Image via Carl’s Jr.

It’s now easier than ever to go meat-free. At present, you can get your hands on plant-based “steak,” “pork,” “eggs,” and more that claim to taste close to the real deal. There are also cruelty-free chicken nuggets developed from the cells of a single feather.

January is the month of new beginnings, so some food lovers might be hoping to cut down on their meat intake. It also happens to be the month of ‘Veganuary’, when eaters pledge to go vegan for a full month.

In time for such diet plans, both Carl’s Jr. and Pizza Hut have rolled out new plant-based options that replicate the textures and flavors of meat.

Pizza Hut UK, for one, has introduced a new ‘Vegan Jack ‘n’ Ch**se’ pizza, shown below. The pie is topped with tomato sauce, sweetcorn, barbecue sauce-drenched jackfruit, red onions, peppers, more barbecue sauce, and vegan cheese by award-winning brand Violife.


Image via Pizza Hut

Jackfruit has gained popularity in the recent years, thanks to its versatility. The fruit, which is found in tropical regions across the world, is suitable for savory dishes like curries when it’s still green, but resembles a fusion of mango and pineapple when ripe. Most notably, it has a meaty flesh that’s reminiscent of pulled pork when doused in barbecue sauce.

The ‘Vegan Jack ‘n’ Ch**se’ pizza comes with ‘Pan’, ‘All-American Thin’, and ‘Gluten-Free’ crust options. Pizza Hut’s mainstay vegan pizzas, the ‘Vegan Veggie’ and ‘Vegan Margherita’, are available alongside the new item.

Carl’s Jr. knows its meaty burgers are untouchable, so it’s offered the next best option: vegan patties that promise to sizzle, taste, “satisfy,” and even “bleed” like real beef. The patty in its new sandwich, the US$6.29 ‘Beyond Famous Star with Cheese’, comes courtesy of renowned plant-based meat substitute maker Beyond Meat.

Here, the vegan patty—which is free of soy, gluten, and GMO—is charbroiled. It’s also “meaty red” in the middle due to the addition of beets. Unlike many options in the market, the patty gets its protein from peas, mung bean, and rice protein.

While the Beyond Meat patty is 100-percent vegan, Carl’s Jr.’s burger is not. Aside from containing real mayonnaise and cheese, the sandwich is assembled in areas of the kitchen that prepared animal products and byproducts. Patrons can also opt to have the Beyond Meat patty in any of Carl’s Jr.’s regular burgers for an extra US$2.

Pizza Hut’s ‘Vegan Jack ‘n’ Ch**se’ pizza is available for a limited time at all 253 UK locations. However, it has promised to make the item permanent “if 10,000 people order a vegan pizza.” Carl’s Jr.’s new burger seems to be here to stay, and can now be ordered at participating restaurants across the US.

[via Engadget and Bustle, images via various sources]

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