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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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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Pie In The Sky

If there is one food that should be an entire food group all by itself it is the mighty pie. The pastry alone is worth writing home about. With an abundance of imaginative and cuisine-spanning fillings, there is something for every meat-eater out there. Sadly however, if there is one food that so drastically lets down the Veggie Team it is also, you guessed it, the pie!

For those of you who have seen the previous post (Banish The Bean!) and are aware of my mild(!) dislike of palming the common Vegetarian off with a Spicy Bean Burger, this apparently is not a contained issue, oh no. It has a friend, the Spicy Bean PIE!

About 3 months in to my Vegetarian journey I had been eating the same things over and over for ease as I hadn’t really looked in to the more interesting options yet (read: Quorn&Veg…daily) and while out for dinner noticed a little green V sparkling in the pastry section of the menu – Vegetable Pie and Mash? Yes please!

While I was expecting a creamy sauce and a selection of root vegetables with maybe even a cheesy mash and some gravy, what I actually ended up with was peppers shoved in a luminous orange spicy pastry, with spicy sweet potato ‘crush’

Tears were shed.

But all is not lost! It turns out that there is hope still out there!

All hail the Macaroni Cheese Pie – Thanks Scotland.

The one above was from Clarks Bakery in Dundee and is the best yet – I may even have stocked up for late night snacks. They are so, so tasty and moreish and roughly £1.50 each hot (you can get them cold too for less) They also sell a cheese and veg pie though this is not as impressive and the mix of vegetables is a little unusual, though if you’ve suffered through spicy pies for ages it is still a nice change. One thing to bare in mind is the bean and potato pie, do no be fooled – this is actually a minced beef pie TOPPED with potato and beans and thus not vegetarian like I at first thought, just palm it off on a meat-eating pie lover as they’ll enjoy it for you!