Much of my life has been spent searching for that perfect meat and dairy substitute, you know, the one that tastes EXACTLY LIKE MEAT AND DAIRY. Growing up in a house where half of the year and at least two days a week are spent abstaining from certain foods because Jesus is born and Jesus is risen, gives a person the unique ability to be a qualified scavenger. We are label-readers…mad, whey-watchers. Our conversations consisted of phrases like, “vegetable oil spread” and “soy burgers”. Passerbys could hear things like, “this tastes just like meat, honey, try it!” and “this tastes disgusting, I want a cheeseburger!”

And so, I am delighted to tell you all that I have found a delicious ground beef substitute. I have been in like with the veggie burger for years, but this? This is amazing. THIS is the equivalent to the meat lover’s Pepsi Challenge. I made tacos for dinner last night, and YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW THAT YOU WEREN’T EATING MEAT! (Dad, try this. You will love it, I promise. It has been dropped down from heaven, straight into Giant Eagle’s freezer.)

Because Tony thinks I was raised on lard and coke simply because I refused to eat what my mom cooked for dinner, and instead, chose to consume lard and coke, he was surprised that I was making such healthy choices. I explained to him that growing up in our house consisted of many fish dinners and searches for food-that-tastes-just-like-that-other-food. My mother did her best to make me healthy, and now, now that I am faced with high cholesterol and a bulging waist line, her efforts are finally kicking in. All the fasting and abstinence was like being in intensive training. His response as he watched me chow down on our veggie/soy tacos?

“Thank God for religion.”