Veggie Goodies!

Since going vegetarian in June last year.. While I have not missed meat in the “dead animal” sense, I have missed certain food items where I just have not found a tasty alternative! Now I know some people find eating meat alternatives almost as bad as eating meat itself but come on… I am no clean eating health machine! I like junky stodgy gloopy food and a Quinoa and Avocado Super Salad just ain’t gonna cut it please and thank you.

So there are some downright awful foods I have been missing and the hunt has been on from day one.

And here they are –

* Spam
* Corned beef
* Fish fingers
* Black pudding
* Battered fish (think Chip Shop)
* Pies.. and I mean the type you stick with mash and gravy, none of this funny flavoured “tart” mush!

I have yet to find anything even remotely close in the veggie world, that is til now!

After a trawl around Cardiff I popped in to the indoor market to Clancy’s Vegetarian Emporium (definitely check it out!) and to my delight they stocked V-Pud – and I believe it was only £3 and some pennies. I have found it a little hard to cook as it’s much softer than its meaty friend so you have gotta be gentle. It’s also more.. spiced (almost nutmeggy) than real black pudding but then beggars can’t be choosers and for a meat free alternative it’s pretty impressive.


So that’s one thing checked off the list, on to the next! My local Holland and Barrett is, for the most part, useless – they haven’t even had a fridge/freezer section for… far too long. But all was forgiven when I came across new goodies I’d not seen before!


Well hello my pretties! It may not quite be the local chippy but it’s pretty good either way. They are surprisingly prawny for a fake food… I had them with rice and curry sauce in a sort of “chicken ball chinese” replacement and it was amazing! Next time I’m going to try them with chips and see how they compare.

NEXT! Fish Fingers!


Now if you don’t like the occasional fish fingers and mash sandwich then you may as well just give up now. Best. Food. Ever. These were pretty darn good too.. not as fishy as the prawns but flaky like fish and close enough for a good Sammy!

What else did I buy.. Polony!


Now this is as close to Spam as I think I am going to get. I think cold is not the best idea…but then neither is real Spam. Fried is a different matter – slice and fry and I’ll eat the package! Next attempt is going to be trying to batter it and fry it to recreate authentic (ish) Spam Fritters!

And finally… Mushroom Pies!


Biggest pet hate – making everything vegetarian… spiced. Spicy this, spicy that. No. Stop. I just was a proper plate of pie, mash and gravy. Is that really too much to ask? Well apparently so until I found these! Oh God yes. Pastry, check. Creamy filling, check. And not a spicy anything in sight. It is just perfect with a tonne of mash and puddles of gravy! Yay!

Sadly corned beef seems to be a thing of the past for me right now but I will keep looking!!

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13 thoughts on “Veggie Goodies!

  1. I know what you mean. I have been vegetarian for over 20 years and it has taken me some time to find alternatives to some of the things I miss. I now make tofu bacon a lot and also sausage rolls (They are brilliant but if you are British I am not sure if they would be such comfort food). I never was a fish lover but I loved fish fingers as a kid so might look out for these when I am in the UK. And I have had the polony which I found was great chopped, fried and added to split pea soup if you have fond memories of ham and pea soup.

    1. Oh my days how do you make tofu bacon?? And yes to sausage rolls! They’re quite easy to come by in a vegetarian version – there are Quorn ones which I’ve not tried or Linda McCartney do a sausage plait which is so good! Good to here the polony goes down well – I think it may become a regular!

  2. I used to live in Cardiff and here are my meat free shopping tips:

    The new Holland and Barrat in St. Davids II has a pretty good selection.
    Bean freaks on St. Mary’s Street (not far from the entrance to the Market actually) are also pretty good.

    Out of the town centre, there is a shop called Spice for Life on Inverness Place (just off Albany Road), it is an amazing treasure trove of cupboard worthy ingredients (nothing frozen or refrigerated). Of course the main thing they have are spices but whenever I am back in Wales I head there to stock up on Sos Mix. My mum used to use it when we were kids (I was bought up veggie) to make sausages, patties and sausage rolls and it kicks Quorn and friends out of the water in my opinion. Problem is that it isn’t widely sold since there are less labour intense ways to get veggie sausages now a days. Granose also do a sausage mix but it’s heavily flavoured so doesn’t provide such a versatile base. I posted about Mum’s sausage rolls a while back so if you do get some Sos Mix, I highly recommend you give her recipe a try

    1. Aw thanks so much for all the tips! I’m surprised I’ve not noticed Bean Freaks before… will go hunt them down and Spice for Life too!

      Off to have a go at sausage rolls I think 😉


  3. I love those fishless fingers (although unlike you, I find them far more fishy than the battered prawns) and if you want to make your own tofush that tastes just like fish from the chippy, I’ve got a recipe for it on my blog.

    1. As you may notice I hate veggies being palmed off with spicy stuff rather than making the effort to create a “taste” (if I’m actually going for Mexican then yay!)

      But sometimes you just want pie mash and gravy!

  4. Looks like a great selection of goodies! Sometimes you do need something stodgy like this that vegetables can’t provide 😉 Although it’s been too long since I ate meat for me to know what most of it tastes like, I enjoy fakes meats as simply another ingredient to try!

    1. I don’t think I really expect them to be meaty meaty but something that isn’t just soya with a different sprinkle… is much needed!

  5. Oh pies. Pies are one of the things that I am constantly looking for better versions of. The Sainsburys veggie ones are pretty good I’ve found… and I quite like the Quorn and mushroom pies too.

    1. There is a restaurant chain that does THE best veggie pies! Chef and Brewer… mushroom and chestnut with mash and red onion gravy. Definitely recommend them :)

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