Incidentally Vegan

5th October 2012

Food shopping.

Did that phrase fill you with dread or fill you with hope for potential possibilities? I love food shopping, I could spend hours trawling shelves, reading labels (gotta read those labels people), I find however I can’t dedicate quite the amount of time I would unless I am alone. Apparently I was bad enough before I turned vegan, now search parties have to be sent out for me if I come across a free from section in a new supermarket. The best finds however, have to be things that are incidentally vegan – not labelled as vegan, something that could easily be dismissed as dairy and egg laden.

The moral of this story is always check, because you never know. Sure there will be products that don’t meet the criteria (feel free to mumble angrily under your breath ‘why do they need to put milk in everything??!!’ as you place it back on the shelf), but there will be times when you read, then re-read because you can’t believe what you are reading and then run around the shop showing completely uninterested and quite frankly unsociable other shoppers that: ‘look, I can eat this!!’.

Alas someone doesn’t actually pay me to look for vegan food in the supermarket so time is limited, but thankfully I have the internet which allows me to spy observe other vegans. The latest incidentally items I have been getting my chops round have been revealed to me by Tweeps and Bloggers.

Mr Kipling is not a brand you would immediately associate with vegan friendliness but low and behold those Kipling Tart lovers @veganmel and @mrsrejc had been singing his praises on Twitter. How I could not join the party?

It was a little sweet for my savoury tooth but just knowing that if I wanted a ready made dessert I could just pop to the shop and pick one up made me feel quite triumphant.

Mr Kipling treacle tart
I don't think there are many vegans left who don't know certain Jammie Dodgers are vegan

One Saturday I managed to pick up an entire Indian meal at Sainbury’s, the chana masala was not as good as I remember it being or perhaps I have had too much good authentic Indian food (<- probably that). Ethnic sections (and shops Asian, Oriental and Jewish) are always a good bet for finding little teasures, a Jamaican patty was also uncovered on the same trip.

Sainsbury's chana masala & bombay potatoes
Royal batata wada (potato pakoras)
Island Delight vegetable pattie

I have also been rediscovering Marks and Spencers thanks to Veganoo and Tea and Sympatico. Like most other retailers they do have vegan friendly items that come and go, annoyingly at the time of blogging they don’t have a vegan sandwich (but check out Tesco’s surprisingly good hummus and carrot chutney sandwich now before it goes). They do have a new vegetarian Super Soya range, so far I have only identified the chilli and rice as vegan. The soya mince itself was a bit chewy and the chilli kick was very subtle, not a patch on Heston’s chilli but edible nonetheless. Their bubble and squeak cakes are insanely good and have raised a full breakfast to a whole new level. I keep their apple and sultana fruit bread in the freezer meaning I can just pop it in the toaster and slather it with spread. Another sweet treat are their iced and spiced fruit buns, even more of a great find because someone took the time to search for something vegan friendly just for me to add to the obligatory ‘bring cakes in on your birthday’ tradition at work. Oh and has anyone spotted/tried their soya milk yet, surely it’s only a matter of time before they start making a soya yogurt??

M&S super soya chilli and rice
M&S bubble and squeak
M&S apple and sultana fruit bread

Jus-Roll which is readily available has some fab products. Specialising in pastry they also have items like pain au chocolat and croissants. The best thing about their cook yourself croissants is that you can add a filling before cooking. The Lil Man typically asks for three things for breakfast: pancakes, waffles or croissants. Top flavour at the moment is banana and chocolate, but apple and cinnamon also works well and occasionally I do a savoury filling such as vegan cheese.

Jus-Rol croissant
Jus-Rol garlic pizza bread

Jus-Rol pain au chocolat

What are your favourite incidentally vegan foods?


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1 thought on “Incidentally Vegan”

  • Not just me who spends ages reading backs of packets then 😉

    I buy my lunch most days from MS and Waitrose – there’s plenty of things between them that are suitable. Sainsburys is OK, but Tesco/ASDA/Morrisons tend to be a bit rubbish for ready to eat stuff.

    Most supermarkets publish lists of own brand products that are vegan, though accuracy varies wildly (i.e. they’re a good starting point, but not a replacement for ingredients reading and common sense).

    I never quite know when a company states something as vegan how rigorously they checked how their suppliers produce each ingredient. As a general rule I only share accidental finds if the ingredients can’t be non-vegan (e.g. there’s no ‘flavourings’ or questionable items like red wine). I hope that companies themselves check these, but who knows!

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