Review: Sgaia’s Vegan BBQ Bumper Pack

To demonstrate how behind I am with blogging I bought the BBQ Bumper Pack so I could eat the last of it for my birthday. My birthday that was in May. Lockdown hasn’t left me in a great head space. Though it has protected my lungs and I’m thankful for that. Anyway Sgaia Bacon has long been our favourite vegan bacon but I wanted to branch out a little so I ordered us one of their BBQ Bumper Packs so I could try the steak and burgers and still enjoy a bit of that bacon.

Aromatico Mheat Burger

With herbs and sundried tomatoes, the Aromatico Burger has a distinctly Italian taste to it. It’s the reason I invented the Focaccish and Pesto Wedges and I really love the flavours. The texture is just spot-on burger. There’s something to get your teeth into but they aren’t going to get stuck there or anything. I actually love this burger. Kate, as it turns out, does not. All this time I didn’t know this about her but she is a burger purist. She wants her burgers to taste of beef and nothing else (unless it’s a chicken burger, I assume), but she does concede that the flavours would make for a good meatball.

burgerbacon

Streaky Mheat Rashers

These are, without a doubt, the best vegan rashers in existence. No contest. If you’re only looking to buy one Mheat product go for these. The work on a burger, in mac and cheese and – shockingly – in your breakfast.

Smoked Mheat Steak

I had this one for my birthday alongside hassleback potatoes from I Can Cook Vegan. I didn’t ever really enjoy the non-vegan version of steak so I’m not sure why I wanted to try this so much for the first time on my birthday, but I was not disappointed. It’s got a deep, umami rich flavour and a lovely finish of smoke. I really want to try it in a stir fry  but for the first time, for my birthday, I had to have a decadent slab of it on my plate.

steak

If you’re interested in trying all three of the Mheats then the BBQ Bumper Pack is a great deal. It’s £25 and you get two steaks, two pack of burgers (four total), and two packs of bacon. That saw the two of us through four meals: bacon cheeseburgers, bacon butties, Italian style burgers and birthday steak. But at the very least buy yourself some of that bacon. A steal at £4 a pack. And for reference we find one pack enough for two of the best vegan bacon butties.

Review: Young Vegans Pie Shop (delivery)

Young Vegan’s Pie Shop is one place that is on my list to visit, but I’m ashamed to say we’ve never actually made it there. However, when the lockdown started we saw that people where still getting their pie fix from the online shop. Two orders later and we’ve finally tried all the flavours. So let me tell you all about them.

macandcheese

We’ll start with the last one we tried: Mac and Cheese. The mac and cheese filling is gloriously cheddary, and very well cooked. It reminded me more of the Holland’s Cheese and Onion pies of my youth rather than eating Macaroni Pies that one time in Scotland. Which is to say it went well with gravy.

steak

Steak and Ale (pictured on the left there) was one of Kate’s choices. She enjoyed the taste, and said it was exactly what you’d expect from a steak and ale pie, but she wasn’t keen on the mushrooms or the texture of the large steak chunks. She much preferred the Aussie Pie.

aussie

The Aussie Pie is beefy but that beef is minced and mixed with onion for a classic meat pie combo. It’s also the only pie in gluten-free pastry. Gluten-free vegans should be happy then that it gets the coveted Kate seal of approval.

chickenparm

Next up is a pie that I tried alone: the Chicken Parmigiana. I liked the chicken in this one but the real stars are that tomato sauce and that cheese sauce. They’re so rich, and perfect and go so well together. I insisted Kate try a bite and she said that they could have made a pizza flavoured pie, and then I broke it to her that Young Vegans have a pizza parlour and our plans for our next trip to London firmed up a bit. Except for the date.

cheeseburger pie

Then there is the pie that Kate refused to even take a bite of: the cheeseburger pie. I loved it for exactly the same reason that she wouldn’t go near it: it has a gherkin in. And from that explanation you probably already know if you’ll like it too. There is a burger patty, cheese, ketchup, and the gherkin. I think it’s fast food fusion perfection.

katsualone

If both of us had to pick a favourite pie though it would be the Chicken Katsu. Our love for Japanese-style curry is well documented so it comes as no surprise that we like it encased in a pie. This is a really yummy curry too.

If you’re in the UK we recommend that you order yourself some pies from Young Vegans. They’re delicious and you can pop them in the freezer and cook from frozen. Perfect.

Review: Tyne Chease Applewood and Provençal

Things have stalled around here. I had a bunch of reviews of places in London ready to to go but then, of course, we went into lockdown so then it seemed a little… odd. Instead I’m going to post about vegan businesses that are still shipping and delivering and we’ll get back to actually visiting restaurants when we can. That being said: Tyne Chease is delivering.

apple

We first reviewed Tyne Chease in 2017 when we got a selection box. This time we tried the two new flavours: Applewood and Provençal. Applewood is a plain nut cheese smoked so if you’re expecting something more like Applewood Cheddar you’re not going to find it here. Instead it’s a delicious, soft, creamy cheese with a beautiful natural smoke. It’s really good.

prov

Your opinion of the Provençal flavour is going to largely depend on your thoughts on eating lavender. I know some people are reminded way too much of soap and find it unappetising. I’m firmly on the pro eating lavender side of things though and this has just the right amount.  The lovely floral and herb coating brightens up the cheese and adds a touch of magic.

If you’re looking for something to add a little cheer right now, why not make an order with Tyne Chease. You won’t regret it.

Review: Plant Kitchen, again

A year ago we ate a bunch of food from the Plant Kitchen range at Marks and Spencer. This January they released a bunch more into their vegan range. And we got a few bits to try. More than a few. Okay.

noegg

Both a no tuna sandwich and a no egg sandwich have been added to the range. The tuna sandwich has sweetcorn in it so I went for the egg instead. There was really no other taste but pepper. File this one under edible but disappointing.

pizza

Speaking of disappointing, we were originally excited to find a plain cheese and tomato pizza. Kate likes things plain. But this was very disappointing. It tastes like one of those mini, 50p, basics range pizzas. All biscuit base and ketchup tasting sauce. The cheese made it a little more exciting but not much. We wouldn’t buy this one again.

sheps

Kate tried the Shepard’s Pie. She was delighted by the piped mashed potato but thought the filling had too much mushroom. There were also several whole chestnuts in there which textually is just odd.

rolls

Okay so what’s good? These No-Pork Sausage rolls are a great little snack option wrapped in a delicious flaky pastry.

noduck

I enjoyed these spring rolls, filled with a gorgeous shredded duck. Perhaps the hoisin sauce was a touch too sweet or perhaps you’re not meant to eat them all in one go. Either way, I’d do it again.

kieve

Now onto our favourite, and perhaps the entire internet’s favourite: No-Chicken Kiev. It is perfect. Perfectly chickeny, crisp bread crumbs, and that amazing, rich, garlicy, herby beautiful butter sauce. We loved it. I want more.