• October 21st, 2009mr meanerproducts


    What do Fish Fingers, Mushy Peas, Bisto gravy and Smash all have in common? They are all staple foods of English family cooking. Growing up in the UK I would have had one, or all, of these foodstuffs weekly. Clearly, now, as a vegan living in Los Angeles, not only is it difficult to buy these things, but Fish Fingers are clearly off limits, not least because they are made of fish’s fingers. Or so our schoolboy jokes implied all those years ago.

    When we paid a visit to the excellent VBites restaurant just outside Brighton on our last UK trip I happened to notice Breaded Style Fish Fingers as we were leaving. A new product from Redwood Foods/VBites (the company that makes Cheezly), these are entirely vegan and looked very tasty indeed. Sadly, we had a long walk ahead and were staying in a hotel for a few more days so we couldn’t buy them on the spot.

    HOWEVER, on our last day we visited the mecca (not Macca) of Whole Foods restaurants in Kensington to stock up on some hard-to-find vegan stuff. Lo and behold, as we were browsing around, we happened upon the exact same “Breaded Style Fish Fingers”, and I couldn’t resist picking up a couple of packets, which were very reasonably priced. So, with one ingredient down and three to go I set about combing the store for the other essential ingredients. Canned Mushy Peas were an easy find, as was a packet of Smash instant mashed potatoes:

    We had to search a bit to find the Bisto vegetarian gravy granules, but once we had them, our evil plan to smuggle the ingredients back to Los Angeles to cook a traditional English meal — but vegan — was complete!


    Back Stateside, preparing the food took about 5 minutes – pour hot water on the potatoes and gravy, heat the peas in a saucepan and pop the fish fingers under the broiler. The food was so easy to cook that I realized for the first time why my culinary-challenged mother made it for me so much while I was growing up.


    While the gravy, mashed potatoes and mushy peas were excellent and reminded me of home, the best thing about the meal was the “Fish Fingers”, often called “Fish Sticks” in America. They were crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside and with a distinct texture that wasn’t pretending to be real fish. I could have eaten the entire package, but had to restrain myself so I’d have room for a traditional English veganized after-dinner treat. But that’s an entirely different story.

    I hope that Redwood Foods/VBites bring their entire line of vegan food to the USA, and that this will give omnivores and vegetarians more reason to make the switch to being vegan.

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  • May 3rd, 2008quarrygirldinner pies, morningstar farms, products, recipes

    because i have a traditional english husband, i decided to cook him a traditional english dinner…vegan style!

    cornish pasty: a baked savoury pastry case filled with diced fake meat, potato, onion and peas.

    the pasties came out wonderful. i’d never had one before, but my husband assured me they tasted authentic, as good as anything he’d had back home.

    recipe after the jump.
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