Vegetarian meat

mc2burger & chicken satay sandwich

If you change from eating meat to a vegetarian diet, it is a big change. But it is worth it. But what happens is that you usually crave some kinds of meat still. I changed about 8 years ago to an 90% vegetarian diet, with a bit of good fish once a while. But I still missed eating a good hamburger (not the ones from fast-food restaurants FYI) once a while . I am still not sure if it was because of the meat, or the bun and all the toppings that accompany a good burger.... Besides that, the texture of chicken meat I did like too so I craved that too.

We all know the truth about that most people eat TOO MUCH MEAT and that that's not good for our health. We just don't need that much protein. Also, the way we produce meat is so devastating for our environment, and the abuse of the animals is so common and awful, that The Earth needs a change if we want our kids to live on a livable planet with clean water, air and biodiversity. Even if you don't eat meat for just 1 day a week, you can drastically reduce your carbon footprint. The amount of energy it takes to produce one piece of meat on your plate is mind-blowing. And the carbon footprint of a meat eating person is many, many times higher than that of a vegetarian person. So if you want to help make a difference (remember every little effort counts if you add them all up!) you can do that by switching your meat dishes and using meat replacement products if you crave the flavor and texture of the meat.

Because there is a solution for these cravings! Until now vegetarian substitutes for meat where not that great to put it middy, and therefore some vegetarians were a bit sad. But thankfully some people took matters in their own hands and started to find new, all plant based, meat substitutes!

There is a vegetarian butcher in The Hague, the Netherlands. (yes that is a VEGETARIAN butcher, meaning: without animals being hurt, but with all the good taste) "De Vegetarische Slager". I already wrote about them once before and you can read that story HERE. They are in fact the first of their kind in the World. Mark Bittman, the renowned food critic from the NY Times even came to visit the shop once, and loved what he discovered.

So Animal cruelty free, vegetarian friendly, that sounds good to me! I love their products and they sell their prepackaged products already in 200+ stores all across the Netherlands, in health food stores but even mainstream supermarkets are joining in. (You can also order online.)

I spoke to Paul Bom, who is one of the geniuses behind the products, and who is present at their concept store in The Hague at the Spui 167A almost everyday. (across from the City Hall of the Hague). I asked him if their products include soy and if yes, if they are GMO free. He said thesoy used is organic and also gmo free! One other thing they use a lot is a plant called "Lupin" for their meat-like products.

The taste and texture of their products is really good. The chicken pieces are great to fool people thinking they eat real chicken. They also have a range of shawarma (shoarma in Dutch) made of lupin, minced meat, meat balls, and even have a selection of non-fish products. Also the fish products are great to fool someone. I LOVE the non-tuna spread "Tonyn". The mackarel one tastes like mackarel but is a bit too strong for me.

In the store you can buy all these meat products, as well as ready-to-go meals (love the typical dutch dish "Hutspot", a mix of mashed potatoes, onions & carrots accompanied by a meatball in a sauce). You can also buy super foods, olive oils, wines and juices. All of course organic.

The recently introduced their new "mc2burger", which is the name of their hamburger, to the people of France, at an exhibition in Paris. (The name is derived from E=MC2 from Einstein). I think the taste is really good as I got a sneak peak from their burger when I visited The Hague for work.

Besides that I am obsessed with their bread roll made of lupin, with their fake chicken in satay sauce! It is a bit naughty, meaning not that great for the thighs, but very delicious. Hey, models eat bad food too once a while ;-) See picture on top!

Also, today marks the opening of the first ever all vegetarian snackbar, also in the Hague. The MC2burger is available under the name "Vegabom" as well as other "Vegetarische Slager" products.  News item about the opening(In Dutch.)

You can follow de Vegetarische Snackbar on Twitter: @Vegasnackbar

and also "De Vegetarische Slager" on Twitter: @Vegaslager  & Paul Bom: @PaulBom,

I love it that people all around the World are thinking twice about the products they eat, and try to create new delicious vegetarian foods & dishes that can get the pressure off the Planet a little bit.

Love, Lonneke

 


OYL Meat Free Monday menu 1


Meat Free Monday Menu 1

This was my dinner yesterday, and it is a pretty good option for Meat Free Monday, or any vegetarian day in your life!

I used the Vegetarische slager "gehaktbal" (Meat ball) which in the real-meat version is a very typical Dutch treat. Since I don't eat meat, I also can't enjoy this dish, until now! De Vegetarische Slager has their store in The Hague, as mentioned in one of my earlier posts, and has over 200 selling points for their fake-meat dishes throughout the Netherlands & Belgium. In other countries like the USA, you can go for a seitan dish. the texture of seitan is most similar to the products of de Vegetarische Slager, which are made of Lupin. They also sell "Jus poeder" which is stock powder to make a nice juice to go with the meatball. (don't use too much powder as it becomes too salty!)

Vegetarische Slager gehaktbal
Vegetarische Slager "Jus Poeder"
Vegetarische Slager "Jus Poeder"
Vegetarische slager "gehaktbal" in a pan

 

Also on the menu: Steamed Broccoli,  apple sauce, and a mash of lentils, carrots & onions, I used to make carrot-lentil burgers before. I like to find another purpose for leftovers, so  I did! It was delicious :-).

Meat Free Monday Menu 1

What is your Meat Free Monday Dish?

Love, Lonneke


Lonneke trying out things

The Vegetarian Butcher!

There is something new in the world of food: a Vegetarian Butcher!

A "butcher" who makes "vegetarian meat"? yes it is true! Products that give you a feeling of eating meat but are not derived from animals. The flavors are like meat, and using it in a dish it looks exactly like meat. De "Vegetarische Slager" in The Hague, the Netherlands IS the Vegetarian Butcher, and I wanted to visit this place for months, until I finally went this week! Besides that the Dutch government is located here, the work palace of our Queen Beatrix and the UN Tribunal/International Court of Justice, there is something else here that is worth visiting!

Lonneke at Vegetarische Slager

The shop looks like a fancy butcher shop. While the owner Jaap Korteweg (husband of Dutch political Party for the Animals "Partij voor de Dieren" founder Marianne Thieme) was not present, butcher Paul Bom was, and wore a typical butcher uniform. But... you won't find any animal derived products, no nasty blood and dead corpse smell or anything else that vegetarians hate in this shop. It is a vegetarians heaven! Besides maybe the use of organic eggs and some milk that they use in their famous "gehaktballen", most products are vegan though, made from a plant named "Lupin".

Lonneke and vegetarian butcher Paul Bom
Lonneke and vegetarian butcher Paul Bom

I tried many different things, and bought a lot. Because it is 1.5. hours drive from my hometown in the Netherlands, I wanted to stock up on some things! Even though I know they have 200+ selling points in the Netherlands now, you can't beat getting the products from the original place, with explanation from the person who made it all!

Lonneke trying delicious things
Lonneke trying tasty things!

I got the bacon, the meat balls, the minced meat, the fake chicken....They also have "saucijzenbroodjes", bread rolls with meat, but of course without meat. Also, besides fake meat,they sell things like sauces, juices, juicers (I love my new Versapers Juicer!) wines, teas, chocolates, nutritional powders, ready-to-go meals and more.

Lonneke trying out things
I got a lot of delicious products!

 

Bedrieg je Partner campaign   Because some products are so right on, they even have a campaign "Fool your partner once a week" (Bedrieg je partner 1 x in de week).

I loved the no-tuna salad. I am sure some will be fooled, although I think it tastes even better than tuna salad!No tuna salad on toast

Food guru Mark Bittman visited De Vegetarische Slager and wrote an article on it for the New York Times. He was blown away by the flavors and possibilities! I guess he thought the USA is on the forefront when it comes to completely new food products, but I guess us Dutchies can do some great things too ;) Read the article in the New York Times HERE.

Lupin chicken pieces by Vegetarische Slager
Lupin chicken pieces by Vegetarische Slager

Some vegetarians say that you should not eat meat like products. Because you should not want to eat something that taste like meat. But some people who want to transfer from eating meat to not eating meat, will miss the texture or flavors. I think for those people this could be a great option, and it will maybe help more people to eat a more vegetarian diet. And it just gives more delicious options for cooking a pure vegetarian meal in my opinion! I know I love it!

Lonneke at Vegetarische Slager
There are a lot of products in the freezer you can take with you to use at a later time!

I hope this concept can be brought to the USA, starting in NYC, maybe with some of my help.  How cool would that be?

Love, Lonneke.

Watch De Vegetarische Slager promo video with a delicious fake chicken recipe!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJSQ6IXv5b0[/youtube]

Follow De Vegetarische Slager on Twitter, or go to their website.

Physical addres: Spui167A (across from The Hague City Hall)
2511 BM The Hague, the Netherlands.
Phone: +31(0)70 3456764