Thursday, 19 May 2016

Vegetarian Week | Linda McCartney Foods


   I haven't mentioned this much over my blog and social media, but over the past few weeks I've adopted a 90% vegetarian diet which, as I'm sure you can guess, means that I'm consuming vegetarian food as 90% of my diet, while the other part is white meat. For me, this is a huge step towards becoming a full vegetarian, a goal which I hope to achieve very soon.

   If you want to know why I'm doing this, let me know so that I can write a post on becoming a vegetarian, but otherwise I've uploaded a video below which demonstrates some of my feelings about this way of life. 

     
   So, let's talk about the fantastic Linda McCartney Foods dishes which I have been asked to review for National Vegetarian Week.

   If you're a vegetarian, a fan of The Beatles or a follower of food and pop culture, then you'll probably have a good idea of who Linda McCartney was. For those who don't, she was a musician, photographer and animal rights activist married to Sir Paul McCartney; together, the two founded Linda McCartney Foods in 1991, seven years before her death from breast cancer. The company produces vegetarian and vegan dishes, including alternative meat-style foods such as burgers and sausages using soya and wheat proteins.

   I tried out these meals for a week to see if undertaking a completely vegetarian lifestyle was doable. In this week I found out that, 1) with a little creativity, being a veggie is easier and funner than you'd think, 2) I didn't feel any different to how I felt when eating meat as part of my regular diet (apart from the lack of guilt), and 3) Linda McCartney Foods know how to make a tasty meal.



    First of all, who doesn't enjoy a good pie now and then? Believe me, when it comes to 'pie week' on the Great British Bake Off, I'm craving a good deep dish pie, filled to the brim with gravy and veg, and topped off with a nice crusty top.

   Sure, this Deep Dish Country Pie (above) is cooked from frozen, so lacks the freshness of a homemade pie, but it sure does fill a hole in my stomach. The pastry is moist, but not soggy, the top has a nice little crisp to it and the filling is rich and plentiful. An ideal winter warmer!

   I served mine with an onion gravy and a hearty serving of peas, but you could mix it up with any of your favourite veg!



   We Brits seem to love our pastries, and this Cheese and Leek Plait is the ideal snack to keep you going until dinner.

   With a soft pastry crust and a deliciously creamy cheese and leek centre (I'm salivating just thinking about it now), I would happily purchase these again!

   If you're a healthy eater, you might not want to consume too many of these, as the fat content is around 27.8g per plait - but it makes a tasty treat now and then.



   I couldn't resist making myself a vegetarian bangers and mash for dinner yesterday. I really liked the sound of the Red Onion and Rosemary flavourings, so I gave these a go.

   These were quicker to cook than meat sausages, and very different in appearance, but they were equally as tasty. Texture-wise, I would say that they lack the firm skin of a meat sausage, and are slightly knobby inside, but they're really quite edible, and go great with gravy or ketchup!



   I'll admit, these Thai Vegetable Cakes don't look the nicest out of the meal options, but they were one of my favourites taste-wise. Heated for around 35 minutes in the oven, these cakes had a hint of Thai-spice (though I must stress that they're not overbearingly spicy), sweet potato and a nutritious range of vegetables.

   Have one if you're peckish and two if you're ravenous! At 9.3g of fat per cakes, these are totally permissible as a re-energising lunchtime meals in my books.



   Contrary to what the rest of this post might infer, I adore Mediterranean foods, so when I saw that there was a Paella option in the Linda McCartney Foods range, I was more than excited to give it a go.

   I like my paellas really creamy, with thick, fluffy rice and a rich taste. For me, this paella needed a little something extra. I'm really not saying it was a bad meal, as it smelled delicious and tasted good, but I would just add a creamy tomato sauce to give it some life!

   The chicken-style pieces had a decent texture, and were moist as well as tasty, whilst the veg was easily cooked to perfection in the microwave. Overall, an easy meal to prepare in under 7 minutes - great for rushed evenings (which I have plenty of!)


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   What have you been doing to celebrate National Vegetarian Week? Have you recently turned vegetarian or are thinking about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

* Products gifted for review
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