“ Brand: Linda McCartney / Type: Vegetarians „
I have tried pre packed vegetarian toad in the hole in the past and have not been too impressed; although until I was shopping last weekend I have never seen a Linda McCartney one.
As they were on offer in Tesco for £1 and are normally £1.36 each, I thought I would give them a go and bought 3.
They are packed in an oval shaped tin foiled dish (unlike the square ones you normally get) with a cardboard lid and are then placed inside a cardboard box. I found them in the frozen food department of the supermarket. In each dish there are 2 sausages in the middle of the uncooked yorkshire pudding.
I cooked all 3 one each for hubby and me and one for my 2 girls to share, although I did wonder if 3 would be too much as we were having them with veg and potatoes. The girls didn't end up wanting the potatoes but I still wondered if one would be too much for me.
I placed them in the oven, the back of the box said it would take 35 minutes to cook at 220C. As I was cooking other things I cooked them at 200C, then again I cook everything at this temperature.
As they were cooking there was a really nice smell but I can't put my finger on what the smell was like. It had to be a mixture of the sausages and yorkshire pudding although I don't normally think yorkshires smell.
As we have a fan oven they only took about 30 mins to cook, but for the last 5 minutes I turned them on their side and kind of leant them on the side of the dish. I did this as when I checked on them the bottoms seemed a bit soggy. Doing this took that soggyness away I think.
When we have had pre packed things like this in the past the sausages haven't been that good and have always had the tast of sage, these didn't they were quite fat and tasted really nice. They were still made from textured wheat protein but it was a subtle flavour and the sausages were soft so the girls liked them but not too soft that the adults didn't like them. There was also no garlic flavour added but it did have onion flavour but not so it was noticable.
My youngest had moaned before eating this and said she didn't like yorkshire puddings - so I told her it was a special one and only gave her a bit. She said the sausages were really nice and the yorkshire pudding tasted like eggs to which the eldest agreed. I didn't think it tasted like eggs but it does have egg in the ingredients so she could be right.
I thought these were quite filling to have a full one with other things, but half wouldn't have been enough.
Each 222g pack contains 380 calories.
I have to point out that I am shocked at the salt content in these each pack contains 1g of sodium which is 2.5g of salt.
Until I read the salt content I would have said I would have these once a week, now I would say I would definitely have them again but less often.
I eat this at least once a week - scrummy with baked beans, the sausages taste exactly like the realeat ones I can no longer find in jersey (Channel Islands) - is there something going on with the two brands as I see that Lmc brand have taken over realeat mince?The sausages in toad in the hole are much more succulent than lmc regular ones, the batter is perfect and the cooking time spot on - unlike some products which need looking at now and then.I also re-use the foil dish and lid to store home-made food in the freezer! Now that's what I call value!
PRICE: £1.49 for a 222g pack at my local Sainsbury branch
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per pack):
(of which sugars): 3.7g
(of which saturates): 4.7g
(of which sodium): 1.0g
Water, wheat flour, free range whole egg, semi-skimmed milk, vegetable oil, salt, white pepper, rehydrated textured wheat protein, pea and wheat protein, rusk, stabiliser, wheat starch, dextrose, salt, onion, yeast extract, red iron oxide
Contains wheat, gluten, milk, egg and sulphur dioxide
One of my favourite all-British dinners is toad-in-the-hole, and being as I'm pretty rubbish at making it myself, I mostly rely on ready-made frozen versions. Although I am a meat eater, I prefer vegetarian sausages and recently decided to give Linda McCartney's Toad-In-The-Hole a try.
This product is to be found in the frozen food section of most supermarkets. The front of the box shows an image of a serving of the toad-in-the-hole on a plate with a small helping of accompanying vegetables, and the rear of the box lists ingredients, gives nutritional information together with storage/cooking instructions, recycling information, dietary/allergy advice and information as to which parts of the packaging are recyclable. There is also a small photo of the once McCartney couple, obviously taken many years ago as Paul looks exceedingly young in it!
On opening the box which is fairly deep, I had expected a rectangular-shaped foil container, but it's oval, which is slightly deceiving in that the toad-in-the-hole is thus somewhat smaller than anticipated and despite having a good hunt through the writing on the packaging, I can find no information as to how many people the meal is intended to serve. The Yorkshire pudding in its frozen state is a pale creamy colour with two fairly large vegetarian sausages resting in the middle....they are a rich, dark brown shade. Although the toad-in-the-hole is quite deep inside the oval foil container, I'd personally say that its overall size and the presence of only two sausages renders it a serves one portion.
Planning to have the toad-in-the-hole with a mixture of steamed vegetables, I followed the cooking instructions on the packet word for word. During the cooking time, I could detect a faint aroma of vegetarian sausage rising up, and it didn't smell a million miles away from sausages which are made of meat.
Once the cooking time was up, I opened the oven door and removed the toad-in-the-hole. It didn't look at all appetising! The Yorkshire pudding had turned a dark brown colour rather than a nice golden shade, and it hadn't risen at all. The sausages had gone almost black, giving the appearance of the whole thing having burned slightly, but unless the cooking instructions on the packet are inaccurate, that wasn't the case as there's nothing wrong with my oven.
I tapped the surface of the Yorkshire pudding with the blade of a palette knife, and it made a noise as if I'd just bashed a house brick, the surface of the pudding didn't 'giving' at all, or feeling in the remotest bit spongy, light or soft. On attempting to remove the pudding from the foil tin, it at first appeared to have stuck fast, but with a little leverage, it slid out quite nicely onto my plate, and kept its shape perfectly.
On sitting down to eat, I cut a piece from the Yorkshire pudding and discovered that it wasn't as hard as a rock after all. It merely was the outer surface that had hardened a little, rather than crisped up. The edges and top once I began to eat were rather crunchy, but the inside was moist and consistency-wise, not too far away from how a traditional Yorkshire pudding should be. I then tested the sausages....with similar results to the pudding in that the outer surface of them were hard and crunchy, but the insides were fairly moist, although having a very firm, dense consistency.
I found the Yorkshire pudding a little tasteless and bland, but not inedible, and there was quite a lot of it. The sausages were a good size and hadn't shrunk during the cooking process, but I found them a little chewy. They had quite a good, almost zingy flavour and were highly seasoned, but I'd have liked the consistency of them to have been a lot softer. I rarely have gravy on meals like this, and with hindsight I think a little poured over the toad-in-the-hole probably would have made it a lot nicer.
My overall verdict on Linda McCartney's Vegetarian Toad-In-The-Hole is that although it's not too bad, it's nothing special either. I did moderately enjoy it, and it did taste very nice, but I'd have liked the pudding to have been crispy on the outside and puddingy on the inside, rather than hard, crunchy and somewhat bland. I'd also have preferred the sausages to be much moister, but I did enjoy the highly seasoned flavour of them. I'm not saying that I'd never buy this particular brand of toad-in-the-hole again, but it wouldn't be my first brand choice in future. It is also a little more expensive than some other well-known vegetarian brands of toad-in-the-hole, and I think I'll mostly stick with those, unless I ever see the Linda McCartney one on special offer, say buy one get one free or similar.
In summary: It's OK, but no great shakes!
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
'2 Vegetarian Sausages in batter'
Exactly what it says on the box.
It comes in one of those little tin foil cases that you just pop into the oven on a tray.
I've tried the sausage rolls and vegetarian lasagna in this range and I've enjoyed them both. So seeing as this was on special offer in Asda i picked it up.
I'm picky when it comes to my food and sausages are deffinately one of the items i have issues with. If you don't like the taste of real sausages you may not like this.
It smelled quite nice until i opened the oven door, the sausages smell really strongly of spice and meat. I gave it the benefit of the doubt and served it up with some chips since it's quite a small portion.
I don't think I'll be buying it again to be honest, the sausages were horrible and reminded me of the real thing, i couldn't even finish half of one. The batter itself i quite nice, if not a little stodgy but then i don't think i let the bottom cook properly.
The only reason i disliked it so much was because i hate the taste and texture of real sausages, these were a little too similar for me.
It comes in quite a small portion so you may want to make a salad or some veg to go on the side, i bought it in Asda for just under £2 but they normally have a deal like 3 for £3 on her range.
Where to buy:
35 Minutes in the oven.
I have been a vegetarian for over ten years now and over this time I have tried many many products from supermarket own brands (Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys) and Linda McCartney and Quorn. I have discovered products I love eating and are staples to my fridge and others that I like sometimes, as more occassional products, and others I really dont like at all.
Linda McCartney toad in the hole is a nice product, but a bit of a ready meal and thereofre not the sort of thing I would buy all the time, just for saving time as toad in the hole can be quite a long thing to cook!
The toad in the hole comes in a plastic tray inside a cardboard box (which is great as the cardboard is recyclable). The tray, once you remove its cover is oven cookable, or microwave cookable. For best results I always use the oven.
The dish rises nicely as it is cooking and smells gorgeous, a bit like home baking. It takes about half an hour to cook, although check your own instructions as it is different for everyone.
The toad in the hole tastes nice, it is crispy on the edges and soft on the insides, but a little chewy as if it has that reheated taste. This is where it falls down in comparison to home made toad in the hole, but for the time saving it is worth it if you dont have time to make the real thing.
Home cooked vs ready made:
Ready made is quicker
Home cooked is nicer
Home cooked is cheaper
Ready made is convenient, can take to work for a lunch too.
Ready made protion is small but home made can be as big as you want!
I often find vegetarian food slightly confusing if someone doesn't want to eat meat why do manufacturers think they would want to eat fake meat. There are tonnes of products of there for vegetarians like chicken style or bacon style products but do these really appeal to vegetarians.
I'm not vegetarian but I don't eat some meats and one of these is pork so toad in the hole has always been a no no. I'm was really pleased when I spotted Linda Mc Cartney vegetarian version. They were pretty pricey I can't remember exactly what I paid but I knew it was more than they were worth but the thought of toad in the hole was too much for me to resist so I bought them anyway.
Really simple to cook they just go in the oven think they took roughly 20 mins. The top does get a bit too crispy for my liking but you needed to keep in long enough for the batter underneath to cook properly.
Personally I didn't think these were too bad the sausages had plenty of flavour and the batter was nice. The portion was rather on the small side so I'd suggest you need extra maybe potatoes and vegetables would go nicely with it.
Not too sure who this product will appeal too but it appealed to me and I will be buying it again.