Quorn – Vegan Fishless Fingers

Recently, when strapped for time, we’ve come to rely on a few really good pre-packaged, vegan friendly products. These, when thrown together with some well cooked veggies, mean we’re still able to get a balanced meal in at dinner time, without spending hours preparing it. 

Pre-vegetarian & vegan, we used to enjoy eating fish regularly; which is why we were excited to try Quorn’s new(ish) Fishless Fingers.

I have to warn you, if you’re vegan & you’ve given up meat or fish because you don’t like the flavour, these perhaps, aren’t for you… they really do smell & taste like the original product they’re emulating.

Like most Quorn products, these are made using Mycoprotein™, a completely meat-free form of high quality protein and a good source of dietary fibre, made by adding oxygen, nitrogen, glucose and minerals to a fungus called Fusarium venenatum.

Described by Quorn as fish free savoury flavour fingers, made with , coated in a crispy crumb, we paired these with mashed potatoes & peas, much as you would a regular fish finger.

The verdict? I liked them, but the boy wasn’t keen. Give them a go if you miss a good old fish finger buttie, but perhaps not for everyone.

  • Suitable for vegans
  • Vegetarian Society approved

Tredwell’s, London – vegan friendly

Being a big fan of UK Masterchef (regular, professional and even celebrity), I have been pleased to see the odd vegetarian round popping up over the past couple of years.

Masterchef: The Professionals judge and one time Junior Masterchef contestant (1985), Marcus Wareing’s latest casual dining restaurant, Tredwell’s (opened September 2014), is even more reason for celebration, as he has gone one step further and added vegan friendly options to his menu.

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Described by The Evening Standard Magazine’s Grace Dent, as “comfort food heaven”, located in the heart of London, Tredwell’s aims to bring modern London cooking to the West End’s Seven Dials, and though I’m yet to dine there, the menu is certainly appealing.

Starters (Vegan)

  • Nocellara del Belice olives (Ve) £2
  • Harissa glazed aubergine, peanuts, coriander and chilli (Ve) £6.50

Starters (Vegetarian)

  • Pumpkin soup, cep toast, toasted seeds (V) £7
  • Buffalo ricotta, beetroot, pine nut better (V) £7
  • Burrate, olive, caramalised shallot, balsamic, rocket (V) £10

Mains (Vegan)

  • Butternut Squash and sage dumplings, kale, hazelnut sauce (Ve) £14

Sides (Vegan)

  • Skinny Fries (Ve) £3
  • Wilted greens, roasted garlic (Ve) £3.50
  • Green salad (Ve) £4
  • Sweet potato chunks (Ve) £4
  • Green beans, olive oil and tarrgon (Ve) £4
  • Kale, sugarsnap and rocket salad (Ve) £4

Sides (Vegetarian)

  • Parsnip & horseraddish slaw (V) £4
  • Blue cheese croquettes (V) £ 4.50
  • Grilled broccoli, almond butter and capers (V) £5

Puddings (Vegan)

  • Coconut mousse, pineapple, mint, lime (Ve) £5
  • The virtuous chocolate brownie, coconut yogurt (Ve) £5

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Though there is but one vegan/vegetarian main on the menu, it is definitely one I would pick. With such a vast range of vegan friendly side dishes on offer, I could happily order a bunch of these, along with a couple of starters to create my own tapas style meal, rounded off with a vegan chocolate brownie, obviously!

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There is also a prix-fixe menu available at specific dining times: 2 courses for £21 or 3 for £25. Available Monday to Wednesday 12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 6:30pm, 9pm – 10pm and Thursday & Friday 12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 6:30pm, 9:45pm – 11pm, Saturday 4pm – 6:30pm, 9:45 – 11pm, the sample menu on the website doesn’t specify any vegan or vegetarian options. However, after some investigation, Tredwell’s confirmed they be only too happy to swap some of the options for something more suitable for our vegan dietary requirements, which I thought was great news! However please note, you can pick 2 or 3 vegan and vegetarian courses from the regular menu for around the same price, if not less, so make sure your options on the prix-fixe menu are something a little bit special.

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As previously mentioned, I am yet to dine at Tredwell’s, but hope to soon, so will let you know if it’s worth giving it a go. Have any of you been already? I’d love to know what you think of a “celebrity” chef venturing in to vegan friendly cuisine.

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Something that also appeals to me and is a further reason to visit, Tredwell’s host live Jazz nights every Friday & Saturday evening from 8pm.

Tredwell’s

4A Upper St Martin’s Lane
London, WC2H 9NY
0203 764 0840

Opening hours:

Monday to Thursday: 12pm – 2pm and 5pm – 10pm
Friday: 12pm – 3pm and 5pm – 11pm
Saturday: 12pm – 11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm

For enquiries email hello@tredwells7dials.com

For more info follow @tredwells on twitter.

 

Wild Food Cafe | Covent Garden, London

Tucked away in a beautiful London corner is Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, and it’s here that you’ll find the self proclaimed “raw-centric vegan / vegetarian eatery”, Wild Food Cafe.

Run by raw foodies Joel and Aiste, this hidden gem uses only locally sourced and organic produce where possible, to prepare nutrient packed plant-based food, “served with love”.

I recently dined here with my non-vegan, but open-minded friend, Kate. This being our first visit, we both chose a dish from each course and then shared, wanting to sample as many of the delicacies on offer as possible.

Seating is set up canteen style, so we found a spot with our backs to the wall so we could people watch, then set about to ordering…

Although there is wine and organic beer + cider on offer, the smoothies had been recommended to me so that’s what we started with…

  

I chose the Incredible Green Smoothie (above), whilst Kate went for the Vibrant Green Juice.

  • Incredible Green Smoothie (V, R): Apple, celery, cucumber, kale, nettle, dates, avocado, banana, lime, green powder
  • Vibrant Green Juice (V, R): Apple, celery, cucumber, parsley, lemon, ginger

Both were delicious, but while Kate’s juice was light and refreshing, my smoothie was quite dense and thick, almost a meal in itself, and I couldn’t quite finish it.

Next up we shared a starter of Hummus & Raw Crackers.

  

  • Hummus & Raw Crackers (V, N, R): In-house hummus with raw crackers, veggie sticks + extra virgin olive oil

If I’m honest, I’m yet to be convinced by raw (rehydrated) crackers. I’ve had them in a couple of places now (to be featured in an upcoming review of Tanya’s), and they just don’t do it for me, though I can see the appeal. The hummus however was delicious and we couldn’t get enough of it with the vegetable crudités.

We then shared a couple of main dishes between us and I’d be hard pushed to pick a favourite.

  

  • Wild Pizza Special (V, N, R): Dehydrated almond + butternut squash base, topped with marinara, wild sea purslane pesto and a daily selection of toppings

  

  • The Wild Burger (V, N, R, G): Olive + shiitake burger, with cultured Wild Sauce, salsa verde, smokey baba-ganoush, a side of sweet potato wedges (not raw) served in our in-house grain-free seed bread

You’ll probably have noticed that the mains are quite small in size, however when dishes are this nutrient dense, you get filled up quite quickly; plus we’d ordered a lot of food, so the smaller the portions, the better.

And finally, though we were stuffed, we ordered 2 desserts, knowing we could take the leftovers home – which we did, to be devoured with a cup of Earl Grey tea later that evening.

  

  • White Chocolate Tart with Caramel Brittle (V, N, R): Cacao butter, maple syrup and cashew cheesecake topped with cacao nibs and salted caramel pecans on a walnut + date base

  

  • Sweet Potato + Cacao Brownie (V, N): Special of the day served with caramel brittle sauce + a berry coulis

Both desserts were absolutely delicious, and while I have made many a sweet potato brownie myself (much to the boyfriend’s distaste), the vegan “cheesecake” is something I particularly enjoyed, and is something I am yet to attempt in my own kitchen. I do however have a peanut butter recipe in mind, but I’ll share with you at a later date.

  

The whole bill came to £66.83, for 2 drinks, 1 starter, 2 mains and 2 desserts, including service charge. This could be considered quite pricey when you consider no alcohol was consumed, however all ingredients are organic and mostly sourced locally, and you have to appreciate the ingenuity that goes in to designing healthy and raw dishes such as these. 

I would thoroughly recommend the Wild Food Cafe to anyone looking to experience raw cuisine at its very best. Having visited a couple of similar establishments more recently, this place is by far my favourite and at the top of my list for a revisit.

Much has been said recently of the benefits to following a raw diet. Raw fruits and vegetables tend to have a higher water content than when they are cooked, and so fill us up more quickly, stopping us from over eating and aiding in weight loss. However it is believed that heating food also destroys it’s nutrients and natural enzymes, and it is these enzymes that boost our digestion and help to fight chronic diseases. Recently I have read conflicting reports that there are some vegetables that can actually be damaging to us when eaten raw, tomatoes for example, which should only ever be consumer cooked…

I believe in balance, and that eating a wide and varied diet, containing as many colourful ingredients (raw and cooked) as possible is what’s best. We’re all different though, and what works for one, may not work for another. I will continue to enjoy visiting raw and experimental restaurants, and I will always continue my vegan, plant-based lifestyle, however a fully raw lifestyle isn’t for me; not yet anyway.

Follow me on Instagram @my_vegan_kitchen for more vegan reviews and recipes, and make sure to come back soon for reviews on both Mildred’s and Tanya’s vegan / vegetarian cafes in London.
Key:

(V) – vegan, dairy-free

(N) – contains nuts /seeds

(R) – some or all of the dish is prepared below 42C to preserve enzymes, nutrients and flavour


Meat Free Week

Happy Meat Free Week everyone!

“Eat less, care more, feel good. Are you up for the challenge?”

How many of you will be taking part this week? Anyone doing it to raise money for some of the great supporting charities ?

There’s some great recipes on the Meat Free Week website :

  • Aubergine Cassoulet
  • Deliciously Dahl
  • Mixed Bean Chilli + Corn & Avocado Salsa
  • Quinotto Del Valle Sagrado
  • Stir Fried Curry + Brown Rice & Cashews
  • Tofu, Buckwheat & Chickpea Salad

… To name just a few.

Here’s a fun fact for you; did you also know it’s National Butcher’s Week here in the UK too? 

Funnily enough I haven’t seen this one being promoted as much.

Was Meat Free Week planned in UK for this week specifically to counteract it? If so, great idea from the founders, Lainie Bracher + Melissa Hobbs!

Ethos Foods – New “Deliciously Different” Vegetarian Restaurant

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Having something to celebrate on Saturday night, and having recently read a lot about new vegetarian restaurant Ethos, we decided to give it a go.
A self service restaurant, serving only meat free food, with plenty of vegan dishes on offer too, Ethos is very similar to Tibits, in making buffet style dining seem posh.
The interior is unique, with trees growing inside – right up my plant based street – with the waiters dressed smartly in white shirts and blue braces, always on hand should you have any questions on the food or drinks on offer.
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The idea is simple, fill your plate with whatever delicacies take your fancy, have your plate weighed and then pay by the weight. Having been caught out by my own greed once before in Tibits – paying £18 for one plate of food, made from mostly veggies! – I was more reserved this time but still devoured a delicious and filling plate, but for only £11.
HERE’S WHAT I ATE :
* Seitan Ribs – Spiced rubbed seitan ribs, marinated
& smoked on the BBQ. Delicious eaten with lashings of our hot
sauce. Vegan.
* Dengaku Nasu – Japanese miso-roasted aubergine.
Vegan & Gluten free.
* Thai Sweetcorn Fritters – Thai-style fritters with
lemongrass. Vegan.
* Eritrean Mango & Cucumber Salad – Spicy, tangy yet
refreshing salad of cucumber and mangoes. Dressed with a peanut
sauce with a kick. Vegan & Gluten free.
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WHAT WE DRANK :
* Glass of vegan Viognier (me)
* Carrot, apple and orange juice (the boyfriend – he’d had a heavy one the night before!)
AND FOR DESSET :
* Chocolate cupcake
* Peanut butter “bombs”
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The food was delicious, I mean really good! However, as is always the case with this type of dining, the plate doesn’t feel like a complete meal, rather a selection of lots of different starters. I actually like this way of eating, starters have always been my favourite part of any meal, closely followed by dessert – especially if chocolate based!
The seitan “ribs” were unlike anything I have ever eaten before, with almost the exact texture of beef – which may put some vegans off. I however tend to think it proves that no one actually needs to eat meat to enjoy these kind of flavours and textures. I had never heard of seitan before, but after some quick post dinner research, I’ve come to learn it is “wheat gluten” and is actually commonly referred to as “wheat meat” and I can definitely see why!
The use of fruit in their salads added just that necessary hit of sweetness to counteract the richness of the “ribs” and miso aubergine – so perhaps some thought has gone in to creating a whole plate of food that goes together and compliments each other.
I was disappointed that although the menu offered all vegetarian and vegan
wines, there wasn’t a vegan red wine on offer (my dinner time drink of choice), or even a vegan Prosecco – despite there being so many great options available, even on the high street. So instead I opted for a glass of vegan Viognier, while the boyfriend went for a juice – to counteract the previous night’s indulgence – although he says it’s because of how much he enjoyed Teresa Carles’ juices in Barcelona.
The dessert was good, but not as impressive as the rest of the food. The peanut butter “bombs” could be too rich for some, but I enjoyed it, even after eating the majority of the chocolate cupcake too.
Would I go again? Most definitely! And with a take away service on offer, I might even pop in to grab lunch on the go. Plus if you visit on a Monday, quoting “Meat Free Monday”, you’ll be treated to a free dessert, as long as you spend £10 / person on food.
You should definitely check this place out if you’re in Central London, or even make the trip specifically to try out a new place with an inventive take on veggie and vegan dining.
Come back soon for more vegan recipes, tips, brands and products. In the meantime check out my Instagram – @isitveganuk.