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#1 Old 04-27-2017, 11:05 PM
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Vegan Food Reviews UK - Accessible & Budget Friendly

Thought I'd start reviewing/recommending some of the products I now use regularly here in the UK. I occasionally buy items from specialist suppliers (wholefood stores or health food shops) but mostly I shop pretty inexpensively from major supermarkets, including Sainsbury's, Tesco, ASDA and Ocado. I also buy quite a lot of wholefoods, though I also include up to a couple of meals with veggie meats a week. I mainly focus on affordable products. I think that there are a lot of misconceptions around animal-product free eating in people who haven't explored it before. But if you plan and organise, there's no need for that to be true.

First up is something I've been eating regularly for a while now as a part of my daily work lunch. I know nice bread can be a minefield for people trying to avoid eggs and dairy, but these brown bake at home baguettes are really good:

Sainsbury's Brown Bake-at-home Baguettes



Like it says on the packet, you bake them for ten minutes for a nice crusty baguette. I put a lot of chickpea 'tuna' in mine, but you can easily put anything you want in there. Sometimes I just pack full of veggies. Very handy as they store really well. I buy a tonne and shove in the cupboard for whenever. Currently 90p for two, or 45p each.

Ingredients

French Wheat Flour, Water, French Wholemeal Wheat Flour, Yeast, Salt, Malted Wheat Flour, Wheat Bran, Flour Treatment Agent: Ascorbic Acid, Wheat Gluten, Broad Bean Flour.
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#2 Old 04-28-2017, 12:17 AM
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ASDA dried chickpeas; currently only 75p for 500g. I use these a lot for hummus, chickpea 'tuna', curry (chana masala and saag chana) and Moroccan style veggie tagine.

Sainsbury's and Ocado also stock, as will many health food places, though they're more expensive.

One 500g bag once cooked, is approximately the same quantity as four 400g tins, drained. Once cooked I like to divide into two or four little tubs and freeze.

https://groceries.asda.com/product/d...s/910001794581

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#3 Old 04-28-2017, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spudulika View Post

First up is something I've been eating regularly for a while now as a part of my daily work lunch. I know nice bread can be a minefield for people trying to avoid eggs and dairy, but these brown bake at home baguettes are really good:
I'll give these a try Spudulika. They look useful for homemade garlic bread.

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#4 Old 04-28-2017, 10:56 PM
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We've been eating these once a week for a couple of weeks, they're one of the better soya-based / 'meaty style' veggie burgers I've tried. We serve ours on wholewheat buns with salad, vegan mayonnaise, fried onions and pickles/relish plus home baked potato wedges on the side. Worth a try if you like the odd bit of faux meat.



https://groceries.asda.com/product/v...s/910002652598

Ingredients

Rehydrated Textured Soya Protein (62%) , Water , Onion (8.6%) , Onion Purée (4.6%) , Rapeseed Oil , Soya Protein Concentrate , Chickpea Flour , Stabiliser (Methyl Cellulose) , Yeast Extract , Tomato Purée , Garlic Purée , Parsley , Onion Powder , Garlic Powder , Maltodextrin , Barley Malt Extract , Salt , Dextrose , Black Pepper , White Pepper , Tomato Powder , Flavouring .
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#5 Old 04-29-2017, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by leedsveg View Post
I'll give these a try Spudulika. They look useful for homemade garlic bread.

Lv
Good idea, I may try that!

I had some pizza style dairy-free garlic bread last night - not oily as the typical garlic bread but would make an OK side. It would make a really good base for pizza once topped with some additional antipasti or sliced vegetables. I'm going to try mushrooms and spinach next time. Only £1 each at time of writing.

https://groceries.asda.com/product/b...a/910001920334



Ingredients

Stonebaked Pizza Base [Fortified Wheat Flour [Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin (B3), Thiamin (B1)], Water, Rapeseed Oil, Dextrose, Yeast, Salt, Wheat Protein] , Garlic Spread (12%) [Rapeseed Oil, Palm Oil, Garlic Purée (20%), Water, Basil, Salt] .
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#6 Old 05-03-2017, 09:10 AM
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Birds Eye do them as do most mainstream UK supermarkets. These vegetable fingers, or 'fish fingers' as he calls them, are a really handy standby.

TBH I was pretty underwhelmed when I first tried them, but repeated exposure made me more of a fan. They're great for a fast junk food meal (probably great for kids), served with chips and beans or mash and sweetcorn, or whatever you like really; just so long as you've got some tasty sauce to go with them (I like sriracha he likes BBQ).

At £1.50 for 16 at the time of writing, they're super cheap and easy and definitely worth stashing in the freezer for lazy days.

I think the best way to eat them is just like a fishfinger sandwich; a few fresh cooked veggie fingers stuffed between two slices of sliced bread that have been slathered in butter (we use Pure Sunflower)

Yeh, not bad.

https://groceries.asda.com/product/v...s/910002378536



Ingredients

Vegetables (54%) [Carrots, Peas, Sweetcorn, Onions, Potatoes] , Breadcrumbs [Fortified Wheat Flour [Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin (B3), Thiamin (B1)], Yeast, Rapeseed Oil, Salt] , Water , Sunflower Oil , Wheat Flour , Dried Potato , Seasoning [Salt, Sugar, Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Dehydrated Red Bell Peppers, Herbs, Tomato Powder, Flavouring, White Pepper, Black Pepper Extracts] , Caster Sugar .

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#7 Old 05-04-2017, 12:05 AM
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I buy this rice in all the time. Basmati is so much nicer than standard long grain, and this one's wholegrain too.
I use it with curries a lot, but also with beans and rice or pilaf and it's just really good. £1.76 per kg at time of writing.

https://groceries.asda.com/product/l...-rice/79275402

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#8 Old 05-04-2017, 12:18 AM
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Those look yummie! BTW, do they still call Canola oil "rapeseed" oil in the UK? In The US and Canada they are called "Canada Oil" or just Canola. I am curious, do you have Gardein over there?

Carnist: Someone who kills animals and then takes from their bodies.
Vegetarian: Someone who takes from animals' bodies, and then kills them when they are no longer profitable.
Vegan: Someone who tries to avoid unnecessary harm to animals as much as is possible and practicable.
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#9 Old 05-04-2017, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SapphireLightning View Post
Those look yummie! BTW, do they still call Canola oil "rapeseed" oil in the UK? In The US and Canada they are called "Canada Oil" or just Canola. I am curious, do you have Gardein over there?
Yes, it's super easy to get rapeseed oil here, we grow a lot of oilseed rape; swathes of bright yellow fields during summertime. Don't know about Gardein; I don't think I've seen it in the shops here, but others may have?

I don't know how many people here order from the online supermarket Ocado, I do now and then. Their selection of wholefoods and vegan processed foods are pretty good so it's definitely worth checking out.

I buy my dried haricot beans from Ocado; I think it's the only supermarket I can find dry haricot beans around my way. In particular I like haricot beans to cook up a big pan of Boston Baked Beans, which make a really good main meal served with baked potatoes and corn on the cob, plus some kind of slaw. £1.10 for 500g at the time of writing.

https://www.ocado.com/webshop/produc...eans_SHELFVIEW

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#10 Old 05-06-2017, 12:37 AM
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This is an unusually pricey substitute product for me as I usually look out for more inexpensive items, but it's far and away the best tasting vegan mayonnaise I've tried here in the UK, and I've tried a lot of them. This actually tastes like mayonnaise and there's no strange fakey flavour which turns me right off most of them.

I use it to make chickpea tuna mayonnaise and it works well in there. One little jar (they are stupidly small) gets me about three or four batches of the stuff, which isn't great but still worth it to me as I'm picky about sandwich fillings for work.

So, if you want a mayonnaise that tastes nice and are willing to spend a little extra for it, it's called MayoRice by Probios and is available from Ocado. £2.59 at the time of writing.

Ingredients

*Sunflower Oil 59%, Rice Drink 30% (Water, *Rice 14%, *Sunflower Oil 1%, Salt), *Apple Vinegar, Salt, *Rice Starch 1,5%, *Mustard, *Lemon Juice, Stabilizers: Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, *Organic

https://www.ocado.com/webshop/produc...onna_SHELFVIEW

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#11 Old 05-10-2017, 12:40 AM
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ASDA's own brand frozen soya mince (I think that's the same as 'crumbles' if you're US based). It's really quite handy and tastes good too.

https://groceries.asda.com/product/v...e/910003000847

Usually only £1.50 for 500g, it's currently on offer 2 for £2.50. I think that's a bargain.

We use it most often in 'spag bol' (ie: ragout sauce for pasta). I also make it up with yeast extract, onions, mushrooms and gravy granules for 'savoury mince' (the kind people may remember Nan making when they were young, typically served with boiled potatoes and cabbage! Doesn't sound appetising but is super comfort food).

Yep, vegan food isn't all that pricey. Even the faux meats are easy and cheap to get.

Ingredients

Rehydrated Textured Soya Protein (96%) , Rapeseed Oil , Yeast Extract , Barley Malt Extract , Onion Powder , Garlic Powder , Cornflour , Dextrose , Salt , White Pepper .

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#12 Old 05-10-2017, 09:01 AM
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Cauldron firm tofu is available from pretty much all major supermarkets. It's organic, GMO free and pretty wholesome stuff so far as I can tell. I use it a lot, either scrambled or baked or turned into patties of some kind. We may be greedy, but I find one 400g block, drained, serves two perfectly. Like a lot of tofu, I think it's best pressed prior to cooking. Currently about £1.50 a pack from most supermarkets. Again very affordable.



Ingredients

Water , Soybeans* (35.8%) , Firming Agent: Calcium Sulphate , *Produced under Organic Standards .

https://groceries.asda.com/product/v...u/910000273201

Probably the best supermarket to get tofu of various kinds (as well as Cauldron) from is Ocado, as you can see here:
https://www.ocado.com/webshop/getSea...on=&entry=tofu
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#13 Old 05-10-2017, 10:42 PM
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Ocado also stocks this cream from Oatly that I like a lot:

https://www.ocado.com/webshop/produc...0722_SHELFVIEW



Oatly also do a refrigerated version of this cream, which is widely available and comes in a black carton; but I tend to prefer ambient stored products that don't fill up my fridge.

It's organic and unlike some vegan creams it's not sweetened, so perfect for savoury cooking.
It's also only 75p a carton (at time of writing), which is very reasonable.

We use it in cream, wine and mushroom pasta sauce (yum) or I use it in creamy soups/stews like chowder. I've used it in Korma style curry to good effect, and of course it's perfect over fruit or any other dessert.

Ingredients

Oat Base (Water, Oats* 10%), Rapeseed Oil*, Palm Oil*, Emulsifier: Rapeseed Lecithin, Stabiliser: Xanthan, Sea Salt, *Organic ingredient

Last edited by Spudulika; 05-10-2017 at 10:48 PM.
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#14 Old 05-10-2017, 11:00 PM
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I get wholegrain/wholewheat couscous (as I do most grain based products, for their better nutritional profile).

At Tesco it's super cheap, only 70p for 500g (at time of writing) and perfectly good.

https://www.tesco.com/groceries/prod.../?id=262365915



Great made up with a little bouillon or vegetable stock, and a little olive oil for flavour.

I serve it with tagines (Morrocan style stew things), I also will use it in place of rice with curry if I'm out of rice.
Also nice used as the base for a salad. Maybe weird but I like it made into salad with simple diced salad vegetables and diced tofu, seasoned with a little olive oil and soya sauce.
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#15 Old 05-11-2017, 12:40 AM
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I don't buy a heap of this soya yogurt, but it is useful for breakfast with bananas or other fruit. You can put it in smoothies or eat with muesli.

https://www.tesco.com/groceries/prod.../?id=271856908

My favourite way to use it is in homemade hummus so I don't have to put as much oil in the mix.

Unsweetened again, which is the way I prefer my dairy subs so that it can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes. No crazy ingredients in the ingredient list:

Ingredients:
Water, Hulled Soya Bean (9%), Calcium Phosphate, Bacterial Cultures

From Tesco, £1.25 for a 500g tub (or three tubs for £2.50 right now; bargain!).


Last edited by Spudulika; 05-11-2017 at 01:49 AM.
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#16 Old 05-11-2017, 01:44 AM
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OK, next up is something I keep in the cupboard all the time. Dead cheap again, and easy to get. I buy from ASDA as it's typically the cheapest supermarket in the UK (maybe other than Lidl and ALDI).

Cashew nuts. These are from the cheapo range and they're the 'snacking' kind, so they're already toasted and salted, making them unsuitable for sweet foods. However they're fab for nut roast, stuffed vegetables, pilafs, nut spread; all that good stuff. I confess I don't rinse off the salt when using them, though others might prefer to. Of course they're also great for snacking on, which is what he does a lot, leaving me without any when I come to make a nut roast.. Grr.

Currently only 75p for a bag of 125g - I usually use two bags for a nut roast which serves maybe six to eight. Yes, nuts *can* be expensive, but these kind aren't.

https://groceries.asda.com/product/s...s/910000280367



NB: In case anyone is wondering why I keep spamming this thread, I'm hopeful that it can be used as a resource for other posters to refer newbies from the UK to. In particular I'm hopeful that it can be helpful to newcomers in sourcing both low-cost/affordable and readily available vegan staple foods and animal-food substitutes. I hope it's not irritating anyone seeing it at the top of the bar all the time

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#17 Old 05-12-2017, 02:11 AM
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No doubt both partly inspired by the increased public interest in plant-based diets, and partly (I suspect mainly) inspired by increased consumer desire for 'allergen free' products, there are now a few dairy-free butter substitutes widely available in mainstream supermarkets.

There are two I don't really use myself, but worth mentioning: Vitalite, which has been going for years here in the UK (slightly older members will remember the catchy 80's Vitalite advert featuring dancing sunflowers - see below), is one. I used to have it as a kid, but haven't really used it in adulthood much. A newer one has come out recently by Flora (called Flora Freedom) and I haven't tried that so can't comment, however the reviews I've seen look good. It's a bit more expensive than either Vitalite or Pure, but may be worth trying.

However our personal long standing favourite for some time now is Pure. You can get it in Sunflower, Olive and Soya versions; we prefer sunflower as it seems to melt a bit more easily and comes out of the fridge spreadable (though not super soft).

Costwise, Vitalite is a bit cheaper than Pure and from what I recall of eating it, is probably worth trying (currently only £1.20 for 500g - so great if you're on a tight budget), however Pure has the most inoffensive ingredients list (no trans-fat containing emulsifiers). Currently in ASDA Pure is £1.50 for a 500g tub which is still 25% cheaper than the very cheapest dairy butter available there (currently £1.99 for the same weight block of 500g).

Top Tip: sprinkle a little crystalised sea salt over your spread after it's gone on potatoes or on crackers, and you immediately have something that tastes almost exactly like dairy butter. Sea salt for preference as it melts sweetly in the mouth, really enhancing the buttery effect.

Anyway, the bottom line is it's both easy and cheap to source vegan friendly spreads in the UK today.

Pure Sunflower ingredients:

Water , Sunflower Oil (35%) , Vegetable Oils (Palm, Linseed) , Salt (0.75%) , Flavouring , Vitamin E , Vitamin A & D , Colour (Carotenes) , Vitamin B12 .

https://groceries.asda.com/product/m...r-spread/41418




80's Vitalite advert:

Last edited by Spudulika; 05-12-2017 at 02:40 AM.
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#18 Old 05-12-2017, 03:36 AM
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Herbs!

I love my herb patch, I used to grow a lot of parsley and coriander for example, BUT it's so sunny in my garden (south facing) that annuals which are prone to going to seed (notably favourites like coriander and parsley) do so routinely without fail very early in the season.

As such I typically now rely on less flipperty gibbert perennial herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon balm and a selection of mints, to provide the backbone of a what I need in the kitchen. For the others, I now buy them in.

Buying fresh herbs can be expensive, however ASDA currently has a really nice supply of low cost fresh herbs in stock. As these are big bunches, I usually halve them, putting half in the freezer for whenever and leaving half in the fridge for the next couple of days. These are the kind of products worth looking out for, all just £1

Bunched Fresh Coriander

Bunched Fresh Dill

Bunched Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
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#19 Old 05-12-2017, 04:55 AM
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The World Food isles are a great place to check out whatever supermarket you routinely visit.

Rajah, are the main alternative spice range available in ASDA, and are currently only 50p for 100g; which is great if you like me, like to cook up big batches of food in one go.

If you don't, then typically dried spices have plenty of shelf life; just seal with a clip of some kind and store in a dark / cool cupboard. I've no idea if the link below is exhaustive, but this is a current example of ASDA's range of Rajah spices. I think I've got them all!:

https://groceries.asda.com/search/rajah


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#20 Old 05-12-2017, 09:10 AM
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Sweet Potatoes.



Again I tend to use the cheapest mainstream UK supermarket, but it may be worth checking budget stores like Aldi & Lidl for special deals.

This is what I get in, one 2.5kg bag from ASDA for £2.25 at time of writing.
Very versatile (suitable for baking, mashing, making into fries, using in stews etc.).
They store well (cool, dark cupboard) so don't worry about getting in a bigger bag unless you can of course get smaller quantities at a lower price.

https://groceries.asda.com/product/s...s/910002222019
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#21 Old 05-12-2017, 09:29 AM
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I'm lurking on this thread because I love seeing all the different plant-based products available around the world. Heading to the UK soon and looking forward to all the vegan vittles!
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#22 Old 05-13-2017, 11:20 PM
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Typically if you want to avoid eggs in your noodles, then you need to avoid the fresh kind and head over to the dried foods isle.

I get wholewheat for preference; as with most things, I prefer the nutritional profile of wholegrain products.

These are the kind I buy regularly. They are quick to cook, easy to store and versatile. I frequently eat them as a late night snack with some vegetable bouillon and frozen veg. Nice simple ingredients list too.

Available from Sainsbury's and £1.35 for a pack of about half a dozen nests.

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/...m-noodles-375g

Ingredients

Wholewheat Flour, Water, Salt

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#23 Old 05-14-2017, 11:00 AM
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So tonight he made me vegan lasagne, what a lovely!

This is the ready made white/bechamel sauce I had in the cupboard that he used; never tried it before, and I didn't taste it before it came out of the oven, but the final lasagne was great! Definitely worth having handy. Currently on offer at ASDA for £1 for a 500g jar (usually £1.30) so I'm going to stock up on a couple more.

https://groceries.asda.com/product/c...e/910002323150

Ingredients

Water , Coconut , Rapeseed Oil , Modified Maize Starch , Sugar , Salt , Stabiliser (Xanthan Gum) , Acidity Regulators (Lactic Acid, Citric Acid) , Onion Powder , Ground White Pepper , Dried Garlic , Ground Nutmeg



He also used the frozen mince that's up there somewhere, which made a perfect 'meaty' ragout sauce.
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#24 Old 05-14-2017, 02:18 PM
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These are the lasagne sheets we use for our lasagnes. Again, if you're avoiding eggs in pasta, avoid the fresh stuff and head over to the dried foods isle. Though always read the ingredients label as 'better quality' dried pastas can also sometimes have egg in. This stuff is about as straightforward as it gets.

Ingredients

Wholewheat Durum Wheat Semolina

I get the wholewheat stuff at Sainsbury's. Only 85p for a box of 500g. We had it today and it was delish! I can't even tell the difference to white, though that may be because I'm used to eating wholewheat products.

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/...t-lasagne-500g

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#25 Old 05-18-2017, 10:17 AM
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Quorn fishless fingers.



First time I've tried these and it's quite uncanny, they are really close! Great if you hanker after the real thing.

I doubt we'll buy them again as we prefer the vegetable fingers but I would definitely recommend them. Kids would probably love them.

Of course we had them with chips, peas and tomato ketchup (what else) for our dinner. But would make a great fishfinger sandwich for a fast easy snack.

Currently you can buy 3 packs for £6 at ASDA, there's ten fingers in each pack, so one pack serves two adults or a handful of kiddlywinks.

https://groceries.asda.com/product/v...s/910003001600

Ingredients

Rice Flake (Rice, Emulsifier: Sodium Alginate) , Wheat Flour (contains added Calcium, Iron, Niacin & Thiamine) , Mycoprotein™ (12%) , Water , Natural Flavouring , Rapeseed Oil , Stabiliser: Methylcellulose , Yeast , Salt , Paprika , Colour: Paprika Extract .

Last edited by Spudulika; 05-18-2017 at 10:20 AM.
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#26 Old 05-24-2017, 11:12 PM
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Popcorn kernals @ ASDA, currently £1.25 for 500g



Much healthier than buying the big bags, and cheaper too. Just heat a thick-based lidded pan and add 1tbsp of a heat stable oil like rice bran, then add your popcorn, shuffle the pan on the heat (turn it down if too hot) till it all stops popping. Salt and/or season as you like.

He loves popcorn in the evening as a snack and a tiny amount goes a long way, so a 500g bag *should* last quite a long time - it doesn't always last long in our house.

Last edited by Spudulika; 05-24-2017 at 11:18 PM.
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#27 Old 05-25-2017, 11:23 PM
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Quorn Vegan Nuggets : £2.50 @ ASDA

These are available in most supermarkets in the UK now. Often to be found on offer in Ocado or ASDA (offers like 3 for £6 appear quite frequently, which is when I tend to stock up on this kind of thing for the freezer - prinicpally for feeding the hungry horse husband when we're on different shifts)

I'm not all that taken with them myself, mainly because I find them a bit bland. There isn't much in the way of seasoning, but then they're not pretending to be mock KFC with seven secret spices or whatever, they're pretending to be bland chicken-mush.

The texture of Quorn Vegan products is a bit less firm than Quorn's standard vegetarian range, but it's not a deal breaker by any means. I find the flavour has a bit of an odd note in there if you pay attention, but again not a major issue.

I expect kids would love them and if they had something to dip them into (which is kind of the point of nuggety things I suppose) then they would go down really well, plus they'd be more tasty.

Ingredients

Mycoprotein™ (53%) , Wheat Flour (Contains Added Calcium, Iron, Niacin & Thiamine) , Water , Sunflower Oil , Wheat Starch , Potato Protein , Pea Fibre , Firming Agents: Calcium Chloride, Calcium Acetate , Wheat Semolina , Natural Flavouring , Wheat Gluten , Salt , Yeast , Sage & Sage Extract , Stabilisers: Carrageenan, Sodium Alginate , Onion Powder , Garlic Powder , White Pepper , Onion Extract , Colour: Paprika Extract , Raising Agent: Ammonium Bicarbonate .

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#28 Old 05-25-2017, 11:37 PM
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Battered Onion Rings : £1.15 @ ASDA

I like these! Surprisingly no milk or eggs in the batter.

Cook long enough to go crispy (my oven never matches the cooking times recommended on products like these) and they're tasty, easy and fast. Good oniony flavour, crisp batter.

Good on the side of a burger based meal, or other faux meat junk food. Kids would love them.

Ingredients

Diced Onion (63%) , Wheat Flour , Batter [Wheat Flour, Wheat Starch, Dextrin, Dextrose, Salt, Raising Agents (Diphosphates, Sodium Carbonates), Thickeners (Guar Gum, Carrageenan)] , Sunflower Oil (6.0%) , Salt , Sugar , Gelling Agent (Sodium Alginate) .
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#29 Old 05-26-2017, 12:40 AM
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Unsweetened Almond Milk : £1 @ ALDI

I get this regularly now. It's a good basic almond milk that is nicely inexpensive compared to bigger vegan brands.
UHT, so stores well in a cupboard.
I use it exactly the same way as I would cow milk.
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#30 Old 06-06-2017, 09:58 AM
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Koko coconut yogurt : £1.80 @ ASDA

Really yummy dairy free yogurt.
Bit more pricey than many soya based yogurts, but less runny, more thick and creamy.
The closest in texture to Greek yogurt I've tried so far (better than Greek yogurt sub Go-On by Alpro IMO).
Perfect with fruit for breaky. Yep!

Ingredients

Water , Coconut Cream (20%) , Modified Maize Starch , Dextrose , Salt , Thickener: Pectin , Colour: Carotene , Calcium Phosphate , Vitamin D2 , Vitamin B12 , Natural Flavouring , Non-Dairy Yogurt Culture (S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus)
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