How many times have you begged and pleaded with your children to eat their vegetables? For many parents, ‘eat your vegetables!’ is a nightly refrain at dinner tables across the globe. Plant-based nutritionist, Tammy Fry from the Fry Family Food Co. (Fry’s), shares some easy and delicious ways to incorporate more plant-based meals into your daily routine, with flavours to delight even the fussiest of little eaters.
Tammy is on a mission to show families across the country how they can enjoy a plant-based diet without sacrificing flavour and variety. The shift away from meat-based meals is a growing trend in Australia, with the range of tasty plant-based options continuing to grow.
Families, vegans, vegetarians and ‘flexitarians’ now have more options than ever before to enjoy some of their favourite traditional recipes – think spaghetti bolognese, lasagne or chicken nuggets – while enjoying the health benefits of a plant-based diet, contributing less impact on the environment and being kinder to animals.
Tammy said that while there has been a massive shift in Australia when it comes to eating less meat, the average Australian is still consuming more than 100kg annually. However, with the growing variety of healthy, plant-based alternatives available, it’s now easier than ever to make a difference from your own kitchen.
“When it comes to incorporating more plant-based foods into your family’s lifestyle, the options are endless,” Tammy said.
“We can see from the growth of our company that the industry is changing at a rapid pace,” Tammy said.
“There’s more choice, more awareness, and more opportunities for consumers to consider the positive impact that eating plant-based meats has on their health and the environment.”
While Tammy has seen the trend gain momentum over the past few years, plant-based products have been a part of her family’s life for more than 30 years.
Tammy’s parents Wally and Debbie Fry were early pioneers of alternative meat products, were creating tasty vegetarian and vegan recipes in their family kitchen in South Africa 30 years ago.
“What started off as a trend, I believe is now a rooted lifestyle choice and it is just going to continue to grow,” Tammy said.
“It’s now even becoming commonplace to see plant-based meats within the meat section. So, in effect it’s been a perfect storm of increased availability of plant-based products and a spike in the willingness of retailers to feature plant-based brands within their stores.
“Some of my favourite recipes include a plant-based burger patty cooked on the barbie, a delicious spaghetti bolognese filled with herbs and spices, and warming cottage pie.”
A common myth surrounding meat alternatives is that the products contain unnecessary and artificial ingredients and it’s a myth Tammy is more than happy to bust.
“All Fry’s products are non-Genetically Modified, MSG Free, preservative free and vegan.
“We try to provide consumers with as much information on living a plant-based lifestyle, including tips, tricks and recipes to make it the norm, by being easy and nutritious.”
Fry’s is leading the way with an ever-increasing range of tasty, affordable and animal-free ‘meat’ products available in the freezer section of most Australian grocers including Woolworths, Coles and independent retailers.
The Fry’s product range includes plant-based burgers, fish-style fillets, chicken-style nuggets and pea protein mince, which means that parents can now create their children’s favourite meals that offer amazing flavour without the need to incorporate meat into the menu. If your little ones are after some quick yet delicious snacks, the brand’s Small Fry range which includes plant-based nuggets, meatballs, mini chipolatas and mini sausage rolls is the perfect option.
Fry’s fast facts:
- The Fry Family Food Co.was co-founded by Tammy Fry’s parents, Wally and Debbie Fry in South Africa in 1991.
- In March 2020, Fry’s joined withThe LIVEKINDLY Collective, a coalition of plant-based heritage and start-up brands founded on the belief that plant-based alternatives have the power to make the global food system sustainable.
- Learnmore about the Fry Family Food Co. at http://fryfamilyfood.com/au/
Debbie Fry’s Cottage Pie
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins
1 x Fry’s Pea Protein Mince (follow the on-pack instructions to cook)
1 x cup dried porcini mushrooms
2 x large onions (diced)
2 x large unpeeled carrots (diced)
2 x tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme per 2 tsp fresh)
2 x tsp fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried rosemary per 2 tsp fresh)
2 x smoked garlic cloves (minced) *or normal garlic cloves
1 x tbsp olive oil
1 x cup cooked brown lentils
2 x tbsp tomato paste
2 x tbsp vegetable stock (DIY or store-bought)
2 x tbsp garlic and breadcrumbs (optional)
9 x medium unpeeled potatoes (thoroughly washed)
2-4 x tbsp vegan butter
2-4 x tbsp plant-based milk
Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Soak the porcini mushrooms in one cup of hot boiled water for 10-15 minutes.
- Cut the potatoes into evenly-sized chunks, and place into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil on medium high heat, then generously salt, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until soft.
- While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 220°C and lightly grease a baking dish or pan.
- Once potatoes are cooked, drain, and add them back to the pot to evaporate any remaining water. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mash until smooth. Add the vegan butter and plant-based milk, before seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Loosely cover and set aside.
- In a large saucepan sauté onions, carrots, herbs, garlic and olive oil over medium heat until lightly brown.
- Drain the porcini mushrooms, but keep the liquid. Set the liquid aside and chop the mushrooms.
- Add the mushrooms, mushroom liquid, vegetable stock, and tomato paste to the carrot and onion mix and stir. Bring to a low boil before reducing the heat to simmer. Continue cooking until the onions are transparent. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add lentils and Fry’s Pea Protein Mince to the vegetable mix. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed before transferring the mix to the oven-safe baking dish and carefully top with mashed potatoes. Smooth with a spoon or fork and season with garlic bread crumbs (optional).
- Place the dish on a baking sheet to catch overflow and bake until the mash is lightly browned on top.
- Let cool briefly before serving. The longer it sits, the more it will thicken.
The Pea Protein Mince Cottage Pie is perfect as leftovers! Let it cool completely before covering, and then store it in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat using the microwave.