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Thread: Considering going veggie - advice please!

  1. #1
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    Question Considering going veggie - advice please!

    Lots of reasons - I don't think a diet based predominantly on animal proteins is healthy or sustainable, vegetarianism has been shown fairly often to be a healthy diet in terms of heart/kidney/cholesterol issues, can't get decent bacon in NZ anyway

    However one thing I used to use a lot in the UK was quorn mince/sausages - and as I'm not living in Auckland, I can't get them here. I have tried the veggie sausage things they sell in Countdown and they were fairly revolting.

    So - vegetarians in NZ, what do you use for mince substitutes? and "shove under the grill from the freezer" type things?

    Anyone got any good recipes they'd care to share?

  2. #2
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    If you can find tempeh (usually in fridge section near tofu of classy New World's) I find grating that is really really nice for spag bol and lasagne 'meaty' type sauces. It's also really really good for you! When I can't get hold of that (I have to go to the other end of Hamilton and buy several boxes at once to freeze it) I use puy or brown lentils as they hold their texture and don't go floury like red ones, which I'm not fond of.

    I also use finely chopped mushrooms either on their own or in conjunction with the above both because it's healthy and scrummy nad because it can reduce costs.

    There's a company that make meat patties that you buy in silver packets from the frozen food section and they also make a decent lentil pattie. Again I have to go to PaknSave in Hamilton to get them and buy a few packs at once.

    Which veggie sausages did you try? There's Cauldron Foods ones from the fridge aisle and they are delicious- come in different flavours and are really good (IMO!).

  3. #3
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    Not sure that quorn is even available in Auckland is it?

    Anyway, we haven't found a mince substitute, but we've not looked. Lasagne we put veggies in there instead of any meat/meat substitute. We get the haloumi from Countdown and have that grilled on an avocado salad with some nice fresh salad leaves. The marinated tofu (honey and ginger especially) is great in a stif fry. Just add some frozen stir fry veggies from the freezer section.

    There is a lack in 'ready meals' in the form of the quorn kievs, but until you posted then I'd not thought of them.

    Oh, and countdown in Tga have started selling paneer, so that's fine as a substitution in curries, although it's not quite the same as the UK. Feta seems a lot more creamy too.

  4. #4
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    PS "shove under the grill from the freezer" veggie food doesn't really exist here and when it does it's junk. Our 'fast food' dinner is jacket spud, beans, cheese and broccoli. Or cooked pasta combined with chick peas and a tomato-cheesy sauce and baked.

    Sam B has a killer pasta-pizza sauce that we make almost monthly and use throughout. I use tins of 'delmaines' three bean mix to go on top of the pizza sauce and cheese and serve with salad- this sound odd but is really really good.

    Just thought of another fairly quick dinner (on a roll now): buy tins of 'chili' beans (think they're watties here- mixed beans in a chili sauce) adn combine with frozen mixed veggies and cooked sausages (optional) and some three bean mix and a little tomato sauce (I use Sam B's special these days) put all in a baking dish and top with cooked sliced spuds and grated cheese. Apart from cooking the spuds (and sausages) this dinner takes minutes to assemble.

    HTH KatieBen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan74 View Post
    Feta seems a lot more creamy too.
    Mmm, and most of it's made from cow milk or the sheep/ goat stuff costs double.

  6. #6
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    Quorn suppliers in Auckland.

    Can't remember which sausages we tried - they were very much longer than the "normal" ones and I think were labelled 'Braai'. The taste was OK but the texture was distinctly off.

    Will try looking for tempeh thanks for all suggestions!

    (tried to rep you Kanga but apparently I have to spread it around!)
    Last edited by KatieBen; 3rd April 2011 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Afterthought

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatieBen View Post
    Quorn suppliers in Auckland.

    Can't remember which sausages we tried - they were very much longer than the "normal" ones and I think were labelled 'Braai'. The taste was OK but the texture was distinctly off.

    Will try looking for tempeh
    Ah, yes. I think you want to look for the ones in the white papery packets that are a bit dearer

    Quorn is scum, we're better off without it! It was developed by ICI, which the cynic in me thinks says it all ...

  8. #8
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    I don't really use any meat substitutes, and to be honest, nothing we eat seems to be quick (too foodie in this house), but if you aren't doing it for animal love, then fish is always quick and easy - dip fillets in egg and breadcrumbs and shallow fry. The quickest thing we make is a tuna pasta (obviously not veggie, but if you do stick with fish ...) which has a quick tomato sauce with chilli and lemon zest in it (Jamie dish).

    My tomato sauce referred to by Heather is an old recipe a friend gave me, and we make it in bulk every 6th week or so, then freeze it in batches. The quantities when taken down to the simplest are 1 big tin of tomatoes, 1 onion, big knob of butter - put in a saucepan, leave onion whole but with skin off and boil slowly with lid off until very reduced. Remove onion, add a clove of minced garlic, 1 teaspn of red wine vinegar, a glug of olive oil and a spoon of sugar, salt and pepper. If you boil it down further it makes a lovely pizza topping. The less boiled down version is for pasta, or in lasagnes
    etc. We live off it. If you make it in bulk, it can take most of the day to reduce down properly, and the onions need removing after a couple of hours or they disintegrate.

  9. #9
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    We've never been able to get hold of Cauldron Food veggie sausages here. The best ones we've come across in NZ are the Bean Supreme brand. The other main brand is Soy Works, but we don't rate them highly. We also use grated tempeh for mince type meals, and in most supermarkets you can find dehydrated TVP for quick meals, although obviously not the healthiest of meat substitutes. We also use brown lentils and pulses alot, and have adapted tons of recipes to include them.

    These are some of my kids favourites which we make up different variationd in batches and freeze:
    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives...up-recipe.html
    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives...up-recipe.html

    The lentil one is also very nice when done with moroccan spices and mint yoghurt on top.

    As for quick meals....probably the most frequent thing we make in a hurry is stir fried frozen veggie mix (the fresh veggies have not been so cheap this year) with the Bean supreme marinated tofu, sliced up into cubes, which we usually chuck over some rice. My kids also LOVE rice and beans type of meals, and like Kanga, when in a hurry we just throw in a tin of mixed beans/chickpeas. There is very little choice in bung-in-the-oven type of food here, and it's mostly unhealthy stuff, so we don't go there apart from some hash browns as a very occasional treat. Another quick meal would be some fresh pasta with a sauce, which can be made in under 10 minutes. And you can get several flavours of falafal mix here, which we sometimes make up in a large batch (baked in oven, not fried) and serve with a large salad with a yoghurt dip, and the extras are a good alternative to sandwiches for packed lunches with crudites.

    Probably the biggest challenge with being veggie is not eating too much cheese.....we love the stuff, but there is a danger of relying on it too much as a protein source when you don't eat meat. We try and use alternatives like hummus and lentil pate type of stuff for sandwiches some days.

  10. #10
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    Oh yes, I forgot about the felafals. We buy the tubs of stuff that you just form into balls and though it says fry we put in the oven. They're with the veggie sausages/ tofu etc. FoM- do I mean cauldron foods or do I mean bean supreme? I'm not sure- we had the parmesan and red onion flavour last night. We have the felafals with salads, cous cous that sort of thing.

    I make Sam B's sauce in about two- three hours on low- can't make my hob go low enough for it to take all day and it seems to do the job. We use 2-3 double cans of toms at a time and cook it for a little while after adding the garlic. It's so delish!

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