Letter from ‘The Ferns’ veggie B & B chatting about Lidl nut roasts, Plastic and Snow

Lidl nut roasts

I was reading  the Good Housekeeping web site and their review of 23 vegetarian options for Christmas For some years I have been buying our locally produced ‘Thank Goodness’ range of nut roasts, but I thought it would be interesting to try something new. Meat free Mondays  is starting to affect how we eat and 40% of us are chosing to eat less meat The Good Housekeeping Institute has , therefore, sampled some of the supermarkets offerings. They say that grocers are embracing the rise in veggie trends, with a better selection of great-tasting, meat-free dishes.

The GHI have sampled some of the supermarkets’ new offerings,  The top rated was Aldi’s ‘Specially Selected Vegetable Parcels Spinach, Leek & West Country Cheddar’

aldi-specially-selected-vegetable-parcels-spinach-leek-west-country-cheddar-0-.jpgRated 81/100

The Good Housekeeping verdict was: “Our testers devoured the golden, flaky pastry parcel seasoned with fine herbs. It’s comforting with creamy mature cheesy spinach and potato beautifully offset by crisp, buttery pastry. A great choice for all the family!”  Rated 81/100

I tried the product that they rated 4th out of 23. This was in fact was the top rated  nut roast, which was

Lidl Deluxe Hazelnut, Cashew & Cranberry Nut Roast

lidl-deluxe-hazelnut-cashew-cranberry-nut-roast-0-.jpg

The Good Housekeeping verdict was: “This delicious nut roast had a strong savoury aroma of mature cheddar and peanuts. Praised for tasting much better than it looks, the roast is densely filled with carrots, beans, nuts and cheese. Our testers kept coming back for more of this caramelised cheese feast”.

I do think that the image on the package does not look like the product  when in comes out of the oven or when it is served. This is disappointing.

As you can see below on the left  the  nut roasts looked fairly flat (see left image). What I did was to  run a fork across the tops to rough them up a bit (see right image),which made them look more home made

 

 

In respect of the Hazelnut, cashew and cranberry roast, . I feel that the really beauty of it is the cranberries dotted in the chunky nut mix, as you can see from the image below.

nr3 cranberry

Rated 78/100

The other nut roast was

Lidl Cashew, quinoa and carrot nut roast 

lidl-deluxe-cashew-quinoa-carrot-nut-roast-0-.jpg

This is described by the Good Housekeeping testers as:  “We adored this bright orange nut roast with its sweet aromas of carrot and onion, followed by an inviting scent of caramelised cheese. Bursting with flavour, this dish is well-seasoned with black pepper, rosemary, thyme and chunks of nut. However, some testers were disappointed by the mushy texture and felt it needed more bite”Rated 71/100

 

nr 4 quinoa

I wouldn’t  have said it was mushy. It did, however, have a totally different flavour to the  first. Mike  and my sister preferred this one, as it had a more sophisticated taste – not so sweet – despite having cashew nuts and carrots in.

The lowest rated on ‘Good Housekeeping’ website was Ocado Dee’s Christmas Vegetarian Stuffed Butternut Squash at 39/100. Oh dear. Won’t be trying that one!

Another good tip is to use any remaining nut roast as a  filler for  a ‘sausage’ roll. Thanks Bernie!

saus roll

Simple –  puff pastry with the nut roast fashioned into a sausage shape with some salad

 

Plastic

I have been worried  about the world getting swamped with plastic. I have done a beach clean several time when visiting Wales, but I have just read an article in The Times on which was titled: ‘Cleaning beaches cannot turn back tide of plastic’, which told of a study  of Cornwall beaches which showed that  90% of litter was made of plastic. The chief culprits were: drink caps, bottles, crisp and sweet packets and cotton bud sticks  Interestingly, only a fifth of the litter came from visitors to the beaches, most was washed in from the sea and so indicates that Beach CleanUp can not solve the problem because they do not tackle the source.

David Attenborough has urged people to stop using plastic unnecessarily.

The journalist, Ben Webster, recorded Prince Charles comments that there is so much plastic in the ocean that it will soon be consumed by anyone dining on seafood

 

methode_times_prod_web_bin_55dac6b0-a9cf-11e7-93f3-16e2d16612a0

Releasing a  turtle that  had plastic wrapped round its leg

tomasina

Here she is before the rescue

He condemned the “throwaway, convenience lifestyles of many around the world” and called for the rapid introduction of a deposit scheme on plastic bottles. He also urged industry to make all plastic easier to reuse or recycle.

So what am I trying to do? In the old days when I went to Wolverhampton market with my mum and dad, you would either take your own heavy-duty bag for  potatoes, onions carrots etc, and for everything else there were paper bags. I have now taken to doing market shopping again in the hope that I shall try to stop myself for buying vast quantities of plastic and sellophane wrapped fruit and vegetable. We have a small market in Newport and also one in Market Drayton.

market drayton market1

Market Drayton market, Cheshire St. Every Wednesday

The Market Drayton stalls have much more choice and one of the stalls is  happy to use our bags.

We have done our market shopping there for 3 weeks. You can see they are using our Waitrose bags. The only plastic I came away with was the three pack  peppers and cucumber.  If I buy my peppers at Waitrose or Aldi I know that I can buy the peppers individually, so I shall do this. I have my own cucumbers in the summer time, so maybe I shall stop buying cucumbers in the winter.

I think we all need to be aware of where our plastic is going ( landfill, China, the oceans) and how to cut down. See what you can do.

Snow

Well I have finally started doing my Snow warden work.

snow warden1It was quite interesting because I found that somethings worked and some didn’t. The heavy-duty gloves were  too difficult to use effectively.  The shovel was Ok for soft snow,  but not for clearing snow that had been flattened by  lots of pedestrians.

I also felt a bit conspicuous clearing just a patch of say 100 yards, when there was obviously no one else doing it  locally!  I wondered whether it was worth it to just have a small section of pavement cleared? I did think it was worth while  clearing  the corner of our road where the footpath  was sloping and went round a corner to a crossing, which  certainly needed  clearing  and gritting.

I also enjoyed going in to the town this morning. Saw some neighbours with their snow man

snow man 10.12.2017 Adam and Eleanor Hicklin

 

and the church and Puleston Cross looked lovely

town centre

Well we are nice and snug in our house today, and it is so nice to be able to walk into town to get any groceries that we need.

Have a happy and  meat free (or  less meat) Christmas!

Best Wishes, Linda

 

 

 

Advertisements