‘Quorn’ – that word either makes you think, ‘yum!’ or ‘yuk!’ – and I often describe Quorn as being a bit like Marmite in that sense…love it or hate it! Personally, I bloody love it, so much so that I have decided to dedicate tonight’s blog post about the funny fungus-based stuff.
Most of you know that I have gone from 43st 5.5.lbs down to 30st 10lbs…and I hope to continue onwards and downwards! Whilst I don’t for one second believe that Quorn has a magic weight loss ingredient, I wholeheartedly believe that the inclusion of it in my diet it has contributed to my loss. Why? Well, I use it to make so many of my old favourites – which were either from a takeaway or in ready meal form – and they have had the Quorn makeover…my ‘fakeaways’ are legendary! Anyway, on with the Quorn post…
Firstly, I tried to discover what Quorn is made from. The standard line is that the main ingredient is mycoprotein which is “a nutritious form of quality protein.” When I looked it up, mycoprotein is extracted from a fungus called fusarium venenatum which is then put through a process of fermentation similar to that used in the production of yoghurt or yeast in bread. I remember thinking Quorn was made from mushrooms…but that is a little ambiguous really! It is made from a type of fungus…just as a mushroom is part of the fungus family. It isn’t sounding hugely appetising at this stage, is it?! But trust me, it tastes great!
I have tried supermarket own-brand meat-free products and compared them to Quorn. Some of them have a funny taste that lingers for a while, but I don’t find that with this stuff. And just like tofu, Quorn really absorbs the flavours of the dish – so if you cooked a lovely herby bolognese sauce, the mince absorbs those flavours. And whether you want to lose weight, or just eat a little more healthily, Quorn offers benefits in both areas!
I saw the Becky Adlington promo video, ‘Make One Change’, and was pleasantly shocked to find out that swapping your normal mince for Quorn mince, just once a week over four weeks, could save you over 800 calories. If you, like most families, enjoy a spaghetti bolognese or a cottage pie, then this seems like a fairly painless way of reducing your calories!
As well as the calorie benefits, it is much lower in fat than mince too – even the low fat stuff. The extra lean beef mince from most supermarkets (Asda in this case) contains 4.6g of fat per 100g, 1.9g of which saturates. Whereas the Quorn mince contains only 2g of fat per 100g, 0.5g of which saturates. So it makes a pretty good addition to a healthy diet.
When I first started eating the stuff, I think the only products I could find were mince, chicken-style pieces and fillets. Not exactly inspiring – although great as the basis of the dishes I rustle up. But now, well…now they have a mega range of products! Their meatballs are excellent in so many dishes – I even use them to replace faggots for my ‘faggot, mushy-pea and chips’ meal! They have lamb-style strips which I use to make my ‘fakeaway’ doner kebabs, and steak strips for fajita night. They have so many sausage and burger options…in fact, I can’t remember when I last actually ate a ‘real’ sausage or burger! Their southern chicken style burgers have saved me from giving in to the lure of KFC on many occasions – and at only 2.5 syns versus the KFC fillet burger at 20.5 syns, I think they are a fantastic alternative.
They even make ‘fish’ fishless fingers and so many deli-style options, such as ham style slices, peppered beef style slices, mini savoury scotch eggs and mini sausage rolls. For the pie-lovers there is a chicken style and beef style pie, and ready-meal addicts could find a healthier option waiting for them with the Quorn tikka masala! I won’t run through the entire product range – you can check that out here for yourselves if I have piqued your interest.
For my fellow Slimming Worlders, Quorn is a great option. It is an easy way of reducing calories without really noticing it…so you can still eat filling Slimming World meals, but know that it is helping you! Many of their products are syn free – the mince, the chicken pieces, the plain fillets, the sliced ‘meats’ – even the smokey BBQ and the ginger, lime and chilli sticky fillets are syn free…and they are mega! They have launched a syn free sausage – exclusive to Sainsbury’s – and the beef style red onion burgers are syn free too…and perfect for BBQs. I tend to check syns on the stuff with breadcrumbs and flavourings – in fact, I am always checking bloody syns! – just to be on the safe side. So many of my old takeaway favourites are now being created with Quorn products…I really think this stuff is helping me to stay on track. And after our meat-fuelled BBQ of the bank holiday weekends I have had a few much needed veggie days to recover!
There are so many delicious recipes on their website, including a dish with the meatballs…covered in a blue cheese sauce, and a gorgeous-looking chicken, pea and asparagus risotto. I have had a look at a number of the recipes and they are easily converted into meals suitable for Slimming World with the most minor of tweaks. I am going to give the chicken and veggie biryani a go for my Friday curry this week I think. My other half is a fussy eater yet he loves the meals I create with Quorn…which is a bonus, as I don’t have to watch him tucking into a takeaway whilst I eat my fakeaway!
Anyway, I will give up now…before you start thinking that I am being sponsored by bloody Quorn! You know that I have harped on about this idea of ‘demitarianism’ before…not giving up meat completely, but just reducing consumption of it. This is not only for the benefit of your backsides – less calories, less fat – but for the benefit of the environment. In western society we eat far too much meat and the supply is struggling to meet our demand. Think back to the horsemeat scandal…would this have happened if we consumers were not so demanding – demanding in terms of both the amount of meat we eat, but also in our demands for a reduction of the cost of that meat?
I am not saying that we should all give up meat, but just cut down – and in the words of Quorn and Becky Adlington, “Make One Change”! ;-). P.S. I spotted some prize giveaways on the Quorn website if you take part in this challenge…take a look here for yourselves!
So, today started early as I woke well before the alarm went off and just couldn’t get back to sleep! I then helped my other half with some work, before exercising, visiting the horses and heading to the shops. This afternoon has been full of nutrition lectures and catching up with people on the HOOP (Helping Overcome Obesity Problems) closed group on Facebook…great to discuss some of my issues with people who are in a similar situation, or at least empathise due to their experiences. I am going to talk about HOOP in more detail soon, so if you have any questions then send them over and I will let you know more! I don’t really have any major plans for the evening – maybe the new episode of Big Bang Theory – and some more reading.
Breakfast: Banana and two Benefit bars (6 syns).
18 syns today – so still less than my 25 syn allowance – but I buggered up a bit! I forgot the cereal bars were one of my HEB choices on a Green day, but had two brown rolls at lunch – which are a HEB per roll/batch/cob (depending on your geographical leanings!) – and so had to syn something! Never mind; I still had a great food day. It was the first time I had tried the ham style slices – as I really fancied a couple of ham and cheese batches – and as I was on a Green day, I decided to give them a go. I thought they were lovely and, for veggies especially, another great sandwich filling option! I have been informed that the turkey and stuffing style slices are also delicious…so will be picking some of those up soon. Dinner was my concoction from last week – red Thai paste (1 syn per tbsp) with some tomato purée, ginger, garlic, red onion, pepper, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, Muller light coconut yogurt with choc sprinkles (to replaced synned coconut milk) and Quorn chicken style pieces…and this week I threw in a bit of sweet potato and butternut squash too. It is a truly epic curry and one that will be a regular in my house!
Exercise: 15 minutes treadmill and 15 minutes BodyPump. I was seriously pooped at the 12 minute mark on the treadmill and must admit that I was struggling for breath…but like the silly madam that I am at times, I pushed on to my goal! I had a couple of minutes breather and then did the weights, which I really felt as I was in a bit of pain from yesterday’s session. So I am going to have a rest day tomorrow and then go again on Saturday. I also bought some extra strength cod liver oil and glucosamine today to help ease the joint pain; it’s kind of unavoidable at this weight, but anything I can do to help…if there are any PTs out there who want to offer some advice…!
Anyway, thank you for reading all about my food-crush on Quorn!
Loads of love,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx