Recently, I’ve been trying out some of the frozen vegetarian food from Goodlife. They say they “make the vegetables the star of the show” which is what I need in my life at the moment. My local Sainsbury’s is a Local – it is tiny and has pretty much nothing, but luckily the big Sainsbury’s on the other side of town stocks pretty much everything my little heart could desire.
Plus the tagline on a few of the boxes are “Nobody puts veg in the corner!” which being a big “Dirty Dancing” fan, made me like them a bit more straight off the bat.
Our local Waitrose carries a lot of Goodlife products as well but charges slightly more for them.
When I look for good veggie substitutes for traditionally “meaty” things, I really only look for one thing: for it to really pack some flavour. I don’t really need it to mimic the feel or taste of meat, I just want them to make my tastebuds sing (and preferably not just be soy based). Goodlife ticked those boxes for me, quite successfully.
I tried the:
MUSHROOM & SPINACH KIEV WITH A CREAMY GARLIC AND CHEESE SAUCE
Taste: Sam went absolutely crazy for these. Honestly, I barely got a look in. I turned around and he’d devoured his plus a bit of mine. If you don’t like mushrooms, never fear – the mushroom taste is super, super faint. Mostly they tasted of garlic butter, which is never a bad thing in my books! I could have done with more of a spinach kick, but I upped my green factor by serving them with a side of french beans.
Price: £2.25 for 250 g (or 2 kiev breasts). Find it at Sainsburys here: mushroom kiev.
For a truly decadent week-night meal, I’d make them with french beans and a side of my lemon and caper mashed potatoes (which trust me, are the only way to eat mashed potatoes! Try them and you’ll never go back to creamy mash again!)
Taste: This was the one purchase that easily could be an entire meal all on it’s own, no addition needed. Though when do a few onion bhajis ever go amiss? I’m not fully on board with cauliflower rice, as I’ll always prefer basmati rice, but it is quite an ingenious trick to up your vegetable intake. By the end of the curry, I had forgotten that it was cauliflower and my tastebuds just thought it was normal rice. The masala itself was made with big chunks of sweet potato, chickpeas and red pepper. It had a very mild kick so you could feel free to serve it up to anyone who is a bit sensitive to spice. I added some extra chili onto mine, but I like my food spicy!
Price: £2.25 for 400 g. Find it at Sainsburys here: vegetable masala.
FRENCH BEAN & SPINACH SAUSAGES WITH WENSLEYDALE CHEESE
Taste: This was the dish that I was most hesitant about before cooking it. I’ve had some really great vegetarian sausages, and I’ve had some really vile ones. I served mine with a jacket potato and a big heaping of kale. When Sam bit into one he said “Oh my God”. I think this means that my meat-eating Englishman is fully on-board with these vegetarian sausages.
Price: £2.25 for 250 g ( or 6 sausages). Find them at Sainsburys here: french bean sausages.
Sam makes a sausage and meatball carbonara that he adapted from Jamie Oliver and I think they’d be a really great meat-free substitution in that! Or they’d be a really great substitution in my stuffed breakfast sweet potatoes.
FALAFEL WITH CHICKPEA, CUMIN & CORIANDER
Taste: As readers know, I’m a huge falafel fan. Like, I would eat it every day if that was humanly possible. It’s obviously insanely good in wraps with a bit of tzatziki but more often than not, I just pop them in my mouth like popcorn. You can really taste the chickpea in these, which is an excellent, if like me, you eat a ton of chickpeas. Occasionally you’d find some big chunks of chickpea which I really liked. They have quite a light coriander flavour and I love cumin, so they could have done with even more cumin in my opinion. I’d 100% buy the falafel again.
Price: £1.80 for 280g (or 14 falafel). Find them at Sainsburys here: Goodlife falafel.
I served them as part of a meze platter. A few dips, some loose veg, some olives and some falafel and you are good to go with a snack-y Saturday lunch. I have recipe for spicy spinach and coconut soup that they’d be fab in!
***This post was in collaboration with Goodlife Foods, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are forever my own***
Do you have any favourite vegetarian/vegan substitutes? Please give me any and all suggestions!