“ Brand: Linda McCartney / Type: Vegetarians „
I have tried pretty much every meat free mince on the market, I now have my choices limited to those that are vegan. Here is my review of this one.
First the nutritional information;
Contains: Gluten, Soya and Barley
Typical values per 100g
Energy kj 453kj
Energy kcal 107kcal
(of which Sugars) 2.4g
(of which Saturates) 0.25g
(of which sodium) 0.18g
Contains: Gluten, Soya and Barley
Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The price depends on where you buy it but on average it is around the £2.20 mark.
The whole bag would easily feed a family of 4 or 5 depending on what you are doing with it.
What can you do with it? Anything that you would do with meat mince, cottage pie, chilli, bolognese, just use it in the same way.
When I first opened the bag I noticed that the mince pieces were a lot bigger than others that I had tried. I decided to use it to make a chilli. The secret with this and other alternative meat minces is to make something that has a sauce or strong flavours for the *mince* to absorb. I usually make the meal in the morning and leave it all day to take in the flavours then re heat.
If you fry it first then you will need more oil than you would normally use, keep it moving in the pan or it will stick. If you were feeling really lazy you could just chuck it in a pan with a sauce and just heat it through.
Upon tasting I was not overly keen on the size, texture and taste of the mince pieces, it was harder for the sauce to fully penetrate the mince and give it a decent taste. It was not unpalatable though just not the best that I had tasted which I am putting down to the size of the pieces. That said peoples tastes vary and others I am sure would rave about it, this is just my personal opinion. I am very fussy with my meat alternatives especially if I am cooking for meat eaters.
Would I recommend it? Probably not to be honest. Would meat eaters know the difference? Yes they would, not that it is about convincing people that it tastes the same but anyone wishing to replace a meat meal with a meat alternative would probably be disappointed with this product.
There are four people within my household, myself, a baby, a stroppy seven year old and a vegetarian. What a combination! Whilst we try to eat meals together I do find it a constant struggle to making two/three different dishes each evening and I am always seeking out something that can be eaten by the whole family.
Having tried Quorn mince with some success (depending upon the dish it is added to), I though I would try Linda McCartney Vegemince. It was on offer in Farmfoods for £1.00 per 454g bag (frozen product). Knowing that I usually develop a taste for special offer products, I placed three bags in the trolley just to be on the safe side!!
I have since sought out the mince in other larger supermarkets and unfortunately it does not seem to be that readily available - sometimes it is in stock but more often than not it isn't.
The mince is actually seasoned textured vegetable protein and doesn't look that great when removed from its bag. A strange pale grey coloured substance, not dissimilar to cat litter (don't let this put you off!).
I cook the mince in the same way I normally cook Quorn mince. I don't have a wealth of dishes - just the three! Cottage pie, bolognese and chilli.
I'm not too keen on the cottage pie, that is for the vege in the household. When mimicking a traditional gravy style dish, I find the mince reminds me of old style school dinners - cheap tasting but nostalgic. The texture is however quite true to traditional meat mince and when Bisto is added it does taste quite meaty.
The mince makes fantastic bolgnese and chilli dishes, absorbing the flavours of the garlic, chilli and red wine - always use red wine, yum.
My chilli is my absolute favourite - plenty of fresh chilies, big chunks of peppers, kidney and black eyed beans. It certainly rivals a meat chilli - it is much chunkier that Quorn mince and has altogether more substance.
As well as tasting great, the mince is an excellent source of fibre and protein and contains only 147kcals per 100g serving.
Further nutritional information per 100g:
Protein - 32.6g
Carbohydrate - 3.6g
of which sugars - 0.5g
Fat - 0.2g
of which saturates - 0g
Fibre - 9.8g
Sodium - 0.2g
I have found that I can serve this mince to the whole family - hurray! Although my youngest son rarely eats this as it does not contain the calories a baby of his age requires.
I would certainly recommend trying this product whether vegetarian or not.
Look out for it on special offer in a store near you!