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On 17/01/2021 at 12:57, velma said:

We've got an Aldi nearby but I've not seen much veganuary stuff and certainly no pain au chocolat which is very disappointing! After going veggie and trying to eat vegan where I can, I'm finding breakfast and main meals very easy but I'm struggling with lunches and sweet things (I think I've mentioned in this thread that milk chocolate is my go to when stressed)

 

Does anyone have recommendations for lunch ideas, particularly sandwiches? Grated carrot and hummus gets boring pretty quickly. Also any preferred recipes for brownies/traybakes that I can cook on the weekend and have during the week would be very welcome!

 

When looking for alternatives, I found this Instagram channel good (not sure how much will show up if you don't have an account on there) for them.

It is called accidentallyveganuk

 

Things like a desserts:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKJyjbnlbNB

 

Cheese:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJrJp8sl36h

 

Chocolate:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJnzho7lmSF

 

Takeaway:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ3NFKrlSdL

 

For example they will list the 'normal' food and show the vegan alterative which is similar:

ykaA7lW.png

 

Each one I have linked to above has a few pages/images showing loads of stuff for each section.

 

Hope that can help :)

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On 17/01/2021 at 15:08, velma said:

@MarkN that’s a good idea with the lentil burgers, thanks. And the bean pate you described is very similar to something my mother in law cooks (she does a lot of Mexican cooking). Am trying to take my food with me to work as again, that’s when il either cave to familiar comfort food and I’m trying to create new habits! Plus I’ve been suckered into buying substitutes which gets expensive quickly.

 

@Sabes I haven’t tried any of the quoin slices are they any good? I love roasted veg straight out of the oven but Im not keen on it as leftovers. Falafel and hummus is my lazy go to evening meal!


The Quorn chicken slices are amazing, taste just like processed chicken slices - in a warm croissant it’s the food of champions!

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My local Aldi has finally got in a stock of veganuary foods, yay! 

 

These are excellent, and by excellent I mean trashy, sugary and very milk chocolatey tasting. I might finally have found a snack that will help wean me off cadburys. 

 

PXL_20210121_213931821.jpg

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54 minutes ago, PK said:

Avoid like the plague

 

1029592615_20210122_1022412.thumb.jpg.15d04f15610862a45d381cb0690cbcd6.jpg

 

Christ that reminded me I picked up some fake tuna substitute the other week, as it was next to the regular tuna that I still buy (cats and boyfriend, in that order)

As soon as I opened it I thought wtf was I expecting with imitation fish. It could never be a good thing. It was also unsurprisingly three times the price of actual tuna. I think that might have been what inspired my previous post asking for sandwich ideas actually!

 

I'm quite happy with how my experiment is going actually. I've had quite a few days where all my meals have been plant based and I haven't really thought about it. Still having a few veggie options here and there but if things can start to become second nature, hopefully this will be a long term change. 

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Ooh I might add that to my list! And yeah, one thing I really like about GRT is that very quickly you get a sense for what will work and how to make sauces or dressings that will spice things up. So instead of trying a new recipe and having lots of unusual ingredients left over and at risk of being wasted, glancing in the fridge to see a few random vegetables and tofu you instead start to think of what tin of pulses + chilli & ginger, or miso, or harissa = dinner. 

 

Favourite so far I think was sticky coconut rice with squash and broccoli. Definitely more than the sum of its parts. 

 

 

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On 01/01/2021 at 19:55, velma said:

Trying to eat less meat and dairy, bought myself the Green Roasting Tin recipe book for Christmas. First recipe - roasted cauliflower spring greens and chickpeas with lemon and tahini dip was a success! If anyone isn't familiar with it, the premise is that all recipes are one pot, ie in a roasting tin. So it's a case of throw everything in and leave it. Very handy for weeknight meals.


We got that for Christmas last year (as in 2019) and it’s been a godsend throughout 2020, we basically live off Rukmini recipes for evening then lunch the following day probably 4 days in the average week at least.

 

We picked up the Roasting Tin Around the World quite recently and that is great too, it’s got some beautiful meat and fish recipes in as well.

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On 17/01/2021 at 15:54, PK said:

The Quorn Smoked Ham Free Slices are really tasty, and are vegan.  Their Vegetarian Ham Slices aren't so nice, they have a sort of weird musk to them.

 

These vegan tikka pieces are great in sandwiches and salads, ASDA and Tesco sell them:

 

image.png.cfb2a8ad912b635201c93d0206033ea1.png

 

They're really meaty, for want of a better word. You could almost be fooled it's chicken.

 

I tried these today, they're incredible! Really rich tikka flavour and no weird after taste as you find with some substitutes. If I hadn't made the food myself I would definitely have needed to check that they were vegan, for the yoghurt style coating as well as the 'meat'. 

In a toasted sandwich with Helmand vegan mayo and rocket was an excellent lunch. 

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Yeah the taste and texture are almost indistinguishable from chicken, aren't they! And there's 22g protein per 100g.

 

They make other flavours, although I've not seen them in the wild

 

image.thumb.png.022eb7882edb0d944111ec4aabfff6fa.png

 

I've been tempted to try their nuggets and "fish" fingers but nutritionally they're not too great

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6 minutes ago, Lovelyman said:

Good for them. I hope it works. How many of them are there?


https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/2846542/quorn-shortage-could-hit-supermarkets-as-factory-workers-plan-strikes/

60 workers. They have been working through the pandemic and obviously quorn's sales have been up. Seems a bit stupid to be shitty to workers when you're customer base is mostly left leaning.

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28 minutes ago, Gaz said:

Just an FYI - Quorn staff are going on strike in Feb because the company won't give them a pay rise.

Right behind them.

 

It will make my job as an online shopper trickier if there are shortages because I'll have loads more substitutions to make (and frozen Quorn products are already one of the worst things to pick because they all look the fucking same). However, because I know my way around the vegan/veggie products I can generally sub Quorn stuff for something that's actually nicer, so hopefully I'll help a few folk to find stuff they'll like more.

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On 26/01/2021 at 21:01, velma said:

I don't think we've had anything with enough leftovers for lunch yet, I'd need to get a bigger roasting tin :lol:

Do you find most the recipes reheat ok? 


Oh yes, we’ve got a massive cast iron one - but even with that it’s just enough for a decent size lunch next day. But these are for our work lunch tins, they never get reheated, just taken out the fridge and eaten as is.

 

Some things are even better like that though - have you tried the potato, mushroom and camembert gratin? That is an amazing dish, but is even better next day cold with a wallop of Tabasco sauce on it. I’d eat it every day if it wouldn’t guarantee a heart attack...

 

So many great recipes in there though, the carrot & cauliflower curry, the spicy sprouts & broccoli with haloumi & rose harissa, leek orzotto with asparagus and hazelnuts, the cauliflower and goats cheese one...don’t think we’ve ever been disappointed.

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I've been recommending this to anyone who'll listen, the recipe didn't sound appealing at all when my partner said she was making it but it was easily the best vegan meal i've had in years (we're not vegan mind, my partner is vegetarian) - https://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/ottolenghis-portobello-steaks-and-butter-bean-mash

 

The bean mash was much closer to the texture you get with a nice buttery potato mash, you could use it with almost anything really.

 

 

With regards to fish substitutes you just need some seaweed sheets really, mix that with some sort of tofu based meal and it will taste really close. My partner refuses to eat it as it tastes too much like fish (well, the sea). 

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I was about to type an outraged response about what an obscene amount of oil that is but considering that you end up retaining a large mount of flavoured oil as a by-product to use later it sounds quite nice - I'm glad I properly read through the recipe first before I made myself sound like an idiot.

 

We're not vegan but when we do lower calorie / keto meals to keep healthy this does sound like it fits the bill. We've done butter bean mash before - it's a really nice way to get the mashed potato hit without being so carby nor calorific so this does seem worth a try. 

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Just realised I haven't posted about the new products I tried during Veganuary. Not a huge number, but here goes:

 

Bird's Eye's Green Cuisine products - I tried a few of these because they were on sale - Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Strips, Vegetable Fingers - they're all adequate at best. I've had their meatballs and I think also their burgers prior to this, and they were the same. Nothing special at all. Not bad, but almost anything else you try will probably be at least as good, if not better.

 

Oumph Pulled. This was really nice. Sweeter than I'd normally go for, but still really tasty when stuffed in a pitta with some salad and other bits. As standard it's expensive, but is on offer fairly regularly in various supermarkets at a much more acceptable price. I've tried the Oumph Kebab before, and would personally go for that first due to it not being as sweet, but either are good. I need to try their bacon bits next.

_oumph.jpeg.c79c4e82b90c4ce16b2eba84be18d7f8.jpeg

 

Tofoo Chunkies. Sticks of tofu coated in breadcrumbs. Actually pretty good, but all the flavour is in the spiced crumb. Worth a pop if it sounds like your thing.

_tofoo.jpg.01c1de800af3308bab80e91e71faa264.jpg

Morrison's fake blue cheese. OK - this was a gamble. I love blue cheese, but somehow the thought of mouldy cow lactations is more appealing than the idea of somebody trying to recreate that flavour without using all the grim-sounding elements. But I bit the bullet and gave it a go. I have to say they've got the taste pretty bloody close. Genuinely I'm super-impressed with the taste. The texture is still that nasty powdery one that fake cheese often has, so it's still not right, but if I chucked this in a sarnie with enough other bits to mask the texture I'd happily eat this. I'll have to try cooking with it (I make a belting blue Cauliflower Cheese), because if that works then I'd probably swap this for the actual thing and just live with the awful texture when uncooked.

 

I've also got some Naughty Vegan Cheese and Onion Pasties in the freezer that I never got around to. I'm guessing they either won't taste that much of cheese, or will taste like Wotsits, but we shall see...

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I tried the Naughty Vegan Cheese and Onion Pasties - the filling was a little on the Wotsit-side of things - a definite fake cheese hit, BUT it wasn't at all overpowering. They're a decent size with plenty of filling, and the pastry was fine and puffed up beautifully in the oven (although I'm not a big fan of puff - I'd take shortcrust everyday). I can see myself buying these again though - not perfect, but good enough, and should help me cut my actual cheese consumption a little further still. I found them in the freezer section of Morrison's. I wish I'd cooked them both up now, so that I could try the second one cold (I'm wondering what the texture would be like as a packed lunch), but that's a test for another day. 

 

I'll have to give their sausage rolls a go next, I think.

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Something I meant to mention when I spotted it during Veganuary - Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles and Jelly Tots are both now Vegan. I don't have a sweet tooth much, but bought a pack of Pastilles on a whim, and because I haven't eaten them in over 30 years. Enjoyed them more than I thought I would, and ended up buying another pack today (they last me ages - I only have 1 or 2 a day).

 

Late edit: I noticed today that strangely it's just the sharing bags of pastilles that are vegan - the rolls still have gelatine in (maybe old stock, I'd guess).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I made a variant on those baked cauliflower steaks posted a while back and they were gobsmackingly good.

  • Make a smooth thick batter with flour and milk then mix in some flavourings - I used garlic granules, onion granules, black pepper, salt, smoked paprika (the hot one), cumin powder, dried thyme, oregano
  • Pour the batter into a wide shallow dish
  • Cut thickish steaks from a cauliflower, 1.5 cm-2cm thick, then place each one in the batter, ensuring both sides are well coated, then dip into a bowl of panko breadcrumbs, again making sure they're well coated on both sides (the batter should be thick enough so it doesn't really drip off but clings nicely to the steak)
  • Place on a baking tray Iined with something non-stick (paper or silicon liner) and chill in the fridge for 20-30 mins if you can (longer is fine)
  • Heat oven to 200oC (fan) or 210 (conventional).
  • Spray the top side of each cauli steak with oil spray, or drizzle over some olive oil, then bake for 15 mins (ideally the crumb coating should have crisped up and started turning brown)
  • Flip each steak, spray/drizzle again and return to the oven
  • Bake for another 15 mins or until the steaks are cooked to your liking - I prefer mine to have a bit of bite but you may prefer them softer.

I served mine in a sesame burger bun with homemade slaw (grated carrot, celeriac, red onion, radish, mixed with mayo, Dijon mustard and white wine vinegar), lettuce, tomato and sriracha sauce. They pack a whole load of flavour, particularly if you make your slaw on the zingy side, and the texture combination is just amazing.

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On 23/02/2021 at 21:43, Chosty said:

I made a variant on those baked cauliflower steaks posted a while back and they were gobsmackingly good.

  • Make a smooth thick batter with flour and milk then mix in some flavourings - I used garlic granules, onion granules, black pepper, salt, smoked paprika (the hot one), cumin powder, dried thyme, oregano
  • Pour the batter into a wide shallow dish
  • Cut thickish steaks from a cauliflower, 1.5 cm-2cm thick, then place each one in the batter, ensuring both sides are well coated, then dip into a bowl of panko breadcrumbs, again making sure they're well coated on both sides (the batter should be thick enough so it doesn't really drip off but clings nicely to the steak)
  • Place on a baking tray Iined with something non-stick (paper or silicon liner) and chill in the fridge for 20-30 mins if you can (longer is fine)
  • Heat oven to 200oC (fan) or 210 (conventional).
  • Spray the top side of each cauli steak with oil spray, or drizzle over some olive oil, then bake for 15 mins (ideally the crumb coating should have crisped up and started turning brown)
  • Flip each steak, spray/drizzle again and return to the oven
  • Bake for another 15 mins or until the steaks are cooked to your liking - I prefer mine to have a bit of bite but you may prefer them softer.

I served mine in a sesame burger bun with homemade slaw (grated carrot, celeriac, red onion, radish, mixed with mayo, Dijon mustard and white wine vinegar), lettuce, tomato and sriracha sauce. They pack a whole load of flavour, particularly if you make your slaw on the zingy side, and the texture combination is just amazing.


I’ve made the ones from the original video / link three times now on the last six weeks, I still can’t believe how delicious they are!

 

Had them in burger buns with leaves & M&S Deli-style coleslaw twice & just on their own as actual steaks once. 
 

Plus since there’s always loads of batter left over, I do the rest of the cauliflower florets in the same way to have on the side. :wub:

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  • 3 weeks later...

This looks interesting - using micro-organisms to make milk and honey (and possibly more). I've not really missed "proper" milk much since I decided to stop buying the stuff, but I'd be up for this if it was cheap enough. 

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56154143?fbclid=IwAR1Re_eA-le0spSyHQpRZ32tDQ-6ghDJl94exTKQM6hw8Yz6LwbKGEWmWHU

 

Get the little bastards to make good quality cheddar and you can have my credit card details though.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

For my birthday I ordered a selection of artisan vegan cheeses from Honestly Tasty Stupidly expensive, but I've wanted to give some highly-rated ones a pop for a long while now.

 

I've just tried two of them. I gave them time to come up to room temperature first, FWIW. The first was the Shamembert (I wince at the name, but I guess I'd do the same - you've got to call it something that lets you know what it's like, but you can't actually call it that). Anyway - the texture is fantastic. Spot on. It looked chalky when I cut it, but was oozy as hell when I ate it (just like the real thing). The flavour though I suspect is largely coming from truffle (probably truffle oil). I quite like truffle oil in moderation, but here it's just too much. Nice, but just a bit OTT. I'll happily scoff the rest mind.

 

The second was Insteaddah Cheddah. It's a soft cheese that's meant to be cheddar-like. It has the opposite problem of the Shamembert for me. The texture is all wrong. Kind of grainy and odd. But the flavour is really good. It's not cheddar, but it's hitting most of the right notes. (Oddly I think onion is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here.) As a cheese fanatic I would genuinely buy this instead of cheddar, even with the wrong, soft, grainy texture. Not every time perhaps, but it's super tasty in its own way. I've no idea how it behaves when cooked or toasted yet, but as a nice thing to put in a sandwich it scores highly.

 

I still have a blue and a soft herby one to try, so will come back to update.

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