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Food for thought

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Food for thought

Sami Muirhead wonders what meat-free burgers taste like as she reminisces about the joys of eating Red Rooster as a child.

I was happy when most of the Red Rooster stores on the Coast re-opened this past week. Seven stores had shut their doors, so it was wonderful news to hear the national chain stood in and re-opened most of the stores, retaining 100 local jobs. That is a lot of families who will be very relieved. Now that alone is reason to shout the family a roast chicken with a side of mashed potato and gravy.

Red Rooster is a bit of a primal memory for me as when I was a kid we would often celebrate birthdays and Mother’s Day with a roast chicken meal. I think it was because Mum was really strict but this form of takeaway was affordable and not a heart attack on a plate.

Fast forward to now – when I am a mum and some nights when I am driving home from work at 7pm it is just easier to grab takeaway – I feel less guilty buying takeaway that at least comes with vegetables as an option. And the chips are pure heaven, right? Hot chips and hot donuts are a wonder of the world when it comes to comfort food.

In other food-related news, this week my husband and I had a deep and meaningful about the fact he hates salad and it’s starting to make our kids swerve it too. After a decade of marriage, I am putting my foot down: he needs to give salad a second chance. Bring back the beetroot. Let lettuce return to the fold. So he insisted he would prepare a surprise salad for us to have with our spaghetti that night. He made a broccoli, bean and kale dish served warm with lemon juice. It was delicious. But is it a salad? It really is a serve of vegetables, don’t you think? It belongs in a warm bain-marie not a cold salad buffet.

But, baby steps in my battle to bring back the salads. All this tampering with the basics is driving me a bit bonkers. At Hobart Airport recently I bought nachos, with no corn chips. Is it still nachos I found myself asking? It was sour cream and salsa served on a bed of brown rice. Seems a bit dodgy to me. It is more of a spicy rice dish than nachos. A naked burrito is not really a burrito is it? It is a fancy salad.

And what about these meat-free burgers that are all the trend? Hungry Jacks has released its zero beef burger called The Rebel Whopper. It supposedly tastes like beef but does not have a scrap of meat in the burger. In the United States, the beef-free burgers have long been trendy, along with shots of wheatgrass, acai bowls and charcoal lattes. The boss of Hungry Jacks in Australia says the franchise is targeting flexitarians. Yep, you can be a flexitarian. It is genius. You are a vegetarian for most of the time, but when you need a good serve of bacon or a big fat juicy steak, then no one can call you a hypocrite.

Vegetarians, please do not send hate mail as I am quite in awe of your strength and animal cruelty ethics, but I just cannot do life without lasagne, chicken panang and hot salami sticks at happy hour.

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Sami Muirhead is a radio announcer, blogger and commentator. For more from Sami tune into Mix FM.

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