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Turn up the meat – er, beet — with new half-beef, half-veggie B.C. food product

Victoria chef creates new Holy Cow! options to help cut meat consumption
Paul Rivas developed a line of half-meat, half-veggie products to help cut meat consumption. (Contributed/Holy Cow!)

Chef and restaurateur Paul Rivas found himself back in his kitchen during the pandemic, experimenting.

He’d noticed customers ordering more vegetarian items in his restaurants.

For health and environmental reasons, Rivas wanted to cut his own meat consumption, but didn’t want to sacrifice his carnivorous palate.

So instead of going all plant-based, he came up with a transitional burger: a patty that’s half beef, and half plant-based products that mimic the taste and texture of meat. It’s things like beets, pea starch and tomato powder.

“When I eat this burger, I don’t feel that same meat coma,” said the chef who used to eat two to three meat burgers in a row. “I’ve tried this out on a lot of counterpart chefs who are carnivores, and they say the same thing, that it doesn’t make them feel heavy.”

He’s also developed a crumble (a.k.a. ground beef) and meatballs.

“The other day I made Bolognese for me and the kids, and they couldn’t tell they were eating vegetables, so that’s always a win.”

He’s named the line Holy Cow! Everything is gluten-friendly, soy-free and pronounceable. Holy Cow! is carried locally by the Market at Millstream, Western Foods Sooke and Village Foods Sooke.

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