Thanks to the rise of initiatives such as ‘Meat Free Monday’ and ‘Veganuary’, many of us have become more conscious of our meat intake – but that doesn’t mean you need to change your eating habits altogether. Step in Dragonfly Foods, with their range of Organic Vegetarian Burgers, Soysages and Tofu which are also free from Gluten, Dairy, GM ingredients, as well as all artificial colourings and preservatives.
How? Tofu. Not only is this ancient bean curd naturally low in sugar, salt and fat, it offers a good source of protein (14.4g per 100g) and has all 8 amino acids required by the body. It’s also incredibly versatile: the bulk of all Dragonfly’s burgers and soysages made from Organic Natural Tofu & Okara (Soya Bean Fibre).
Thankfully, Dragonfly have also done a good job on the taste side of things. Tofu isn’t exactly the most universally liked ingredient, largely due to its soft, sponge-like texture and slightly off-putting appearance. What’s important is knowing how to cook with the stuff – and at Dragonfly Foods, they do.
Take their new range of Around the World Tofupots, available in Thai Green Curry and Moroccan Tagine.
Combining the convenience of a ready-meal with the healthiness of a home-made dinner, these quick-cook Organic Tofu Pots can be eaten as a light, filling snack or paired with rice for a more substantial meat-free meal.
We were pleasantly surprised by how the cubes of tofu soaked up the sauces of both pots, and particularly enjoyed the body and depth it gave to the sweet, smokey & spicy flavours of the chunkier Moroccan Tagine.
The tofu is less pronounced in Dragonfly’s Vegetarian Burgers and Soysages, despite them still packing in just under 45% Soya Bean Fibre and Curd across the range.
Brown rice gives bulk to the firm and flavourful Devonshire Soysages, while the addition of dried potato flakes in the Leek & Potato Soysages gives them the same crisp coating but a softer, squidgier centre.
Seeds, spices and fresh, organic vegetables such as carrots, peppers and mushrooms cram more flavour in to the Organic Burgers, while continuing to deliver between 3-5g of fibre per 100g. The lightly spiced Mexican Spice Burgers work particularly well, while the Walnut & Almond Burgers are pleasantly nutty and surprisingly filling.
Neither the burgers nor soysages are going to win any hearts with their appearance (the vacuum-packaging makes them slightly misshapen and oddly shiny), but taste-wise you really can’t argue with their accolades: winners of Lunch! Innovation Challenge Bronze Award 2016, Taste of the West Gold 2016, Taste of the West Silver 2016, three-time winners at the 2012 Soil Association Organic Food Awards and just this month they’ve been shortlisted for the 2017 FreeFrom Food Awards.
Do they taste like meat? No – but they don’t seem too concerned with trying to in the first place. These are very much vegetarian alternatives to burgers and sausages, with a wholesome, plant-based flavour as opposed to a mock-meat substitute such as Quorn. This does mean that the texture is drier and a whole lot crumblier, but for people looking for a healthy, tasty vegetarian ingredient that’s gluten-free and dairy-free, this really doesn’t seem like much of a compromise.