The Notorious Gatsby – Veganised…

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gatsby_sandwichThis is a gatsby and this is what wikipedia has to say about it:

“A Gatsby is a South African sandwich very similar in content and method of preparation as a hoagie in the United States. It is mostly popular in the Western Cape province. (That’s where I live.)

Gatsbies usually consist of long bread rolls cut lengthwise and opened up to form a sort of cradle which is filled with various fillings. While the choice of filling in a Gatsby varies widely depending on customer preference and vendor, one standard item is usually hot chips i.e. French fries.

Different varieties of Gatsbys include masala steak, chicken, polony, Vienna sausage, calamari, fish, and chargrilled steak.

Gatsbies originated in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town, where people would often buy large rolls and fill them with whatever leftovers they had, and split them four ways. This practice has carried on in modern times, with gatsbies being bought in full, half or quarter sizes.”

All true Cape Townians have experienced the deliciousness that the gatsby world has to offer…Saucy, spicy chips topped with everything under the sun – the ultimate movie junkfood supper.  The problem is that being a vegan – never mind a gluten-free vegan – I am yet to find a vendor that makes a gatsby that is not filled with some sort of meat, cheese and egg.  In addition, the chips are always deep-fried in old oil and usually smothered in cheap, processed sauces that are filled with chemicals you don’t even know how to pronounce.  Suddenly not so appetizing….

Enter the healthified (not sure if that is a word – but it really should be) vegan, gluten-free gatsby:

IMG_8697I used a sweet potato bread from wellness warehouse as it is the closest gluten-free bread that I can find to a soft glutinous long roll.  It is soft and fluffly with a slightly sweet taste – a brilliant substitute for the roll you see in the picture at the top.  Your gatsby needs to be filled with fries, but apart from that, the rest is up to you.  Most gatsbies are topped with caramelised onions, cheese, tomato, lettuce and and a meat of choice.  The chips are spiced with a spicy salt and usually a sauce of your choice.  Below is the recipe for my gatsby, but feel free to put whatever you like onto yours.


  • gluten-free bread/roll of choice (I do recommend a white, soft kind of bread here)
  • caramelised onions (recipe under instructions)
  • gherkin slices
  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • sliced tomato with black pepper and salt
  • my homemade cheese sauce
  • oven baked fries (frozen french fries from woolworths)
  • Soya mince of choice, flavoured to taste (I used fries soya mince for which I paid dearly since it is not gluten-free.  Next time I will rather use a barbeque lentil mixture such as this one.)
  • Spicy salt (I love Steers Salt)
  • Other sauces like tomato sauce or barbeque sauce


To caramelise the onion:  On the slicer side of your grater, slice the onion into rings.  Separate the rings with your fingers and set aside.  Heat a dollop of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add the onions along with a dash of balsamic vinegar and a half a teaspoon of brown sugar. (The sugar is not essential but does help it caramelize nicely.)  Keep stirring from time to time to prevent onions from catching.  After a few minutes, reduce heat to low and allow to soften and caramelize further while you get the other ingredients ready.

I stir fried the soya mince in some olive oil and then added a little beef-flavoured stock (Inna Paarmens vegan beef-flavoured stock powder dissolved in a little boiling water), some chutney and tomato sauce and simmered it for a few minutes.  Flavour your mince as you please and feel free to use faux polony, faux chicken/beef strips or whatever else makes you smile – even some beans/lentils:)

Make the cheese sauce according to the recipe on my pizza post.

Bake your oven chips.  This is a lot less fatty than fried chips.  In South Africa, I really recommend woolworths oven fries.  They taste like proper chips.  I find that many of the other oven chip brands have a dry, strange texture which doesn’t quite do it for me.

To assemble:

Butter your bread with a vegan margarine if desired.  Place tomato slices, lettuce and gherkin onto the bottom slice of bread/roll.  Put a thick layer of chips on top.  Sprinkle generously with your favourite spicy salt.  Pour warm cheese sauce over the chips.  Pour some tangy mince over the cheese sauce.  Pile some caramelised onions right on top.  If you like, add tomato sauce too – your call.

Open your mouth REALLY wide and…hmmm…
Dr T


2 Comments on The Notorious Gatsby – Veganised…

  1. shain Brown
    June 12, 2014 at 10:29 am (7 years ago)

    Hi Doc this looks devine and healthy.
    Your Homemade cheese sauce?

    • talitaseegers
      June 12, 2014 at 1:56 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks:) I assure you – it tastes amazing…Yes – click on the link to see the cheese sauce recipe. I use it on my pizzas and my husband loves it drizzled over Mediterranean roasted veggies (or eaten straight from the pot;). Best of all – you make it in under 5 minutes!


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