Vegan Monday: sausage, chips and beans and a minor fail

Uh oh, it was only the second ever Vegan Monday and I failed. Slightly, failed, anyway. Okay, there’s no slightly about it – either I went a whole day only eating and drinking stuff that was vegan or I didn’t, and I didn’t. I have to confess I had a Galaxy Bubbles Hot Chocolate mid-morning. And I have to confess it wasn’t even after I’d drunk it I realised; I realised when I was spooning it into the mug. Oops.

Still, let’s not dwell on the fuck-ups – let’s focus on the positives – I spent the rest of the day staying away from anything with bits of animal in and redeemed myself hot-chocolate-wise by having a Whittards Chilli Hot Chocolate in the afternoon (which, as far as I could tell, was vegan).

Breakfast was a banana smoothie (made with soya milk), clementine and plum.

Lunch was a bit tricky, as I didn’t have anything to make soup with and the only soup in the cupboard was cream of mushroom or cream of tomato. I pondered over peanut butter on toast without any butter, then decided on vegetarian (vegan) haggis in pitta bread with mango chutney and tomato.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, vegetarian haggis with mango chutney sounds weird, but it works, honest – give it a go. (It also tastes better than it looks, a bit of greenery would have livened it up but I could only find a packet of soggy, wilted rocket in the fridge.)

I’d had dinner planned all day – Linda McCartney sausages, chips and beans. Then The Meat Eater came home and said ‘noooooo, I’ve been eating crap all weekend, I need something healthy’, so I told him a) there’s nothing wrong with sausage, chips and beans; and b) he likes sausage, chips and beans anyway. He agreed with me. Until he remembered it was Vegan Monday and started moaning again. So I reminded him Linda McCartney sausages are his favourite and Linda McCartney sausages are vegan, so there.


Okay, maybe it’s not the healthiest dinner in the world. Quick and easy and tasty though. I’ll try and be better prepared for next Vegan Monday. Doing some shopping at the weekend might help.

Continue Reading

Fish free prawn sandwich

Everyone always says that it’s bacon sandwiches they miss when they become vegetarian. I was never a huge bacon fan but what I did love were prawns. I said on a previous post how much I love Linda McCartney’s Fish Free Scampi, and I’m still eating that at least once a week but now I can have my one true love – prawns! (I never did find out if prawns and scampi are the same thing?)

It’s been over twenty years since I last had a prawn sandwich and as I’ve got two bags of Linda McCartney Fish Free Prawns in the freezer, I thought I’d see what they were like in between two slices of bread.


The prawns need to be cooked first (90 seconds in the microwave, or fry for 10 minutes), then left to cool. I mixed the prawns up with some mayonnaise, black pepper and chilli powder, then topped with a few slices of cucumber.


Continue Reading

Cabbage and leek bake

If you pretend this isn’t smothered in cheese sauce and just focus on the cabbage and leek bit, this is a healthy side dish. Although, as it’s only a side dish, a bit of cheese is hardly going to sabotage any healthy eating thing you’ve got going on at the mo.


I served it with Linda McCartney sausages and boiled potatoes and it got a rating of ‘very nice indeed’ from The Meat Eater.

Cabbage and leek bake (serves 4)
Taken from The Boxing Clever Cookbook

450g cabbage, chopped
175g leeks, sliced
Salt to taste

25g butter or margarine
50g plain flour
1 pint milk
225g Cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and black pepper

  1. Place the cabbage and leeks in boiling water. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes and drain well. Transfer to a buttered oven dish.
  2. Melt the butter or margarine in a pan, add flour and cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Slowly add milk, again stirring continuously until sauce is smooth and thick.
  3. Add cheese and stir until melted. Season to taste.
  4. Pour sauce over vegetables and bake in oven 180C/Gas 4 for 30 minutes.
Continue Reading

Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauces


Jack Daniel’s is no longer found only in the alcohol aisle, now they’ve started making barbecue sauces and glazes. Eager to try them out and to make the most of the remains of summer, I used three of them on some barbecued food.

jack_daniels_barbecueAlthough I used them as a marinade, you can use them however you like: as a marinade, a recipe ingredient or just to dip your chips in.

The mushroom, pepper and halloumi kebab was coated in the Full Flavor Smokey variety, the Linda McCartney burger in Hot Chilli, and the Linda McCartney chicken-style burger was covered with Smokey Sweet.

I stuffed a sandwich pitta with the kebab.

jack_daniels_kebab And the bread filled me up, so I had the burgers on their own.

jack_daniels_burgersThese barbecue sauces are full of flavour and although I like my food drenched in sauce, I didn’t need any extra to dip into.

Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauces are available at most major supermarkets for £2.09.

Continue Reading

Using Warburtons Square(ish) Wraps at a BBQ

When The Meat Eater arrived home on Friday, he announced he fancied a BBQ for dinner. So off we went to Tesco for provisions of a Linda McCartney BBQ Selection Pack, coleslaw, potato salad and beer.

I’d been sent some Warburtons Square(ish) Wraps to try and so, instead of the more traditional burger bun, decided to use those with the food. This proved to be a great choice as they’re versatile and not as heavy and dense as a burger bun.

I cut my wrap in half, as they’re big.


I folded one half over the Linda McCartney Chicken-style fillet, with salad leaves, mayonnaise and HP BBQ sauce.


The Meat Eater put a skewer of halloumi, mushrooms and red pepper marinated in Reggae Reggae Sauce on half a wrap and topped it with the other half.


I rolled up the other half of my wrap around a Linda McCartney sausage.


These wraps are the perfect size for a couple of burgers or sausages and leave you feeling just the right amount of full.

Warburtons Square(ish) Wraps are available in white, brown and seeded varieties.

Continue Reading

Yamas! Halloumi burger slices

I was invited to a Greek cheese cookery event in London which, because it clashed with my last drama seminar of the year at uni, I couldn’t attend. Gutted. However, the organiser kindly sent me samples of what I’d missed which included the Yamas! Halloumi burger slices. I love halloumi but have never had it on a burger before, so last night (because I have Sunday nights off from cooking) The Meat Eater made us a not-very-traditional Sunday dinner of burger and chips.

The halloumi was grilled on the George Foreman, placed on top of a Linda McCartney Quarter-pounder and, to mine, I added tomato and chilli relish, mayonnaise, fried onion, lettuce, gherkin and tomato. Gorgeous.

burger 002

The burger was served with a Linda McCartney sausage, chips, mushrooms and coleslaw and was the best burger in the world ever.

burger 004

As well as the halloumi burger slices, Yamas! have plenty of other vegetarian cheese in their range (only one of their cheeses – the Graviera – isn’t labelled as suitable for vegetarians).

Continue Reading

Linda McCartney Fish-Free King Prawns

linda-mccartney-prawnsI’d heard about the new Linda McCartney Fish-Free King Prawns in their range of vegetarian and vegan food and was dying to try them out as I used to love prawns. I wasn’t expecting much though as I’d tried the (now discontinued) Redwood Scampi-Style Pieces which had the texture of any generic chicken-style meat substitute and nothing like scampi at all. They didn’t even taste the slightest bit fishy (unlike their fish-style fingers which I love).

After opening the bag, I had a sniff of the prawns and blimey, they smelt fishy. Far too fishy for me and I hoped they wouldn’t taste too fishy when cooked (I am aware that I just complained about Redwood’s Scampi-Style Pieces not being fishy enough but I don’t like my meat/fish alternatives to be too much like the real thing).


The prawns were cooked in this Fish Free King Prawns, Garlic, Chilli, Tomatoes and Rocket with Spaghetti recipe (pdf file) that I downloaded from the Linda McCartney website.

I let The Meat Eater take the first bite, he said they tasted like prawns and so I had a bite. They weren’t overly fishy but had a definite fish taste that didn’t linger too long. The texture wasn’t particularly prawn-like but a lot closer to the real thing than the Redwood Scampi-Style Pieces.

The Meat Eater enjoyed this dish and said he preferred the prawns to the burger type substitutes and although I disagree that they’re nicer than the burgers, I’ll definitely be having them again.


Linda McCartney Fish-Free Prawns are suitable for vegetarians (but not vegans) and I bought mine in Tesco for £2.50.

Continue Reading

Linda McCartney’s Weekly Favourites

A few days ago I posted about Linda McCartney’s competition to find the UK’s tastiest meat-free dish. As most of the dishes on here are from recipes found either on websites or in my collection of vegetarian cookbooks, I didn’t think I had anything to enter. But going back through my posts, I found my recipes for meatfree balls in a spicy tomato and spinach sauce and aubergine melt and duly submitted them.

Each week, ten recipes are chosen as that week’s favourites and this week both of my recipes were chosen! I thought that maybe they didn’t get many entries but I was assured on Twitter (@MeatFreeTweets) by the organisers that they get lots of entries, but not all of them make it on to the weekly favourites.

You can see my dishes, along with the other favourites, here.

Please vote for me!

Continue Reading

Help in the search for the UK’s Tastiest Meat-Free Dish

Linda McCartney foods are launching ‘The Search for the UK’s Tastiest Meat-Free Dish’ and they would love for you to be involved. They’re inviting people across the country to help create the next Linda McCartney meal. So get creative and show the UK that meat-free doesn’t have to mean taste-free.

Here’s how it works:

1. From the 15th of November 2010 until 28th January 2011 people can submit their meat-free dish online at

Each recipe has to meet some simple criteria:

  • The recipe should be a complete dish – preferably no salads or soups.
  • It should only contain vegetarian ingredients, like cheese and stock, and of course – no meat!
  • It has to be tasty!
  • People can also upload a photo

2. In February 2011, the judging panel will select what they consider to be the top 3 dishes, worthy of the title ‘The UK’s Tastiest Meat-Free Dish’.

3. Then, in Spring 2011, each finalist’s home town will be visited to film them making their recipe on the Kitchen Table. The mini-films will go on air in April on ITV. Each finalist will also win a Baumatic cooker worth up to £1,500.

4. ITV’s This Morning viewers will be invited to go online to vote and a winner will be chosen.

5. Each week the favourite dishes will feature on the website, Facebook and Twitter.

6. The winner’s dish will then be developed into a Linda McCartney product, with the winner themselves featured on the box. They will also win a beautiful Titchmarsh & Goodwin hand-made kitchen table, worth £4,000.

Continue Reading