Plenty of people choose a plant-based diet for their health. More still do it for the environment, or for the animals. Some do it for all three (plus the bragging rights). But for those of us who aren’t quite in it for our health (or who will happily eat a huge salad for lunch followed by some dairy free fudge), here’s a run down of the best vegan comfort food I found on offer across the UK in the month of May.
All supermarkets are jumping aboard the SS-Vegan lately, but M&S have well and truly set sail, adding even more to their delicious ‘plant kitchen’ range.
In May, I tried the cauliflower popcorn (again), the new mozzarella bites, the cashew mac and the Margarita pizza (all of which I shared with my boyfriend, who hugely enjoyed the spread, too).
Every dish was delicious, easy to throw in the oven, and walking around M&S being able to find proudly and loudly vegan products in every single aisle was fantastic.
On to another supermarket, though – to Sainsburys, where you can now pick up these Vegan Ribs.
I had the BBQ flavour ones on, get this, the BBQ, and the smoky flavour was fantastic.
In all honesty, these are just tempeh strips coated in a sauce, so if you enjoy cooking you can definitely make these yourself. That being said, the sauce is delicious and if you can’t be bothered to make your own, these are a really lovely treat.
If you’re looking for a nice treat whilst eating out, Frankie & Benny’s have just updated their vegan menu to include a full English breakfast, cheeseburgers, and best of all this dairy-free cheesecake!
It’s a vanilla cheesecake slice topped with blackberry compote and served with choc-chip ice cream, and it really satisfies the part of me that wants a door stop wedge of cheesecake, rather than the tiny slithers of cashew and date desserts you may find elsewhere.
On to a fully vegan business (which is, of course, my favourite kind) with Arancini Brothers, a chain with multiple sites across London offering up risotto-ball based goodness.
I had mine in a wrap filled with salad and sauces, fries on the side, and a soft drink, which came as part of a daily deal they put on for different wrap fillings.
Yet another fully vegan establishment – this time in Oxford – is Happy Friday Kitchen, which I think I may have to dub my favourite plant-based eatery to date.
I mean, just look at that seitan burger overflowing with mac n cheese. They even have a house dog called Buddha. Her favourite snack is mushrooms, and you are welcome for that information.
Happy Friday Kitchen also have a little pick n mix section in the back full of vegan sweeties, which makes the child inside me sing.
Speaking of sweet treats, I picked up a couple of dairy free delights in ASDA for reasons obviously, totally, absolutely unrelated to menstruation.
The crunchee bites were exactly like having little mouthfuls of a crunchy bar, and the fudge was incredibly creamy.
In fact, the only thing creamier than the fudge was this ice cream from Simple and Good, an all-vegan cafe in Enfield town.
I had two scoops in a chocolate cone – rocky road and hazelnut crunch, both of which were delicious, and just two of a selection of ten interesting flavours.
In more widely available dairy free ice cream news, Magnum’s vegan edition is super yummy, creamy, and stocked in most good supermarkets as well as in my ridiculously accommodating grandmother’s freezer.
Also one to stock your freezer with are these vegan sausage rolls from Aldi.
I’ll level with you and say that they’re nowhere near as good as the Greggs offering, but they’re just over £1 for 4, and it’s lovely to see veganism becoming so accessible both in terms of the shops stocking produce across the UK, and in the price tag.
More sausages, then, with these Love Your Veg shroomdogs from Sainsburys.
They’re a little skinny – I definitely needed to double up with two sausages to one bap – but they pack a nice smokey flavour and they’d be great on the BBQ.
Finally away from sausages and to sushi, Itsu offer up plenty of vegan options, and this sushi, gyoza and salad box was bursting with flavour, textures and somehow, in a list quite devoid of them, nutrients!
If my sushi box was full of goodness, my pop-up event Vegano Italiano was a night of greatness.
Have I really chosen to finish off a list of my favourite vegan eats with a mention of my own event? Yes. Have I referred to it as great? Yes. Am I one of the most annoying people on the face of the planet? Probably, yes. Should you still check out my photo gallery of the evening? Yes, and you can click here to do so.
So that’s that, my very favourite vegan bites for the month of May.
Check in next month to puzzle over how it is that my Instagram is full of salads in all the colours of the rainbow, and yet my favourites lists are always full of premium vegan junk food!*
*(the answer is balance but I won’t tell you that so you keep coming back to try to figure it out)