By Veggie Tom
I’ve tasted Linda McCartney’s new microwave pot meals… should you put one in the trolley or leave them on the shelf?
Linda McCartney Chilli Non Carne with Rice blurb reads: Vegemince™ in a gently warmed chilli sauce with adzuki beans, organic kidney beans, rice and a hint of dark chocolate. Makes a great vegetarian option for lunch, or serve with nachos, salsa, sour cream and guacamole for a Mexican feast!
OK: Linda McCartney is a premium veggie brand, and it has recently added a host of chilled products to its range. I’ve tasted several of its one-pot meals, whose ingredients lists all suggest something a cut above your average microwave meal. But do they deliver? Read for Chilli Non Carne and scroll down for the others.
The tasting note: This is a lightly warming chilli with good depth of flavour – there’s even a spot of dark chocolate, as used in top notch chilli recipes. It’s filling too, thanks to plenty of beans, rice and Vegemince. You’ll be happy with this.
The full ingredient list: Tomatoes (30%),Water ,Onions ,Adzuki Beans (7%) ,Organic Red Kidney Beans (7%) ,Long Grain Rice (5%) ,Vegemince (4.5%) ,Tomato Puree ,Vegetable Oil ,Mushroom Bouillon ,Coriander Leaf ,Dark Chocolate (0.7%) ,Demerara Sugar ,Garlic ,Salt ,Cumin ,Smoked Paprika ,Cornflour ,Ground Coriander ,Chilli Powder ,Mushroom Bouillon contains: Mushroom Juice, Cornstarch, Vegetable Oil, Salt ,Vegemince contains: Water, Soya Protein (40%), Vegetable Oil, Seasoning (Yeast Extract, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Dextrose, Pepper) Malt Extract, Onion Powder ,Dark Chocolate contains: Cocoa Mass, Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Soya Lecithin, Natural Vanilla Flavouring.
Adzuki beans? Popular in East Asia and India, these small red beans are also known as aduki or azuki. They’re often sweetened, as in the Chinese red bean paste, and in Japan they have lent their flavour to ice cream and even an adzuki-flavoured Pepsi.
Can you eat it? Linda-McCartney is an all-veggie brand, but this isn’t suitable for people avoiding soya, barley and gluten. It may also contain traces of milk (chocolate), nuts and/or seeds.
Should you put it in the trolley? Non carne, eh? Very clever. The taste of this microwave pot meal is good, too – rice, beans, Vegemince and good flavour depth in the sauce make this hearty and filling.
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Linda McCartney Lentil & Vegetable Cottage Pie
This feels good for you, and it’s a good quality microwave pot. The taste of super-healthy mixed sprouts permeates the dish, so make sure you’re a fan of those before buying. Tasted by Veggie Tom.
Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausage & Bean Stew
The best veggie sausages in the business get a little waterlogged in this soupy stew – but the slightly smoky tomato sauce tastes good all the same. Tasted by Veggie Tom.