Photography by KATHY TRAN.

Crystal Gomez started experimenting with fake-outs a few years ago, after becoming vegan in 2017.

“My husband started out vegan with me and fell off the wagon because he felt like he was missing something from his diet,” she says. “So he started eating meat again on the weekends.”

In an effort to lure him back to full-time plant-based life, she set out to make a better meat.

Gomez knew of vegan meat purveyors such as the Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis. She started with recipes she found on the internet and then started toying around with textures and flavors.

She’s the vice president of revenue cycle for a health care company, and with extra time at home last year, she hammered out perfected recipes.

The products were such a hit with friends and family that she turned them into a business.

The Boneless Butcher sells vegan steak, ribs and jalapeño cheddar brats.

They’re made mostly from seitan, which is wheat gluten, mixed with mushrooms and onions.

The Boneless Butcher rents a production facility in Garland, and its products cost $11-$18 on its website and every weekend at the Dallas Farmers Market, where samples are available. These vegan meats can also be found on gtfoitsvegan.com, at Mashup Market in Denton and at a snow cone trailer in DeSoto called Snow on the Rocks, plus occasional pop-ups around town.

Gomez lives in Lochwood with her husband, a physical therapist, and their kids, ages 15, 13 and 8.

She started The Boneless Butcher on the side, and she hasn’t quit her job yet, but she’s hoping to make it a full-time business, with growth into a wholesale business and possibly a restaurant or storefront.

“Come see us at the farmers market and get a sample,” she says. “I love seeing non vegans come and try stuff out of curiosity. I love exposing people who aren’t already exposed to this lifestyle to that.”