Beyond Meat and Reflections on 2013

This will probably be my last post of 2013, and I promise not to bore you with too much philosophical rambling!  It’s more just a random assortment of thoughts that have passed through my mind of late.

But first, I wanted to announce that I finally tried Beyond Meat, using a coupon that they had on their website for a free pack.  [Sidenote: the coupon was supposedly available through 12/31.  But when I visited the link just now to provide it in this blog post, it had been disabled.  It’s sad but also kinda shady.  Just sayin.’ UPDATE: I had it wrong.  The coupon was only available from 12/23 – 12/25 and it expired on the 31st.  Thanks to Beyond Meat for clarifying!]

Anyway, I used the coupon to pick up the “grilled” flavor, and decided to prepare it by just lightly sauteeing and then adding to whole wheat bread with a quarter of an avocado and a dab of vegan mayo.

Beyond Meat 002

Beyond Meat 003

Beyond Meat 005

The appearance of the product is eerily similar to chicken strips.  I personally found the smell and taste, however, to be very similar to other meat analogues I have tried.  I know that Beyond Meat has been touted as a breakthrough product for meat-free eating, and I think it is a step in the right direction (especially texture-wise), but you’re not going to fool any omnivores with this one.

Still, the sandwich pictured above was REALLY tasty and satisfying, particularly once I busted out some chipotle BBQ sauce for dipping.  The sauce took it up about 7 or 8 notches.

Verdict: I’d eat this again, but only sporadically.

[Oh, as a total sidenote:  I watched the movie Emma the other day (starring Gwyneth Paltrow) and realized that it’s totally the story that Clueless is based on.  Is this common knowledge?!  And did it seriously take me 18 years to figure this out?!?!]

On New Years Eve/Day
I’m not a big New Year’s person.  Never have been.  This was actually a little bit of an issue when I was an undergrad at NYU, because each year I’d inevitably face pressure to spend the holiday in Times Square (which I can confidently state is the thing I’d like to do least in the world)!

I’ve long felt that there’s just too much hype around the holiday and finding the “perfect” plans to ring in the new year.  All I really ever want to do on a given year is be safe indoors (read: WARM.  And off the roads!) with my loved ones.

I’m not really that into resolutions either.  Most of the stuff I could “resolve” to do on January 1 (lose weight, eat healthier, blah blah blah) is stuff I generally strive for all year long.

That said, I think it’s important to use the inception of a new year as an opportunity to take stock of your life, where it has gone in the past year, and where you’d like to see it go in the coming year.  It’s okay to give yourself short-term goals that aren’t necessarily giant “resolutions” but will still improve your overall situation.

For example, one short-term goal I have for the next month or two is to do a pantry clean-out.  H and I have accumulated a plethora of stuff in the freezer and cabinets that I would like very much to work through before buying more groceries.  So while it is something I’ll be doing to kick off the new year, it isn’t really a resolution.  Rather, it’s part of my overall desire to have less clutter and to make do with less in my life.

On 2013
I find that as I get older, it gets harder to define the stages of my life.  For most of us, our early lives are measured by the school year schedule.  I was on that track up until age 26, when I graduated law school.  I was able to project what would happen in an upcoming year of my life and it was easy to have a goal in mind (e.g., graduate or pass the bar).

More recently, however, I’ve realized that I have to take ownership of my own life and not let it just pass me by while I’m waiting for something to happen.  I’m going to turn 30 in the new year.  It’s about time that I define what makes me happy and actively pursue those things.

This blog is a perfect example.  In 2013, I became much more active in publishing posts as well as being a presence in the community by reading and commenting on other people’s blogs (in fact, I spend considerably more time each week reading other blogs than I do writing my own!).

The impetus for my increased activity was the simple realization that blogging brings me joy.

This past year, rather than feel constricted by subject matter, I learned that I can write about whatever I want to.  I’ve allowed the blog to follow the natural arc of my life and in turn it has become easier and more rewarding to publish posts.

The blog is a small representation of the greater lesson I’ve learned this year, which is that the amount of effort you are willing to put into something is directly proportional to how much you will get out of it.  The things that are worth having in your life (family relationships, marriage, etc.) are worth working for, and you will get only as much as you give.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy New Year, where all of your wishes and resolutions come to be!

13 thoughts on “Beyond Meat and Reflections on 2013

  1. I’m the same way about NYE – although I’d like to go to Time’s Square once! I came home earlier than I’d planned, so this year I’ll be spending it on my own and maybe get up early for a run! Boring, right?

    • I always struggled with whether I should just suck it up and do the Times Square thing, just so later in life I could say I did it once…but in the end I just really, really didn’t want to and I still have no regrets 🙂 I think your NYE sounds nice and relaxing, and it also seems like you’ll be kicking the new year off on a very good note–enjoy!

  2. Thanks so much for the post and review Ashley! We’re glad to hear you were able to scoop up one of the free coupons (coupons were only available between 12/23 and 12/25 for download; good for use through 12/31) and grab some free Beyond Chicken strips.

    The texture is something we’re pretty proud of (especially when you shred it) and many of our fans enjoy eating them straight out of the box with BBQ sauce for dipping so good call on kicking up your sandwich with the sauce!

    Thanks again for giving us a try and have an amazing New Year. We look forward to following along with you in 2014 🙂

    (PS – hope your back is feeling better after the Just Dance incident. If it helps, one of our Cluckers rolled his ankle doing the same thing so you’re not alone)

  3. I still haven’t tried Beyond Meat even though it’s the only gluten-free vegan meat substitute that I know of, and I actually could. I just can’t get past its resemblance to actual meat, and for me that’s not a good thing. Maybe some day I’ll get past that.

    When I was 30, I thought I was so old. I know better now. But you’re absolutely right, don’t waste a minute waiting for something to happen!

    • I can totally understand how the similarity to actual meat would be hard for some. For me (either fortunately or unfortunately, depending on who you ask!) it isn’t as troublesome because I’m so used to seeing the real thing.

      Happy New Year!

  4. I’m always very low key when it comes to New Year’s too. I’ve never had one of those big, dress-up party nights, and honestly, by the time Thanksgiving and Christmas are over, I’m kind of glad to just stay inside in my pajamas. My husband and I re-watched Sherlock on Netflix and were asleep before 11 pm. That’s my kind of New Year’s!

    I’ve only tried Beyond Meat a couple of times, and both times they’ve already been prepared. Once was at the Homegrown Smoker in Portland and the other was part of a curry salad at Whole Foods. The sandwich was really good, and the curry salad was uninspired. So I don’t know if it’s Beyond Meat that pulled down the salad, or if it was just a case of it being there too long. I forgot to print off my coupon in time, and when I went back the promotion was over. Oh, well. I guess I’ll be trying it another time!

    • Hi Cadry!

      Happy 2014 to you! Thanks for the great feedback especially about Homegrown Smoker’s sandwich. We’ve been following them for sometime now and each time they post a photo of how they’re using our strips we almost pass out from hunger.

      Sorry to hear that you didn’t have an opportunity jump on that coupon BUUUUUTTTTT we’re going to shoot you an email shortly to get a mailing address from you and we’ll fire off some VIP coupons so you can get the opportunity to try it out!

      *PS AMAZING “Back In Thyme” photo. So good.*

      • Hi, Beyond Meat!

        Happy 2014 to you as well! Homegrown Smoker was a huge highlight of our trip to Portland last spring. If I could have one restaurant pick up and move to my city, they’d definitely make the short list! You can see a picture of that sandwich with Beyond Meat here:

        That’s so sweet that you’re going to send me some coupons to try Beyond Meat! I was bummed that I missed out, especially since I’d been telling people about it on Facebook. Oh, the irony! 🙂 I’ll look forward to hearing from you and to trying out Beyond Meat at home.

        So glad you liked the Back in Thyme photo!

        All the best,

  5. Pingback: Vegan “Hamburger Helper” & a BOGO Beyond Meat Coupon! | A.Cook in the Making

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