Meat free Monday… faux meat is in fashion

We round up some of our favourite meatless summer sizzles. From seriously good sausages to banging burgers, having a night off from meat, even on a barbecue doesn’t need to compromise on taste.

We’ve all seen the #meatlessmonday hashtags and the headlines waxing lyrical about skipping meat for vegetarian, even vegan choices, on a more regular basis. While 15 years ago being a vegetarian was seen as a rather ‘difficult’ food requirement to cater for, these days it’s encouraged, common and really well catered for. From restaurants to major supermarket chains, going meat free is no longer a chore and the product development is pretty outstanding.

While we don’t understand how they do it… pea protein tasting like sausages? Here for it! We do totally support it. So this post is dedicated to meat free meal ideas loved by The Style Life family and a couple we’re looking forward to trying this summer.

Contributing Editor, Margaret Hussey, gave Heura, plant-based burgers a whirl…

“We’re all trying to do our bit for the planet at the moment, and cutting out meat doesn’t mean losing flavour. We tested the plant-based Heura burger, which is made with extra virgin olive oil, has 85 per cent less saturated fat than a beef burger and more protein. Our tester confirms it packs a great meaty flavour and texture. So what better than to whack one on the barbie this weekend.”

Available from Planet Organic and The Vegan Kind from £3.99.

The Style Life co-founder, Rivkie, is a big fan of Meatless Farm

My husband to be, Dan, introduced me to Meatless Farm. The sausages are made of pea protein, which I first tried and fell in love with as a meat free option at a Tesco Christmas press day a couple of years ago. As a former vegetarian, I remember the days before the shelves were packed with alternatives and the ones that did exist weren’t that great. But I actually prefer the Meatless Farm sausages to regular ones. They crisp up beautifully in the oven and they have a subtle spicy flavour. They’re great as a blow-out, Bank Holiday breakfast too. I’m also a big fan of their meatless mince, try it for bolognese, lasagne or shepherd’s pie. Yum. I’ve just seen that they’re doing a sausage roll now… which I can’t wait to try. Oh and most of the products are wheat and gluten free too! They’re also crowdfunding at the moment if you want to get involved: Meatless Farm

Available in major supermarket chains and online here: Meatless Farm

The Style Life co-founder, Antonia, loved the idea of ‘THIS’, that she actually invested.

“While I’m a staunch carnivore – much to my vegetarian husband’s semi-horror – even I have to concede that when it comes to some substitutes, it’s hard to tell the difference. When we first came across THIS at Patty & Bun, we were both impressed by the flavour and meaty texture of the patties. Having watched the brand expand and tried the new offerings, last year we decided to put our money where our mouths were when the company appeared on investment portal Seedrs. While I still eat meat, my intake has drastically been reduced by the ready availability and flavour of THIS products.”

Antonia’s husband Ben (the staunch vegetarian) reminisces about Richmond sausages of the past and future…

“Richmond sausages always remind me of my time at university when, as poor students, several of my housemates lived off the meat version – despite them famously only containing 17% meat (yes, really!). I gave up meat almost four years ago, initially for health reasons but I haven’t looked back as the range of meat alternatives has continued to grow. My most recent discovery is Richmond’s meat free sausages which a friend introduced me to and I can firmly say that the taste just as good – if not better – than the originals.”

As soon as Rivkie’s partner Dan found out we were writing this feature, he insisted we include Beyond Burgers. Here’s what he had to say…

“Beyond Burgers are honestly a step beyond any other meatless burgers I’ve tasted. Meaty in texture, juiciness and even flavour, the Beyond Meat company has created a product convincing and delicious enough to satisfiy even the most religious carnivore! Stick a Beyond Burger patty in a bun with cheese, sauce and pickles and anyone would be fooled into thinking they’ve been served real meat. Top marks!”

And the ones we can’t wait to try?

Bring on more goodness from the M&S Plant Kitchen. The Plant Kitchen, for those who haven’t checked it out yet, is Marks and Spencer’s answer to meat-free living (or dabbling, whichever takes your fancy). Made with new sources of protein including wheat and pea and blended with incredible seasoning, they’ve been working hard to get the flavour profile spot on and say that meat eaters won’t be able to tell the difference.

While the range already has a substantial number of lines to satisfy vegans and vegetarians, they’ve added to the amazing collection of dishes with host of new summer products that are getting our tastebuds tingling. With alfresco dining and barbecues in mind, there are five new lines, Chickenless Crispy BBQ Wings, No Lamb Koftas, Battered Fishless Goujons, Bangers and Sweet Potato & Chickpea Veg Burgers. So meat free guests no longer need to feel left out (and you don’t need to worry about what you’re going to feed them. (Available from Marks and Spencer)

Moving Mountains have a broad range of meat free / vegan / vegetarian sausages, burgers, mince, beef strips and meatball products to satisfy even the most hardcore of carnivores. It took two years to develop the UK’s first plant-based “bleeding” Burger that was akin to meat in every way. The Burger was an instant success and is now available in thousands of locations across the globe. They’re also conscious of their green credentials and utilise recyclable packaging that is plastic free. You can find them in the frozen aisle in major supermarkets nationwide.

Let us know your favourite meat free items

Feature image: Marks and Spencer, Plant Kitchen Spicy BBQ Wings

All images courtesy of brands