It’s National Vegetarian Week – yay – a week to celebrate all things vegetastic! Now, with a blog called Bangers & Mash, it’s clear I do enjoy eating meat, and yet I am not a raging carnivore through and through. These days I’d say my family eats meat-free two to three days every week, and for all kinds of reasons – environmental, health, variety, taste and budget.
I love discovering new ways to enjoy a vegetarian diet and convincing my family a dish doesn’t require a meat component to make it a ‘proper’ meal – without feeling like I’m simply opting for vegetarian alternatives to meat. That’s why I’m giving this new meat-free range from HECK a big thumbs up…
Yorkshire-based HECK has gone back to the kitchen table and made vegetables the star of the show with its delicious line-up of meat-free sausages, burgers and balls that will do you good as well as taste good. HECK’s Super Greens Balls (vegan), Nuts About Cheese Sausages and Gourmet Goat’s Cheese Burgers went on sale at Waitrose at the end of April.
Making the most of the May sunshine this week, we decided to have a barbecue in the garden, giving us the perfect opportunity to put them to the taste-test, and I can confirm they are a far cry from the regular soya-sausage and beef-free burger offerings.
I generally avoid products that are faux-meat – as a non-vegetarian I really don’t see the point and find they’re usually rather bland and disappointing. Aware that like me, many people aren’t impressed by the ‘taste-free’ taste of many meat-free products, the Keeble family behind HECK has combined protein and fibre-rich veg, nuts and cheeses all chosen for their taste, as well as nutrition benefits. Completely soya, wheat and gluten-free, they’re ideal for vegetarians, coeliacs and anyone looking to curb their meat or calorie intake but still enjoy a decent banger or burger.
Super Greens: quinoa, spinach, kale and ginger.
Nuts About Cheese Sausages: cashews, two cheeses, flax and chia seeds, and a dash of chilli.
Gourmet Goat’s Cheese Burgers: quinoa, goat’s cheese and caramelized onion.
I should admit here that while they ate everything on their plates, my husband and youngest daughter weren’t particularly taken by the HECK veggie range. But those two are always much harder to convince to drop the meat. My oldest daughter and I on the other hand more than happily tucked in and thoroughly enjoyed the burgers, balls and bangers. The Super Greens meat-free meatballs would be really good I think in a rich tomato sauce served with rice or pasta, but my favourite was the Nuts About Cheese Sausages, and I’ll be looking out for those again in the supermarket.
The HECK meat-free range is available in selected Waitrose stores and online from www.heckfood.co.uk. Sausages, 4 per pack 267g. Burgers, 2 per pack 228g. Balls 9 per pack, 255g. Introductory price £2.25 per pack; normal price £3 after 8 June.
Disclosure: we were supplied with complimentary samples of HECK’s new meat-free range for review purposes. As always all views expressed are mine – and my family’s.