I recently heard a comedian say: “If vegetarians don’t want to eat meat, they shouldn’t be allowed to use the shapes!” But as we all know, meat substitute products can be very useful.
For people who have recently turned vegetarian and are still experimenting with meat-free cooking, meat substitutes come in handy, enabling you make veggie versions of tried-and-tested recipes.
Also, for couples and families where only one individual is vegetarian, it makes sense to cook meat and veggie versions of the same meal, such as spaghetti bolognese, shepherd’s pie or sausage and mash.
What’s more, when it comes to barbeques, although it’s fun to make vegetable kebabs, bean burgers and grilled halloumi, sometimes you just want to throw a veggie burger on the grill and sit back and enjoy a beer!
So, keen to help out (as always) thegreenveggie has decided to review a few meat substitute products you might find on the shelves at your local supermarket. This week, we’ll start with vegetarian sausages…
1. Cauldron vegetarian sausages, £2.10
Cauldron products are always a winner. They’re a little bit more expensive than some other meat substitute brands, but the quality is always reliable. These are my personal favourites and are by far the best in terms of taste and texture.
They’re available in Lincolnshire and Cumberland varieties and have a delicious herb and pepper seasoning. From my fading memory of meat, I would also say these are the closest to “real” sausages.
I like to use them for sausage and mash, toad in the hole, vegetarian roasts and cooked breakfasts.They’re also delicious fried and chopped into pasta dishes.
Available at Asda, Coop, Morrisons, Sainsbury, Tesco, Waitrose.
2. Linda McCartney sausages, £1.89
Linda McCartney Foods produce a wide range of meat-free products, which are usually a bit cheaper than some other brands. I used not to like these sausages very much, but now buy them regularly.
They’re best if you don’t think of them as sausages, as they don’t really resemble “real” sausages! Instead, they have a breadcrumb coating and are made from seasoned cereal and vegetable protein.
I like to use them for cooked breakfasts and on bbqs, but they’re not very nice in pasta / toad in the hole, as they have a tendency to go soggy.
Available at Asda, Coop, iceland, Morrisons, Sainsbury, Tesco, Waitrose.
3. Quorn sausages, £1.99
Personally, I’m not a fan of Quorn sausages. The texture is a bit like rubber and they taste and look very prefabricated.
Best used on bbqs, as the smoke gives them some extra flavour, the charcoal gives them a bit more colour and the beer stops you from caring!
Don’t be put off trying other Quorn products though. I really like the Quorn mince, which is great for bolognese, chilli and lasagne. Their products are also low-fat.