January is quickly becoming home to the Veganuary movement, which encourages everyone to try a plant-based diet for the month. While changing to a strict no-meat diet can seem daunting, there are plenty of great products on the market to make the switch easier.
Plant-based products have come a long way in recent years, as has the number of people buying them. Now, it’s often hard to tell that the burger you’re eating isn’t actually meat. But this all helps to make the switch to a plant-based diet that much easier.
So if you’re just starting out but want to keep eating your favourite foods, here are some alternatives you can find on supermarket shelves.
Vegan BBQ: Burgers and Sausages
We do love our summer BBQs here in Australia. But don’t limit your vegan friends to just a wilted salad – vegan BBQ options are getting better all the time.
If you’re seeking a burger that looks and tastes like a meat one, check out Fry Family Food Company’s latest. The Big Fry Burger tastes scarily like a ground beef burger and even sizzles when you fry it. Or if you’re looking for a chicken alternative, Fry’s vegan schnitzels go perfectly on a bun or in a sandwich. The Alternative Meat Co. also has a crumbed plant-based chicken burger, if you want another BBQ-friendly option.
As for sausages, you’re spoiled for choice at supermarkets these days. But for ones that really have that meat taste, check out Herb & Sons at Coles.
When it comes to bread, that can also be a problem for your non-dairy mates. Fry’s comes to the rescue with a vegan brioche bun to round out your BBQ plans.
Vegan Meat Pies and Sausage Rolls
Nothing is more classic than a meat pie or sausage roll in Australia. Personally, I’d be hard-pressed giving these up so I’m thrilled to see that there are some non-meat alternatives.
When it comes to meat pies, good old mate Four N Twenty now stocks plant-based meat pies in local supermarkets everywhere.
The folks at Fry’s also have a wide range of pastry options, including mushroom, curry and pepper steak pies. They also own the competition in the party sausage roll department. I can say from personal experience that these taste identical to a normal sausage roll.
Alternatively, if you’re on the road, 7-Eleven also stocks vegan-friendly ‘No’ sausage rolls and beef pies.
You don’t have to sacrifice your love of seafood for a plant-based diet. Fry’s offers its fishless fish fillets, which are surprisingly convincing. Gardein also has some fish fillets with non-fish and Quorn’s got fishless fingers for a quick snack.
Also on offer are Fry’s prawn-style pieces or you can try Sophie’s Kitchen naked vegan prawns. It honestly shocks me to think that prawns can be successfully emulated, but here we are.
So many quintessential foods come from mince. Whether it’s spaghetti bolognese, a barbecued rissole or taco Tuesday, you’re gonna need mince.
Australian plant-based manufacturer v2 has recently ramped up production and its plant-based mince is the real deal. if you’re concerned about what’s in your non-meat meat V2 offers a cute little explanation video.
While not meat-based, the dairy components of most of our favourite sweet treats often mean they’re not vegan friendly. An official vegan version of Australia’s favourite Tim Tam isn’t available from Arnotts yet, but there is an alternative. Leda Choculence biscuits are the best Tim Tam vegan replicant around.
There are also some great ice cream options on shelves but Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy options are top-notch. Or if you’re after a savoury snack for a cheese platter – Bio cheese comes highly recommended.
The best thing about most of these products? They’re Australian – in both brand and nature. V2, Plantitude and Herb and Sons all support Australian made products – so that’s a tick for the local industry.
So if you’re looking to test the waters of veganism, why not give Veganuary a go and get started with these tasty meals?
This article has been updated since its original publication.