Friday, 29 September 2017

Tofurky Meat Free Sandwiches

Tofurky have been making plant based protein products since 1980 and I love they proudly state on their website:

People, animals and the environment matter more than profit and good food is kind to people, animals, the environment and especially tastebuds.  That's exactly the kind of food we've been making at Tofurky for more than 35 years.

Tofurky are after a chunk of the £11.8 billion 'food to go' market, with the launch of their quartet of vegan sandwiches in Wholefoods London on the 2nd October 2017, with plans to expand into other retailers.   Tofurky founder Seth Tibbott said that with 28% of British consumers reducing or removing meat and dairy products from their diet, it was the perfect opportunity to provide delicious, high protein, meat free on the go lunch options, instead of conventional meat and dairy.

PlantBased2b consultancy are experts in the plant based sector, working with Tofurky to bring the sandwich range to market and they approached me to sample them.  Unfortunately with a soya allergy and them being soya based products, I was unable to partake.   However Steven as a meat reducer, who has yet to find meat free products he likes and having never tried Tofurky, is an ideal candidate.

I was sent the Chipotle Chick'n, Ham Style Salad and Chick'n & Sweetcorn, sadly the TLT (tempeh, lettuce & tomato) must have sold out, but all display The Vegan Society trademark.

27.1g protein

Chipotle Chick'n on seeded granary bread was packed with flavour, with a good punch of chilli, plenty filling, with the chicken so authentic, it was just like the real thing.
 23.2 g protein

Chick'n and sweetcorn again on seeded granary, was moist, loads of filling, lovely chicken with a good bite and plenty Veganise egg free spread.

 23.0 g protein

Ham Style Salad also on seeded granary bread, had a liberal amount of mustard and Veganise, lettuce and tomato, two slices of ham which was delicious and had a great texture.

Overall the Chipotle Chick'n and Ham Style Salad were Steven's favourite, as he is not keen on sweetcorn and his only critique was the outer crusts were a little dry, but the sandwiches were right at the end of their use by date.   He was impressed with the meat free alternatives, he thought they were far superior to others he has tried, with more bite and flavour and you would be hard pushed to distinguish them from the real thing.   As someone who is becoming more and more concerned about food provenance, animal welfare and with food safety issues regularly in the press, he can make an informed choice, as will other consumers.   The Tofurky range is a game changer and welcome addition to the meat free sandwich market.

Disclaimer:   I received free samples of this product and have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Vegavero Organic Japanese Matcha

Vegavero started life as a family business and now includes an eclectic team from around Europe, with a wide knowledge base from nutritional science to marketing.   A vegan company based in Berlin, they have an online Amazon store, offering high quality vegan food supplements, made from plant extracts, free from all animal products and registered with The Vegan Society, which gives reassurance.   The provenance of each product is fully traceable, like this matcha which is organically cultivated from Japan's Kagoshima region, then steamed, dried and shipped.

Vegavero are conscious of their carbon footprint, so their production facilities and offices operate on 100% green energy and they actively cut down on waste as far as possible.   They are also in partnership with an organisation to provide opportunities and secure jobs for the disabled.

I was lucky enough to be sent a sample of their matcha tea and being a matcha virgin I was very excited to try it.   I did a little research regarding the ritual of Japanese tea drinking, where the tea ceremony centres on the preparation, serving and drinking of matcha as hot tea, which embodies a meditative spiritual style.   Blends of matcha are given poetic names usually by the creator of the blend, or by a grand master of a particular tea tradition, so matcha tea has a rich traditional heritage.

I made matcha tea and was pleasantly surprised, with such a vivid green colour, I expected it to be bitter, yet it was delicate and smooth, with herbal overtones and quite soothing.

Next up was a smoothie, after a thorough search on Google and my kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer, the recipe called for matcha, almond milk, medjool dates, banana, peanut butter and some spinach.   This is one nutrient packed glassful and a great start to the day, its a cocktail of protein, antioxidants, calcium, iron the list goes on, sadly my photo was not the best.

I tried matcha latte next, recipe courtesy of Deliciously Ella, though I used maple syrup to replace the honey, it perked me up after a busy morning in the kitchen cooking.

I am not sure what a Japanese grand master would think of matcha in a dip, but I had no spirulina powder for the recipe.   The base of the dip was avocado, jazzed up with the green and taste of the matcha, it worked really well, layered in chickpea crepes, with fried mushrooms.

I also found an interesting recipe for spring vegetable macedonia with matcha dressing, I never knew matcha was such a versatile product, I thought you just made tea with it.

I am a matcha convert, in fact it has toppled green tea from the number one spot, as it is much more versatile for not only drinks, but in cooking too.

Disclaimer:   I received free samples of this product and have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Friday, 22 September 2017


When I saw this recipe in Vegan Food & Living magazine, I had to make it as aubergines are one of my favourite vegetables.   I changed the recipe slightly and doubled up on the quantity, so I could freeze some, as it is quite a long process and easier to make a large portion.

1 onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves crushed
1 carrot finely chopped
400 g can cannellini beans
400 g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
150 ml vegetable stock
1 tsp dried parsley
½ tsp cinnamon
3 medium potatoes thinly sliced
1 large aubergine thinly sliced
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
150 g cashew nuts
Salt and pepper

Serves 4

Heat the oven to 180º.   Spread the aubergine and potato slices onto an oiled baking tray, drizzle with a tablespoon of oil and cook until browned and tender when pierced with a knife.

Put the remaining oil in a pan and saute the onion, carrot and two garlic cloves for 10-15 mins, until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are cooked.   Add the tomato puree, cinnamon and parsley and cook for another 10 mins on a low heat.

Add the chopped tomatoes, beans and their liquid and a good grind of salt and pepper and cook for 10-15 mins, so the liquid evaporates and the sauce is concentrated.

Spoon a third of the bean mixture into a deep baking dish, spread out evenly and cover with half the potato slices.

Add another third of bean mixture, then the aubergines, a last layer of bean mixture and the remaining potato slices.

Blend the cashew nuts, last garlic clove, vegetable stock and salt and pepper, until you have a smooth sauce.

Pour the cashew sauce over the top of the dish and carefully spread to completely cover the potatoes.

Bake for 30-45 mins depending on your oven, until golden brown, covering with tinfoil for the last 10 mins, if the top is browning too quickly.

The cashew topping is a revelation, almost like a crumbly pastry and could be used in many other dishes.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Tg Green Teas

Tg Green Teas is the inspiration of Dr Hua He a qualified doctor, who grew up fully aware of the benefits of green tea and Sophia Nadur, who worked in the corporate food and drinks sector.   As a team they have a wealth of knowledge, about the goodness that teas, fruits and botanicals have on the human body.

Tg Teas are a member of the Ethical Tea partnership, a non commercial alliance of international tea companies, ensuring social and environmental sustainability.   They have won many awards including Best Wellbeing Tea 2017 in the Beauty Shortlist Awards and 3 Gold Stars in the 2015/2016 Great Taste Awards.

Tg Teas make a range of organic green and iced teas, which have no preservatives or additives and are seeking organic certificates, so future pouches will carry EU Bio and USDA accreditation and I was lucky enough to be sent samples.

The bottles, caps and labels are recyclable and made from 20% recycled plastic, but they are looking to have a biodegradable bottle by 2018.   They are looking for more sustainable packaging and looking for even better ecofriendly solutions and with the teas being brewed and packed in the UK, their carbon footprint is low, compared to many competitors.

So on to the taste, well I have never had iced tea and was a little hesitant if it would be my thing, but I loved the mandarin and ginseng.   The tea is so invigorating, with lovely herbal and citrus undertones, not sweet at all and perfect whilst riding on my turbo trainer working up a sweat and needing some refreshment.

The tea leaves are packed in pyramid bags, in non transparent pouches to ensure the fresh clean taste is preserved, as green tea deteriorates once exposed to light.   I am unclear as to the material composition of either the bags or pouches and was unable to find this information on Tg Teas website, maybe they could let me know, so I can update this review.

The teas are delicate, light and not as strong as many green teas, which are sometimes a little astringent, but Tg Teas are more refined.   I offered the green tea to our neighbours, when they called round and they loved it, personally I loved all three flavours, especially the ginger and lemon zest.

I love my tea and am drinking more and more herbal and botanical teas and Tg Tea are certainly a great product, with excellent environmental credentials and well worth a try.

Disclaimer:   I received free samples of this product and have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Good Full Stop Snack Bars

Good Full Stop make a range of fruit and nut snack bars, made in Devon and are gluten and dairy free, vegetarian and of course vegan friendly.   They are made from dates, nuts and other delicious ingredients, count towards one of your five a day and are available in these fabulous flavours.

Cherry Sweet & Cherry Good (Cherry & Maple)
Sun Kissed & Good (Choc & Orange)
Chocolate Is Twice As Good (Double Choc)
Very Nutty & Very Good (Mixed Nuts)
I'm Berry Berry Good (Raspberry)
Cool Minty & Good (Choc & Mint)
Full Of Beans & So Good (Mocha & Caffeine)
Devilishly Hot & Good (Double Choc & Chilli)
I'm Red Hot & Very Good (Fiery Choc & Chilli)

I was lucky enough to be sent all the flavours to sample and they came in handy this week, when out and about and no vegan snacks were to be found.   The bars are excellent when travelling, easy to pop into your bag and do not disintegrate into a crumbly mess, should they get squashed.

I enjoyed all the flavours, some more than others, but to be fair anything made with dates and nuts, I am a sucker for.   The stand out ones for me, being a chilli addict and because they packed a punch were Devilishly Hot And Good and I'm Hot And Very Good, possibly too hot for some, they said they were hot and they were, absolutely delicious.   I also loved I'm Cool Minty And Good and Cherry Sweet And Cherry Good.   I love the chewy moisture texture and from cyclist Steven, who of course had to get in on the tasting act, they got a big thumbs up, as there are no crumbs to choke on when cycling.

The market for snack bars is very competitive, with the bigger brands taking the lions share, but I think Good Full Stop are a real contender to give them a run for their money and I prefer to support the smaller independents anyway.

If you fancy tickling your taste buds, with some Good Full Stop, blog readers can get a massive 50% off their first order, by quoting GFSBLOG at the checkout.

Disclaimer:   I received free samples of this product and have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.