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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

FOOD | Going meat-free with Fry's Family Foods

As I mentioned recently, I decided to take on another foodie challenge and this time around, it was to take on the Fry's Family Food challenge of eating seven days of meat-free dinners. I'm happy to say that I succeeded! It was actually super easy thanks to the goodies I got sent, making the transition a whole lot easier than I thought it would be.

Here's my food diary for the week.

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Now, what I forgot to remember when I placed this pie in the oven on my first day of going meat free, was how rank Linda McCartney's vegan pies are (just the pies - the rest of the range is nice). But I persevered and had the pie with some rocket salad and some chips. The mushroom pie was actually filled with tons of flavour and the mushrooms were super yummy. I don't know why there was a substitute meat in there, as a veggie pie would have been just as nice without, and I don't know what it is exactly but it was the same thing used in Linda McCartney's. Though it wasn't as bad with all the flavour, it still left a bit of an aftertaste but overall the pie was nice.

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These sausages were super super delicious and I honestly didn't notice the difference between these and normal sausages. I made hot dogs out of them with onion, cheese and tomato sauce and was pleasantly surprised. I think they would have been just as nice on there own or without additional flavour, like in a fry up, which I'm definitely debating for this weekend. This is one product that amazes me - switching from normal sausages to veggie ones makes literally no difference whatsoever with taste or texture, but is for a good cause. This is something I'll continue to buy in future. 

Note - I had a look online and realized they do actually do specific hot dog sausages but never mind. 

I'd had a long day today and also went to the gym after work, so decided to cheat a bit and get some chips from the chip shop on the way home, calling my dad ahead of time and asking him to put the nuggets on for me. It probably wasn't the healthiest option, but was still healthier then eating meat. This again ties in with the fact that without proper meal planning, after a long day at work, I don't want to spend ages working out what will and won't go with certain foods. As I've said before, I'm definitely not the type of person to throw things together, hence why half the week was spent eaten chips.

Still, despite the fact that I used lashings of salt and vinegar, and generous dollops of tomato sauce, these 'chicken' nuggets were pretty nice and I barely noticed the difference.

Confession - I don't even know what schnitzels are - vegan or otherwise. I assume they're maybe some kind of sausage? Anyway, whatever these vegan alternatives were, they were delicious. I love anything breaded too and found the crumbled...ness had lots of flavour. Still, I wasn't too sure what would go with them so I searched the #FrysSchnitzles hashtag on Instagram and found tons of ideas. Mushroom sauce seemed to be a popular choice and I love mushrooms, so naturally I went for that. I actually used mushroom soup as a sauce, with every intention to add some flour to thicken it up, but as it goes it was quite thick naturally. So I chopped up some additional mushrooms and added some thin chips along with it - delicious.

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These two days, I wasn't actually home for dinner as I had dates. Although I wasn't home to eat any of the Fry's family foods, I did stick to my veggie guns, even when grabbing fries from Five Guys and drooling unnecessarily (not really, I wouldn't dream of drooling on a date) over their burgers. Friday was a bit hit and miss because I went straight from work and didn't have the motivation for a proper meal so just grabbed something on the go. I found being veggie much easier then being vegan in this sense because it's pretty damn obvious what foods do and don't have meat in them.

Saturday me and my other date (I know, I'm a hussy) stayed in and ordered veggie pizza which is quite possibly the first time in my whole entire life I've ordered a) pizza that isn't pepperoni and b) pizza from Pizza Hut as opposed to Dominoes. It was lush though. I am (maybe) a changed woman when it comes to my pizza habits.

On my seventh and final day of being veggie, I got back into the flow of cooking things again, since I had the whole day free and not just, y'know, the evening after work. I took an old favourite with the veggie alternative and made burgers - simple, filling and a nice end to the week.

Overall, I found going veggie for the week super easy and I don't think that's just because I know how hard it is going vegan. I think when I went vegan, I was harder on myself and was determined to not substitute things, whereas having an introduction to meat alternatives that week has definitely helped. It made me realize that it's still super healthy because it's an alternative so although you're not full on choosing super healthy completely vegetable based meals and nothing else, you're still not having meat.

The veggie range from Fry's Family Foods definitely made the whole thing a lot easier and I think for anyone considering just trying out giving up meat, this is definitely the way to go. It can be the perfect way to detox, if even just for a week, and a really easy introduction into giving up meat for good. I also feel like for those wanting to go a step further, perhaps committing yourself to being veggie with Fry's Family Foods for a while before going vegan, this is the perfect 'stepping stone' into that. I certainly wish I had done the same! 

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  1. So great ideas for substituting meat with other things :) H x

  2. We've never tried Fry's food but we try to have meat free days a few times a week. They look great!

  3. that pie looks so fresh and im sure it tasted even better

  4. The mushroom pies sound great i'd love to try those.

  5. These sound like some delicious ideas - I could definitely see myself trying some of them out. x

  6. These dishes sound really good. I think trying those schnitzels would be fun. I'm not familiar with them!

  7. I'm not that familiar with Fry's, but these all look lovely! Being vegetarian is easy really :)

  8. I think I'd really struggle to eat ready meals for seven days in a row. Home made is definitely the way forward, especially when going vegetarian, I believe. Still, there's a time and a place for ready meals like these and I'm liking the sound of the pies!

  9. I am a vegetarian but I have never tried Fry's range before. I am curious to know how did your dates go?


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