Plant-based versions of your favourites

19th August 2021 | Eativity editors

While the debate surrounding the labelling of plant-based meat alternatives continues, with more than 125 submissions made to the senate inquiry into the definitions of meat and other animal products, the fact remains that plant-based diets are on the rise.

Research conducted by market research company Roy Morgan back in 2019 found that 2.5 million people in Australia (12.1% of the population) were eating all or almost all vegetarian foods. Another report by alternative protein think tank Food Frontier found that sales of plant-based meats increased by 46 percent in the 12 months between July 2019 and July 2020, while the number of alternative meat products available in supermarkets doubled.

v2food now comes in mince, burgers, sausages and sauce. You can find them at supermarkets.

This is good news for those seeking alternatives to animal-based proteins, but which of the 250+ products now available should you choose? If majority rules, you might want to opt for v2food, which won a 2021 Product of the Year award – the world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation. v2food is Australian-made from legumes, it was developed in collaboration with the CSIRO, and it looks and tastes about as close to the real thing as you’re going to get. So successful has it been, the company is now going global.

If you’re tempted by the thought of eating a more plant-based diet but don’t want to forgo your favourite dishes, try these classic Aussie family recipes, which substitute the meat with v2food. Give them a go, and see if you can tell the difference.

Spaghetti and meatballs

You’ll need:

500g v2mince
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp basil, chopped
Salt and pepper
500g spaghetti, cooked
Olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tsp chilli flakes
700ml passata (tomato purée)

Method:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine v2mince with a teaspoon of chilli flakes, chopped basil and salt and pepper to taste. Roll the mixture into 16 equal-sized balls.
2. Heat olive oil in a large frypan on medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides and remove from the pan. Add an extra tablespoon of olive oil and fry off the onion and garlic until they’re just beginning to brown. Add oregano and chilli flakes and stir through before adding the passata. Reduce heat to low.
3. Return meatballs to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked pasta and stir to warm through and coat with sauce.
4. Serve with fresh grated parmesan and chopped parsley.

Cheeseburgers

Makes 4 burgers

You’ll need:

1 pack v2burger patties
Seeded brioche buns, sliced in half and toasted
Oak lettuce, washed
Swiss or cheddar cheese slices (optional)
1 large tomato, sliced thinly
Sliced dill pickles
Red onion, sliced thinly and separated into rings
Sea salt
Aioli
Mustard
Tomato sauce (optional)
Butter, melted (optional)

Method:

1. Season v2burger patties with sea salt and grill on both sides, about two minutes per side.
2. Brush the patties with butter and top with a slice of cheese while still hot so the cheese melts (both optional, or use a dairy free alternative).
3. Remove the patties from the grill and stack with your favourites, such as mustard, pickles, sliced onion, sliced tomato, oak lettuce and aioli on a lightly toasted brioche bun.

Lasagne

You’ll need:

4 tbsp butter
½ cup plain flour
1 litre milk
1 tub v2mince bolognese sauce
1 pack lasagne pasta sheets
250g grated mozzarella
125g grated parmesan

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
2. To make the bechamel (white sauce), melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat and add the flour. Using a whisk, break down the mixture to a fine crumb and cook through for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the milk 250ml at a time, making sure to fully incorporate into the flour mixture until smooth. Keep whisking until the sauce has thickened to a yoghurt-like consistency before removing from heat.
3. In a large, deep baking dish, layer v2 bolognese sauce and pasta sheets at least 3 times, leaving pasta on top. Sprinkle half of the grated mozzarella over pasta and pour over the bechamel. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top.
4. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbling brown and golden on top.

For more on v2food, including product info and recipes, head to v2food.com