Tag: vegan

Vegan meat: the possible alternative – Salt & Pepper – Italian Cuisine

Vegan meat: the possible alternative - Salt & Pepper

It has now been well over a decade since some visionary entrepreneurs began to study how to get one "Vegetable meat". Quotation marks required for a protein product which, in fact, is alternative to the meat. And we did not use the term "alternative" at random: because more and more consumers are approaching the world plant based while not being vegans or vegetarians. Not to replace foods of animal origin, but to have an extra food to be included in a diet that remains omnivorous. Among them, the more and more numerous flexitarians who, for various reasons, choose to reduce the consumption of meat, fish and derivatives. But also many curious who discover burgers, meatballs, minced meat and morsels that are ever tastier, fun to cook and with the added value of sustainability.

What are
Let's say immediately that they are protein products which, however, differ greatly from those typical of the soy-based veggie diet, such as tofu, or gluten-based such as seitan. The main feature is in fact that of getting closer, in consistency and taste, to the meat. Thus, the "minced" ones are red and succulent as if they were beef, the "pulpy" ones have an elongated fiber structure similar to that of chicken or pork. They have a good flavor, the so-called “umami” which could be translated as “savory flavor”. As for the formats, in the beginning they were i burger, or patties: the classic mashed meatballs to eat in a sandwich, with fresh vegetables and standard sauces. While today the variations are numerous and, in honor of the traditional specialties of street food, they often have English names like nuggets (nuggets, i.e. croquettes), pulled (frayed), chuncks (morsels), meatball (meatballs), minced (ground), sausages (sausages).

A growing success
The names chosen by the start-ups that, overseas, first launched the green challenge (we told about it in this post and in this other one), they expressed the full meaning of the bet: Beyond Meat (where "beyond" means "beyond") e Impossible Burger they were declarations of intent, even before being trademarks. Today, plant-based meat is a solid reality that is increasingly appreciated, as confirmed by the data collected by the delivery companies: both Just Eat that Uber Eats they put the vegan burger at the top of their customers' veggie choices. And the competitors of the two American companies are more and more. Brazilians of Future Farm they are inspired (and aspire to inspire!) "to the pro-earth generation, finally in favor of our planet". In Europe, the challenge was taken up by the Swede Ikea, which he has revisited in key cruelty free its famous meatballs, while the world of start-ups has recently seen the birth of the Spanish Heura and the switzerland of Planted. The latter, "incubated" in 2019 at the Zurich Polytechnic and become a reality thanks to the initiative of 4 students, has just landed on our market with a very specific choice: not to focus on various burgers and minced meat but only on variations " solid ".

The list of ingredients
The formulas developed by the different companies are, in fact, very different from each other. From the point of view of taste, the most effective proteins proved to be those obtained from peas. However, especially in ground products, they are mixed with many other ingredients: mainly soy, but also other legumes and cereals, fats, fibers, starches, thickeners, stabilizers. Additions needed to get it right consistency of burgers, sausages, meatballs, “chorizo”, frankfurters and company. It is to shorten the list of ingredients as much as possible that Planted has decided, on the contrary, not to "create" anything minced but "meat" solid, easier to "put together". Thus the "chicken", morsels that resemble a tender chicken breast, is prepared with pea protein and fiber, water and rapeseed oil. To these 4 ingredients the "pulled" (pictured above), made up of frays, adds oat and sunflower proteins, while the "kebab" is in thin slices flavored with Middle Eastern spices. The ingredients are a short supply chain, coming from local crops: thus, environmental sustainability is also ensured. Pursued by most of the companies in the sector, which adopt competitive production systems in terms of saving of water resources And drop in CO2 emissions.

The nutritional aspect
Interesting to note how the products plant based have a caloric intake similar, if not inferior, to the corresponding animals and in any case a content of saturated fats significantly lower. Then, of course, it all depends on the recipes: both at the origin (the flavored versions are generally richer) and in the kitchen, where the products natural they can be sautéed, browned and seasoned with oils and sauces, while still being one healthy choice thanks to the starting nutritional composition. And providing one more reason to really make it a viable alternative to change our diet and our impact on the environment around us.

Francesca Romana Mezzadri
January 2022

Tips for a quick vegan dinner – Italian Cuisine

Recipe Smoked tofu sauce and hazelnuts

Do you want a vegan dinner? Here are our tips for very easy and very quick recipes, without losing the taste. Don't limit yourself to the usual four leaves of salad or grilled vegetables! Be daring and inventive, this is the key

Let's dispel the myth that cooking vegan be difficult and take too long. Vegan cuisine, in fact, offers interesting possibilities, delicious recipes and intriguing textures that allow us to always try new things and never get bored. What if we don't have much time available? Here are our recipes in the gallery above!

Use simple products

To shorten the preparation time, a very simple idea for a delicious vegan dinner is a menu that is inspired by traditional Mediterranean products. Let's start with the salads with which you can indulge in: lettuce (or salad of different varieties), tomatoes, capers, olives, artichokes, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and so on and so forth. You can continue with a simple pasta topped with a variety of sautéed vegetables or a pasta dish topped with a homemade pesto prepared with basil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and salt. And for dessert? try a simple one fruit salad served with a scoop of soy ice cream.

What to avoid ..

First of all, avoid the idea of ​​buying ready-to-eat foods. To be sure of preparing vegan foods, it is good to follow all the preparation phases of the recipes in order not to risk running into hidden animal derivatives. Many ready-made soups, for example, contain cream, thickeners or milk derivatives.
And if you want to indulge yourself do not start with the non-vegan recipes that you are used to preparing. The result would be to bring to the table some "cut-off dishes" from which you have removed too many ingredients to transform them into something unappetizing.

Use a lot of creativity and instinct

Don't be repetitive! Salads or grilled vegetables alone could get boring in the long run! The idea of ​​a vegan dinner is the right opportunity to experiment with recipes you've never prepared.
In the gallery above you can find a selection of dishes to prepare, combine, serve and mix freely to prepare quick but tasty dishes!

You just have to try them!

World Vegan Day and 20 vegan restaurants to celebrate it – Italian Cuisine

World Vegan Day and 20 vegan restaurants to celebrate it

Veganism is celebrated all over the world on November 1st. So how about treating yourself to a delivery, a take away or a lunch at a 100% vegan restaurant?

Vegans around the world it's time to celebrate! Thing? The fact of being! In fact, November 1st is World Vegan Day, an annual event established in England in 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Vegan Society and the coining of the term "vegan". World Day celebrates the benefits of vegan philosophy for health, animals and the environment: the veganism in fact it is not just aboutsupply (which excludes meat, fish, eggs, milk and derivatives and honey), but it is a real lifestyle at the basis of which there is an ethical choice in favor above all of animal welfare.

The number of vegans at an all-time high in Italy

If you are wondering how many are the vegans in Italy, according to Eurispes 2020 report, the percentage of vegetarians and vegans is currently 8.9% – with the 2.2% vegans – an increase compared to 2019 (7.1%) and 2018 (7.3%). This is an all-time high for Italy: health and well-being (23.2%) and love and respect for animals (22.2%) go hand in hand with the reasons behind the veg choice. .

The first vegan butcher and the vegan fish of the future

On the occasion of the World Vegan Day, initiatives such as markets, tree planting, seminars take place all over the world. This year, in London, there is expectation for the opening of the "First vegan butcher", Rudy's Vegan Butcher, who will be offering the classic from November 1st junk food American, from hot dogs to hamburgers, and then sausages and bacon, in a vegan key. Speaking of these foods, in recent days, the European Parliament has rejected all the amendments against the so-called false denominations accused of deceiving consumers and therefore it will still be possible to use, in fake meat products on the market, definitions like veg burger or vegetable steaks. And after vegetable meat, there are those who are exploring the possibility of producing fish and dairy products derived from plants by 2035: this is the Californian start-up Impossible Foods committed to experimenting with new recipes that are able to compete with food of animal origin.

Books, delivery, restaurant lunch: how to celebrate World Vegan Day

If you too want to celebrate World Vegan Day, in Italy, for example, the Libraccio di Firenze, on its Facebook page, has organized, for Sunday at 6.30 pm, the online presentation of the book If you want to be healthy, cook vegan of the vegan chef Gabriele Palloni (Newton Compton editors, 2020), a journey to discover vegan cuisine, through seasonal and nutritious recipes. You can also treat yourself to a 100% vegan delivery (as reported by Ubereats, in Italy, from 2018 to 2020, there was a 300% increase in home orders of vegan dishes, among which the vegan poke), or choose to have lunch (because at the moment due to the Coronavirus decree it is not possible to go out for dinner) in a vegan restaurant. Where is it?

Get inspired by our gallery!

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