could ever do the ‘fake’ meat. Blech.

  • Diana November 4, 2009, 1:20 pm

    I didn’t really like the fake meats when I was vegetarian… they just didn’t taste good to me. 😐

  • Julie @savvyeats November 4, 2009, 1:20 pm

    I go back and forth on my feelings about fake meat. And tofu. I’m still trying to develop a taste for tofu.

  • Jess November 4, 2009, 1:21 pm

    I’m not a vegetarian but I eat very little meat so the few occasions that I do want meat I just go for the real thing. I second the first comment about Amy’s California Veggie Burgers — they are delicious!

  • Leah @ Simply fabulous November 4, 2009, 1:23 pm

    Don’t forget to pump yourself up and get excited for your 18 miler… just like you did last week for your 17 miles! You’ll rock it!

  • Erica November 4, 2009, 1:25 pm

    I love acorn squash! I’m having some time. have you tried doing it in the microwave? It tastes exactly the same- I do mine for about 13 minutes (just put it right in, no dish or water required). Great job on the run!!

  • Erica November 4, 2009, 1:25 pm

    *that should have said some tonight not some time haha

  • Christina November 4, 2009, 1:26 pm

    I’m not 100% vegetarian but I try to have a mostly fresh diet so I do avoid most fake products/anything processed. I make an exception for rice cheese (I can’t have the “real” thing/dairy) and ocassionaly veggie burgers.

  • Leah @ L4L November 4, 2009, 1:29 pm

    I’m not vegetarian but I loveme some faux meat from time to time! I adore morningstar breakfast sausages, veggie or bean burgers, etc. I don’t do so much tofurkey and such, just because it is heavily processed.

  • Matt November 4, 2009, 1:30 pm

    I eat the real thing 🙂

  • Molly @vegandorm November 4, 2009, 1:30 pm

    when i first became a vegetarian, i ate a lot of fake meat. now that i’m vegan and have been vegetarian for 2 years, fake meat seems really nasty to me in general.
    however, certain things (soy meatballs) are great, and veggie burgers that don’t actually try to taste like beef burgers are also good, and trader joe’s soy sausage is delicious also.

  • Mellissa November 4, 2009, 1:31 pm

    I am not a vegetarian but do occasionally eat a veggie burger but that is the extent of my fake meat, I look at the ingredient list and usually end up passing. I would rather eat meat then pump my body full of chemicals or weird soy like products. Eww.

  • Mama Pea November 4, 2009, 1:33 pm

    I use the fake meats sparingly. My faves: tempeh bacon and TJ’s meatless meatballs. Now tofu…that I love!

    My hubs informed me today that he WILL be eating fish when we go to Hawaii. Can’t say I blame him.

  • Bec November 4, 2009, 1:35 pm

    mmm I love stuffed acorn squash 🙂 I usual try to avoid “fake” meats but I still do have veggie dogs sometimes in the summer and veggie burgers that are actually veggie based not fake meat based lol.

  • Kristin P. November 4, 2009, 1:38 pm

    I am a vegetarian and I eat mostly vegan. I agree with the above commenter: Quorn makes some good fake chicken items. I don’t eat it too often but every now and then I want ‘chikn’ nuggets. I also like morningstar fake bacon.

  • Kristin P. November 4, 2009, 1:39 pm

    ohh and i forgot to mention veggie dogs at baseball games!

  • Jenny @ nutmegger November 4, 2009, 1:43 pm

    I’m not a documented vegetarian because I love the real thing – but I never end up buying it so I usually eat veggies, veggie burgers and tofu. I love putting tofu in a sandwich with tomato and avocado. It looks just like mozzarella cheese and tastes just as great!

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale November 4, 2009, 1:47 pm

    Can’t believe you don’t like the “snap” of the sausage skin! That’s the best part! 🙂

  • Kelly November 4, 2009, 2:04 pm

    When I first started eating vegan I tried all the fake meats. NASTY! The fake meat products have so many preservatives and a ton of sodium. I will however use the organic tempeh from Trader Joe’s. Honestly, nothing is anywhere close to real meat.

  • kilax November 4, 2009, 2:13 pm

    I like to use boca and morningstar for convenience, but I try not to eat them too often. 🙂 It’s fun though, to feel like you’re included by having a “burger” when everyone else is eating meat.

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) November 4, 2009, 2:19 pm

    Granted i’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat a lot of meat in general. I personally am a little grossed out by fake meat- it just seems weird to me. I think it’s totally fie to not eat meat in your life, but the stuff that is supposed to replicate it in veggie form just seems… off-putting to me. Hard to describe..

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite November 4, 2009, 2:23 pm

    I’m not too grossed out by the fake meat.. the morning star brand is pretty good!

  • Erin November 4, 2009, 2:25 pm

    I never really understood fake meat. If you gave up meat why would you want to eat something that tasted like meat? It wasn’t until I heard a vegetarian tell me that she didn’t want it to taste like meat that I sort of understood. I guess they come in handy at things like barbeques but otherwise I still don’t really get the point. Especially if you can get all the nutrients other ways.

  • Lindsay November 4, 2009, 2:26 pm

    Your stuffed squash looks really good! Fake meat kind of freaks me out. I stick to the real thing.

  • Julie November 4, 2009, 2:32 pm

    Not really into fake meats anymore. I stopped eating a lot of processed foods not too long ago and while I have brought some back into my diet (crackers, granola, kashi bars) I haven’t brought back the boca burgers. I used to eat those a ton. Those and morning star chicken patties. I ate these when I was a meat eat too, which is kind of funny.

  • Gina November 4, 2009, 2:43 pm

    Stuffed acor squash…what a fabulous idea! I am going to have to try that very soon:) I like the real thing…I try to eat a vegetarian breakfast and lunch, but dinner I usually incorporate meat.

  • Sammi November 4, 2009, 2:44 pm

    I was a vegetarian for about four years and I went through phases where I would miss it. Cheesecake factory used to have a veggie burger that was the most amazing burger ever. I think it even had poms in it. When it comes to nuggets, I prefer the fake stuff. I love the morningstar farms fake chicken products!
    It used to drive me crazy when

  • Sammi November 4, 2009, 2:46 pm

    ahhh I don’t know what happened. sorry!
    what I was saying was… it used to drive me crazy when people would criticize me for eating fake meat. They would always say “what’s the point in not eating meat if you’re just going to eat stuff that tastes like meat?” Drove me ABSOLUTELY crazy!

    • caitlin November 4, 2009, 2:47 pm

      cause tofu doesnt have feelings? LOL

  • MaryZ November 4, 2009, 2:53 pm

    I’m a ‘semi’- vegetarian…haven’t made the switch completely. Mostly because I like a good burger now and then. I rarely use the faux meats…just don’t like all the processed stuff.

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing November 4, 2009, 3:12 pm

    I’m not a fan of faux meat. I don’t really like things that “pretend” to be something else. Too artificial and processed! I feel it’s better to eat free range organic meat than something made in a factory, full of preservatives and sodium.

    • Sam November 4, 2009, 3:27 pm

      You know, I’m a vegetarian and I have to agree that eating organic meat is healthier than eating the processed artificial faux meats. I don’t eat faux meats at all – it’s amazing how much junk is in faux meat! Stick to whole foods (beans, meats, grains, fruits, veg & nuts)!

      • caitlin November 4, 2009, 3:28 pm

        yes, but what about not eating meat for moral, environmental, and social reasons? i’d rather eat processed junk than eat meat.

        and organic meat is not necessary humanly raised, unfortunately.

        • Sam November 4, 2009, 8:24 pm

          Well, we’re talking health wise not getting into the moral issues. Personally, I would never eat meat whether Organic or not but if someone is going to choose between meat or faux meat from a healthy standpoint then meat is the winner. Preservatives, artificial flavoring and coloring, isolated soy, MSG (which goes by autolyzed yeast in faux meats) and high sodium is NOT healthy in any way. Sorry!

        • caitlin November 4, 2009, 8:33 pm

          naw you’re right – its kind of a lesser of two evils thing, huh?

        • Jen Thomas November 4, 2009, 8:42 pm

          Kind of surprised with your comment about you preferring to eat processed junk over meat. I like your blog because you promote whole food living but this certainly is not within those standards. If whole food living is what you want to be about then you need to focus on that or reevaluate your mission.

  • Angie November 4, 2009, 3:12 pm

    Try Gardein Chicken.
    It tastes like the real stuff, but is made from mostly vegetables.

  • Juni November 4, 2009, 3:19 pm

    I’m also vegetarian (for 6 yrs). Sometimes when I cook meat for my husband (who is not veg) I just want to take a bite! I eat faux meats very seldom because of all the junky ingredients but every few months I will buy some to add variety to my meals. Have you tried the Quorn Meatballs? They are made from mycoprotein (mushrooms) and taste so close to the real thing – delicious and the ingredients are not that bad. Good for you sticking to a veg plan!

  • Jessie (Vegan-minded) November 4, 2009, 3:26 pm

    I love those Tofurky sausages! I love the fact that they have so much protein too. I eat faux meats on occasion, but try to stick to tofu or tempeh to avoid eating too many artificial ingredients or soy protein isolate. My favorite faux meat ever is Field Roast. They sell it at Whole Foods. I used it in a sandwich yesterday if you want to have a look. 🙂

  • Evan Thomas November 4, 2009, 3:46 pm

    I don’t label myself vegitarian, but I’ve drastically reduced my meat intake. Now I only eat meat when I actually want/crave it, and when the animal was wild or raised organically and the meat is properly prepared. I’ve been trying to find products that suit my food cravings better. I really enjoy Lightlife fakin’ bacon. It has the great smokiness and saltiness of real bacon but also a but of nuttiness and toughness.

  • Nicole November 4, 2009, 3:51 pm

    I loooove veggie burgers. I like Amy’s burgers, but I really love making my own too. I’ve tried the those sausages and they are so good! The fake deli meat isn’t too great, but I like most other tofurkey products 🙂

  • Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness November 4, 2009, 3:54 pm

    I am a flex-itarian and do not consume any meat except for fish.

    I love veggie burgers but generally do not care for “fake” meats. Especially Morningstar’s fake chicken strips or patties, yuck. Conversely, I LOVE their “Buffalo wings.” Does that make any sense? There is also a product from a company I can’t recall at the moment, who make stuffed “turkey” entrees – I love the fake turkey and stuffing one.

    My boyfriend loves the sausages you reviewed today, and I’ll have a couple bites here or there… try heating up pieces of the sausage in marinara sauce, they make for a great “fake” Italian meatball sandwich!

  • katy November 4, 2009, 3:56 pm

    I’m not necessarily a vegetarian, but I don’t eat a lot of meat just by choice/preference. However, one of my fav dishes is to cook up some whole wheat pasta (usually rotini), while at the same time cooking up Boca Italian “Sausage” (they have one now with all natural ingredients) in a little oil. I cook the sausage up before cooking, so it gets more crispy than cutting it after its cooked. Mix with the pasta and some sauce, top with a little parmesan… so good.

    I also lived on the Morningstar Breakfast Links for years. Definitely not going to satiate a real breakfast sausage craving, but I still think they’re delicious 🙂

    • katy November 4, 2009, 3:57 pm

      I mean I cut the sausage before cooking… haha.

  • Heather November 4, 2009, 3:57 pm

    Dear Caitlin,

    I know you’ve had a bit of “Baby Fever” as of late.
    I have a feeling your reading certain blogs isn’t helping this.

    I just need to confess.
    Everytime I see a photo of little James or Maggie I squeal! (same goes for Oliver or Maddie, as well.)

    There. I said it. It’s now offical.
    I’ve been avoiding the swine flu, but i have puppy fever.
    [oh my. i went there.]

    • caitlin November 4, 2009, 4:01 pm

      heheheh i had puppy fever BAD before i got maggie.

      get a doggie!!!!

      • Heather November 4, 2009, 4:17 pm

        i believe “rescue a dog” may be on my new years resolution list. (can’t start too early with me and the lists, right?)\

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat November 4, 2009, 4:19 pm

    I use faux met sparingly because it is highly processed, like you said, and I don’t miss meat at all so I don’t feel the need to use it.

    Yay, Maggie! 🙂

  • Nicci November 4, 2009, 5:50 pm

    Sometimes I relly crave a burger and go with the veggie burger when out to eat.Mainly I like to ake my own.

  • stephanie November 4, 2009, 5:58 pm

    I went Vegetarian earlier this summer and it really hasn’t been an issue because I just didn’t eat much meat in the first place. The nutritional info on the faux meats are pretty “Ewwww” to me. I’ll eat the occasional bit of tofu and I make my own black bean veggie burgers. Luckily I just LOOOOVE me some beans and veggies!

  • Lindsay Perrone November 4, 2009, 6:05 pm

    The worst but most delish fake meat out there is Riblets. They are smothered in sugary sauce to taste like ribs. Sooo good but oh so bad.

  • Susan November 4, 2009, 6:05 pm

    I used to eat a lot of faux meat when I was a vegetarian, and it’s actually one of the reasons why I started eating meat again. I figured the real thing was probably more healthful and less processed than the fake stuff. My body really likes meat anyways, I have a lot more energy now. Everybody’s different! 🙂

  • Jolene ( November 4, 2009, 6:18 pm

    I eat the real thing – but not too much of it.

  • Cyclist Kate November 4, 2009, 6:58 pm

    The only purchased faux meat I do is Morningstar Farms sausage patties. I’m not claiming they’re healthy but I love them, especially baked in the oven so they get a little crispy/chewy! And they’re good for a nice protein kick in the morning.

    However, I do enjoy my home-made faux meats! I make home-made seitan cutlets and use them in all kinds of things…they’re the best faux meat, in my opinion, and since I make them myself they’re not sooo bad (yeah, not a whole food, but whatever). Tonight I’m making seitan stew. I also love the chickpea cutles in Veganomicon. Actually, that’s a great cookbook overall, you might check it out! I know you’re not much into cooking but it’s really great and pretty easy to use.

  • Amanda (modernation) November 4, 2009, 7:12 pm

    I am not a fan of faux meats. I am not a vegetarian, but have gone through periods where I eat vegetarian. My thoughts are, “If I am not eating meat, then I don’t want to eat something posing as meat”. But, like I said, I have never eaten completely vegetarian for more than a month, so my opinions are different.

  • Lauren November 4, 2009, 7:41 pm

    Thanks for the review on the Tofu Suasages. I’ve seen these so often but I am always hesitate to buy them. I think I may need to give them a try.

    I really don’t eat much meat at all, but my one love that I don’t think I could give up are TJ’s Organic Chicken Suasages. Weird because I think I hate Hot Dogs more than anything on this earth, like they make me want to vomit, but I feel that chicken sausages are entirely different.

    I love the idea of stuffing into squash! Glad you had a great speedy run today! 😉

  • Karla November 4, 2009, 8:39 pm

    Hey Caitlin, I am not a vegetarian, but I do love Morningstar Farms veggie burgers… I am actually eating one now! On a side note, I just wanted to say how much I have been enjoying your blog lately. I think you concentrating on writing full time (well, and school) has made quite an impact on your blogging style. Your topics lately have been very engaging and enjoyable to read. Thanks for all the hard work you’ve been putting in!

    • caitlin November 4, 2009, 8:44 pm

      thanks 🙂 i really appreciate that.

  • Angi November 4, 2009, 9:16 pm

    I’m an omnivore, but I like switching over to faux meat once in a while. I love the crunchy skin thing! That’s the only thing that I miss about meat hot dogs. (I refuse to eat hot dogs after seeing what is processed into them…ugh.)

    Thanks for the great work! (I’ve followed you from the Operation Beautiful blog!)

  • Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life November 4, 2009, 9:44 pm

    Not all faux meats are terrible, but there are a lot of them that are! I don’t eat them all that often, but when I do, I make sure to have onces I really like-like Boca and Morningstar Farms products.

  • BroccoliHut November 4, 2009, 11:34 pm

    When I first switched to vegetarianism in high school, I was all over the Boca burgers and Tofurky, then I backed off once in college and had learned how to cook other proteins (hence why my blog was originally called Beyond Tofurky). Anyway, I still enjoy the occasional faux meat item–today I had a soy sausage and cheese bagelwich!

  • Jenna November 4, 2009, 11:42 pm

    yummy lunch.

  • Stacey November 5, 2009, 11:34 am just gave me the greatest laugh of the day! “Little weiner legs” lololol. Yay for a good run! I’ve tried to get my boyfriend to try the Tofurkey sausages but he’s scared 🙁 I think I still might by some for me! They look yummy 😀

  • Rosey Rebecca January 21, 2010, 9:20 am

    I am definitely making this in the next couple weeks!! Thanks for the idea!

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