After a month and a half of plant-based meals, I have realised that it is much easier than I thought it would be. But there are some days when I long for that typical meaty meal. A meal that would just not be the same without that meaty component. Luckily, I have found a solution.
Yes, I am talking about meat-free products: those meat alternative products that look and taste like meat but in fact it is made entirely out of plant-based products.
Now I know what you are thinking, meat is meat, and nothing will ever be able to replace it, and you are right. The first time I cooked a meat-free patty I kept thinking “this will be a disappointment”. But as I have mentioned before, the secret is in the flavour.
As I took my first bite into my meatless, dairy-free burger I was surprised at how much it tasted like the real deal. I was also surprised at how satisfying and light the meal was. All it takes is an open mind and a sense of adventure to start your journey toward a healthier diet and there is a range of products to help you do so.
From patties to braai-style sausages, from chicken nuggets to pied sausage rolls (I’m a sucker for a pie so I loved not having to give that up as well), everything you need to satisfy the memories of an animal protein-filled diet.
I was also surprised at how accessible and easily available these products were. I never noticed that they were right under my nose in my favourite grocery store. All I had to do was look for it. So next time you are in your local store, look up the vegan and plant-based products and choose a meat alternative to be a little more adventurous, while making the healthier choice.
The Imposter Burger (serves 4)
4 vegan burger buns
4 vegan burger patties (choose any vegan patty you like)
2 cups cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
1 small bag of rocket
1 small onion
100 ml balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic reduction
2 large gherkins
1 cup vegan mayo
2 tablespoons sriracha (or any other chili component)
10 peppadews (diced)
1 clove of garlic (diced)
some fresh lemon juice
- In a small pan, brown the onions and garlic in some olive oil.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and stir regularly for about 5 minutes on high heat.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and turn the heat down to medium.
- Let this simmer until most of the moisture has cooked down and add the balsamic reduction with some salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat off and leave the pan to simmer.
- In a small bowl, add the mayo, sriracha and peppadews and mix well. Add a little salt and pepper with a dash of fresh lemon juice to taste.
- Fry the patties from frozen in a pan with some olive oil until a crispy layer is formed on each side.
1. Cut the burger bun in half and grill the inside of the bun in the oven until golden.
- Coat the inside of each half with the chili mayo sauce. Start assembling your burger by first placing a layer of rocket, then your slices of gherkins, your patty, the relish, slices of avo and some salt and pepper.
- Serve your burger with some potato fries, wedges or sweet potato fries and use your leftover chili mayo as a dipping sauce.
- The burger is also great on its own, so you can easily ditch the fries and save yourself sometime in the kitchen.