taste testing banner

 

Store-bought Goodies

In October this year we hosted a festive sampling day at our headquarters, and invited a number of Vegetarian Society members along to sample some of the veggie store-bought offerings available this Christmas. Over the coming weeks we’ll be adding more of the results from the day to this page…

 

Veggie Christmas ready-made (16 Dec) - Veggie Christmas ready-made!

Let's get this party started (13 Dec) - Tried and tested snacks and sweet treats

Love a Christmas roast? (24 Nov) – Round up of the nut roasts from our sampling day

What was sampled? (14 Nov) – List of all products sampled by our taste-testers

 

Veggie Christmas ready-made!

Our taste-testers perfect Christmas shopping list

16 December 2016

Whether you’re having your first veggie Christmas or your fortieth, the Vegetarian Society has been finding out what’s in the shops to help make the festive season easy, tasty and veggie. There are lots of ready-made meat-free options out there, so everyone can be full of Christmas cheer. 
To help you discover what’s on the shelves for the festive season, the Vegetarian Society invited some of its members along to a taste-testing panel to give their thoughts on a few of the ready-made options available. So to help you keep everyone happy, welcome and well fed, here’s a selection of what’s available this year…


Here’s the panel’s perfect Christmas shopping list: 

Soup

Organic Hearty French Country Vegetable Soup by Amy’s Kitchen* 

Amys soup small
 
 
Our panel said:

“Thick and lots of ingredients.” “Filled with a nice mixture of veg and beans.” “Excellent for the boxing day walk – perfect in a thermos.” “Very wholesome.”

Available from:  Ocado  Price: £2.00  Vegan  
 
Party food

V-Bites 48 Piece Party Pack*

v bites
  
Our panel said:
“A great looking party platter! I don’t know where to start.” “A clear favourite for me – I’d buy this for a party.” “Good selection.” “Would be good at a party.”

Available from: www.vbitesfoods.com   Price: £12.99 Vegan
 
Liberation Nuts

Fairtrade Chilli and Lime Cashews with Peanuts and Corn

Nuts, Pear, Dark Chocolate and Ginger. 

Liberty nuts
 

Our panel said:
“Salty and spicy too!” “Lots of variety.” “A burst of textures.” “Love it!” “A good selection of fruits, nut and chocolate.” “Nice textures and contrast.” “Liked the very strong ginger.”

Available from: www.liberation.traidcraftshop.co.uk   Price: £0.90  Vegan

Main courses

Rich flavour - Fry’s Soy and Quinoa Country Roast*

Frys roast Christmas
 
 
Our panel said:
“Has the look of a meatloaf, would make a strong side or centre dish.” “Smells herby and is very tasty.”

Available from: Morrisons, Ocado, Holland and Barrett    Price: £4.99  Vegan
 

Christmas made easy - Linda McCartney Foods – Vegetarian Roast* 

linda mccartney roast

Our panel said:
“A lovely blend of flavours, savoury with a hint of sweetness, a nice glaze.” “Good texture easy to slice and has a great topping.” 

Available from: Tesco, Waitrose    Price: £4

Side Dishes 

Carrot and Parsnip Mash by Mash Direct*

Mash Direct

Our panel said:
“Would serve on the day and save the hassle.” “ Great vibrant colour.” “Would have as an addition to Christmas dinner for sure.” “Just like freshly made.”

Available from: Sainsburys or check mashdirect.com   Price: £1.40   
 
Drinks

Cranberry Norfolk Punch* 

Norfolk Punch

Our panel said:
“Fruity and Christmassy.” “Nice and festive and very enjoyable.” “I would buy it at Christmas for parties. Tasty non-alcoholic drink.”

Available from: Norfolkpunch.com  Price: £41.94 for a case of six
 
Sweet treats

Jealous Sweets – Christmas Cracker Mixed Sweets *

Jealous sweets

Our panel said:
“Looks very attractive and fun. Glad to see this sort of sweet without gelatine.” “Great range of flavours. Sweet, sour and delicious.” “Very exciting!”
Available from: www.thejealouslife.com   Price: £8.99  Vegan
 
Divine Fairtrade Chocolate with Spiced Cookies

divine
 
Our panel said:
“Wow! Great chocolate with a fantastic crunch.” “Very good, smooth with crispy bits.” “Creamy chocolatey taste.” “ Nice with a bit of a kick.” 

Available from: www.divinechocolate.com  Price: £2.19 
 
Desserts

Mince Pie Dairy Ice Cream by Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury

 
Our panel said:“Very smooth and creamy.” “A unique flavour.” “Really indulgent.Perfect for Christmas.” “Light, fresh, lovely tang would serve this at home.” 
Available from: Sainsbury’s Price: £2.85
 
Cheese

Wensleydale Style with Cranberries Sheese by Bute Island*



Our panel said:
“Beautiful.” “This cheese epitomises the taste of Christmas for me.” “Even when I’m full I’d still find some space for this.”

Available from: Check buteisland.com or available at Holland and Barrett   Price: RRP £2.50  Vegan

 (*Indicates that these products carry the Vegetarian Society Approved Trademark) 

 

Let’s get this party started!

Tried and tested snacks and sweet treats

13 December  2016
 
Are you thinking of having a party this Christmas? Or getting a few friends together over the festive season? Perhaps you’re planning a cosy Boxing Day under the duvet with a mug of hot chocolate and that long anticipated boxset you got in your stocking? Whether it’s a big or small gathering, as the Christmas season kicks in and winter brings those long nights,  it’s the perfect time to gather a few nibbles, snacks and sweet treats, ready to share  - or maybe not - but what veggie delights are in the shops?

To help you discover what’s on the shelves for the festive season, the Vegetarian Society invited some of its members along to a taste-testing panel to give their thoughts on a few of the snacks and sweet treats around for Christmas. So here’s the panel’s verdict on veggie and vegan sweet treats and snacks that could make up your very own seasonal selection box.


Our party food selection box:

V-Bites

v bites

48 Piece Party Pack*

Our panel said:“A great looking party platter! I don’t know where to start.” “A clear favourite for me – I’d buy this for a party.” “Good selection.” “Would be good at a party.”Available from: www.vbitesfoods.com   Price: £12.99 Vegan

Liberation Nuts

Liberty nuts
Fairtrade Chilli and Lime Cashews with Peanuts and Corn

Nuts, Pear, Dark Chocolate and Ginger.

Our panel said:“Salty and spicy too!” “Lots of variety.” “A burst of textures.” “Love it!”““A good selection of fruits, nut and chocolate.” “Nice textures and contrast.” “Liked the very strong ginger.”Available from: www.liberation.traidcraftshop.co.uk   Price: £0.90  Vegan


Fry’s – Cocktail sausage rolls

Frys

Our panel said:“Good crunch.” “Classic sausage roll.” “Good and chunky.” “Great substitute for those who miss a sausage roll.” Available from: Morrison's/Ocado/Holland and Barrett   Price: £3.49  Vegan


Jealous Sweets – Christmas Cracker Mixed Sweets*

Jealous sweets

Our panel said:“Looks very attractive and fun. Glad to see this sort of sweet without gelatine.” “Great range of flavours. Sweet, sour and delicious.” “Very exciting!”Available from: www.thejealouslife.com   Price: £8.99  Vegan


Primal Pantry*

primal pantry

Cocoa Orange Paleo Bar

Mixed Berries Paleo Bar


 Our panel said:“A brilliant light , tasty snack-brilliantly balanced.” “Great explosion of flavours.” “Would have this with a black coffee.” “Good taste of dates.” “One to eat on a long hike over Xmas.” “Tempting!” Available from: Ocado  Price: £1.49  Vegan


Jelly Bean Factory – Christmas Jelly Bean Selection*

Our panel said:“Very tasty and fruity.” “Good festive flavours.” “Delicious perfect stocking fillers!” “ Very festive and tempting.” “I’ll be buying lots of these.” Available from: www.jellybeanfactory.com   Price: £8.62


Divine Fairtrade

divine

Chocolate with Spiced Cookies

Our panel said:“Wow! Great chocolate with a fantastic crunch.” “Very good, smooth with crispy bits.” “Creamy chocolatey taste.” “ Nice with a bit of a kick.” Available from: www.divinechocolate.com  Price: £2.19 


(*Indicates that these products carry the Vegetarian Society Approved Trademark)





Love a Christmas roast?

Tried and tested, here's the veggie savoury six

24 November 2016

Christmas planning is now well underway and for many the nut roast is a classic choice for a festive centrepiece - but not everyone wants to cook from scratch. Maybe you’re catering for yourself but prefer to kick back and spend time opening presents rather than weighing ingredients. Or perhaps you have veggie or vegan guests for Christmas and want to share a drink with them instead of being chained to a cooker. Well the Vegetarian Society have been finding out what’s in the shops to make the festive season easy, tasty and veggie.

Don’t worry, there are lots of ready-made meat-free roast options out there, so everyone can be full of Christmas cheer. To help you discover what’s on the shelves for the festive season, the Vegetarian Society invited some of its members along to a taste-testing panel to give their thoughts on a few of the ready-made options available. So to help you keep everyone happy, welcome and well fed, what’s available this year? It doesn’t always have to be a nut roast. Here’s the panel’s verdict on six veggie and vegan seasonal savoury roasts.

However, if you are a nut roast lover and fancy donning an apron, the Vegetarian Society have an easy to make vegan and gluten-free recipe – it’s from the delicious Festive Flavours recipe collection (available to order on this website for free). Or if you prefer to hang-up your apron and take the weight off your feet at Christmas then you’ll be able to get the lowdown on the favourite ready-made veggie products available in the shops this Christmas.

Nut lovers unite - Thank Goodness Vegan Nut Roast*

thank goodness roast

 

Our panel said:
“This has the look of a classic nut roast.” “A lovely taste, has a smooth texture with a hidden crunch.” “Nut lovers unite!”
Available from: Whole Foods Market

Price: £5.60. Vegan

 

Festive and Spicy - Suma Gluten-free Nut Roast*

suma roast

Our panel said:
“A great colour with a herby, crunchy taste.” “It’s festive and spicy.” “Nice and nutty.”
Available from: EthicalSuperstore.com and health food shops

Price: £2.94. Vegan

 

Rich flavour - Fry’s Soy and Quinoa Country Roast*

frys roast

 

Our panel said:
“Has the look of a meatloaf, would make a strong side or centre dish.” “Smells herby and is very tasty.”
Available from: Morrisons, Ocado, Holland and Barrett

Price: £4.99. Vegan

 

Feels home-made -  Riverford Nut Roast

riverford roast

 

Our panel said:
“Just the ticket, it feels home-made and warming.” “Only a small portion needed as its quite heavy and moist.” “It’s filled with nuts and veg.”
Available from: Riverford.co.uk

Price: £7.95. Vegan

 

Good for a family meal - V-Bites Seed Roast* 

vbites roast

 

Our panel said:
“This has a crumbly, friendly home-made look, with a rich taste.” “Classic nut roast appearance.” “Good to see the sunflower seeds.”
Available from: Vbitesfoods.com

Price: £4.99. Vegan

 

Christmas made easy - Linda McCartney Foods – Vegetarian Roast* 

linda mccartney roast

 

Our panel said:
“A lovely blend of flavours, savoury with a hint of sweetness, a nice glaze.” “Good texture easy to slice and has a great topping.” 
Available from: Tesco, Waitrose

Price: £4


(*Indicates that these products carry the Vegetarian Society Approved Trademark)

 

 

What was sampled?

14 November 2016

Below is a list of all of the products which were taste-tested on the sampling day.

 
 

Party Food & Soups

Amy's Kitchen

Organic Quinoa, Kale & Red Lentil Soup *

Organic Hearty French Country Vegetable Soup*

Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup *

VBites

48 Piece Party Pack *

Frys

Cocktail Sausage Rolls *

Linda McCartney Foods

Vegetarian Red Onion and Rosemary Sausage Plaits *

Liberation Nuts

Fairtrade Nuts, Pear, Dark Chocolate and Ginger

Fairtrade Chilli & Lime Cashews with Peanuts & Roasted Corn *

Pombear Crisps

Snowmen Pombear

 

Main courses

Linda McCartney Foods

Vegetarian Roast *

Vegetarian Sausages *

Suma

Savoury Nut Roast *

Gluten Free Nut Roast *

Thank Goodness Ltd

Vegan Nut Roast *

Luxury Nut Roast *

Frys

Soy and Quinoa Country Roast *

VBites

Seed Roast *

Turkey Style Burgers with Lemon and Thyme *

Riverford Organic

Nut Roast

 

Side Dishes

Bisto

Gravy

Mash Direct

Carrot and Parsnips Mash *

Mash Potato *

Bauble Bites (cheese and cranberry) *

Bauble Bites (beetroot and kale) *

Brussels Sprouts *

Red Cabbage and Beetroot *

Tesco

Brussels sprouts (frozen)

Christmas Potato Shapes

Ocean spray

Whole Cranberry Sauce

Riverford Organic

Organic Cranberry Sauce

 

Drinks

BLOOM

Ultra Cleanse Matcha *

Chillout Rooibos *

Norfolk Punch

Original - Fruit Punch Drink (non-alchoholic) *

Cranberry - Fruit Punch Drink (non-alchoholic) *

Apple - Fruit Punch Drink (non-alchoholic) *

Desserts

Riverford

Mince Pies

Organic Christmas pudding

Sainsburys

Mince Pies (Free From)

Mince Pie Dairy Ice cream

Swedish Glace

Vanilla Non Dairy Frozen Dessert *

Lillypuds

Gluten Free Christmas Pudding

Low Sugar Christmas Pudding

 

Cheese & Crackers

Riverford

Cenarth Brie

Scheese / Bute Island

Cheddar with Caramelised Red Onion *

Wensleydale Style with Cranberries *

Unisnack / Wellabys

'Simple Bakes' Crackers *

Thank Goodness Ltd

Honeyed Cashew Pâté *

Twinehams

Italian Style Hard Cheese *

 

Snacks & Sweet Treats

Primal Pantry

Mixed Berries Paleo Bar *

Cocoa Orange Paleo Bar *

Divine

Milk Chocolate with Spiced Cookies

Dark Chocolate Coins

Dark Chocolate with Pink Himalayan Salt

Jelly Bean Factory

Christmas Jelly Bean Selection 

Jealous Sweets

Christmas Cracker Mixed Sweets *  

 

 

All products marked with a * carry the Vegetarian Society Approved trademark

vegsoc approved trademark

Wherever you see the Vegetarian Society Approved trademark displayed, you can be assured that product or dish is vegetarian. The trademark is only licensed to those products that meet the Vegetarian Society's strict criteria, which means it can provide real confidence to the consumer. It is also the only vegetarian trademark that is legally governed by a licence agreement.

Please answer our two short questions below, to help us evaluate our Christmas project

 

Create your own user feedback survey

 
 

 

//]]>