Ahhhh, vegetables. From sweet potatoes and carrots to courgettes, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, I love pretty much all varieties (although sprouts will NEVER be included, soz!). It can be so easy to transform them into delicious, creative and interesting dishes but for some of us, veggies can appear to be dull, boring or unadventurous.
That’s where Goodlife come in. These guys think vegetables should be the star of the show, and source the healthiest vegetables from the finest farmers in the UK to create nutritious vegetarian meals. I’ll point out here that although I’m not vegetarian or vegan myself, I adopt a mostly plant-based diet and there’s been a trend for more people reducing their meat intake, so these products from Goodlife have come at the right time.
Even if you dedicate one day a week to eating no meat, this can make a big difference if you don’t want to cut it out altogether: for health, saving money and conservation. You may have seen the popular hashtag #MeatfreeMonday on social media which seems to be growing in popularity every week, with people sharing their veggie creations.
In the Goodlife range you’ll find exciting veggie sausages (including Beetroot & Feta with Roasted Fennel, Cauliflower & Mature Cheddar with Truffle Oil), grills, kievs, burgers and falafel. A wonderful selection to suit all tastes, it’s good to see a brand devoted to making frozen convenience foods from healthy, natural ingredients. Sadly for me, most of these products contain wheat BUT I was kindly sent the ones without – read on to hear my verdict!
Picador Parsnip & Sweet Carrot Nut Burgers with Crunchy Cashews
Ingredients: Carrot (14%), Onions, Brown Rice, Peanuts (10%), Cashew Nuts (10%), Picador Parsnip (8%), Brown rice flour, Spinach, Dried Potato, Rapeseed Oil, Water, Rice Starch, Yeast Extract, Sage, Salt, Garlic Purée, Black Pepper.
Each burger is quite generous in size but you may want two for a more substantial meal. Once baked the burger was crispy on the outside and nicely cooked in the middle – packed with cashews, peanuts and carrots. I’ve not had a veggie burger in a while but a mouthful of this made me want more – full of flavour without being too salty with a delicious nutty, chunky texture, the taste of the veggies shone through.
With 187 calories, 10.6g fat, 16.3g carbohydrates, 3.4g fibre and 4.9g protein per portion, these burgers would make a great lunch (cooked then served cold – just as tasty!) or dinner. I served one with roasted veggies, baked crinkle cut butternut squash chips, spinach, broccoli and beetroot ketchup for a filling, nutritious meal.
Falafel with Chickpea, Cumin & Coriander
Ingredients: Chickpea (71%), Onion (21%), Rapeseed Oil, Parsley, Salt, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Lemon Juice, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Chilli Powder.
As a big fan of falafel, a classic Middle-Eastern dish made from chickpeas and touch of spice and chilli, I was looking forward to giving these a go. Baked and ready in 15 minutes, I thought I’d add them to a nutritious Buddha Bowl for a colourful, filling lunch served with roasted veggies, cooked broccoli, spinach, avocado chunks, sweetcorn, pomegranate seeds and drizzled with pomegranate molasses.
The little nuggets were well seasoned with just the right balance of cumin, garlic and coriander. Slightly crispy on the outside and soft in the middle but still with a nice crunch of texture, they made a nice addition to other ingredients and would also work nicely dipped into something like tzatziki served in a flatbread. At only 39 calories, 2g fat, 2.7g carbohydrates, 2.4g fibre and 1.5g protein per falafel, these tasty falafel got the thumbs up.
Although I wasn’t able to try the other products, these wheat-free ones were satisfying, full of flavour and are great as a healthy convenient option for those times when you might not want to or have time to cook something nutritious. If you can eat wheat, definitely check out the range as I’m guessing they’d be just as yummy!