“ Brand: Goodlife / Type: Vegetarians „
This is yet another product I bought after reading a favourable Dooyoo review. I was not disappointed.
I found the pack in the vegetarian frozen section at Sainsburys. They cost me around £2.50 - which I think is quite expensive comparatively; most veggie and vegan convenience food usually is under £2 in supermarkets. Also, there were only two cutlets in the pack. In many other packs, there are at least four cutlets/burgers. However, I had already decided I wanted to taste them and I bought them.
The 'roasts' come in quite a compact recyclable box. There is an appetizing image of the 'roasts' on the front and an attractive description: ' A delicious combination of butternut squash, peanuts, cashew nuts and almonds served with a tangy oven roasted tomato sauce'. I think that this is quite an accurate description of them. The box announces that they are inspired by the chef, Paul Gayler who, I think, was one of the first chefs to create pure vegetarian dishes for his customers. I write, 'I think' as the text and font on the back of the box telling you about this is very, very small! The box also gives a list of ingredients, nutritional info, cooking instructions and a posh serving suggestion - even recommending a couple of wines that might go with the meal! Clearly this is no bog-standard convenience dinner.
Inside the box is a cellophane wrapper containing the roasts and two tomato sauce sachets.
They were very easy to cook - just place in a medium oven for 30-35 minutes. The sauce packs need to be popped in a pan of boiling water for two mins. The product is not suitable for microwave cooking.
Eating the roasts
I have got to say, the roast I ate was delicious. Not only did it taste good but it had a great texture. The softness of the butternut squash combined well with the harder texture of the many different nuts. I have never before tasted a veggie convenience food that had this fully nutty texture. I was aware, when eating it, that at one point, my mouth was full of different nuts and chomping on them was a delight! The sauce that is poured over each roast,was a tasty compliment to the roasts - rich and full flavoured - and just the right sort of tomato taste to go on the chunky nuts of the roasts. If I had been served this in a restaurant with some interesting salad or side dishes I would have been very satisfied. This is saying something - as I am often disappointed with food served in cafes.
The box claims that the product is made using only ingredients that you could find in your own store cupboard. I appreciate this commitment as it means that there are no nasties in the roasts. The ingredient list is actually full of things that are in my cupboard (why didn't I make this myself then? Mnnn - it would take me a long time to get a meal as good as this).
The ingredients are all vegan - and the company that makes these roasts, 'Goodlife', only uses a meat-free environment - fabulous! They are Vegetarian Society approved.
I feel that I do need to flag up the fat content of each roast. The box details it as 15g of fat in each roast - which is quite high compared to the 4g that can be found in some veggie burgers. However, much of this fat is the kind that is necessary for heart, circulation and brain health (Omega 3 and 6) and only 2.8g is actually saturated fat. I wish that more distinction was made concerning these fats; perhaps Omega 3 and 6 should be called something other than a 'fat'!
I loved these roasts. Each portion is sizable and every mouthful is a textured and full flavoured experience. What more could you want from a meal? They are quite pricey - but well worth it as it would be time consuming and quite expensive to actually create these in your own kitchen - especially if you were oven roasting tomatoes and the like.
Goodlife Butternut Squash Roasts are a product from an ethical company, and one which I have usually got in my freezer in case of an emergency guest, or a lazy day.
I purchase mine from Waitrose where they retail for £2.59. This gives you 2 lovely roasts and a generous helping of 2 sachets of a rich tomato sauce to cover them after they have cooked. This rich tomato sauce, made with oven roasted tomatoes, makes a lovely blanket for them. If you are a regular cook you may know that oven roasting vegetables brings out the flavours so intensely, and this sauce is an example of that-a lovely rich red, in which oven roasting has harnessed the tangy tomato flavour perfectly. These roasts are also widely available in many other supermarkets and health food stores.
Although these are called roasts to me they are chunky deep burgers, and if you don't want to serve them formally with vegetables, they are just as happy in a bun eaten with a little of the sauce to coat. They are round and stocky and make a substantial meal.
These are from a range Goodlife do called Bistro, and they are made from all natural ingredients, so if you fancy a night off cooking these are a healthy alternative to the lure of the local chippy!
They are made from carrots, butternut squash, mixed nuts, including peanuts, almonds and cashews, spinach, parsnips, chick peas, mushrooms, tomato puree, cornflour, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic puree, salt and parsley. They are suitable for veggies and vegans, but the breadcrumb coating excludes those with a wheat allergy from enjoying these lovely colourful roasts. It is really great to find something vegan friendly, as one of my daughters is a vegan, and this would certainly be something she would enjoy. Each roast contains 262 calories and so is not too bad for the dieter, although being generously endowed with nuts it does elevate the fat content up to 15%.
The cooking is easy; you simply heat in the oven for 30 minutes 200C/400F/Gas mark 6. Then you simply heat up the sachets of sauce for 3 minutes in some boiling water,cut open and pour over the drench the roasts. You can't microwave these as it spoils them.
The thing I really love about these is the farmhouse, chunky homemade look and texture of them, it is not unusual to find big chunky pieces of nuts inside and there is nothing which says "ready made" about these, and they are healthy and nutritious. They are so colourful with a myriad of shades created by tightly packed veg and nuts, which create a mosaic of textures and flavours. Emerald spinach and amber carrots nestle amongst rustic nuts.
This meal has some redeeming aspects such as the inclusion of nuts, which are full of essential omega three fats, plenty of fibre in the vegetables, and an abundance of orange ones known for their antioxidant properties. The addition of chick peas makes a protein filled meal especially when you add in the protein provided by the nuts themselves, so this is great news for vegetarians, and the great thing is it makes a change to find a prepared meal which isn't loaded in cheese ,which of course many veggie meals can be.
I have tried many of their products and have been delighted every time. The Nut Cutlets and Bean Burgers they make are a treat, and the company themselves work hard to make good wholesome nutritious food from healthy ingredients, with no e numbers of any kind and no additives. As all the products they make are vegetarian there is no possibility of any meat contamination, which is important to me as I am a vegetarian. These are brilliant value and are something I will continue to buy as they represent what I feel ready made food should be, healthy and just as good as home made!
A brilliant meal for a lazy day!
All you need is a deckchair and a drink, and the oven can just for once do the work!