Category Archives: lactose free

Gregg’s vegan sausage roll

There’s been so much talk around this, I felt like I had to try it. Although I’ve never been a big sausage roll eater, I have enjoyed the taste in the past but it always caused huge IBS issues so I was quite intrigued by this vegan version. I hadn’t gone out of my way to get one, I’d just told myself that at the next opportunity I’d give one a go.

I was in a bit of a rush having just had a meeting and really needed to grab something to eat on the go, I’d actually popped in here thinking I’d pick up a small sandwich or cereal bar however there wasn’t many options for the vegan eater. It didn’t take me long to remember this is where those famous vegan sausage rolls were produced, there was 2 left. I was second in the queue. It was a tense moment when the lady ahead ordered one – thank god she’d only wanted one! No one wants a brawl in the middle of a busy Gregg’s.

It as warm and the aroma coming from the little bag was amazing. It has been so long since I’d had anything like this and I hadn’t realised how much I would want it once I had it in my hand. I ended up having to eat it on the go, I was really shocked after my first bite and had genuine concerns I’d been given a real sausage roll! It was that close a taste to the real thing, I’d say the texture was ever so slightly different and I didn’t feel that it was as greasy as ones I’ve had in the past – which for me is a bonus. I really enjoyed it, I can’t say I’m hooked but I can understand how some are!

If you’re considering giving this a go, vegan or non vegan I say go for it – you non vegans will be surprised by the taste and I just know you will enjoy it!

M & S Plant Kitchen Dirty Fries

O M G, these are so good! So I’d popped into m&s for a Friday night dinner treat and picked up a plant kitchen pizza with dirty fries 🀀 like I said it was treat night (wine was also purchased 😬). I won’t pretend this was a healthy option, but it was well worth it! I was really chuffed with them and am really keen to taste some of the other plant kitchen options now available in Marks and Spencer’s.

The dirty fries come in a rich tomato sauce, silky bechamel sauce and finished with cheese alternative and although I have been disappointed with some of the cheese alternatives in the past these were a great hit. I think non vegans would also enjoy these, but that will have to be a future test as I’ve not had real cheese for such a long time I wonder if my taste buds have adjusted πŸ€”

Either way, you vegans really need to try these and any non vegans try them out for me and let me know what you think!

Harry’s bar and restaurant

In the lovely little village of Thorpe Le Soken I came across this nice bar and restaurant in the high street and although there were plenty of pubs to choose from this place appealed to me. After popping in for a fruit tea I’d decided to come back in here to taste the menu. Although there wasn’t anything clearly labelled as vegan on the menu, I had a word with a member of staff who spoke to the chef and let me know there were a few things they could do for me.

The options consisted of tomato and basil soup, stuffed aubergine ratatouille and a curry. I was actually really tempted with all 3 but I decided against the soup as I often have soup for my lunch during the week and I do like to have something different when I eat out. So, it was between the aubergine and the curry. I do love a curry and it was a close call but I opted for aubergine as this isn’t something I’ve had before and it’s nice to try new things.

The place itself was nice, clean and fresh as you walk in there’s a bar with a few tables for drinks and you can order food here but the restaurant is round the back with many more tables and seats. It looked as though there was also outside seating which would be nice on a summers day. It wasn’t very busy in there but it was early afternoon so not exactly rush hour, I can imagine that it could get quite busy of an evening.

It didn’t take long for my food and drink to arrive which was great and the presentation of the food was really good. The ratatouille had a strong flavour, the aubergine was cooked nicely and there was a generous side salad with dressing. I enjoyed the meal, it was tasty and I would have it again although I think I would want to try the curry if I do come back here.

There’s a question mark as to whether I would come back here in a hurry as unfortunately some others who came here with me did not enjoy their meal. Now, I know this may have been do with their meal choice but it does take a shine off of the experience. I will however only review my experience and I thought the restaurant was nice, staff friendly and willing to adapt meals for dietary requirements and my food tasted good.

No Bull Burgers, Iceland

I’ve got to admit I’m not really one to shop in Iceland regularly, yes I pop in here from time to time to pick up the odd bit of shopping but lately I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve found in here. The no bull burgers were actually recommended to me so when I was in here picking up a no cheese pizza I had to give them a try.

They are soya based and actually look and taste like meat! This may not suit some long term vegans but for me it’s a great burger replacement which I hope will come in particularly handy over the bbq season. They are really easy to cook as you just pop them in the oven from frozen and I had them in a bun with curly fries 🀭 and salad πŸ˜‹.

It’s a great Friday night dinner, I really enjoyed it and recommend you give them a go πŸ‘πŸΌ I’m planning on trying out some more products from this range so keep your eyes open for the reviews.

No cheese houmous pizza, Iceland

I’d attempted a vegan pizza πŸ• previously from Asda although I can’t remember what it was called, I do remember that it tasted awful and I ended up throwing it away. This was because the fake cheese that was used really wasn’t nice so when I saw this no cheese pizza in Iceland I thought it was worth a go. It has a thin base which is how I like my pizza anyway, topped with houmous, seasoned tomatoes and black kale. All of this ingredients sounded great but I was a bit dubious, not only because of my previous experience but I wasn’t convinced this was really going to be a pizza substitute.

It cooks from frozen and is just popped in the oven for 10-12 mins the same as a normal frozen pizza, this is particularly handy if you are eating with any non vegans as you can pop two or more pizzas in the oven at the same time and all eat together. Having not got a pizza cutter (fail πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ), I ate this with a knife and fork and although it wasn’t the easiest of bases to cut through, it was nice and crisp. The topping had plenty of flavour and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I would definitely be happy to have this again as a pizza replacement, it beats the fake cheese attempts I’ve had previously and it tasted great.

I’ll be purchasing more of these as a staple freezer filler, it’s always good to have something quick, easy and tasty available as and when needed. I actually think a few of my friends would enjoy this even tho it is cheese and meatless! I’ll have to try them on it 😊.

**adds pizza cutter to shopping list**

Tesco meet free mince

So, the idea here was to buy some Quorn mince to make myself a big batch of vegan chilli and spaghetti Bol – I just had plans to make these as I would normally and instead of using turkey mince as I would have in the past I’d use the meat free mince instead. The first hurdle I had to jump was finding the right mince, I was really shocked to learn that Quorn mince is not vegan! It contains egg white (it’s a good job I’m checking all the ingredients still), so I spent some time in the freezer aisle finding an alternative which is where the Tesco meet free mince stepped in.

I am pleased to say this is vegan, was very easy to cook up (just like normal mince meat but takes less time) and tasted great as both a chilli and a bolognese. For most people I’d recommend this as an alternative to normal mince meat however, for me it raised some really bad stomach issues. I know this is likely just something that flares up my IBS but I am quite gutted not to be able to have this as a staple part of my diet.

I’m 99% sure this was the culprit and I will definitely be avoiding in the future which is a real shame but the diet so far has been having a positive influence on the tummy issues I’ve experienced in the past so I will continue to search for the right foods for my body. Lentil / chickpea bolognese is the next test and I’m sure it’s going to be just as tasty!

Coal grill and bar, again πŸ˜¬

Ok, so I had to comeback in here, not only for another couple of cocktails (I was not successful at dry January 😬) but there was more on the menu I wanted to try. So I had a look over the menu whilst sucking away at my love on the beach 🍹 and chose my starter of Chickpea Falafel served warm with a minted yoghurt dipping sauce.

I apologise for the fact I’d eaten most of this before taking the photo but I’d once again tucked straight in as soon as it arrived πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

This was a real treat for my taste buds, I love falafel although I don’t tend to have it too often and am yet to have come across a vegan minted yoghurt sauce which compliments this really well. The portion size was just right for me and after polishing off my drink I was ready for my main meal. I opted for the Veggie Supreme Burger although I’d enjoyed my jambalaya so much previously that I was close to having this again.

The Veggie Supreme Burger πŸ” is a chargrilled flat mushroom, sweet peppers, beetroot, tomato and lettuce with violife cheese in a ciabatta and was served with fries. Mmmmm it was my first vegan burger and I wasn’t disappointed, the flavours and texture of the vegetables with the sprinkling of cheese on top of the ciabatta was a perfect combination. It’s also something I could very easily make myself at home so I need to remember this for a good lunch time treat.

I wasn’t hungry for a dessert, I’d eaten plenty but yes I had a look at the dessert menu and yes there was a vegan option and yes it was chocolate 🀭

This happened 😬 and once again I almost didn’t get the photo πŸ˜‚ but it was delicious! So glad I managed to find room for this and have a taste. I was once again really chuffed with this place and with the dessert this time too, I’m going to give this a 9.5/10.

πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ” 0️⃣.5️⃣

Pret A Manger – Mango and banana sunshine bowl

I’d gone in to the Pret for a cuppa just by chance as I’d be walking past and I was feeling a little peckish (surprise surprise πŸ˜‚), the tea was with soya milk which is going to take some getting used to 😬 and I took a look at the food on display. I was pleased to see that vegan and vegetarian meals were clearly labelled which made it really easy to see what was available.

After some decision making (is a sandwich too much πŸ€” should I have a cake πŸ€”), I went for the mango and banana sunshine bowl. This was blended mango and banana, with a splash of coconut milk and a dash of turmeric, topped with gluten-free granola, blueberries and coconut chips. I was pleasantly surprised! It tasted great, nice and sweet with a good crunch from the granola, I would definitely choose this again as I really enjoyed it.

As a healthy snack I’d say this was a great choice although not really big enough to fill me up as a lunch it was good enough for breaky / mid morning snack πŸ˜‹

Toby Carvery – Boxing Day meal

Boxing day for us as a family was at Toby Carvery, we were given a menu in advance to choose and preorder our selections. I was really pleased to see some vegan options on the menu which makes things a lot easier for me, I chose the vegan soup of the day which was a little risky as I’m quite choosey when it comes to soup. I fancied the Carvery but did make a point of stating that I’d need the veg to be dairy free as having been here quite recently I was aware that they normally use butter to cook the veg in. I had to go for the only vegan dessert option which was Christmas pudding with custard, not a favourite of mine but at least there was something available and I thought I’d give it a try.

When we arrived we were shown to our table straight away and ordered drinks whilst waiting for the rest of the party to arrive. I was disappointed to be told one of the meals on the starters list was not available – although this didn’t effect me as it wasn’t what I had ordered I did expect them to have secured our choices. As it turns out, none of us had chosen that but our selected meals were not secured or saved even though we had pre ordered which I thought was strange. The vegan soup was butternut squash and although I wasn’t too sure I’d like it I have to admit it really was delicious and definitely something I would choose again!

I stuck to the carvery choice for my main meal and had a huge plate full of veg cooked for me without butter, I do not have any complaints here – there was a good selection and plenty of it. I would say the service let the meal down a little as it was slow and not even particularly busy at the time we were booked in. When it came to dessert, my choice of the vegan Christmas pudding with custard wasn’t available, but another vegan option was provided which was chocolatey and bloody lovely so no complaints from me although some may have been upset by missing out on the Christmas pudding.

On the whole I enjoyed the meal, just a few things let them down today which was the service both at the table and up at the carvery as I know some had to wait for some things to be re-filled. I believe if you are asked to pre order your meal the restaurant should ensure these are available for you (although i was happy with my alternative dessert, others may not have been). I was quite preoccupied by enjoying some family time and completely let the side down on the photo front, however the soup was a pleasant surprise so I am happy to be able to provide you with a photo of this.

It’s a 6.5/10

🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲πŸ₯•

Lactose free brie

I know this isn’t going to be ideal for all those vegan or dairy free-er’s out there but I was very excited about this and felt it deserved a post.Β  So, I spotted this in Tesco and I have no idea how I missed it before – its right there with the lactose free spread and milk which I visit at every shop!

It was only the other day that I was saying how much I missed brie, it was always a favourite of mine when out for lunch especially with cranberry at this time of year.Β  I had quite a feast on it and although I can’t say that all the cheeses in this range are as good as the real thing I quite honestly don’t think you would notice the difference when it comes to this brie.Β  I’ve had it on crackers with grapes and melted in with pasta and the flavour is great, like I say just like I remember the real thing.

I have also spotted mozzarella balls in the same range so I can guarantee that will be on my next shopping list!!