MELBOURNE | I’m a meat eater. I love my meat, but I also agree with the notion that we eat too much of it. I don’t think I’ll every give up meat, but I’ve certainly reduced the amount of it that I eat on a regular basis. Often, without even realising, I’ll go a full week eating only vegetarian dishes.
More people are giving up, or reducing the amount of meat in their diets. In response, the number of plant-based meat replacements options on the market has been increasing substantially. One option, that I was recently sent a sample of to try, is v2.
v2food Plant-Based Meat is an Aussie based company that launched in 2019. It’s a collaboration between CSIRO, Main Sequence Ventures and Jack Cowin’s Competitive Foods. v2 won the 2021 “Product of The Year” awards, and you may have seen their “meat” in products like the Hungry Jack’s Rebel Whopper and in Marley Spoon and Dinnerly meal packs. You can also find it on the shelves at Woolworths.
I’ve been sent a few plant based meat substitutes and, well I haven’t bothered writing about them because I’ve not been a fan at all. I’m open minded though, so when the opportunity to try v2 came up, I figured “why not”? I cooked up some good old fashioned chilli con carne nachos, as well as some spaghetti and meatballs, and was quite impressed.
The texture is bang on, and flavour wise it’s kind of like a mildly herbed beef and chicken mince. Unlike previous plant-based meat substitutes that I’d thrown out after a few bites, I actually wanted to finish eating these.
Are plant-based meat substitutes at the stage where they’ll be replacing meat in my diet? I have to be honest, not yet. But of all the ones I’ve tried, v2 is the first I’ve felt comes close enough that it’s worth telling you about. If you’re in Australia and curious about trying a plant-based meat substitute, v2’s the one I reckon you should give a go.
If you want to make the meatballs that I made with v2, they’re a riff on this recipe. Simply replace the lean beef mince with v2, and instead of baking the meatballs in the oven, brown them on a hot pan for about 10 minutes, rotating occasionally, then add the red sauce and continue as per the recipe.