National Vegetarian Week with Linda McCartney

In the UK, 59% of people are keen to reduce the amount of meat in their diet with the number of vegetarians in Britain doubling over the last 25 years. With factors such as saving money, food safety and environmental factors, the market for vegetarians products has increased.
With the help of Linda McCartney who is celebrating their 25th anniversary, I went meat free for National Vegetarian Week. (See more of her journey here.) After a long day at work, Linda McCartney's frozen products have opened the door to easy meat free meals. With recent new  launches to the range, I got the chance to try a few of the products.
I will start with my favourite meal of the week which came in the form of Aromatic Thai Sweet Potato cakes. These vegetable cakes were full of flavour, bursting with extra veg and with a perfectly crisp outside. I teamed it with some roasted vegetables to finish it off.
I also tried the vegetarian pulled pork burgers which I apired with some red onions, tomatoes, cheese and a side of sweet potato chips. They had a smokey barbeque flavour and held their shape..perfect for a burger bun.
Another favourite was the red onion and rosemary sausages. They filled the kitchen with a fragrant aroma whilst cooking and I enjoyed the strong herby flavour. I wanted to do something which could be used the next day for lunch so put them with pasta, a mix of vegetables and some cream cheese. The following day, I added some red pesto to the leftovers for a lunch that tasted a little different.
I had to try one of the Linda McCartney pies as they are a favourite on every pub menu. I found the country pie in store (a chicken and leek pie has just been launched as well), which is a vegetarian take on a meat pie. The pastry was nice a crispy with plenty of gravy inside. The filling pie was warming and filling and perfect finished off with some mash and veg.
And finally, I went for the chicken-style paella. Normally I would consider paella to include seafood or chorizo so was interested on how the flavour was going to translated into a vegetarian dish. Although it wasn't the classic kind of paella, there was still a nice smokiness to it. The rice is cooked from frozen either by stir fry or in the microwave in a matter of a few minutes so this is perfect so a quick meal on the go. As the portion sizes are not measured for you, this could always be eaten for lunches as well.
I admit I am not normally a massive meat eater anyway, but I was still worried that some of the vegetarian ready made dishes would not keep me full. I was pleasantly surprised not only by how satisfying they were, but also by the convenience of them. Agreed, some (like the pies) may take longer to cook (around 40 minutes) but the fact that there is little prep work involved or standing over a hob makes it perfect for easy and quick after work dishes. Many times, when making a vegetarian meal from scratch, you would have to plan and purchase fresh ingredients, but these are easy to pop in the freezer and go. Look out for them in the freezer section of your local supermarket.

Find out more from Linda McCartney here

Disclaimer: I received these products to review, but as always opinions are my own

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