“ Brand: Linda McCartney / Type: Vegetarian „
I don't get a great deal of pleasure when I'm cooking meals, and tend to look for easy ways out. I lavish time and attention on baking as this is fun and more of a hobby, whereas cooking daily meals is more of a chore. I have been trying out various products in the Linda McCartney vegetarian range, and picked up a box of this Vegetarian Cannelloni to try as I thought it would be perfect for a quick and easy meal that required minimal effort. It costs £1.89 for a 375g pack, and is currently on special offer at Sainsbury's where you can buy selected Linda McCartney items at two for £3.00.
Product description: "Fresh pasta rolls filled with spinach and soya mince on a bed of tomato sauce, topped with bechamel sauce and sprinkled with vegetarian Cheddar cheese."
This cannelloni can be found in the freezer section of your supermarket, with the vegetarian foods. I try and eat fairly healthily, but it's always handy to have a few ready meals stocked up, and I am a sucker for anything Italian as it satisfies my carb and cheese addictions! The cannelloni comes in a plastic tray which you put straight into the oven for it to cook. There is no preparation required, and no mess to clean up afterwards which is always a good thing!
The Vegetarian Cannelloni weighs in at 375g, which is a reasonably large serving. You get a good amount and this could easily be split between two people if you were going to add other elements to the meal. I ended up eating the full lot myself, and having it with some garlic baguette (yum!) but you could also add vegetables or salad to balance it out.
As well as being suitable for vegetarians, this meal is free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. I was looking forward to it as I enjoy Italian food and am particularly fond of pasta dishes. It looked nice judging from the picture on the box, but when it came to the time to serve it up, I could see straight away that this was not what I had expected. The dish is made up of fresh pasta and there are rolls of it supposedly containing vegetarian mince and spinach. Firstly, as I was dishing this onto my place the look of it was very offputting. It did not really have any form of shape and collapsed into a heap as soon as I had put it on my plate. There is a tomato based sauce that oozed around and I could hardly see any of the mince or spinach inside. It looked nothing like the full and hearty meal displayed on the box. Eating it was little better, as along with the tomato sauce inside, there is a heavy coating of béchamel cheese sauce over the top. This covered everything and gave a very slimy sort of texture which had no flavour. Overall this was incredibly bland tasting, and it felt like I was just eating pasta sheets with tomato and cheese sauce, as the other ingredients were barely noticeable. I was disappointed by the lack of flavour and did not enjoy the experience of eating this meal.
I was hugely disappointed by this Vegetarian Cannelloni, particularly as I have enjoyed other items from the Linda McCartney range. The only benefit was that it was dead easy to cook, but the taste, consistency, and content of this pasta dish was absolutely dreadful. One to avoid on future shopping trips, I certainly wouldn't buy it again!
Ingredients: Water, Tomato, Free Range Egg Pasta (17%), Milk (9%), Medium Mature Cheddar Cheese (6%), Onion, Medium Fat Cheese, Spinach (2%), Cornflour, Textured Soya Protein (1%), Tomato Puree, Garlic, Salt, Wheat Flour, Savoury Stock, Rapeseed Oil, Sugar, Mustard, Vegetable Stock, Seasoning, Basil, White Pepper, Barley Malt Extract, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Oregano.
Free Range Egg Pasta contains: Durum Wheat Semolina, Water, Free Range Egg (8%).
Savoury Stock contains: Rehydrated Potato, Yeast Extract, Salt, Natural Flavouring, Sunflower Oil, Sugar, Barley Malt Extract, Onion Powder, Pepper.
Vegetable Stock contains: Potato, Onion, Leek, Salt, Yeast Extract, Carrot Concentrate, Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Garlic.
Seasoning contains: Yeast Extract, Barley Malt Extract, Onion Powder, Salt, Garlic Powder, Dextrose, Spice.
Typical Nutritional Values per 100g contains:
Energy - 434kJ - 103kcal
Protein - 3.4g
Carbohydrate - 13.2g
Sugars - 1.1g
Fat - 3.3g
Saturates - 1.7g
Fibre - 1.0.g
Sodium* - 0.28g
*Salt Equivalent - 0.5g