Tesco Vegan Mozzarella Review

Tesco recently released a whole range of vegan cheese, including some varieties which haven’t been widely available until now. Today we’re reviewing their Free From Grated Mozzarella Alternative. Read on to find out how it tastes, how it melts, and whether or not we’d recommend buying it.

Taste

Tesco vegan Mozzarella packet

The cheese has a pleasant, mild flavour, with a hint of saltiness. It’s also quite creamy. The flavour is fairly similar to real Mozzarella, but you’d probably tell the difference in a taste test. The flavour is nice in its own right though, so it’s worth trying even if you don’t especially miss Mozzarella. If you’re not a fan of strong, cheddar-style vegan cheeses then this is definitely a good option.

Texture

The texture of the cheese is good, no complaints here. It’s not quite the same as cheese you’d grated yourself and the pieces are very uniform in shape, but that’s no big issue. The fact that it’s pre-grated makes it really convenient for topping pizzas. Could be a good option to take to Pizza Express, who allow you to bring your own vegan cheese to be added to your pizza.

Melting

We were pleasantly surprised by how well this cheese melted. It worked perfectly under the grill on a medium heat, bubbling up and turning slightly brown on top in the way that regular cheese would. We found that texture was a little sticky if too much cheese was melted onto bread, but a moderate amount was fine.

Tesco vegan Mozzarella

It melts!

We’d say that this Mozzarella is ideal for topping pizzas, pasta bakes and jacket potatoes. It also makes a tasty cheese on toast!

Our score: 8/10. We’d recommend giving this vegan Mozzarella a go if you’re a fan of mild cheese. 

Have you tried any of the new Tesco vegan cheese yet? Which is your favourite? How do you think they compare to Sainsbury’s? Let us know below or on social media.

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8 Reasons to Visit a Vegan Fair This Year

Are you in two minds about visiting a vegan fair? Maybe it involves travelling out of your way, or rearranging other plans? We’re here to tell you exactly why you should visit at least one vegan fair this year – although there’s a good chance you’ll want more once you realize just how great vegan events are.

1. Discover new products/companies

Vegan fairs are an excellent way to get introduced to companies you might never have come across otherwise. Some of our best vegan fair finds have come from companies we’d never even heard of – like this delicious vegan feta by Lettices. Some brands don’t have their products stocked in mainstream stores, or trade mainly locally/online, so going to a vegan event is a great way to give them a try.

2. Sample food before you buy

Vegan food can be expensive, and there’s nothing worse than splashing out on a new type of vegan cheese/chocolate/fake meat, only to find that it’s disgusting. Most traders at vegan events will have plenty of free samples on offer, so you can check that you like food before you purchase. It’s a good idea to try as many samples as possible before you decide what to buy – you don’t want to miss out on any gems at the end.

3. Support vegan businesses

Attending vegan fairs is a great way for small businesses to get the word out about their products, and get feedback from customers. By purchasing from them, you’re helping the business to grow and improve. Even if you don’t buy from every stall, even picking up a flyer and giving the company a follow/like on social media can be a big help.

4. Get vegan clothing, toiletries and make-up

Vegan food is becoming more and more common in mainstream shops, but non-food items like clothing, toiletries and make-up can sometimes be harder to find. Vegan fairs are a great place to get hold of items like this, and you’ll often find some really unique products. There’s usually plenty of printed clothing available too, perfect if you like statement T-shirts and hoodies.

5. Meet like-minded people

Vegan events can be an excellent place to meet like-minded people, particularly if you live in an area where veganism isn’t very common. Most stallholders will be happy to chat, and many events designate areas specifically for connecting with others. VegFest London features a ‘Teen Zone’ and a ‘Mature Zone’, making it easy to meet similar people while taking part in fun activities.  You could make a new best friend!

6. Attend talks and cookery demos

You’ll find a really diverse range of talks and demos at most vegan events – there’s usually something for almost everyone. We’ve seen talks on everything from vegan bodybuilding and healthy vegan diets to alternative healing and vegan activism. Cookery demos offer a great chance to pick up some new kitchen skills, and lessons on making your own vegan cheese are common.

7. Try tasty lunch options

Most vegan fairs are full of so many tasty lunch options that it can be hard to pick just one! Offerings will vary from event to event, but we’ve seen vegan pizza, vegan fish and chips, vegan hot dogs, vegan curries and more. Be sure to check outside the venue as well as inside, as food trucks often have some great offerings. Dessert options are usually plentiful as well, with cake, waffles, ice cream and froyo being some of the most popular.

8. Get freebies

Many vegan fairs are free to enter, particularly if they’re small, local events. Many fairs offer a free goodie bag to the first X number of visitors through the door, so it can pay to arrive early. You’ll often find freebies available on a number of stalls too, especially when a new company or product is being promoted.

Have we convinced you to visit a vegan fair this year?

If so, check out this list of 2017 UK vegan fairs for details of upcoming events.

It’s also helpful to join vegan Facebook groups for your local area and follow your favourite vegan brands on social media to keep up with new event announcements.

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Where to Get Vegan Fish and Chips in the UK

Did you think going vegan meant giving up fish and chips? Think again. A growing number of establishments are offering vegan alternatives to the old classic, and we’ve listed some of them below.

Loving Hut (London, Brighton, Norwich)

Loving Hut have branches in London, Brighton and Norwich, and offer this tasty looking vegan battered fillet and chips. Visit the Loving Hut website to see their full menu and list of locations.

The Peacock (Nottingham)

This pub offers a 100% vegan menu, featuring vegan variations on classic pub foods like pie, lasagne and fish and chips. Their ‘fish’ is made from battered tofu and seaweed and is served with homemade chips. You can follow The Peacock on Facebook to keep up to date.

Veggie Corner (Coventry)

All sorts of vegan takeaway options are available at Veggie Corner in Coventry, including fish and chips, battered sausage, pies and kebabs. Check out Veggie Corner on Facebook.

Matter Fastfoods (Bristol)

Matter Fastfoods serve vegan versions of chippy classics, including fried chicken, kebabs and wraps. Check out Matter Fastfoods on Facebook for more info.

Mono (Glasgow)

Mono is a vegan cafe bar in Glasgow. They serve a variety of tasty-looking dishes, including pizza, burgers, hot dogs and To-fish n’ chips. Check out the full menu on the Mono website.

Dove Pubs (London)

Dove pubs have two London branches, and offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan options, including Belgian Beer battered ‘fish’ and chips. You can check out the Dove pubs website for full details.

Battered (various locations)

Battered is a vegan fish and chip trailer, travelling to various events around the country. You can see where they’ll be heading next on their Facebook page, Twitter page or the Battered website.

Potato Tomato (Whitstable)

This 100% vegan eatery serves tofish and chips, southern fried popcorn tofu, and lots more. Check out their full menu on the Potato Tomato website.

Do you know of a place to get vegan fish and chips that we missed off this list? Let us know below or on social media.

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Tesco Free From Strong Soya Cheddar Style Spread Review

Tesco have recently introduced an alternative to mature cheese spread in the form of their Strong Soya Cheddar Style Spread. Part of their growing free from range, it is now available in most Tesco stores. Read on to see what we thought of it.

Ingredients

The spread is predominantly a mixture of coconut oil and soya protein. The coconut oil element echoes the composition of the recently introduced cheese alternatives from Sainsbury’s. The full ingredients are listed below:

Water, Coconut Oil, Soya Protein Concentrate (11%), Salt, Spirit Vinegar, Lactic Acid (Dairy Free), Yeast Extract, Flavourings, Sugar, Thickener (Carrageenan), Colour (Paprika Extract)

Texture

Spreadability is something of an issue with this product as it has a dryness that leads it to flake and fall apart when you dig into it. With a bit of effort though it can be spread across your crackers or toast fairly evenly. Not as creamy as we anticipated though.

cracker with vegan cheese spread

Not exactly the texture we hoped for…

Taste

An authentically creamy and strongly cheesy flavour makes this an ideal mature cheese replacement for a quick snack on crackers or toast. We also found it a tasty filling for baked potatoes especially mixed with tomatoes and onion.

Verdict

We’d give this spread 6 and a half out of ten. The difficulty in spreading combined with a rather lacklustre off white colour somewhat undermine an otherwise tasty and satisfying mature spread alternative.

Have you tried any of Tesco’s vegan cheese? Let us know what you thought in the comments or on social media!

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11 Vegan Cooking Hacks You Need to Try

Being vegan can force you to get pretty inventive while cooking, and things don’t always go as planned. To save you from kitchen disasters, we’ve listed eleven of the best vegan cooking hacks. Get ready to learn clever tricks for making everything from vegan omelette and egg-free quiche, to dairy-free whipped cream and tofu chocolate mousse.

1. Use chickpea water to make meringues.

vegan galaxy meringues

It might sound crazy, but the liquid that’s leftover from a can of chickpeas, also known as ‘aquafaba’, makes delicious, fluffy meringues – and they don’t taste like chickpeas. All you need to do is whisk the liquid along with sugar and cream of tartare, then bake.

Check out our recipe for the cute galaxy meringues shown above.

2. Make vegan cheese from almonds.

basic almond cheese

Source: http://www.landsandflavors.com/basic-almond-cheese/

Shop-bought vegan cheese can be a little hit and miss, but you can’t go wrong with this homemade almond cheese. It’s simple to make (especially if you use ground almonds rather than soaking and blending your own) and you can alter the seasoning according to your taste – check out our favourite Basic Almond Cheese recipe for full details.

3. Blend courgettes to make a creamy sauce.

vegan creamy carbonara

Source: http://www.blissfulbasil.com/creamy-carbonara-pasta-with-shiitake-bacon-vegan-gf/

There’s a growing range of non-dairy creams available, but sometimes they aren’t as filling/nutritious/flavourful as you’d like. We got the idea of using courgette to make a creamy sauce from this Vegan Carbonara Recipe. All you need to do is roast or fry courgettes until soft, then blend with garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of non-dairy milk. Adding nutritional yeast, paprika or mustard can create a nice cheese flavour – don’t be afraid to experiment.

4. Make whipped cream using tinned coconut milk.

coconut whipped cream

Source: http://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-coconut-whipped-cream/

Leave a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight, scrape the thickened coconut cream from the top of the can, then use an electric beater to mix with icing sugar until peaks form. This whipped cream is ideal for desserts, or just to top a fancy hot chocolate. Get full details from Minimalist Baker.

5. Replace eggs in baking with flax/chia seeds.

vegan egg replacers

Source: http://www.chooseveg.com/bakingwithouteggs

Mix 1 tablespoon of flax/chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and allow to thicken, and you’ve got the perfect egg replacer for most recipes. You can buy flax/chia seeds in Holland and Barrett, some supermarkets and most health food shops. If you’re struggling to track them down, try one of the other substitutions above.

6. Bake using ‘accidentally vegan’ cake mixes.

Most cake mixes are suitable for vegans, and it’s easy to make a few changes to the ingredients you add. In the video above, we used a powdered egg replacer, but it’s also possible use a can of fizzy drink. Check out our list of vegan cake mixes sold in UK supermarkets for inspiration. As an added bonus, loads of icing and decorations are also vegan.

7. Use liquid smoke for a ‘meaty’ flavour.

Available on Amazon or in the World Foods aisle at Tesco, liquid smoke is a great way to add extra flavour to vegan dishes. Brush onto tofu before baking, mix into homemade bean burgers, or add while frying sliced mushrooms to make vegan bacon. A little goes a long way with this product, so don’t go too wild.

8. Blend silken tofu to make desserts.

silken tofu chocolate mousse

Source: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chocolate-recipes/vegan-chocolate-pots/

Tofu doesn’t have much flavour, making it great for both sweet and savoury recipes. Blending silken tofu (which is much softer than regular tofu) with melted dark chocolate makes a delicious vegan chocolate mousse, and you can add other flavours as you wish. If you don’t believe us, check out this recipe from Jamie Oliver.

9. Make omelettes using chickpea flour.

chickpea flour vegan omelette

Source: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2014/12/chickpea-omelet-mix.html

If you don’t fancy splashing out on the Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg, you can make vegan omelettes cheaply and easily using chickpea flour. Mix chickpea flour with seasoning of your choice (turmeric creates a nice yellow colour), then add water and chopped vegetables. Fry in a hot pan until medium brown on both sides. We like this chickpea omelette recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

10. Blend frozen banana to make ice cream.

chocolate banana vegan ice cream

Source: http://www.bowlofdelicious.com/2015/09/15/two-ingredient-vegan-chocolate-banana-ice-cream/

If you haven’t tried this trick, you’re missing out. Simply freeze a banana, then blend with whatever you’d like your ice cream to taste like. We recommend trying:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Frozen berries
  • Mango
  • Vanilla essence
  • Peanut butter

If your blender isn’t very strong, add a splash of dairy-free milk or allow your bananas to defrost a little before blending. Your ice cream won’t be quite as thick, but it will still be delicious.

11. Use silken tofu to make realistic vegan quiche.

vegan quiche

Source: http://deerlybelovedbakery.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/tomato-and-broccoli-quiche.html

This vegan quiche from Deerly Beloved Bakery tastes so realistic that we reckon it could easily fool non-vegans. Instead of egg, you’ll used mashed silken tofu to create the filling. The recipe can be used for large or individual quiches, and you can change the vegetables and seasoning according to your taste.

Send us your vegan cooking hacks

What are your favourite vegan cooking hacks? Let us know below or on social media!

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Violife Prosociano Vegan Parmesan Review

We’re reviewing a second vegan Parmesan alternative today, and this one’s from Violife. If you’re interested in other options, check out our recent review of ‘Flavour Fusion’ by Good Carma – an almond-based product that’s available in a few different flavours.

Violife Prosociano comes in an authentic wedge shape, with nicely designed packaging. It’s currently sold at Tesco and in some independent food stores.

Texture

The cheese is a solid block that looks authentic. It grates easily, and there are no issues with it being too soft/breaking while grating, which is sometimes the case with vegan cheese.

Taste

The cheese has a pretty strong smell/taste, and we reckon it could fool a non-vegan. It adds some nice flavour to pasta dishes, and you don’t need to use much. It melts pretty well when mixed into sauce and has an authentic texture.

If you’re a fan of Parmesan, we’d definitely recommend giving this cheese a try. It grates well, tastes and smells authentic, and melts nicely. If you’re not keen on strong cheeses, we’d recommend sticking with regular Violife, or trying Flavour Fusion, which has a much milder flavour.

We’ve reviewed plenty of vegan cheeses, including Sainsbury’s, Lettices, and Follow Your Heart. Let us know if there are any other brands you’d like to see reviewed.

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Cauldron Vegan Burgers Review

Cauldron have recently released two new vegan products: sausages and burgers. This is a welcome addition to their range, and the products are currently available at Morrison’s, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. We gave the burgers a try – read on to find out what we thought.

Ingredients

The burgers contain a range of pulses and vegetables, including chickpeas, cauliflower, aduki beans, broad beans and spinach. This is a nice change from other vegan burgers, which tend to be mainly soy-based.

Check out the full ingredients below:

Ingredients

Chickpeas, Cauliflower (12%), Aduki Beans (11%), Broad Beans, Spinach (10%), Onions, Garlic Purée, Rehydrated Potato, Plain Flour (Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch, Maize, Buckwheat), Chipotle Chilli Paste (Chipotle Chilli (0.9%), Onion, Tomato Purée, Vinegar, Garlic, Salt, Coriander), Vegetable Bouillon [Salt, Potato Starch, Maltodextrin, Yeast Extract, Non Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Onion Powder, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Herbs (Lovage, Parsley), Spices (White Pepper, Mace, Nutmeg), Turmeric Extract], Rapeseed Oil, Pea Flour, Smoked Paprika (0.9%), Lime Juice Concentrate, Stabiliser: Methyl Cellulose, Salt, Basil, Black Pepper

You can clearly see the different ingredients in the burger as they’re not completely blended together, which gives it a nice homemade feel.

Texture

The burger was smaller than expected, and quite thick (the picture above shows the burger before cooking). It’s not the ideal size for eating in a bun, in our opinion. The texture was similar to a homemade bean burger, quite dense and filling.

Taste

The main seasoning of the burger is ‘chipotle chilli.’ It’s not spicy, but has a rich, smokey flavour that’s quite distinctive. You can taste the individual ingredients, particularly the beans, and overall it’s a nice flavour. This is definitely a wholefood burger, rather than a meat substitute, and we can imagine it being popular with anyone who enjoys homemade burgers or dislikes imitation meat products.

We’d give this burger a 7/10. It was tasty and made a change from the other vegan burgers that are available, but was a little too dense for our liking.

Have you tried the new Cauldron vegan products? Let us know what you thought in the comments or on social media.

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Good Carma Flavour Fusion (Vegan Parmesan Alternative) Review

We’re reviewing a really interesting product today. It’s called Flavour Fusion, and is a vegan alternative to Parmesan cheese. Unlike other cheese alternatives, Flavour Fusion comes as a powder which can be stored in the cupboard, rather than shreds or a block that need to be refrigerated. We weren’t too sure what to expect from this product – read on to find out exactly what we thought.

Ingredients

We were sent two different varieties of Flavour Fusion – one original, and one garlic. The original flavour contains ground almonds, yeast flakes, Himalayan pink salt and basil, while the garlic variety swaps the basil for garlic. It’s a nice, simple ingredients list, ideal for anyone who prefers to avoid overly processed foods with long lists of hard-to-read ingredients.

Texture

When we heard that this cheese came in the form of a powder, we weren’t too sure what to expect. It’s actually a really soft powder with a pleasant consistency, similar to very fine breadcrumbs. It wasn’t at all coarse or grainy, and was perfect sprinkled on top of a meal.

Taste

The Flavour Fusion smelt good immediately after opening, and didn’t have any of the odd or off-putting aroma that’s sometimes a problem with vegan cheeses. We used the original flavour to top spaghetti bolognese, and it tasted great. The flavour was quite creamy, with a pleasant tang. It was mild enough that you could add quite a lot without it becoming overwhelming, and we imagine that you’d enjoy it even if you weren’t a fan of Parmesan. The garlic variety had a nice extra kick, and would be ideal for topping dishes that don’t have much flavour on their own, or as a seasoning for something like potato wedges.

We think Flavour Fusion could work well in all sorts of dishes. Aside from the obvious choice of pasta, we reckon it could be great as a way to add some mild cheese flavour to vegan pizzas, mashed potato, or breadcrumbs, or as a topping for any dish you’d bake in the oven.

We can imagine this becoming one of those products that you end up adding to almost everything you cook, since it’s so versatile. The product came in a handy shaker tube, and we think it would be ideal for taking out to restaurants that don’t stock vegan cheese.

Flavour Fusion is available to buy in select branches of Waitrose – you can see a full list of stockists on the Good Carma website. Good Carma are currently running a Veganuary sale in their online shop, where you can choose from their full range of flavours: original, garlic, and chilli.

Have you tried out this vegan Parmesan alternative? Let us know what you thought in the comments or on social media.

 

Top Places to Look for Vegan Recipe Inspiration

Whether you’re a new vegan or have been cooking without animal products for a long time, sometimes it can be hard to get inspired. You might find yourself rotating the same few recipes, or feeling stuck when it comes to dinnertime. There are loads of great places to get inspiration for new vegan recipes, and we’ve listed a few below.

1. Instagram

Instagram is perfect for everyday recipe inspiration – look out for accounts with daily pictures of each meal. Following accounts like this is a great way to get an idea of what you can eat on a day to day basis, and you won’t feel overwhelmed by lots of fancy recipes. Getting simple ideas on things like what to spread on your toast, take out as a snack, or cook as a quick dinner can make being vegan feel a lot easier.

For shopping tips and ideas based on products available near you, search using location-specific tags, like #veganUK, or #scottishvegan. When on holiday, tags like #veganfrance could help.

2. Pinterest

Pinterest is really handy for compiling recipes into different sections. You could create boards like, “Vegan Christmas” to save ideas for special occasions, or boards like, “Vegan Breakfast Ideas” for everyday inspiration. You can pin recipes from anywhere on the internet by pasting in the URL, so you’re not limited to what you find using the Pinterest search bar.

If there’s a favourite recipe that you’re missing since going vegan, then searching here will usually yield results. Try ‘vegan carbonara’ or ‘vegan tuna salad.’

3. Reddit

There are quite a few vegan-related subreddits, so you can choose whichever suits you. The main /r/vegan subreddit isn’t only for recipes, but you can filter using the food tag on the right hand side of the page. For dedicated recipe posts, visit /r/veganrecipes, and for pictures of vegan food, try /r/veganfoodporn. Reddit can also be a great place to get tips on cooking with certain foods or veganizing old favourite recipes.

4. Food company websites

If there’s an ingredient you use a lot and want to experiment with a little more, then checking out the manufacturer’s website is often helpful. Most websites will contain a recipes section, and you might get some ideas that you’d never even considered before. We’ve found some great vegan recipes on the Quorn website, and the Cauldron website has loads of great tofu ideas (filter using the vegan option at the top.)

5. YouTube

YouTube is a great source of inspiration. Search for ‘What I eat in a day’ videos for everyday ideas, or look for recipe channels to follow. Two of our favourites are The Vegan Corner and Peaceful Cuisine – they both show a wide range of creative recipes with clear instructions. If you’re interested in cooking with new ingredients, then watching videos on how to prepare them can be a big help. We love this tofu cooking video by The Vegan Zombie. More vegan YouTube channels are popping up all the time, so it’s definitely worth checking regularly.

6. Magazines

There are quite a few vegan magazines available in the UK now, and most include plenty of recipes. You could try Cook Vegan, Vegan Life, or Vegan Food and Living. Members of The Vegan Society receive a copy of The Vegan magazine four times a year, which usually contains some good ideas. You might also get inspiration from non-vegan magazines, like the free ones in supermarkets. Lots of recipes are easy to veganize using substitute meats, milks and cheeses.

7. Recipe books

Sometimes a new recipe book can be the best way to get inspired again. Try picking one that’s different to what you’d usually choose. If there’s a type of cuisine you’ve never tried cooking, then now could be the time to give it a go. There are plenty of vegan recipe books available on Amazon, including: Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopan CookingVegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen, Chinese Vegan Kitchen, and many more. It’s also worth checking local bookshops – we’ve seen plenty of vegan cookery books at good prices in The Works.

How do you get inspiration for new vegan recipes? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

If you’re interested in cooking the spicy tofu wrap pictured at the top of this page, check out our recipe here.

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Quorn Vegan Fishless Fingers Review

Another product has been added to the Quorn vegan range – fish fingers! Lots of people are excited about this development, which makes a change from chicken-style products, but are they worth buying? Read on to find out what we thought.

Texture

The fish fingers definitely look like the real deal. They’re a standard size, coated with breadcrumbs, and white and slightly flaky inside. We’d say the texture is pretty close to perfect. They’re not quite as flaky as standard fish fingers might be, but aren’t at all chewy.

Taste

These didn’t taste overly ‘fishy’ to us – but then neither do regular fish fingers. We’d say the taste is pretty close to what we remember from childhood. We’d say these are best eaten with plenty of ketchup, and should satisfy any nostalgia-type cravings. It’s not the most exciting flavour in the world, and we prefer products like the Quorn Hot and Spicy Burgers. However, if you used to be a big fish finger fan then these are definitely worth trying.

What did you think of the Quorn Vegan Fishless Fingers? And what would you like to see them release next? We’re keeping our fingers crossed for vegan Quorn mince.

If you’d like to see our thoughts on the rest of the vegan Quorn range (plus recipe suggestions) click here.

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Real Good Tomato Ketchup Review (Vegan and No Added Sugar)

We’ve been sent some Real Good Tomato Ketchup to test today. The ketchup is 100% vegan, available at Ocado, The Co-op, and on Amazon, and has much less salt and sugar than other brands, making it a great option if you’re trying to cut down on these. Read on to find out what we thought.

Texture

The ketchup was the same consistency as you’d get from other brands, perhaps a tiny bit thinner. It came in a handy squeezy plastic bottle and was easy to dispense. It was nice and smooth, and perfect for dipping.

Taste

We weren’t sure what to expect from the taste, as reduced sugar/salt products can sometimes take some getting used to. We were pleasantly surprised to find that this has a rich, tomatoey taste with a slight tang. It’s much more reminiscent of fresh tomatoes than other ketchups are, and we didn’t miss the extra sugar or salt. We tested it with chips and Quorn chicken nuggets, and it added some nice extra flavour to both.

We can imagine it being useful in cooking, too, since the tomato flavour is quite strong. We sometimes use ketchup mixed with Sriracha and other herbs to marinate baked tofu, and can imagine that tasting recipe great with this product.

We’d definitely recommend giving this ketchup a go if you’re put off by the amount of sugar and salt in regular brands. It would also be a great option for kids, especially if they like to have ketchup with every meal.

Check out the table below if you’re interested in a detailed comparison between Real Good Ketchup and other major brands (taken from here).

Have you tried Real Good Tomato Ketchup? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!

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Top Ten UK Vegan Christmas Finds 2016

With Christmas fast approaching, we thought we’d give you a list of our top ten festive vegan finds. If you fancy browsing our entire list, check out the Christmas section here (you can filter by supermarket on the right hand side, or at the bottom of the page on mobile).

1. Favorina Mince Pies (Lidl)

These are delicious warmed in the microwave, and come in a bigger box than most. There’s lots of good stuff in the Favorina range, including jelly fruits and turkish delight – see our Lidl section for more.

2. Penguin Bites (Tesco)

Fun Christmas crisps, perfect if you don’t want to eat too many sugary snacks.

3. Dark Chocolate and Orange Thins (Morrison’s)

These make a fun change from mint thins, and could be used in place of a chocolate orange.

4. Iced Mince Pies (Sainsbury’s)

Most mince pies don’t come with icing, so these are a fun novelty! Also free from gluten.

5. Chocolate and Hazelnut Churros (Tesco)

Warm vegan churros filled with chocolate and topped with glittery cinnamon sugar. What more could you want?

6. Gold Shimmer Hot Chocolate (Waitrose)

Shimmery hot chocolate – just mix with your favourite plant milk.

7. Chocolate Fondant Truffles (Tesco)

These truffles are really tasty with soft, melty centres. Good substitute for Lindt chocolates and nice to display in a bowl.

8. Merry Moos Selection Box (Sainsbury’s)

Lots of different fun flavours of vegan chocolate, all in a cute festive box. Perfect for kids.

9. Meat Free Festive Nut Roast (Tesco)

This festive nut roast comes with a fancy cranberry and port sauce and is clearly marked vegan on the box.

10. Rich Fruit Christmas Pudding (Morrison’s)

Morrison’s have a few vegan-friendly Xmas puds, including this one, an alcohol-free version, and a gluten-free option.

We hope this list has given you a few festive shopping ideas! Let us know your best finds below or on social media.

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Sainsbury’s Greek-Style Vegan Cheese Review

We’re slowly working our way through all of the new vegan cheeses at Sainsbury’s, and today we’ll be reviewing the Greek-style. Read on to find out what we thought and get some recipe ideas.

Texture

The texture was quite solid and a little crumbly – we’d say it was more like a soft cheddar than a really crumbly cheese like feta. It isn’t an unpleasant texture, but it’s not 100% authentic either. Held up well when cut into cubes.

sainsburys-greek-style-cheese

Taste

We thought that this cheese tasted very similar to the Wensleydale-style, minus the cranberries. It was creamy and slightly tangy, with no unpleasant aftertaste. Again, it was nice, but didn’t really remind us of dairy Greek cheeses which are usually much saltier. If you weren’t a fan of the berries in the Wensleydale-style cheese, then we’d definitely recommend giving this a go as a plain alternative.

If you’re looking for a 100% realistic vegan feta, then we’d recommend trying checking out Better Fetter from Lettices, which we recently reviewed. Sainsbury’s are offering a perfectly nice everyday version that we enjoyed, but it probably wouldn’t fool a non-vegan.

pizza-with-greeky-style

We used cubes of the cheese to top a cooked pizza and it tasted great, especially with a drizzle of garlic oil. We reckon it would also be tasty as part of a salad, or sliced on top of crackers. We’ve heard it melts pretty well, and it seems solid enough that you could grate it if you wanted to.

Click here to see our other cheese reviews, complete with pictures and recipe ideas.

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10 Vegan Jacket Potato Filling Ideas

Wondering what to put in your jacket potato as a vegan? Look no further. We’ve made a list of ten vegan baked potato fillings, including some really simple suggestions that are quick and easy to make, as well as some more involved options. Enjoy!

1. Mashed avocado and cherry tomatoes

This is really easy to make, and delicious with lots of salad on the side. Just mash avocados with chilli, lime, coriander, salt and pepper, then mix in halved cherry tomatoes, and pop inside your potato.

2. Houmous and vegetables

Another simple option, houmous melts nicely on top of a warm jacket potato and has a slightly ‘tangy’ flavour that’s reminiscent of cheese. In summer this is tasty topped with plenty of raw salad vegetables, and in winter it’s perfect with your favourite roasted veg – peppers and courgette slices are especially nice.

3. Chickpea ‘tuna’ salad

This is perfect if you’re used to having egg or tuna salad in your jacket potato. Here’s one of our favourite recipes, from Oh She Glows. The basic idea is to mash chickpeas along with vegan mayo, lemon juice, and any other seasoning you like – it’s fun to experiment. We like to microwave the chickpeas beforehand to make them a little softer.

4. Baked beans and vegan cheese

You can’t go wrong with cheese and beans, even if you’re vegan! We generally go for Branston Baked Beans topped with grated Violife and red onion. For some variation, you could choose a tin of spicy mixed beans and experiment with different flavours of cheese, or top with multiple varieties.

5. Spicy potato cake style

These spicy potatoes aren’t too filling, so make a perfect side dish. Scoop the middle out of your potatoes, and mash with chilli, lemon, fresh coriander, sliced spring onion, salt and pepper. The pop the middle back inside the skins and serve. For extra flavour, drizzle the potatoes in garlic oil before baking.

6. Lentil stew

A nice hearty option, perfect for cold days. Lentil stew is really simple to make – you basically just need to cook lentils, vegetable stock and a tin of tomatoes, adding any seasoning or vegetables you fancy. Here’s a recipe for ‘Ridiculously Easy Lentil and Vegetable Stew’. Stew sometimes doesn’t feel like enough on it’s own, and serving along with a jacket potato makes a nice change from bread.

7. Three bean chilli

You can make chilli as mild or as spicy as you like, and eating in a potato makes a change from rice. Here’s a simple chilli recipe that you can alter as much as you like – we like to add mushrooms. For a lazy option, buy a tin of ready made bean chilli.

8. Salt and olive oil

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Use fancy flavoured olive oil and sea salt for the best flavour. This is a great way to serve mini jacket potatoes as part of a buffet.

9. Gravy and roast vegetables

Roast dinner inside a jacket potato! This is a fun way to make Sunday dinner for one. Roast all of your favourite vegetables in a large tray, then tip onto your jacket potato and top with gravy. Add stuffing to make this even more delicious.

10. Samosa inspired

This potato is basically a giant samosa, and another fun option as part of a buffet at parties. The potato filling is mixed with Indian spices, peas and onion. You can follow this recipe, leaving out the yoghurt and using vegan butter. Serve with mango chutney, or mint sauce made from a vegan yoghurt.

We hope this post has given you some good ideas for your next jacket potato! Let us know your favourite fillings below.

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P.S Have you seen our newly updated festive section yet? (All products sold in UK supermarkets)

New Vegan Menu at Ask Italian

Ask Italian have recently introduced a vegan menu, which includes bruschetta, baked dough balls, pizzas with a range of toppings (sadly no vegan cheese), and three different pasta dishes. There’s also a salad which sounds nice and filling, with avocado and butterbeans, plus sorbet for dessert.

ask-vegan

You can check out the full menu here, selecting your local restaurant from the drop down menu at the top, or ask for a copy in the restaurant.

ask-italian-vegan-menu-2016

It’s great to see so many chains introducing vegan menus and clearer labelling.

Which restaurant would you like to see a vegan menu from next?

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Lettices Vegan Feta Cheese Review

We recently visited the West Midlands Vegan Festival and got to try out some great new products. One of our favourites was this “Better Fetter” vegan feta cheese from Lettices. This is one of the best vegan cheeses we’ve tried – read on to find out exactly what we thought.

  better-fetter

Texture

The texture of this cheese was really authentic, unlike some other vegan greek-style cheeses which can be too solid. It was nice and crumbly, but still held up when cut into cubes. Keeping it in the fridge for a few hours before using made it firmer, but we preferred the crumbly style.

We weren’t expecting this to melt well, but it did! When mixed into warm pasta, it went really nice and soft, just like real feta would. We think it would be great on pizzas or in stuffed peppers.

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Taste

We loved the taste of this cheese. It was really close to real feta – maybe even a little tastier! The flavour was nice and salty, with plenty of seasoning from garlic and herbs. It could get overwhelming if you ate too much at once, but tasted great in all the dishes we tried. We’d give 10/10 on taste.

lettice-feta-pasta

Ingredients

This cheese is tofu-based, and contains pretty simple ingredients, which we’ve pasted here from Lettice’s website:

Ingredients: Firm Pressed Cauldron Tofu (Filtered Water, Soya Beans, Calcium Sulphate), Coconut Oil, White Wine Vinegar, Dried Italian Herb Seasoning – Sesame Seeds, Sea Salt, Basil, Thyme, Oregano, White Pepper, Onion, Rosemary, Garlic Powder – Vegan Lactic Acid Powder, Salt, Onion Powder.

If you come across Lettices at any vegan events, we’d definitely recommend giving this cheese a go. You can see a list of the events they’re scheduled to be at on their site, and there’s also a page for online orders, although these seem to be on hold currently. As well as a range of cheeses, they sell a few different vegan meats. We also purchased a tasty Camembert spread – review coming soon.

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Sainsbury’s Cheddar-style with Caramelised Onion Vegan Cheese Review

Time for our third Sainsbury’s vegan cheese review, and this time we’re trying out their Cheddar-style with Caramelised Onion. This was definitely the most impressive in terms of melting. You can see our other reviews here: Wensleydale-style with Cranberries, and Garlic and Herb Soft Cheese.

sainsbury-cheddar-and-onion

Texture

The texture was realistic, and this cheese melted amazingly well – even down to bubbling up and browning on top. This makes it perfect for recreating cheese on toast and toasted sandwiches, or topping dishes like Shepherd’s Pie. We used it on top of croutons for soup, and it looked 100% authentic.

Taste

This cheese definitely had the strongest flavour out of those we’d tried to far, and also had a strong cheese smell. We reckon this one could divide opinions – it might be a bit intense if you’ve not eaten dairy cheese for a while, or prefer milder flavours.

It seems to have been popular with non-vegans, so could be a good option if you’ve recently given up dairy. The caramelised onion added a nice twist, and wasn’t too intense. We probably wouldn’t eat large amounts of this cheese at once, but think it’s great for melting as part of a meal.

Have you tried this cheese? Let us know your thoughts below or on social media!

We’ve got loads more reviews coming up, plus plenty of festive vegan shopping tips. Make sure you’re following us to stay up to date.

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Top UK Vegan Halloween Treats 2016

It’s not long until Halloween, so we’ve put together a list of spooky vegan treats available in the UK. Most of these items are available for a limited time, so stock up if there’s anything you really like!

Halloween Tube of Rich Dark Treacle Crunch Biscuits from Wilkinson’s

halloween-treacle-tube

These biscuits are pretty unusual – they aren’t too sweet and have a rich treacle flavour. Nice change from sweets and come in a fun tube.

Toffee Apple from Morrison’s

morrisons-toffee-apple

Toffee apple for 57p! Make sure you check the label – this one contains E22 which is vegan-friendly, but there’s one on their website that uses carmine.

Dark Chocolate Bat Lolly from Lidl

lidl-bat

This cute dark chocolate bat is one of three chocolate lollies sold at Lidl, but he’s the only one that’s vegan!

Zombie Fingers Wotsits from Asda

zombie-wotsits

These limited edition Wotsits are ‘Flamin’ Hot’ flavour rather than cheese, and suitable for vegans. They’re limited edition, so we’d recommend stocking up if you’re a fan.

Strawberry & Butternut Bear Claws from Asda

bear-claws-strawberry-butternut

For a healthier option, try these ‘bear claws’. Made from only apples, pears, strawberries, butternut and black carrot extract. There’s also a green variety with apple, pear and pumpkin.

Trick or Treat Starburst from Asda

starburst-fruit-chews-trick-or-treat

A mix of sweet and sour sweets – good for party games.

Various items from M&S

There are loads of vegan sweets available at M&S if you’re looking for a good mix – check out their latest vegan list here. Highlights include spooky crisps, fizzy spiders, and jelly brains.

Have you made any vegan Halloween discoveries this year? Let us know below or on social media!

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Sainsbury’s Wensleydale-Style with Cranberries Vegan Cheese Review

Time for our second review of the new Sainsbury’s vegan cheese range, and this time we’re trying out their vegan Wensleydale with cranberries. You can read our review of their garlic and herb soft cheese here. This cheese was one of the most impressive looking in the range, but how did it taste? Read on to find out.

Texture

We thought the texture of this cheese was really impressive, and very similar to the dairy version. It’s slightly crumbly, but still slices well and doesn’t fall apart completely. It was packed with cranberries which were well distributed. We’re not sure how well it would melt, considering the cranberries, but this type of cheese is generally designed to be eaten on crackers, so no big problem.

vegan-wensleydale-sainsburys

Taste

The taste was creamy and slightly tangy – we thought it was fairly authentic. It tasted more like a slightly unusual variety of dairy cheese than an obviously vegan option. The sweetness of the cranberries was a little overwhelming, and we’d be interested to try a plain version of this cheese.

We enjoyed the Wensleydale on top of crackers with a little red onion, to combat the sweetness of the cranberries. We probably wouldn’t purchase this regularly, but would definitely buy it as part of a cheese board for special occasions. It’s great to see a more adventurous vegan cheese that isn’t just Cheddar or Mozzarella style – we’d definitely recommend giving this a go if you prefer creamier cheeses.

It wasn’t quite as delicious or authentic as the garlic and herb soft cheese, but still tasted good – we’d give it 7/10.

Keep an eye on our blog for more Sainsbury’s vegan cheese reviews – we’ve got Greek-style and Cheddar with caramelised onion still to come.

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Sainsbury’s Garlic and Herb Dairy Free Soft Cheese Review (Vegan)

Sainsbury’s recently released several new coconut-based vegan cheeses, including Cheddar, Greek-style and Wensleydale. We’ll be reviewing them all, starting with this Garlic and Herb Soft Cheese. Keep an eye on our blog over the next few weeks for the rest.

sainsburys-garlic-and-herb-soft-cheese

Texture

The cheese comes in a handy tub with a plastic lid, similar to options like Philadephia. It looks just like dairy soft cheese and is easy to spread. The texture is exactly as you would expect and it looks very realistic.

soft-cheese-on-cracker2

Taste

We were really impressed by the taste of this cheese. There was nothing odd about it, (which can often be the case with non-dairy cheeses), it just tasted great straight from the tub. The garlic and herb flavour was delicious, and not too strong – there was still a ‘cheese’ taste underneath the flavouring. It tastes very similar to dairy versions like Boursin, and we reckon you’d struggle to tell the difference in a blind taste test. Everyone we’ve given this to has enjoyed it, vegan or non-vegan.

We tried the cheese on crackers and in sandwiches, but there are plenty of other ways we’re sure it would taste good – melted over pasta, for example. Sainsbury’s also sell a version of this cheese without the garlic and herbs, which would be even more versatile.

This product gets 10/10 from us – what did you think of it?

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