By Jo Cooksey
So here we are, half way through January and all trying to eat healthily, lose a few pounds and/or partake in Veganuary. I’m not going full on vegan but I am trying to eat a more plant-based diet and fortunately one of my fave sausage brands is giving me a helping hand.
Yorkshire sausage makers, HECK have spent the last four years developing a range of plant-based sausages. They are certified vegetarian and vegan, gluten and dairy free, low in sugar and saturated fat and high in protein and fibre. Made from delicious, wholesome, plant-based ingredients (no fake meat), the range includes four recipes. Sweet Fusion: fragrant Thai pesto, sweet potato & sticky rice, The Beet Goes On: beetroot, carrot, chilli and horseradish, Super Greens: quinoa, spinach, kale, ginger and mint and Bollywood: cauliflower, green lentils, pulses and seeds, spiced with chilli, ginger, cumin and turmeric. The full range is available from Asda stores nationwide. Super Greens Sausages and Sweet Fusion Sausages are available from larger Sainsbury’s nationwide and are priced at £3 for a pack of six sausages.
Jamie Keeble, one of the HECK Co-founders explained, “We’ve gone back to the kitchen table and made vegetables the stars of the show with a delectable line-up of meat-free sausages. Packed with delicious super-food, veg and ingredients to do you good, as well as taste good. We’re on a mission to put vegetables centre plate rather than just being a bit on the side.”
Now, I love a meaty sausage and tend to use them for weekend butties or serve them with creamy mash and onion gravy. However, I wanted to find some different ways of using these HECK plant- based bangers. I used the flavours of each version to guide me and decided to dish up The Beet Goes On ones with roasted veg and couscous. This allowed the chilli and the horseradish to sing out. The Thai ones demanded Asian accompaniments in the shape of stir fried veg and rice noodles. They were tasty but I wouldn’t say I got much by the way of Thai flavours from them. Maybe a little more lemongrass and some coriander?
The Super Green Sausages were accompanied by a winter salad of red cabbage, beetroot, carrot and orange with a dressing of orange juice, olive oil and vegan Dijon mustard. Sorry, I was too busy talking and forgot to take a photo, but this made for an utterly delicious weekend lunch.
I’m yet to try the Bollywood Bangers but there will be some vegetable biryani, mango chutney and poppadums involved. Yum! I’m really looking forward to those ones.
In terms of consistency and texture, the products in this range are quite firm and ‘meaty’ to the tooth, which pleasantly surprised me. I’ve really enjoyed these alternative snorkers and will certainly buy them in the future in my efforts to eat a healthier, more plant-based diet. They are very versatile, and I did more with them than I would normally do with a classic pork sausage.
We were gifted the products but as always, the review and opinions are our own and unbiased.