The number of new vegan products on the market is truly exciting. You can of course be vegan without any animal product replacements. Personally, I like to try anything new. In many cases it’s not even to replicate something I used to like. I’ve had vegan alternatives like mock duck and seaweed caviar without ever tasting the original version.
You can imagine my excitement when I saw that Sainsbury’s is stocking a new range from the brand Naturli which is targeted as a direct meat replacement. Even sold next to animal flesh so that it’s more approachable to a vast number of people. This proved to be a separate challenge as I avoid going close to the meat aisle at all cost! I believe it’s been 7 years since I voluntarily entered it. At least the packaging is green so you can spot it easily without looking at the flesh pieces for too long.
I picked up the Naturli plant based mince the day it was released. I was actually quite lucky and managed to grab the last pack. The first thing that popped into my mind was Greek-style no-meatballs.
If you can’t find this product where you are, it doesn’t mean you can’t try making the no-meatballs. You could mix some soya mince (either frozen or revived from dried) with silken tofu and egg replacement to get it to stick together.
As you can guess it’s been a minute since I last made this recipe and I didn’t fully remember it. Instead of googling I decided to call my aunt in Greece to give me her recipe. So it really doesn’t get more authentic that this!
After mixing all the ingredients I shaped the mixture into the no-meatballs and it looked so realistic my brain took a second to adjust to this new reality! The texture was not very similar so it wasn’t too bad in this aspect.
I chose traditional sides like fries, soya tzatziki and Greek salad with vegan feta to serve with my Greek-style no-meatballs. The outside crunchiness of the no-meatballs was incredible, it tasted identical to what I remember. The inside was a little softer. It didn’t really bother me as it was easier to set my mind at ease with what I was eating!
I hope you try this recipe and if you post your culinary experiment on social media please tag me and use the #josveganlab hashtag. What substitutions, if any, did you make? I’d love to see your wonderful and inspired creations!