I get asked often about meat replacement substitutes. When I first stopped eating meat as a teenager, Quorn became my saviour! Quorn launched in the UK back in the nineties and was really the first form of imitation meat.
What is Quorn actually made of? Whilst the manufacturer’s (Marlow Foods) advertise and label the product as “mushroom protein” or “mushroom in origin,” the mold (or fungus) from which it is made does not have much to do with mushrooms. Rather, the mold is grown in liquid solution in large tanks. Ugh!
This is not to say all meat replacements are unhealthy. Whilst Quorn has never really developed its ingredients over the years, much more healthy replacements have hit the market.
It's important to read labels and become familiar with what you're seeing. One of my favourite Vegan ranges is Wicked. Sold in UK supermarkets, the founders are super passionate about veganism ... and it shows! The food tastes amazing and contains much healthier ingredients. They sometimes use nightshades in their products, so if you are particularly sensitive keep an eye out for those. These Little Brat Sausages have a little paprika in them and contain potato dextrin but in very small quantities.
You might also like to check out Sainsbury's Shroom dogs which are vegan and gluten free without nightshades.
8 mini sausages (or 4 big ones)
1 large onion
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
500ml tomatoless sauce
1 tin cannellini beans (drained)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp sage
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to season
Heat the oil in a heavy bottom frying pan. Fry off the onions to soften for 5-10 mins. Then add the garlic & sausages to the pan
Pour in the maple syrup and balsamic and keep stirring whilst the sausages brown. Season with salt and pepper
Pour the tomatoless sauce into the pan and warm over a medium heat until it's bubbling. Sprinkle in the herbs, bay leaves and season with more salt and pepper
Finally add the beans & keep stirring over a low heat
I like to use small amounts of lemon, balsamic & maple syrup in turn to get the flavour just right! Serve with fresh thyme & black pepper