Review: ReRooted Plant Milks

I have serious thoughts about plant-based milks. At the moment my favourite is Minor Figures which is a barista-style oat milk. We get it delivered a few cases at a time and mostly use it for hot chocolates. The level of waste is annoying so when we heard that Earth. Food. Love. would be bringing out their own plant milks we got very excited. And got one of every flavour.  We tried each one, first plain and then I streamed the milk and made us hot chocolate.

ccnut

First up is coconut. I’m a little biased against coconut. I find the texture a combination of too watery and too greasy – predictably I wasn’t a fan. It was also lacking in any sweetness which doesn’t make it easy to drink raw but did make the hot chocolate taste, in Kate’s words, like a dark chocolate Bounty.

oat

The oat milk on its own proved pretty tasteless (Kate thought it was rather sour) but it has a glorious texture which makes it perfect for your teas, coffees and hot chocolates. You might need a little sugar if you’re used to dairy – it’s lacking in the dairy sugars after all.

almond 50

This almond milk is 50% raw, 50% roasted almonds. As a result it’s a little bitter. It has the slightly nutty aftertaste that you expect from almond milk and it’s a good texture for hot drinks. I always like an almond milk in hot chocolate – the tastes really complement each other.

almond100

And last up our favourite: the 100% roasted almond. With a richer, sweeter, more robust flavour than the 50% we enjoyed drinking this both straight and in hot chocolate. Its distinctive taste might not be what you are looking for with your tea though.

ReRooted (website) milk is currently available at Earth. Food. Love. in Totnes. They’re hoping to start a milk delivery service soon so keep your eyes peeled if you live in the Totnes area.

Review: Plant Kitchen

Marks & Spencer have come up with a vegan range that they launched just in time for Veganuary. Shocking coincidence or marketing genius? We bought a tonne so we can’t really complain.

Yeah.

We’ll start with the things we don’t have pictures of. Kate tried the Cashew Mac. I wanted to but I can’t eat mushrooms when I’m stressed so I left it to her. Apparently the mushrooms overwhelmed the dish. Disappointing when you want to tuck into a nice cheesy sauce. Kate also had dibs on the Lasagna which was basically just a lasagna although she admits her ambivalence may have something to do with never having had a lasagna with mince in before she went vegan. We tend to make a plain tomato lasagna at home.

The No Turkey Feast appeared before Christmas but now it’s been joined by some other cool on-the-go options. They were all sold out of all the other new bits though. The sandwich is a ready-made sandwich so obviously not the best thing I’ve ever had but the turkey was delicious, the mayo smooth and creamy and the cranberry really brightened things up.

Two-for-one here. We have the No Chic’n Nuggets and the Dirty Fries. According to Kate, an expert in these matters, they taste exactly like the real thing. The dirty fries are covered in tomato sauce and béchamel and cheese. So, so satisfying.

I had the BBQ Pulled Jackfruit pizza one evening before rushing off to a meeting. I liked this one but it was a little too sweet and not terribly filling. Nice but not nice enough for the price.

We grabbed a pack of the No Pork Sausoyges to eat for breakfast. They have a skin on them which makes them really exciting from a texture perspective but they taste of pepper and not much else. Still I bet these would be great on a barbecue, with the skin allowed to crackle and char.

The final product we tried was the tikka masala. It’s basically your standard chicken tikka masala ready meal, only vegan. Like with the sandwich it’s exciting that we have vegan options but never going to be all that exciting. Still, it’s a Marks & Spencer ready meal so it’s still tasty but four minutes in the microwave is never going to result in something amazing.

That’s basically the idea though. It’s the standard foods you’d find in UK supermarkets, only made vegan. There is a block of tofu in the range and a sushi roll but mostly it’s BBQ pizza, ready meal pasta, and microwave curry. You could switch to these foods and not overly change your diet. For me the price is going to stop me buying from the range often but I could see us grabbing a couple of bits a month. And a sandwich, no doubt, when we’re stuck in a service station or train station somewhere.

Reveiw: Asda Pizza with Vegan Cheese

When Asda introduces vegan cheese to their choose your own toppings counter it was big news. It’s been years since I’ve visited one of these counters and I can’t say I’ve missed it but you know what let’s give it a go. We got two 10″ pizzas with vegan cheese, one plain and one with all the veggies.

They were bad. Okay so the base is just basically a biscuit. Hard, crispy and bizarrely sweet. I could’t taste the tomato sauce so I’ll just assume it was okay. There was far too much cheese so at the centre it was just like a pile of white sauce. It didn’t really have any flavour to it at all.

So we’re probably never going to buy these again. But that might be progress. 2018 could be the year when vegans are just as disappointed with supermarket pizza as meat eaters.

Review: Waitrose Vegan Spinach Ravioli

Waitrose are trying to up their vegan game. We approve because it’s one of the few supermarkets in walking distance and it makes us feel fancy to shop there. One of the few offerings we’ve managed to track down so far is the spinach ravioli.

There was a point in our life when we lived off supermarket ravioli. We’d have spinach and ricotta ravioli whenever we were stuck for ideas so this is a real nostalgia trip. Of course it has no ricotta in it; instead the packet promises ‘solidified coconut derivative’. That’s not a joke. That’s what the packet says: ‘solidified coconut derivative’. At this point I’d recommend Waitrose hire some better writers.

Despite the plain packaging and the bizarre description this is a pretty solid midweek, no-fuss option. We tossed ours with some tomato sauce and relived our memories.

Creamy Without Nuts: Fravocado (Vegan Mofo 2018)

I’m going to show off a cool local product today. Made in Dawlish, Fravocado is a frozen treat made of a mix of avocados and coconut. Delicious, soft, creamy and free from all the major allergens.

We sell the original flavour at The Kind Grind. You can taste the avocado, the coconut and a hint of lime. It’s refreshing and decadent at the same time. There’s also a Raspberry Basil and a Raw Cacao flavour. Equally delicious.

If you can get yourself to a stockist I 100% recommend giving this one a go. I love it.

Review: No Bull Burgers and Other Iceland Vegan Treats

UK vegan bloggers, social media users, and just about everyone else has been talking about the meaty-tasting and meaty-textured No Bull Burgers from Iceland. It’s been a big deal, especially at £2 for a 2 pack. I’m not usually one to shop at Iceland because I like to pretend I cook everything from fresh. Which I don’t, but I feel like shopping at a frozen food place would be admitting that. Here we go then, off to try the vegan food of Iceland.

First up, the No Bull Burgers. The texture is reminiscent of a beef burger but softer. I would have liked a bit more bite myself. As you can see from the pan pic they have the look down but it doesn’t really translate when cooked. Only the outside browns so it’s still pink in the middle. I know that doesn’t matter. It’s still cooked but when you’ve spent your childhood avoiding eating meat that’s pink in the middle it messes with your head a little. Because of that it’s not my favourite burger but it’s a solid choice. Especially at the price.

Of course I couldn’t just stop at the burgers. While I was in there I picked up four dishes from the Mumbai Street Co range. 4 for £2. Why not? The rice in the range has milk in it so instead I made some in the Instant Pot to go with my selections. Let’s start it’s the Tandoori Shashlik. Because it’s worth starting with. Packed to bursting full of lovely veggies in a rich sauce. The bhajis, apparently from Calcutta, are crisp and satisfying.

Next up I piled Gobi Dhansak and Chennai Dhal onto a plate. The Chennai Dhal is good, I can’t say a bad word about it. The Gobi Dhansak however is amazing. Perfect sweet and sour sauce, lentils and more of that lovely, lovely veg. There’s some good stuff in Iceland right now and I’m happy to support them as they’ve made a commitment to reducing plastic packaging and have a yummy vegetable Dhansak.

Review: vegan fudge from Roly’s

Before we went vegan I loved fudge. Not the sickly sweet, strangely smooth substance made by Cadbury and the other confectionery giants, but the crumbly stuff the Scots call tablet. I learnt how to make it one summer, and treated my workmates to a different flavour each week. I’ve experimented with different oils to try to make vegan fudge: coconut oil fudge was too brittle and greasy, while cocoa butter fudge showed promise but needs works. Fortunately you don’t have to wait for me to perfect the recipe: Roly’s Fudge have beaten me to it.

fudge

As they describe on their blog, it’s made from coconut oil, soy milk, and cashew butter, and comes in two flavours: maple and cashew, and salted maple and pecan. The pecan one has pieces of pecan in it, while the cashew one is just fudge. They have same crumbly texture I remember from their non-vegan fudge, and the price is the same too. Clare picked up a bag of each in Dartmouth, and as she doesn’t like fudge I had the whole lot to myself; they lasted almost a day, as I alternated between them trying to work out which was more delicious. I think I might need another couple of bags before deciding. If there’s a Roly’s near you then pop in for some (tip: they also do vegan ice cream), and if not you can order online.