These books to make your own vegan fast food, are good alternatives to fast food restaurants and takeaways, which often rely on animal ingredients and plastic packaging, not to mention way more oil than you need (most foods are deep-fried). Don’t feed vegan meat alternatives to pets, as they contain pet-toxic ingredients like soy, garlic, onion, mushrooms.
Also see how to make your own vegan mylkshakes.
Vegan Fakeaway is a lovely book of plant-based takeaway classics, for the ultimate night in. These recipes are so quick and easy, you can make them in less time than it takes to order home delivery. And without all the plastic packaging too! The book is divided into chapters:
- Middle Eastern Classics – falafel flatbreads, pomegranate tabbouleh, baba ganoush, jackfruit donor kebab
- American – finger-lickin’ wings, creamy mac & cheese, tacos, blueberry muffins
- Chinese – sesame spring rolls, Hong-Kong-style sweet & sour, Singapore noodles, crispy kale seaweed
- Indian – all-in-one biriyani, curries, naan bread, tikka skewers, and spices hot as you can handle!
- Italian – pasta, no-meatballs, Sicilian-style pizza, coffee and cream pannacotta
- Other – Greek Moussaka, chilli burritos and more!
The book also includes tips on freezing, cost-saving and ditching single-use plastics, to enjoy a fuss-free fakeaway, with minimal effort and maximum flavour. There are 15-minute recipes, slow-cooker recipes and menus to feed up to four people.
Katy Beskow is one of England’s most popular cookbook authors. A former physiotherapy student who learned to cook on a budget while studying in London, this led to a blog which led to a book deal. Its success has spawned a series of books, all using quick and easy affordable ingredients, translated in Katy’s no-nonsense Yorkshire style.
The Edgy Veg: Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes is by US chef Candice Hutchings, who is known for her expertise to veganize Big Macs, KFC, Filet O Fish etc. Now you get her skills in book form. The 100 recipes include:
- Lox & Cream Cheese Bagels
- Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- Chick Fillet Deluxe
- The Mack Daddy!
- New York Cheesecake
Mouthwatering Vegan Burgers is a book by Spanish chef Toni Rodriguez. Find recipes for chorizo, black olive and lentil quinoa burgers, plus learn how to make rosemary burger buns. Also includes recipes for sides like sweet potato fries and roasted artichokes.
Plant-Based Burgers (and other fast food fixes) is a stunning book by former Masterchef finalist Jackie Kearney. She makes burger patties made with ‘vegan butcher meats’ and other natural ingredients. Recipes include:
- KFC-Style Chkn Burger
- Easiest Vegan Burger Ever (with beet ketchup)
- Baby Got No Beef Burrito
- Tofish & Chips
- Vegan Chilli Dogs
- Seekh Kebab
Vegan Alternatives to Fast Food Restaurants
Unity Diner (London) donates profits to rescued barnyard friends
Why Is Junk Fast Food Addictive?
Most fast food joints revel in adding ingredients that make them addictive. We’ve all seen those programs where morbidly obese people drive to the fast food store to buy what may be their last meal, but they can’t seem to help themselves. It’s no good being judgmental, often over-eating has emotional reasons behind it, that does not stop the fast food (and supermarket) industry ensuring addictive substances are added to profit-making foods. Read Hooked, a book that looks how the food giants exploit our addictions, through legal loopholes that put profit over health. Michael Moss says many foods are more addictive than alcohol, cigarettes and drugs – our bodies ard hardwired for sweet foods, so food giants develop 56 types of sugar to add to their products.
Cleveland Clinic says junk food is addictive, because it tricks our brain chemistry to eat more sugar, fat and casein from cheese, to release a feel-good chemical called dopamine (the one you lose if you get Parkinson’s disease). Food campaigner Michael Pollan says the solution is to simply change how you shop: go to the store on a full stomach and don’t fall for the tricks like putting junk food at eye level, buying sweets at the checkout and even succumbing the beats of music and colours to make you feel stressed, to entice you to buy (more) junk food. His 64 food rules include:
Don’t eat anything your grandmother could not pronounce
If you don’t understand an ingredient, don’t eat it.
Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does!
Don’t eat cereals that change the colour of the milk!
If it comes from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t!
Also don’t fall for ‘fast junk food’ claiming it’s health food. Aussie actor Damon Gameau eats healthy, and made a film (similar to Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me when he lived on McDonald’s for a month) and ate the average amount of sugar for a while – it sent him pre-diabetic pretty quickly, still including ‘healthy foods’ like store-bought smoothies and yoghurts. If something is low in fat, it’s often high in sugar. Stick to natural food, and you won’t go far wrong.
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Michael Pollan
Respect your body. It deserves better than laboratory-made sweetness. Damon Gameau
Cravings are not caused by weak will or gluttony. They are triggered by biological properties of the foods themselves. Certain foods have chemical makeups that cause us to crave them, in the same way as drugs, alcohool and tobacco. Dr Neal Barnard MD
Vegan Alternatives to Fast Food Chains
McDonald’s is the world’s most successful fast food chain,and kills 350,000 cattle yearly for its burgers. Fries are often cooked in the same oil as the chicken fat and despite a few improvements (like paper straws – the lids are still made from plastic), is not as good as it makes out. Did you know that the actor who played ‘Ronald McDonald’ went veggie? He could no longer cope with telling children that their beef came from ‘happy cows’.
Unity Diner (London) is a wonderful company that was started by Earthling Ed, who has used the profits raised to fund Surge Sanctuary, which looks like it will become similar to the USA’s Farm Sanctuary. The company is a member of Vegan Founded so you can trust this company is genuine. The menu includes a Moving Mountains beef patty with melted cheeze, lettuce, tomato, relish and garlic mayo along with tofish, vegan prawns, and fries, and vegan chicken burgers.
The Vurger Co (London, Brighton) began as a market stall, after the founder healed his stomach on plant foods. Today it’s a hugely successful chain with its own brand of grocery sauces, and Welsh chef Gaz Oakley is on board to create burgers in compostasble packaging. The company gives to many causes, and is cashless (to avoid bank notes, which contain animal fat).
The menu includes a New York Melt (with a ‘meat patty’ and double vegan cheese, gherkins, tomato and house-made burger sauce), and a faux chicken burger, buffalo burgers, fries, crispy dippers, almond milk shakes with optional whipped cream and a shot of rum!
Neat Burger (London) has a few branches across the city. Again it’s cashless and its main player is a Double Neat Meat Patty in triple bun with lettuce, onions, pickles and tangy big stack sauce, nuggets, tater tots and vegan shakes. There is Little Neat (for children) and Meal Kits available, along with cheesy or spicy Neat Hog Dogs with grilled red onions, mustard, ketchup, mayo, crispy onions and pickles. A tree is planted for every purchase. Available for home delivery, the brand is in the news as it’s co-owned by racing driver Lewis Hamilton, with plans for 7 more sites soon and 20 more delivery-only sites.
- VBurger (London) is situated in the heart of Camden Market. As well as selling Moving Mountains burgers and hot dogs, it also sells an Up-Beet Burger made with slow-roasted British beeteroot and quinia, served with smoked tomato relish, tomato, dill gherkins and sliced red onion, topped with garlic and chive aioli.
- Halo Burger has locations in London (Brixton and Shoreditch) and Brighton. As well as vegan cheeseburgers, there are smoky BBQ burgers and soft-serve ice-cream made with almonds and cashews.
- Ready Burger (London) has outlets in Crouch End and Finchley, with more opening soon. Its showpiece is the Big Ready (!) that serves two grilled patties with cheese in a bun, along with lettuces, pickles and house sauce.
- Oowee (London, Bristol, Manchester, Brighton) offers the plant-based fast food of the future. With a goal to open in every major city, the range includes The Big VG that serves a quarter pounder Beyond Meat patty with garlic mayo, smoked gouda, sweet pickled pink onions and lettuce, in a bap.
- Rudy’s Diner (London) is the first vegan-style American diner. The menu includes grilled soy beef mince patty with bacyon, cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, dill pickles and burger sauce, and a vegan banana split. Located at Camden Market and Islington (which also houses Rudy’s vegan butcher shop).
More Vegan Burger Chains Worldwide
- PLNT Burger is available for pick-up or delivery nationwide. There’s a vegan cheeseburger, mushroom BBQ bacon burger or steakhouse burger.
- Odd Burger offers a BacUn Famous Melt, and Kids’ Cheezeburger. The Vopper features house-made organic tempeh bacUn and chickpea patty. Profits help local sanctuaries like Charlotte’s Freedom Farm
- Next Level Burger was founded by a couple who lived a comfortable life, but wanted to do something to help animals and the planet. The USA’s first plant-based burger joint now is in several locations nationwide.
- Native Foods has several sustainable outlets nationwide (lighting fixtures from used cardboard and tables made from reclaimed oak trees). Launched in Palm Springs, the menu includes the signature savory patty with guacamole, Santa Fe salsa and spicy grilled jalapeños.
- Plant Power Fast Food offers plant-based burgers, fries and shakes at several locations in California and Nevada. Based in San Diego, this is being hailed as a ‘vegan McDonalds’.
- HipCityVeg sells vegan fast food in compostable packaging at several outlets nationwide. The menu includes the Ziggy Burger (grilled burger with organic tempeh bac’n, provolone cheese and sauce, with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle). There is also a Smokehouse Burger (with tangy BBQ and smoked gouda cheese), a Philly Steak (with grilled onion, mushroom, organic ketchup and mozza cheese) and a Curry Tofu Wrap.
- Wise Boys (NZ) was set up by two friends, who quit their office jobs, built a food truck made from scrap metal and recycled pallets, and then spent time perfecting the patties, before taking them on the road. The extensive menu includes classic cheese, spicy Mex, Moroccan, smoke and fire and spicy buffalo chick.
Vegan Alternatives to Filet O Fish
Filet-O-Fish was created in 1962 for McDonald’s, for Christians, who abstained from meat on Fridays. The favourite meal of Donald Trump, it’s a fried pollock or hoki fillet in bread with tartar sauce and processed cheese, served in a steamed bun. PLNT Burger (US offers burgers but also a plant-based filet-o-fish on the menu. Many vegan fish recipes use seaweed, so avoid for thyroid issues.
Choosing plant-based versions also helps to restock numbers of Alaskan pollock (a cute fish that makes a drumming sound, to attract a mate), which are declining in numbers due to over-fishing, and also has issues with by-catch (harming and killing other creatures within the fishing nets).
Neat Burger (Soho, Camden and Oxford Circus area) is co-owned by racing driver Lewis Hamilton. This cashless outlet (paper notes contain animal fat) offers Filet No Fish (fillet, lettuce, tartar sauce, crispy onions and pickles).
Tofu & Nori ‘Faux Fish Filet (So Vegan) is made with lant milk and cornflakes! Served with a sea-tasting caper marinade with fresh dill and homemade vegan tartare sauce, with vegan cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onions and gherkins.
Vegan Alternatives to McFlurry
Creamy Vegan Vanilla Shake (Simple Vegan Blog) would rival any from a fast food chain. No cholesterol either, top with coconut whip or vegan cream. Mix in spices if wished, or cocoa or carob powder.
Pulp Fiction $5 Milkshake (So Vegan) blends bananas with yoghurt and ice cream, and flavours with vanilla, oat milk and maple syrup. Top with vegan cream and (vegan) glace cherries.
Strawberry Protein Milkshake (The Simple Veganista) blends frozen berries with plant milk, banana, vanilla and maple syrup.
Best Ever Chocolate Milkshake (The Simple Veganista) is made with plant-based or banana ice cream. Top with coconut whip, shaved chocolate, chocolate syrup and fresh cherries or strawberries.
The Best Vegan Hash Brown Recipes
Hash browns are simpy potatoes fried in oil. They are also popular in Swiss (rosti) and Jewish cuisine (latkes). Golden Hash Browns (So Vegan) is a good basic recipe to try.
Vegan Cheesy Hash Browns (So Vegan) takes things up a notch, with vegan cheddar cheese and flax seeds, to use instead of eggs as a binder.
Baked Vegan Hash Browns (Lazy Cat Kitchen) use peeled Maris Piper potatoes along with salt, shallot, and black pepper. Just a little oil spray for these, to use instead of fried.
A Vegan McDonald’s Apple Pie Alternative
McDonald’s apple pies are essentially ‘pop tarts’, but do ensure the filling has cooled down enough, to be safe to eat, to avoid mouth burns. This Homemade McDonald’s Apple Pies (So Vegan) combines a vegan eggwash with maple syrup to sweeten, and that familiar cinnamon taste. Use palm-oil-free vegan pastry.
Moving Mountain Burgers, served with homemade fries.
French fries are basically the American term for a bag of chips, but they are quite different. French fries tend to be thinner and often served just with salt, rather than the British salt and vinegar version (recipes below). It’s one of the most popular meals at American-style fast food restaurants, although some fry them in the same fat, and McDonald’s fries in some countries are not even vegetarian, as they contain beef-like seasoning.
Here are some plant-based recipes followed by a few ‘British-style salty chips’ recipes, also read the post on vegan alternatives to fast food restaurants, which lists brands that sell French fries in compostable packaging. French fries and chips are choking hazards, so avoid for young children and people with swallowing difficulties. Try this simple recipe for Baked French Fries (Simple Vegan Blog). All you need are Russet potatoes, olive oil and salt.
Crispy Oven Fries with Vegan Aioli (Crowded Kitchen) are just the same in taste as deep-fried versions from restaurants. But these ones don’t even use a fryer.
Likely the easiest way to make chips is to bake your own. They are healthier too with no oil, and very easy to make. You also have more choice, in that you can use sweet potatoes or even root veggies as the base, for more nutrients. These Baked Parsnip Fries with Mushroom Gravy (Full of Plants) are baked with rosemary and covered with a black pepper mushroom gravy. Keep mushrooms away from pets.
Vegan Poutine from Quebec
Poutine originated in Quebec, and is a dish of French fries and cheese, topped in a brown gravy. Easy Vegan Poutine (Minimalist Baker) is cooked in a mushroom and shallot gravy, made with almond milk and vegetable stock, and seasoned with salt, pepper, vinegar and coconut aminos.
Vegan Poutine (Avant Garde Vegan) is a recipe by talented Welsh chef Gaz Oakley. The fries are seasoned and served with homemade cashew cheese curds, then topped with an onion mushroom gravy with miso paste, and served with fresh thyme.
Hot dogs are of course American, but popular the world over. These are made with Frankfurter sausages in hot dog buns, usually served with mustard, ketchup, fried onions and gherkins. Vegan Hot Dogs (The Veg Space) use ready-made vegan sausages, for the ultimate party food. You can usually freeze hot dog sausages, then just poach in water for a quick snack.
If used, choose vegan butters free from palm oil. Keep recipes away from pets due to toxic ingredients (onion, garlic, mushrooms, jackfruit, vegan meats/cheeses etc). Avoid hot dogs for young children and people with swallowing difficulties. For older children, slice lengthwise and lengthwise again, for less risk of choking.
Vegan Carrot Dogs (Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen) are best with plant-based coleslaw, potato salad or grilled corn on the cob.
Vegan Hot Dogs (Delicious Magazine) are loaded with sausages and char-grilled veggies. Perfect for a meat-free BBQ feast.
Where to Buy Good Hot Dogs
Unity Diner (London) sells vegan hot dogs, and profits help to fund Surge Sanctuary, that rescues animals from the abattoir, to live out their lives in peace.
They use Moving Mountains hot dogs (sold in the freezer dept of most stores), that are gluten-free and made with sunflower seeds. They have a delicious naturally smoked flavour and firm texture.