The Happy Pear Shepherdless Pie Review

Waitrose now have a dedicated vegan fridge in many of their stores, and they’ve added some great new products to their range – including this vegan shepherd’s pie from The Happy Pear. Curious about whether or not it’s worth buying? We’ve put together a quick review to help you out.

The Shepherdless Pie is a good size for a single person, and could probably serve two if you cooked extra veg to go on the side. It looks really appealing in the box and the packaging is attractive.

Cooking

We chose to cook it in the oven, but there was also a microwave option which is nice and convenient. The cooking directions were easy to follow and didn’t need any adjustment.

Taste

The shepherdless pie tasted great – there was a nice mix of lentils, tomatoes, and vegetables for the filling, and a good amount of mashed potato on top. The seasoning looked like it might be a bit too much, but the flavour was actually perfect.

The meal is really tasty, but it’s also mild enough to be ideal for children or those who don’t like intense spice/seasoning. It’s a lovely twist on a warm, comforting classic, and would be especially nice on chilly winter evenings.

Price

The price at the time of writing was £3.60, which we think is pretty decent, and a makes it a little cheaper than the Wicked Kitchen vegan ready meals at Tesco.

Our Verdict

We give this ready meal a solid 5/5 and will definitely purchase it again. Great option when you’re in a hurry but still want something that’s tasty, healthy, and similar to a homecooked meal.

Have you tried The Happy Pear Shepherdless Pie, or any of the other new vegan products at Waitrose? Get in touch and let us know what you thought!

Where to Get Vegan Pizza in the UK

“But what about pizza?!” This is one of the most common questions you might hear after telling someone that you’re vegan. Luckily, the number of vegan pizza options available is increasing all the time, so you won’t have to go without – whether you’re cooking at home, eating out, or ordering a takeaway.

We’ve split this post into three sections: supermarket, takeaway, and high street restaurant, so keep scrolling to find exactly what you’re looking for. Bon appetit!

Supermarket Vegan Pizza in the UK

Tesco Free From Margherita Pizza

Tesco released this own-brand vegan Margherita pizza in 2018 – it’s also free from gluten.

Cheezly and Tomato Pizza

cheezly and tomato pizza

This vegan frozen pizza is available from Ocado, Holland and Barrett, or direct from VBites website. It’s quite small, but has reasonable reviews and is a great quick and easy option. This pizza could easily be topped with vegetables for a healthier, more filling meal.

Valsoia Dairy Free Pizza with Vegetables

valsoia pizza

This dairy-free veggie pizza from Valsoia is available through Ocado here. Check out the rest of the range for items like chocolate spread and ice cream sandwiches.

The White Rabbit Pizza Co. 

The ‘Smokin Vegan’ from The White Rabbit Pizza Co is available in select branches of Sainsbury’s.

Wicked Kitchen

In 2018, Tesco released two sourdough pizzas as part of their plant-based Wicked Kitchen range – Caponata, and BBQ Mushroom. We’ve heard great reviews of both!

Goodfella’s Vegan Stonebaked Falafel Pizza

This frozen vegan pizza from Goodfella’s was released in March 2018. It’s frozen and costs £2.50, making it a cheaper option than many other vegan pizzas.

No Dough Pizza Co.

This vegan pizza has a cauliflower base and is available at Sainsbury’s – find it in the chilled aisle.

Takeaway Vegan Pizza in the UK

Papa John’s

papa johns sauc

All of Papa John’s bases are vegan – just ask them to remove the cheese. We recommend the Garden Party with no cheese and extra mushrooms. Their garlic dipping sauce is also vegan, as are the potato wedges and corn on the cob.

Pizza Hut Delivery

sides pizza hut

The pan base is vegan friendly – just add all the veggies you like. The garlic bread and potato wedges are also vegan – yay! You can check the full allergen and nutrition info here.

Independent

Basilico-copy-500x475

There are lots of independent takeaways offering excellent vegan options. This helpful article from PetaUK lists them according to location. Pictured is a pizza from Basilico in London.

Vegan Pizza at UK Restaurants

Pizza Express

 

Vegan Giardiniera from Pizza Express

 

In March 2017, Pizza Express released the delicious vegan Giardiniera. You can ask for their vegan mozzarella to be added to any other pizza, and they now have a dedicated ‘vegan choices‘ page on their website.

 Zizzi

vegan zizzi

The first high street restaurant to offer a vegan cheese on their pizzas, Zizzi is a great choice for vegans. The vMargheritaerita is topped with tomato, Mozzarisella cheese (made from rice milk), and basil. You can add extra veggie toppings and there are quite a few vegan starters and sides (the bruschetta looks delicious), plus gelato for dessert.

Ask Italian

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 10.35.01

The bases here are vegan, so just ask for the cheese to be removed and add a few extra toppings. You can also enjoy Rosemary and Sea Salt bread as a starter, and sorbet for dessert.

***Update: As of March 2017, Ask Italian now offer a full vegan menu, including vegan mozzarella, vegan dough balls and a vegan chocolate torte. Check it out here.

Vegan pizza with cheese from Ask Italian!

Pizza Hut

In January 2018, Pizza Hut began offering Violife cheese as a topping for their pizzas – yay. You can see all the details on what’s vegan on this page. 

Vegan Pizza in the UK

As you can see, there are tons of places to get vegan pizza in the UK, with more options popping up all the time. If you know about a vegan pizza we haven’t listed, let us know and we’ll update this post!

To stay updated on the vegan pizza available in supermarkets, head over to the pizza category of our UK vegan product database.

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Where to Buy Vegan Birthday Cakes and Treats in the UK

Vegan birthday cake. It’s still one of the hardest things to shop for without going to a specialist store, and while items like vegan cheese and pizza are becoming more widespread, none of the supermarkets have released a dedicated vegan cake yet.

However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. There are lots of vegan treats which can easily be used in place of a cake, and we’re sharing some of our favourites below. We’ll be keeping this article updated, so be sure to let us know if you spot any new releases.

Morrison’s Sticky Ginger Buns

These Sticky Ginger Buns are about as close to vegan cake as you can get in a supermarket right now – and they’re pretty delicious.

Morrison’s Lazy Day Free From Tiffin Selection

This Tiffin Selection has some nice variety and is a great one to take into the office for sharing.

Tesco Free From Rocky Road Mini Bites

These Rocky Road Mini Bites are small but tasty.

Asda Food Heaven Dairy Free Lemon Cheesecake

It’s not exactly a birthday cake, but this Lemon Cheesecake is still a delicious option for your special day.

ASDA Free From Caramel Rice Squares

Who doesn’t love rice crispy squares? These are a fun option for kids’ parties.

Co-op Rocky Road Stackers and Millionaire’s Crispy Stackers

The ‘stackers’ format seems to be popular for vegan treats, and The Co-op does it well!

Sainsbury’s Daiya Chocolate Cheezecake

We’ve not tried this newly-released Chocolate Cheezecake from Daiya yet, but it’s generating tons of buzz on social media.

Nothing that you fancy? For more inspiration, head to our list of vegan baked treats, or check out our list of vegan baking kits to cheat while making your own cake.

What’s your favourite vegan birthday treat to buy when you don’t feel like baking a cake? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

 

 

 

10 Easy Vegan Meals for Beginners

Just gone vegan and stuck for meal ideas? Want vegan meals that are quick, easy, healthy, and don’t cost a fortune? We’ve got you covered! All the ideas below are suitable for people without much time or culinary skill – we’ve shared an ‘easy’ version of each dish, plus links to fancier varieties in case you’re feeling adventurous.

Ready to get excited about your next vegan meal plan? Let’s do this!

1. Mixed Bean Chilli

Fry onion and garlic, add a tin of mixed beans in chilli sauce, then cook according to directions. Serve with nachos and add tomato, salsa, and guacamole. Make your own guac by blending avocado with chilli, lime, salt, pepper, and coriander.

Oh She Glows Vegan Chilli with Homemade Sour Cream

2. Lentil Curry and Vegan Naan

Fry onion and garlic with a few teaspoons of curry powder, add dried red lentils, then cover with vegetable stock. Simmer for around 30 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Serve with vegan naan, which you can find by searching our vegan product database.

Minimalist Baker Spicy Red Lentil Curry

Vegan Richa Sri Lankan Red Lentil Curry

3. Vegan Full English Breakfast

Lots of elements of a traditional full English are accidentally vegan, so all you’ll need to do is replace egg with tofu scramble, and swap sausages and bacon for vegan versions. Check out our How to Make a Vegan Full English Breakfast post for lots of ideas.

BBC GoodFood Vegan Fry-Up

Veganuary Vegan Fry Up

4. Tofu and Vegetable Tacos

Grab a taco kit with shells, seasoning, and salsa from the supermarket. Fry tofu and vegetables along with the seasoning, heat the shells in the oven, and then put it all together. Top with salsa and lettuce, and serve with cherry tomatoes. If you’re not a fan of tofu, try using beans, lentils, or a vegan meat-alternative.

My Vegan Supermarket Easy Lazy Vegan Tacos

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken Vegan Tofu Taco Crumbles

5. Couscous with Tofu and Mixed Vegetables

This is a really easy option if you don’t have much time or many cooking facilities. Simply soak couscous in boiling water, adding half a stock cube for flavour. Then chop your choice of veggies and tofu, throw into a microwave pan and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Use to top the couscous, which should be done by now. Add sriracha, salt and pepper for flavour.

Lazy Cat Kitchen Vegan Couscous Salad with Roasted Parsnips

The Spruce Eats Easy Vegan Couscous Salad with Salsa

6. Vegan Pizza

Grab a vegan-friendly pizza base from the supermarket, top with tomato sauce, throw on some chopped veggies and vegan cheese, and you’ve got yourself a delicious pizza! Serve with salad, chips, garlic bread, or anything else that takes your fancy.

Vegan Heaven Hummus Pizza with Veggies

The Stingy Vegan Vegan Nacho Pizza

7. Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Boil carrot and potato together in a pan, then mash with vegan butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Fry onion, celery and garlic in olive oil, then add a tin of green lentils, vegetable stock, some frozen peas, and some broccoli. Add meaty gravy granules, marmite, salt, black pepper, mixed herbs and tomato puree for flavour, then simmer for 15 minutes. Assemble and pop in the oven to crisp for about 20 minutes.

Jamie Oliver Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Tesco Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

8. Roast Vegetables and Vegan Main

This one isn’t tricky! Simply chop your favourite vegetables, pop in a tray and roast with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Pick a vegan meat alternative to have as a main – we used a Vegan Quorn Fillet in this picture, but you could choose sausages, a nut roast, a pie, or anything else you fancy. Most supermarket stuffing is accidentally vegan and can be made into balls or slices.

Vegan Roast Wellington with Lentils, Mushrooms & Chestnuts

Veganuary Vegan Roast Dinner

9. Tofu Scramble on Toast

Crumble tofu, then fry in oil, seasoning with salt, pepper, garlic, turmeric, mustard, and mixed herbs. Throw in spinach, mushrooms, and other veggies to make the meal a little more filling. Serve on toast and top with ketchup and black pepper.

The Vegan Society Tofu Scramble

Greatist 10-Minute Scrambled Tofu

10. Jacket Potato with Beans and Cheese

Nothing beats a jacket potato, especially when you don’t feel like cooking. Simply stab a few holes in your spud, then cook in the oven for at least an hour, until soft. Top with baked beans and vegan cheese, or check our 10 Vegan Jacket Potato Filling Ideas for more inspiration.

Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to spend hours cooking complex dishes. These easy vegan meals don’t take long to cook, taste delicious, won’t cost a fortune, and should go down well with non-vegan family members or housemates.

What are your go-to vegan meals? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

Tesco Meat Free Fishless Fishcakes Review (Vegan Fishcakes!)

Seen the new fishless fishcakes from Tesco and wondering if they’re worth a try? Check out the review below to find out what we thought of their appearance, taste, and texture. The fishcakes are available in the frozen section, come in a pack of four, and currently cost £1.75.
The fishcakes certainly look the part and we were excited to see if they lived up to their appearance.
The breadcrumb exterior both looks authentic and is pleasantly crunchy and well-seasoned. The innards once again look the part – however, this is where the similarity ends. Our disappointment was that there seems to have been little attempt to replicate the fishy flavour of the real thing. One imagines this might have been achieved with a dash of dried kelp, perhaps?

The potato content was fine, albeit quite ‘heavy’ in texture and we missed the smattering of herbs we would have expected, which, along with the slight scent of the sea, define the taste of real fishcakes. It reminded us of the core of a chip shop potato scallop except with a more glutinous quality and no sense of a flaky fish texture.

Overall, these are an adequate carbohydrate hit, with the crunchy exterior being their best feature. Smothered in salt and vinegar and tomato sauce, they would make an acceptable quick snack but don’t really match what we hoped for from a vegan fishcake. For comparison try Quorn Fishless Fingers – a much better simulation in our opinion.

Have you tried the Tesco fishless fishcakes? Let us know what you thought in the comments or on social media!

 

Tesco Free From Cheese with Peppercorns Review

Seen this fancy looking vegan cheese with peppercorns at Tesco and wondering if it’s worth buying? We’re sharing a quick review that should help you to decide.

The cheese is coconut-oil based, but also contains oats and soya. It’s currently priced at £2.50.

Sold in a pleasingly circular package, we think this cheese would work really well as a dinner party cheeseboard centrepiece – but it’s also fun for everyday snacking. The colourful mix of peppercorns on top look cheerful and classy.

We tested it both on its own and on cream crackers and liked it both ways. It has a pleasingly firm consistency but is soft enough to spread so could be eaten in little wedges (yum!) or on crackers. Although we tried it on plain crackers, we think it would also work well with saltier varieties.

The cheese itself is very mild but still has a definite cheesy flavour. It’s the peppercorns that give it that real kick and elevate it to something a bit more ‘wow’.

Would we buy it again? Yes, definitely – a good one to have in the fridge for snacking is our verdict.

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Best UK Vegan Snacks for Long Journeys

Who doesn’t need a snack during a long journey? Travelling as a vegan can feel difficult, and you might worry that you won’t find anything to eat – whether you’re going by car, train, or plane.

Luckily, with just a tiny bit of planning, you can enjoy something much more exciting than a pack of plain crisps from the service station.

Keep reading for a handy list of some of our favourite sweet and savoury vegan snacks for long journeys.

Savoury

Carrot sticks and humous – great for kids and grown-ups and just fun to eat! Available in a range of supermarkets and high street stores, or easy to pack yourself.

To add variety, try other raw vegetables like celery, different coloured peppers, sugar snap peas, mini sweetcorn or button mushrooms.

In a similar vein, falafel and houmous is easy and tasty – here’s an easy option from Tesco.

Nuts and seeds are a great mess-free snack, but do remember fellow travellers who may have allergies.  These Thai sweet chilli nuts are scrumptious!

Most supermarkets have packs of mixed seeds and nuts in the fresh fruit and veg aisle.

Crisps are always a great standby option and many are accidentally vegan, including prawn cocktail Skips and Wasabi and Ginger Sensations.

Lots of the supermarket ‘budget’ lines include vegan crisps, like these salt and vinegar twirls from Waitrose, or Bacon Rashers from Tesco.

Pringles are another fun option, especially if you’re sharing.

Twiglets are also delicious – if you like Marmite!

Good vegan sandwiches are getting easier to find in most supermarkets, so try to shop in advance, or find a service station with a mini-supermarket.  We have a wide range of suggestions in our ‘On the Go’ category.

Sweet

We know it’s a bit obvious, but fruit is tasty and portable! If you are feeling very prepared you can chop it in advance. If you feeling lazy, buy it ready chopped from the supermarket – usually near the sandwiches.

Breakfast bars are another good option and very widely available – try Alpen Jaffa Cake Bars for a treat!

Biscuits may be a bit less healthy, but they’re so easy and comforting! Check out our favourites below.

Easy to find, accidentally vegan sweets include Starburst, Jelly Tots, Drumstick Choos, and Skittles. Yum.

 

Don’t go without snacks next time you’re on a long journey – there are tons of great options once you know where to look.

What’s your favourite vegan snack for long trips? Tell us in the comments.

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How to Make a Vegan Full English Breakfast (Mix and Match)

Did you think going vegan meant no more delicious full English breakfasts? You’re wrong! Many aspects of a traditional fry-up are ‘accidentally vegan’, and it’s pretty easy to substitute anything that isn’t.

Want some inspiration for your next breakfast? Keep reading for a list of delicious components to mix and match, as well as cooking and shopping tips.

Don’t blame us if this post makes you hungry.

Vegan Sausages

Linda McCartney sausages are a popular choice available in most supermarkets. If you fancy something different, look out for tofu sausages at health food stores – we love these tofu herb sausages from Taifun.

Classic veggie sausages are another easy option, and they often go down well with kids.

If you fancy making your own vegan sausages, the Granose mix below is a popular choice.

Vegan Bacon

While vegan bacon hasn’t hit the mainstream yet, there are still some great options available in the UK.

Our favourite is the ‘Streaky Rashers’ pack from Sgaia Foods. Super tasty and realistic.

You can also get VBites bacon rashers via Ocado, online supermarkets and some independent stores.

Tofurkey make their own Smoky Maple Bacon from tempeh and this is also sold on Ocado – although we’re not keen on the texture.

Falafel

Don’t fancy sausages but still want something substantial? Falafel is a great choice, and it’s full of protein and fibre.

Warm shop-bought falafel in the oven before adding to your breakfast, use a packet mix, or make your own from scratch.

Tofu Scramble

Tofu scramble is really easy to make, even if you’ve never used tofu before.

Grab a block of extra firm tofu and crumble into a bowl.

Heat oil in a frying pan, add tofu, throw in plenty of herbs and spices, and cook for 5 – 10 minutes.

We like to add salt, pepper, garlic, mustard powder, chilli powder, onion powder, and mixed herbs.

Adding turmeric will give your scramble a nice yellow colour, and it’s easy to throw in extra vegetables if you like – we used mushroom and spinach in the picture below.

Spinach/Greens

Make your breakfast feel extra healthy with some greens!

Here are some suggestions:

  • Raw baby spinach
  • Sautéed spinach with lemon and garlic
  • Watercress
  • Rocket
  • Sautéed kale

Grilled/Roasted Tomato

Halve tomatoes and pop under the grill until soft for a quick and easy option.

For something a little fancier, trying roasting on-the-vine tomatoes in the oven.

Avocado

Sliced avocado is a tasty addition to any breakfast, and it’s also a great source of healthy fats.

If you’re not keen on plain avocado, try mashing together with salt, pepper, chilli, lime and coriander, then spreading on toast.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are an essential part of any full breakfast.

Slice regular mushrooms and fry in oil, roast large flat mushrooms, or sautée whole button mushrooms.

If you’re keen to up your vitamin intake, look out for mushrooms which are specially-grown to be high in vitamin D.

Hash Browns

The vast majority of frozen hash browns sold in supermarkets are vegan-friendly – yay!

Chips

Chips are another easy, versatile option. Almost all frozen chips are vegan-friendly, and it’s easy to make your own using oil and potatoes.

Baked beans

Baked beans are another classic staple – we like Branston Beans for their rich tomato sauce.

Alternatively, get fancy and make your own beans in tomato sauce from scratch.

Going vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a full English breakfast.

Let us know how you make your vegan breakfasts in the comments below!

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