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Published October 11th 2020
Fauxtein options for you to try
It's a great time to eat vegan or even to try something new for your meatless Monday. Melbourne offers more plant-based meat options than ever before, in fact, plant-based has become a part of everyday lingo. With fauxteins now infiltrating everything from supermarkets to major takeout venues, why shouldn't we at least indulge our curiosity?
If you've ever found yourself toying with the idea of eating less meat or you want to try something new but don't know where to start, then check out my top 5 plant-based easy meal ideas.
1. The Fry Family Food Co
As a South African, I definitely have a soft spot for this brand, a project developed by a South African family who has been creating plant-based products from a range of vegetable proteins since 1991. Decades later, their product offerings have expanded and business is booming.
I can't go past their quinoa and brown rice protein burgers which are seasoned with rosemary, marjoram and sage, rolled in a light (almost buttery) gluten-free crumb as well as their similarly textured nuggets. These burgers or nuggets, when placed into the oven offer up a delightful crunchy coating and a soft inside like a chicken burger patty. My suggestion is to stack two patties, layer with vegan cheese (or cheese of your choice), grilled pineapple, lettuce, tomato, mustard, mayo or tomato sauce and cover with a bun or sandwich bread. It's a triumph.
Check out the chilled and frozen sections in your local Coles and Woolies ($6.00) to find these and see what else they offer.
2. Sophie's Kitchen
Started by a mother whose daughter was allergic to seafood, this company makes a lengthy list of vegan alternatives including a mouth-watering plant-based fish fillet selection. Sophie's Kitchen claims that their seafood is 'Tasty AF (As Fish)' and they are not messing around when it comes to this statement. I was pleasantly surprised to spot this brand at Coles Supermarkets recently, as I had been craving some of my old South African fish recipes.
These small crunchy fillets are super easy to prepare in the pan, with a satisfying sizzle followed by an even more satisfying smell. As an added bonus the fillets are gluten-free and work well as an alternative fish dinner with chips, fish tacos or as an appetiser like Mock Crayfish.
You can find these and other options at your local Coles Supermarkets was $2.50 (save $4.00) on special.
3. Beyond Meat - Beyond Burger
The Beyond Burger is the world's first plant-based burger that looks, cooks, and tastes like a fresh beef burger. It has all the traditional aspects of a regular burger but comes with the upside of being a plant-based meal. This beefy burger is eerily real to the original, with a raw meat texture before cooking and a beef-like char. The red texture of these burgers comes from beet juice and they are fashioned mainly from pea protein, yeast extract, and coconut oil.
In my first experiment with this veggie monster, I cooked my patty in an iron pan with BBQ spices and stacked it with grated carrot, lettuce, tomato and various sauces. The balance of proteins in the patty and fat mimics the texture of meat and has a realistic, mouth feel, creating a satisfying burger feast.
You can find these burgers in the meat aisle of Coles Supermarkets for $12.00.
4. The Alternate Meat Company
As a non-meat eater, there are days when I crave some of my former favourites like digging into a hot-dog or sausage smothered in tomato sauce, oh those were the days. Luckily The Alternative Meat Co. produces a pseudo sausage that smells and tastes like the real thing. While meat-eaters and sausage aficionados alike may find it easy to turn their noses up at the thought of a plant-based vegan option, there's more to this delicious meal than may initially meet the eye. Found in the fridge section, this Aussie made soft sausage is scattered with herbs providing rustic farmhouse flavours. You can definitely make a meal of these with mashed potatoes or in a hot dog bun with homemade relish.
Grab these sausages at your local Coles Supermarkets ($9.00).
5. Funky Pies
Funky pies are a Bondi Beach-based bakery that specialises in plant-based pastries and luckily there are quite a few stockists that house their specialty pies. I have tried their gluten-free rustic bolognese pie with chunky organic tempeh and lentils in a thick bolognese sauce, covered in flaky gluten-free pastry. They offer a broad range of options to try from such as Satay, Nepalese style, Spinach, Tuscan Mushroom, (and more) which come frozen and ready to stock up your freezer which any good Aussie should.
Head online to see if there is a stockist near you - pies are around $6.95.