Sainsbury’s Sweet Potato Katsu Curry / Mac & Jack

Sainsbury's Sweet Potato Katsu Curry / Mac & Jack

We’ve got a double bill for you this week, as we take a look at two items from the Sainsbury’s Love Your Veg range:  their Mac & Jack (macaroni cheese with BBQ pulled jackfruit), and their Sweet Potato Katsu Curry with Sticky Rice.

As we picked these both up from their new range that we hadn’t tried yet, we decided to cook them both up at once – and review them at the same time, too. Let’s start with the katsu curry. read more

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Cafe SoVegan Mac Daddy and Fully Loaded Herby

Vegan mac no cheese

Last weekend at the Vegan Summer Fest Brighton we managed to pick up a couple of delectable vegan burgers from Cafe SoVegan. Out of all of the burger stalls on offer they looked the most appealing, so we dove right in!

I couldn’t choose between the Mac Daddy and the Fully Loaded Herby, but helpfully they had a few samples on hand for us to try. Unhelpfully, they were both absolutely delicious, which did not help my dilemma. In the end, J went for the Mac Daddy and I had the Fully Loaded Herby, with a side of Mac No Cheese to make up for it. Here’s a few descriptions from the stand:

Mac Daddy: Southern style chick’n burger, topped with salad, mac no cheese + crispy onions. £7

Fully Loaded Herby: Basil, oregano + thyme patty with cheese, bacon, salad and SoVegan sauce. £6

Mac No Cheese: Jumbo macaroni in creamy ‘cheese’ sauce topped w/ crispy onions. £4 read more

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Asda Mac ‘N’ Cheese Burger

Asda Mac n Cheese Burger

So here’s a new one. Mac n cheese… in a burger. We were half amused and half sceptical when we first spotted these in the supermarket. It’s a bit of an odd idea, so it would have to go either one of two ways. This has to be the best idea ever conceived, or the worst. 

Well, in reality, it’s probably somewhere on the mid-lower end of that spectrum. The burgers weren’t bad, per se. It’s nice to see something new on the shelves, and nice to try something new as well. But maybe macaroni cheese is something that is supposed to be served on its own, while a burger is something else entirely. And maybe we should start calling it macaroni cheese again instead of Americanising everything.

It’s certainly not as good as an actual macaroni cheese dish. The sauce just doesn’t have that strong cheesy taste that you expect. There is a lot of cheese in the breadcrumbs, but that’s kind of the opposite way around to how it should be. It needs more cheese overall to really earn the label. The texture of it is pretty weird – the breadcrumbs aren’t as crispy as you would have them on a normal burger or indeed a normal macaroni cheese. There is more crust than there is pasta – it’s certainly not as thick and full as you see in the image on the packaging. There is just one layer of pasta on the inside.

How to improve it? It definitely needs to be a thicker burger with more structure to it. Right now, it’s very crumbly and saggy, and it’s difficult even to transfer them from the baking tray to the plate without having them break into pieces. It’s too heavy to hold itself up, and this is after cooking in the oven. There is absolutely no way that you would get away with microwaving this.

All in all, this one promises much but leaves a lot to be desired.

ON THE VEGBURGE SCALE, I GIVE THIS…

TASTE – 4/10

PRICE – 5/10

REST OF EXPERIENCE – 4/10

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Vine Recipe: Sweet Potato Macaroni Cheese Bake

One of the latest additions to our cookbook shelf is Simply Nigella, which J received for Christmas, so we’ve been trying out a few of the recipes from it and playing around with them. As soon as I read about this sweet potato version of macaroni cheese, I knew I had to give it a try. As you’ll see below (especially if you have the book to compare to), we did change a few things around and put our own spin on it. Here’s what we came up with!

This was so delicious that we served out half the dish, then came back for seconds. There’s just something magical about sweet potato, cheese, and pasta that I never would have thought of before. I did cheat a little bit: I had some cheese sauce left over from making a lasagne in the week, and since the recipe calls for lots of butter, I decided to skip that part and use my sauce as a base. You can find your own healthy cheese sauce recipe if you wish! Vegan cheese in particular has come on leaps and bounds, so be sure to give it a try if you want a version that is lower calorie and doesn’t require butter or milk.

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Vine Post: Hello Fresh Vegetable Mac ‘n Cheese

Hello Fresh Mac n Cheese

First things first, a lesson. If you try out a subscription service one time and put it on hold so you can see whether you liked it or not before you carry on, remember to cancel it before it comes off hold. Otherwise you end up paying for the next box by accident and getting a load of stuff you didn’t really want.

That said, we’ve recently had our second Hello Fresh box and of course decided to share the Vine posts with you once more. This week it’s the “No Fuss Vegetable Mac ‘n Cheese” recipe, which did not sit well with me at all. First off, who puts vegetables in mac and cheese? Secondly, we’re in the UK, which means it’s actually called macaroni cheese, thanks. And thirdly, the blurb that came with the recipe describes this as a healthy version of macaroni cheese – which is kind of crazy considering the 551 calories per portion.

Well, anyway, we gave it a try. You can see the Vine at the end of the post, but first, let me tell you what we thought. The sauce was watery and definitely needed a lot more cheese in it, or at least cheese flavour. One tiny block of cheddar and a sachet of parmesan was not enough to make this taste like mac ‘n cheese. The green beans could also have been left out, or cooked for longer, as they were just too outlandish compared to the rest of the flavours and textures. I used less than half the butter recommended by the recipe because I just refuse to use that much, and it turned out fine at that stage of the cooking, so it certainly was not necessary to put so much in. The breadcrumbs turned out quite well, making a nice layer on the top.

One thing that consistently annoys me about Hello Fresh is that, while they claim to allow people with no experience to cook because everything is provided, they also assume that you have all of the equipment under the sun. Here you needed a frying pan which was sturdy enough to hold the entire mixture and go under the grill (a grill which we don’t have – leaving us to make do with the oven, of course). The other two recipes for this week, as you will see, required a variety of large pans – where most people with starter sets may only have one pan, or several of diminishing sizes. When cooking is simple, it should be just that – simple. This mac ‘n cheese doesn’t fit the bill in my opinion.

Anyway, here’s the Vine:

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