Wicked Kitchen Debuts World’s First Vegan Lamb Roast

|Updated Sep 30, 2021
Wicked Kitchen

Beloved UK-based vegan company Wicked Kitchen just revealed the market’s very first plant-based whole cut lamb roast. Chef Derek Sarno – the Director of Plant-Based Innovation for Tesco and co-founder of Wicked Kitchen – announced that the brand’s new No-Lamb Roast with Pomegranate Glaze will be the first-to-market vegan roast lamb product, ever. Even though some plant-based gyro-style products exist, this will be the first whole cut vegan lamb.

The lamb is "Chef-crafted with king oyster mushrooms, and a pea and wheat protein blend," Sarno says. He calls it: "Shredding ready and perfect for mid-week or Sunday Roasts, Middle Eastern-inspired wraps or some fancy pants taco.”

Wicked Kitchen will initially launch the plant-based lamb at all Tesco locations across the UK but so far it isn't available in the US. The plant-based company has recently expanded its line of vegan meals to retailers across America including Kroger and Sprouts and is available in over 2,500 stores.

Sarno and his brother Chad founded the company in 2018 to innovate new healthy and delicious offerings that are differentiated because they are chef-created. They saw gaps in food categories in the growing plant-based market, and are filling them with items such as this lamb alternative. The Sarno team plans to develop its Wicked Kitchen brand in several new directions, eventually expanding globally into more countries.

“It is my personal mission to work with all of our partners and suppliers to set the gold standard in chef-driven plant-based foods for all others to benchmark,” Derek writes on the company’s website. “That is how we’re going to change the world!”

Wicked Kitchen Raised Funding to Expand

The No-Lamb Roast is the first product to follow the Wicked Kitchen recent Series A funding round that secured a $14 million investment package. The company announced that the investment package would be dedicated to both distribution expansion and product development.

“This funding supports the next giant leap in growth and adoption of the Wicked Kitchen product line – a journey that will span the globe,” Wicked Foods CEO Pete Speranza said. “As was demonstrated by Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, the breadth of offerings Wicked Kitchen brings to the market allows motivated regional retail partners to commit to multi cross-category adoption. What Wicked brings into the US will be unlike anything else that has come before it in the plant-based space.”

The Sarno brothers consistently remain at the forefront of plant-based protein alternatives. The duo also founded the vegan brand Good Catch in 2019 to provide plant-based consumers with a plant-based seafood product line. The company's first product was a plant-based tuna and it has since expanded to feature vegan fish cakes and breaded fish filets.

You may think iron is synonymous with meat, and while animal protein certainly has it, that doesn’t mean you can’t get enough iron if you eat a mainly plant-based diet. In fact, you can, if you know the right foods to choose and how to pair them. The daily recommendation from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for iron intake is 18 milligrams (mg), but not all iron sources are created equal. Here’s what plant-based eaters need to know about iron and which iron-rich foods are best to help reap the benefits.

1. White Mushrooms

1 cup cooked = 3 mg iron (17% daily value (DV))\There are many reasons to eat mushrooms on the regular, but their meaty texture (try a Portobello cap as a meat replacement for a burger!) and ample protein are two of the highlights. Add them to your stir-fry, tacos, or even instead of meat in a faux Bolognese sauce.

2. Lentils

1/2 cup = 3 mg iron (17% DV)You don’t need to eat a huge serving of lentils to get a hearty dose of iron. Just a half-cup provides close to 20% of the iron you need in a day. Just like mushrooms, lentils have a meaty texture that works well in burgers, tacos, or grain bowls.

3. Potatoes

1 medium potato = 2 mg iron (11% DV)The poor potato has gotten such a bad rap. Fear of this carb-rich spud is unwarranted because it’s actually an affordable and delicious source of iron and potassium. So go ahead and have that hash, baked potato, or potato soup and leave the skin on for some added fiber.

4. Cashews

1 ounce = 2 mg iron (11% DV)Most nuts contain iron, but cashews are a standout because they have less fat than some of the other nuts. One ounce of cashews (about 16 to 18 nuts) has 160 calories, 5 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fat. Add a handful of cashews to smoothies, soups, or sauces for some extra creaminess.

5. Tofu

½ cup = 3 mg (15% DV)Not only does tofu have plenty of protein and calcium, but it’s also a good source of iron. It’s very versatile and takes on the flavor of any sauce or marinade, making it a great meat substitute.Keep in mind that you can easily get the iron you need from a plant-based diet.