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Need advice on vegetarian food products in uk!

(26 Posts)
twomonkeysmama Wed 25-Jun-14 03:48:46

My 7 yo son has become passionately vegetarian about 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately he is a hideously picky eater- though to his credit he is trying everything I ask him to to try to get adequate protein and iron in. I am fed up with cooking 2-3 meals but we are finding our way. However I have been relying on prepared vegetarian foods like meat free "chicken nuggets" and veggie "ground meat" and vegetarian sausages etc a couple to a few times a week. He'll eat peas broccoli and corn, but hates peppers and eggs. We live in canada. We are coming to England to stay with family. My mother in law is trying to be so accommodating and has suggested quiche (hates it). Vegetable strata with peppers and Aubergine and courgette(sounds fab but he won't eat it) etc. but I don't want to bother her , so wondering if anyone can suggest some easy veggie products available over there!?!! She mentioned "quorn"? Not sure what that!!!

CorusKate Wed 25-Jun-14 04:36:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CorusKate Wed 25-Jun-14 04:37:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JamNan Wed 25-Jun-14 08:27:48

Quorn is very 'processed' and there are health worries about it such as allergic reactions and digestion problems. I wouldn't use it especially for a child. Will he eat grains or pulses? Indian food? Why not cook from scratch?

M&S and Waitrose do passable ready-made vegetarian meals.

Boleh Wed 25-Jun-14 08:45:14

Quorn will I suspect be very similar to what you are currently giving him in Canada, comes in mince (ground meat), nugget, sausage form etc. so he'd probably be pretty comfortable with it.

If you want to avoid this kind of meat substitute but still have things that look a bit similar you can also buy vegetable fingers - I loved them as a kid and still live them now, vegetable burgers, bean burgers, Glamorgan sausages (cheese and leek, no meat). Of course plenty if quick things like pizzas and soups can be meat free. The tricky thing is to make sure there is some protien, I can't see there being a huge amount in the veggie fingers for example.

I would agree that if you can get him onto Indian food it's great for pulses etc and lots of pasta sauces, risottos, stir fries etc can be easily made veggie but these are likely to be a bit more work for your MIL to cook.

For protien generally I try to mix it up between Quorn type things, eggs, nuts, pulses and cheese to get a decent balance, however I also eat fish which gives me an extra protien option.

MelanieCheeks Wed 25-Jun-14 08:51:03

Most supermarkets will have a range of frozen vegetarian meals - in my freezer I have from Tesco edemame bean burgers, veggie moussaka, and macaroni cheese. Sainsburys and other big supermarkets will have similar.

NoMoreRacismPlease Wed 25-Jun-14 08:51:17

As PP have said Quorn etc is everywhere but is very highly processed.
We are all veggie/vegan in our house DS is 2,veggie and picky as only a 2yo can be!
I make Glamorgan sausages (really easy!), dahl with a minimal amount of spice (a little cumin, coriander, no chilli), lentil stew with lots of veg, brown lentils and herbs. Beanburgers are easy to make from scratch and freeze well! Could you disguise eggs in a pasta sauce?

NoMoreRacismPlease Wed 25-Jun-14 08:53:17

Also really mild falafel goes down really well. Forgot to add can post recipes if you want smile

Clutterbugsmum Wed 25-Jun-14 09:15:13

Can I but in. Not quite a veggie myself but can some one post the receipe for Glamorgan sausages I made them years ago and really liked them.

traviata Wed 25-Jun-14 09:33:48

As I read the OP, the question is about guiding the MIL to buy suitable stuff, rather than the OP planning to cook from scratch during her stay.

We eat a fair bit of Quorn, and the DC find it very acceptable. I do know about the processed/allergic issues, but for various diplomatic reasons I don't interfere (DH is SAHD and does all cooking and meal planning), and it works for us. We don't like Quorn sausages.

OP, you and your MIL will easily find a big selection of ready-made food products in all decent-sized supermarkets - pies, sausages, burgers, and similar; filled pastas; pizzas. etc. As one poster said above, the issue may be getting enough protein. It's a shame your DS does not enjoy eggs.

you might suggest she gets Quorn mince and makes a tomato/mince sauce for pasta? (a version of spaghetti bolognese). If she cooks with mince she will be on familiar ground, but if she doesn't already use lentils and pulses, she might find it a bit of a challenge.

Other good brands are Linda McCartney or Cauldron foods.

perhaps you can go shopping with her soon after you arrive, to see what will work for you all.

Fundamental mainstays for many British children, whether or not they are vegetarians, are tinned baked beans in tomato sauce on toast (in our house we buy supermarket own brand, Heinz are terribly sweet); and hummous, which is eaten by the tonne.

upyourninja Wed 25-Jun-14 09:54:24

Oh and I love macaroni cheese and aubergine parmagiana, which can probably be bought but can also be cooked in bulk and frozen in portions to make life easy for your mum!

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 25-Jun-14 12:38:09

I think you're going to have to encourage him back into a more omnivorous diet until his tastes broaden. He's only 7yo and, however passionate he may be, he is not in a position to make this decision. If he had announced he was never eating fruit and veg you wouldn't take it seriously.

twomonkeysmama Fri 27-Jun-14 04:51:32

Thanks for all the advice. Mil is keen to have all prepping. And meal planning done prior to our arrival - we are only there for a few days. We are working into the eggs slowly. ( as it turns out he thought the yolk was yellow because it was a baby chick - I get that that isn't palatable! We've clarified! He has sensory issues and doesn't do spice. - which makes Indian challenging though a mild Dahl was one of His first foods as an infant!
I hope he'll agree to more omnivorous diet in time but I can't force feed him and he will simply not eat or just eat bread. I am encouraged by his willingness to try some new stuff, but this is so new and I want to not draw attention to it for him and keep mil calm. We'll not be home for masses of home cooking. Beans on toast is a safe bet as is macaroni and cheese and also cheese bean and corn quesadillas, and grilled cheese sandwiches - but all much the same - so a little protein variety a few times while we are away will be welcome! Thanks all.

twomonkeysmama Fri 27-Jun-14 04:53:33

Lol I have tried so many bean burgers and they azaleas end up sticking to the grill and falling apart!!! What's your magic! And is anyone able to post a recipe for these Glamorgan sausages? Sound yummy!

Clutterbugsmum Fri 27-Jun-14 10:51:35

glamorgan sausages I think I'm going to try some next week.

Doitforme Sun 29-Jun-14 13:45:15

All processed vegetarian food is just as bad as processed non vegetarian food. Full of additives, sugar, sweeteners, crap basically. Quorn is very suspect. The best way to adapt to yours sons vegetarianism is to get a cookbook and learn ways to make food yourself. Both my kids and I were vegetarian for a long while and didn't eat processed food. My two loved bean burgers using mashed butter beans, onions, fresh herbs, cheese, almond flour. Quick and easy to make really. Homemade tomato sauce full of blended veggies, lentils and beans. Can be used on pasta, rice or sauce on anything.

MyrtleDove Sun 29-Jun-14 19:31:24

Has OP said that she wants to avoid processed food though? I am a bit [confused hmm at the PROCESSED FOOD IS THE DEVIL brigade coming out when the OP has mentioned feeding her son faux meat. This would indicate that Quorn wouldn't be a problem for her. Quorn is not 'very suspect' ffs.

MyrtleDove Sun 29-Jun-14 19:32:56

Oh and OP most supermarkets here sell baked beans with veggie sausages, canned veggie ravioli, canned spaghetti with veggie sausages/veggie bolognese sauce. Not ideal I know but better than nothing when he won't eat anything.

Doitforme Sun 29-Jun-14 19:49:19

Quorn is actually controversial. Can and has caused life threatening allergies in many people. Its comes from a mold organism which is then multiplied in huge vats with added sugar.
I am not the "Processed Food is the Devil Brigade" thank you very much. Surely what we feed our kids and ourselves is very important. Food is what creates every cell in your body and the very stuff your body is made from so it makes sense to eat the best you can. Doesn't have to be expensive.
Sorry you got so offended by my comments Myrtle.

MyrtleDove Sun 29-Jun-14 20:50:08

Lol I'm not offended by your comments, just pointing out that if the OP is OK with faux meat she's probably fine with Quorn, so no need to tell her that it's omg so terrible. Lots of people happily eat Quorn and have no ill-effects whatsoever.

It's not a mould organism, it's from fungi - like mushrooms, unless mushrooms are suddenly terrible too. Sure, some people will be allergic but you can be allergic to anything - having an allergy to something doesn't mean it's dangerous. Yes, it's multiplied with sugar, that's how yeast and related fungi work - unless you've sworn off bread, the same thing happens with the bread you eat. We have a thing called the Food Standards Agency here, our food is not dangerous.

Food is not what creates every cell in our body hmm I'm not massively surprised by the scientific illiteracy going on here mind. Cells reproduce without food being involved. Food is important yes, but not worth spreading pseudoscientific nonsense about or being silly over processed food. Quorn is perfectly healthy food, a grip is needed.

Onykahonie Sun 29-Jun-14 22:03:45

Before Quorn was suspect, then it was all soya/soy based products! I reckon it's a plot by meat-eaters to starve us veggies into extinction! Quorn is low-fat, high in protein and fine as part of a mixed vegetarian diet imho.

There are plently of Quorn, soya and vegetable-based meat-free alternatives around in all major UK supermarkets (chilled and frozen). Of course there are also tinned and dried pulses, fresh fruit and veg etc.

Andcake Sun 29-Jun-14 22:24:22

Rather than enter the quorn or not debate ( I don't. Mind the stuff occasionally and ds has had a little) there are lots of veggie options available in uk supermarkets. My preferred brand is cauldron. The m&s veggie selection is quite nice vegetarian Kiev's etc
Does he eat pasta and sauce as that could be easy.
Totally get the yolk baby chick thought - it crosses my mind occasionally and I'm in my 40's. Puts me off eggs for weeks.
Also dried apricots are great for iron so a good veggie snack. My ds loves humus tescos do a range of flavours. Falafel whether homemade or shop bought (waitrose do some nice ones) are v good and the chickpeas have good protein. Although processed veggie ds quite like baked beans - a bit processed but another good source of protein. If he gets fussy over here I would offer him baked beans on toast as a quick simple lunch.

antimatter Sun 29-Jun-14 22:29:16

Most supermarkets have chilled cabinet with vegetarian food - sausages, patties, ready meals, various dips.

Look out for Linda McCartney vegetarian range in the freezer.

sleepdodger Sun 29-Jun-14 22:40:28

You'll find it much easier being veggie in UK as all supermarkets have huge sections vs Canada
Innocent veg pots handy for on the go- v balanced
Does he like pasta? Could you blend a load of stuff into a sauce and then sprinkle with veggie cheese?

sashh Mon 30-Jun-14 13:22:10

You will find vegi food in every supermarket. You will also find a lot of veggi curries (if he will eat it).

Does he eat dairy? I make sweetcorn fritters - basically a pancake batter with a tin of sweetcorn thrown in and then fried - very simple and MIL could cook a stack and freeze them.

Cauliflower and Broccoli cheese is everywhere in supermarkets, but again does he eat dairy?

The last place I worked had a salad bar which included 'protein pots' these were small pots of meat/cheese/fish so it kept the salad bar suitable for vegetarians and those who don't eat various meats for other reasons, could MIL do something like that, have some pots of protein in some form that he can eat when the rest of you have meat and then eat the same veg?

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