Meat-free – not treat-free!

EASY plant-based alternatives.

If you’re plant-based or, dare we say it, vegan, no doubt you’ve been asked a thousand times, “But how do you live without X?”

This question is usually structured around the asker’s non-plant-based favourite comfort food such as bacon, steak, cheese, or chocolate. While there are plenty of plant-based comfort foods (hellllooo avocado) sometimes you can’t help but feel they may have a point.

Here at KIND, we believe being plant-based doesn’t have to mean you’re missing out ­–that’s why we’re not exclusively a vegan cafe. But we also believe almost every non-plant-based treat can easily be substituted with something equally as satisfactory.

As we head into the cooler months, it’s the ideal time to share some of our easy plant-based comfort food substitutes such as bacon, mayonnaise, cheese, and even ice cream (it might be winter but, hey, you gotta have something with your hot apple crumble). 

These simple recipes will satisfy your cravings and in most cases are much healthier than their non-plant-based alternatives. We’ll be posting them weekly – so make sure you keep an eye on our blog!

So “lettuce” start with the king of “how do you live without’s”…

Plant-based bacon (fondly known as “facon”)

Bacon can be one of the hardest foods for new plant-based eaters to give up. It can trip up even the strictest of plant-based peeps, especially after a bit of a night out.

Fortunately, there’s a healthy, animal-free way you can still be makin’-faken-bacon.


  • One large aubergine, sliced lengthways in strips about 3 mm thick 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (if you can’t find any in store you can use this Martha Stuart recipe)
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Big pinch ground cumin

Pre-heat your oven to 120°C, and line a tray with baking paper.

Mix the soy sauce, vegan Worcestershire, maple syrup, paprika, and cumin together to make the bacon-y glaze for your aubergine.

Lay the aubergine strips on the baking paper and brush both sides with the glaze.

Roast the glazed strips for 45 minutes (or until crisped to perfection), and you’re done.

With a bit of ingenuity (which we know Kiwis are good at) almost any treat can be made plant-based. But if you’re still struggling, you can always come visit us at KIND and let us do the plant-based cooking for you.

Keep your eye on the blog for next week’s recipe, we can guarantee it’s going to be grate.