Thursday, 21 June 2018

Substitutionary food.

I am sure that many of us remember the Bedknobs and Broomsticks spell, Substitutinary Locomotion, where Angela Lansbury  had military relics save the village, if not the country, from invaders.

Funny, entertaining and a regular film in my viewing history, almost ageless.

As you may have gathered, I am a part time vegan, part time vegetarian and full time greedy guts foodie who likes meat, fish and has a not so mild cheese addiction. I love finding new ingredients and recipes then toying with them and eating the results, mostly with pleasure.

However I have never gone down the road of Meat Substitutes. This is mainly because of a bad experience many years ago. We were on holiday on the South Coast and visiting family. After a day out on Hayling Island we were invited back for tea. We were assured that there was more than enough casserole and a few more sprigs of cauli and a couple more carrots would make enough veg.

We accepted gratefully and returned to the house, in due course the meal was served. It smelled a bit "funny" but I assumed that different herbs and seasonings to mine had been used.

   How    Wrong    Could    You    Be.

The "meat" in the casserole was in fact TVP, in the very early days of this strange product. It was an acquired taste, I did not acquire it, in fact the whole lot left my system PDQ.

I put it down to too much sun in my apologies and we left.

I expect that things have improved greatly since those days. 
They must have done as the shops seem to all have fast growing areas devoted to such stuff.
 Long gone are the days of the early incarnations of Linda McCartney veggy sausages. Not to mention the strange looking veggy rissoley things.

I saw on a podcast recently that Iceland have launched a vegan burger ", No Bull" that actually oozes red liquid when cut.

Disgustilating, is the only word that comes to mind. Apart from the fact that real burgers should be cooked through what vegan would want to see that?

The podcast that I saw this on is very entertaining and the presenter justified it by saying that newly converted vegans liked to eat familiar looking food.

I beg to disagree. In fact I think that the absolute opposite is truer.

Newly converted anything people are generally brimming over with enthusiasm and preach it from the rooftops.

We all know the new non smoker who bangs on constantly about the dangers/smell/ash etc. 

Or the new teetotaller who can quote, verbatim, large chunks of medical articles to support his or her fervour.

I can not imagine that vegans and vegetarians are any different. As a "foodie" I have to force myself not to prattle on about cooking from scratch, shopping wisely and using herbs and spices for added flavour. 
Well maybe I fail a bit in that respect, I do run on at times.

I have friends who are vegan, Will and Jess spring to mind along with their lovely daughter Ivy. All three are as healthy as can be and Ivy is a proper active little girl, I only see her still if she is eating!
There are some who are vegetarian, W for instance has been vegetarian for years. They too eat very well and are all brimming over with energy.

I only know one vegan who eats make believe meat, that is simply because she refuses to cook and lives off ready meals alternated with vast homemade dishes of beans/grains/nuts and salad. Her choice, her preference and the dishes that she comes up with are decidedly in the "tasty tasty very very tasty" zone.

I have not aimed at upsetting anyone with this post, I just do not understand why anyone who has given up using any part of any animal would want to eat something that looks like meat.

I did make the Black Banana cake, I had 4 large bananas so made just over double the recipe and made 3 cakes. Before they were completely cold I cut one, Oh My Word, let me blow my own trumpet, it was sooo good. Far too good and utterly moreish. We resisted temptation but the SO did wonder whether we should give one to W, he was only joking. At least I choose to believe that he was.

I may have eaten the little corners that fell off before finding the camera.

We settled on Pizza for dinner and in the interest of using the oven to capacity I made 2 loaves as well. 
One just basic wholemeal.
One a take on Bara Brith, with lots of cinnamon and mixed dried fruit with some candied peel and a couple of tablespoons of homemade marmalade.
The pictures refused to load. Duh.
These will NOT be cut till completely cold. 

I may have hidden the bread knife.

The butter may be hiding in the veg drawer.

Sometimes it has to be done.

Just 2 days ago this tin was full to the brim with my 10 minute cookies.

I have eaten one.

The dogs can not open the tin.


The grey skies started to clear late afternoon yesterday and this morning is bright and sunny. Woo Hoo.

A second pair of socks were cast on last night, photo later.

This pair had the ends woven in and scarcely had time to land on the little table that I use when knitting, before they were grabbed and put on.
He has a serious sock addiction.

He is very knitworthy.

I am off now to peg out my washing, deep joy, and then get the dogs out for a walk. First I will need to remove Herbie from his bed. He played most of the evening with various toys and was really tired when we went to bed. Before I was in bed he had snuggled into his and was snoring.

                           TTFN                                          Pam


  1. As. Lifelong vegetarian. 70 years plus, I never understand the idea of substitute meat, Quorn being the biggest evil of all. There are so many wonderful veggie/vegan ingredients easily available now, just wish restaurants and pubs would cotton on there is more than veggie lasagne or mushroom risotto to offer.

    1. The thought of any food group being minced up and formed into an unnatural shape mystifies me. Why not just make something amazing with mushrooms, there are so many types available now.

  2. I have always thought it strange why they make meat free items to look like meat, sausages and burgers, always seamed strange to me.
    Love the socks.

    1. It is the thought of all the different processes that these products go through, and all the pairs of hands along the way, that helps to put me off. The socks are on his feet this morning, he is a child when it comes to new socks.

  3. My daughter is a vegetarian because she hates any form of cruelty, especially to animals.
    However, before her conversion she enjoyed eating several meat dishes and she misses them. With the improved meat substitutes available now, she can still enjoy them, safe in the knowledge that nothing had suffered to provide her chicken, bacon, etc.
    She gets very upset when people criticise her taste for these "imitation meats", and cannot see why people disapprove so vociferously (not saying you are doing, but people we know do).
    She doesn't eat only these things, but surely a little of what she fancies isn't hurting her critics any more than the animals.
    Sorry - but I do get irritated with this attitude to vegetarians.

    1. Given her reasons for her dietary choice it is understandable. My main query was the fact that so many of these products are aimed at Vegans. I eat vegan at least 3 times a week but would never consider buying them. Having said that I do make several variations of "burgers", even my felafals are that shape. That is just for the ease of cooking though, I could call them patties but that name is used for small pies in our family. I love all types of legumes and enjoy them in many forms, but a beany burger with home made relish wrapped in a crisp lettuce leaf or two is a treat.

  4. Disgustilating....what a fabulous word. Not that I am vegan but I shall certainly steer clear of the No Bull burgers. Anything that oozes red liquid would turn my stomach.
    Those banana cakes look very yummy indeed.

    1. My granddaughter made that word up many years ago and it instantly became part of our vocabulary. She was preschool, possibly between 3 and 4.

  5. Bedknobs and Broomsticks was (and is to this day) one of my most favourite films, I know all the songs off by heart.

    1. That and Elf at "that time of the year" are high up on my list, not dissing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

  6. I used to blog about how 'primal eating' helped me lose a ton of weight and feel great. I even made the 'mistake' of investigating 'zero carb' eating, which was basically eating nothing BUT meat (mostly beef.) When I mentioned on my blog that I was going to try, for a brief spell, that, with an open mind, oh my would've thought I was saying I was becoming a full time cannibal. People went CRAZY. (p.s. I only lasted 3 days; the heartburn was unbearable.) Seriously crazy. They thought I'd lost all my marbles and had gone off the deep end. They thought I'd become a pathological dieter. It got so bad I basically shut that blog down. But even talk low carb in some groups, and people freak out. Literally freak out. I have learned that just wanting to share one's success about losing weight, unless you are prudently only counting calories, it's best to just not talk about it. It's as bad as discussing religion or politics. I lost a lot of blogging 'friends' overnight, literally, over just a minor curiosity. Oh well.

    And no, I wouldn't eat meat substitutes. They are chock-full of chemicals. I'd rather have the meat. But I respect one's moral principals. I just don't share them. I wish I could be more vegan; my ulcerative colitis just won't allow it, sadly.

    Great topic!

    1. I am completely neutral as to what anybody eats, it is the reasoning that intrigues me. I am basically nosy. I have lost followers over some posts, it happens. I just like a mardle about whatever is in my mind. I do not set out to offend.

  7. I'm veggie and my husband is most decidedly not. It's easier to cook two burgers - one meat one veggie sometimes and he will eat substitute meat in a chilli or bolognese sauce so we both eat that too. I'd love to try a lentil bolognese sauce on him but I fear that's a step too far :-)

    1. I got my SO to eat lentils and beans simply by using them half and half in recipes, I then steadily increased the legumes and decreased the meat. He ate vegan chilli, pasta sauces and pie fillings for months without reaction or comment. When I 'fessed up he was not bothered and asked me to try more recipes. He still eats meat, just not as much and nowhere near as often.

  8. I just cant understand why vegetarians want to put something on their plate that looks like meat when its not... its just so wrong.
    The banana cake looks delicious

  9. I love that film, definitely a timeless one. We have a mix of eat everything, vegetarians and just plain fussy eaters in our family, makes for some interesting meal combinations xx


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