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Healthy Recipe Doctor

with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

Elaine Magee's blog has now been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support she has brought to the WebMD community throughout the years.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Taste Test Tuesday: Trader Joe’s Italian Meatless Sausage

Trying some of the meatless, soy-based products can be a hit-or-miss proposition to say the least. So I’m always looking out for new meatless options that I can try and then pass along my thumbs up or down and hopefully, save you some money.

I found this Italian Sausage-Less Sausage at Trader Joe’s that has a soy substitute, which is a fairly rare occurrence for Italian sausage. You’re way more likely to find a soy substitute for breakfast sausage.

The label says that one link is a serving and that works since each link is pretty large and weighs about 3 ounces each. I cut the links lengthwise and then pan-fried them in a nonstick skillet coated with some olive oil. They got nice and crusty brown on the flat edge, which made the sausage particularly appetizing.

How did it taste? The texture and flavor was definitely pleasant – albeit far from what real Italian sausage tastes like. But if you use the sausage in a casserole or egg dish or as part of a sandwich, the difference will be a lot less noticeable.

The verdict: Thumbs up. Even my daughter and husband approved of this sausage-less Italian sausage. (My husband even came home the next day for lunch so he could enjoy the leftovers.)

Nutrition Notes
Soy, soy oil and egg white powder are the first few ingredients followed by an array of dried vegetables. Make sure not to add extra salt or high-sodium ingredients to the dish you are making because one sausage link (a serving) has 500 milligrams on its own. The links also contain 45% calories from fat (mostly smart fats) and 13 grams of plant protein per link.

First 5 ingredients listed: water, soy protein isolate, soybean oil, egg white powder, dried vegetables (onion, garlic, tomato, red and green bell peppers).

1 Sausage (85 g) = 140 calories, 13g protein, 7g carbohydrate, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1g fiber, 500mg sodium.

Comment on this post and ask your questions on the Food and Cooking Exchange.

Posted by: Elaine Magee, RD at 6:00 am

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