Burger King vegan whopper

Confession time…I have never had a Burger King burger before. This January is actually the first time I think I have ever had a Burger King ever in my life. So I am really branching out now and having what is most likely the first fast-food burger I have had in at least 12 years. I have had McDonald’s burgers before…but again I think the last time I had one was when I was about 12/13? Because I then went vegetarian shortly afterwards.

I have always heard that out of the fast-food places, Burger King was the elite: The fries were the best, the burgers were the size of a baby’s head and the price was a really good value for money. They also tasted ‘not like fast-food’. So we finally decided to test whether that was still true and to see if the burgers lived up to the same level as they had done before going vegetarian.

I decided to go with the vegan whopper, as I think that is the most staple of the Burger King meal. I decided to go for the Whooper over the Royale as the Royale genuinely looked HUGE in comparison and I didn’t trust that I would actually be able to finish it all. I was a little bit nervous of the Whopper as it was indeed….whopper.

The vegan burger patty is a soya based patty, and there had been some controversy around it when first released in 2020 as it was still cooked on the same grill as the meat products were. From reading Burger King’s FAQs and the information available on their website though, they say that they now have separate grill for each type of product, so there is very little risk of cross-contamination. Make of that what you will. I decided to chance it and trust that they were doing all that can to keep vegan products separate from meat products, because let’s be fair – it’s not really that hard. Especially for a multi-billion dollar company that could easily afford the equipment/space/resources.

But I digress…

So right off the bat, this is the perfect meal to justify ‘vegan for the animals’. The burger alone was around 320 calories. Which I suppose on it’s own isn’t the worst meal you would choose but if you include the chips – which are around 385 calories!! – it’s a pretty big meal. Which isn’t bad because 700 calories for a meal is probably considered quite small. BUT – and this was the big issue I had – even after 700 calories of food, I was still STARVING. I could have eaten at least three of these burgers and even then I don’t think I would have felt satisfied.If you were to eat 700 calories of any other food, you’d notice it. But these felt like eating air because I was hungry maybe 5 minutes after finishing.

It also didn’t taste that great. I mean it tasted like a fast food burger. It was exactly how I remembered it tasting: slightly fake while still being quite sweet. Aside from the fact that it looked quite sad and squashed when I took it out of he wrapper, it tasted the exact same. I would like to say that you could really notice the vegan patty, but honestly I didn’t. If you have ever had a fast-food burger, then you have tasted what this whopper tasted like. Pretty basic and nothing special, but exactly what you were expecting.

Price wise it is on the more expensive end for a fast-food meal. Especially when you factor in how it tastes (i.e exactly like every other fast food product). That aside though it is still pretty cheap, at £7.50 for a whole whopper meal, with fries and drink. That is also the price if you pick the large size of everything, otherwise it is slightly less the smaller the meal. But even with the price, you could make a way better burger yourself at home for maybe £5: Meatless farm burgers (for example) are around £3, a 4 pack of vegan brioche rolls from Aldi is £1 and the toppings and sauces maybe work out to be about another £1. This also gives you more than one meal so most likely works out even cheaper in the whole. SO while the whopper scratched a curiosity itch to see what fast-food was like, but I really don’t see what the benefit is to having this over a home made burger? Aside from the time it takes to cook it.

Overall: 4/10. Fine if you’re really stuck but definitely not worth it when you can make far better options at home for a fraction of the price.

T xxx

Krispee Kreme apple custard pie doughnut

As promised, I have now tried all three of the new Krispee Kreme Veganuary offerings. Don’t say I don’t ever do anything for you guys…

I have to say I think this one is the winner. It really did taste like an apple pie! The doughnut itself was the light and fluffy sponge that we know Kirspee Kreme for, and the topping was a nice crunchy crumble that gave a nice extra texture of the doughnut as a whole.

The inside filing was also really nice. There was the perfect combination of apple and custard, and both complimented each other very well. It wasn’t overly sweet either so didn’t leave me feeling sick or bloated. It also didn’t seem too ‘stuffed’ in that when I bit into the middle I didn’t have filing trying to escape from both sides of the doughnut as can happen with these big doughnuts.

Price wise it is the same as the other two: £2.65. Which in comparison to some offers out there is a bit expensive, but as a special edition, ‘luxury’ flavour it is pretty cheap. It was also very refreshing to see a vegan dessert option on sale from a big company that actually felt quite creative: it wasn’t just simply chocolate or salted caramel as so many options out there are, and it was really nice being able to taste an ‘apple crumble pie’ that I hadn’t had to cook myself.

Now for the real big question though: How do these compare to Doughnut Time? Personally, I still think Doughnut Time is way ahead of the other doughnut companies purely for the creativity of the flavours on offer. However, I would expect their doughnuts to cost double the price when they are a) double the size and b) so niche in their flavourings. I don’t think Doughnut Time will ever be a place you go to for ‘just a doughnut’. It’s somewhere you go to for a decadent and over the top experience. But I am very impressed with Krispee Kreme, it must be said. All of their doughnuts have been pretty high level (we won’t include the caramel review in this), and it is good to see that such a large, worldwide company such as Krispee Kreme is finally stepping up their game to keep up with the vegan demand. Hopefully in the years to come they will also branch out even more and start offering flavours of doughnuts that will be able to give Doughnut Time a real run for their money.

Either way I am excited to see where the next step in vegan doughnuts will take us.

Overall: 9/10. A very good start to the year, and I am excited for what is to come in the next few years.

T xxx

Burger King vegan nuggets

A Veganuary Newbie! BurgerKing have actually had a vegan burger for the last year or so, however there was a lot of controversy around it as it when it came to light that the vegan burger was cooked on the same grill as the meat burgers. I – along with a vast majority of other vegans – were therefore not keen on that offer, and so to this day I have still not tried the vegan burger from BurgerKing. But when they announced their new nuggets, I had to try these.

*While writing this I actually had the panic of whether or not the vegan nuggets were cooked in the same oil/fryer/grill as the meat ones. After some internet sleuthing, it appears that Burgerking have now changed their system so that they have allocated fryers/grills etc for each product. This appears to be more for allergy reasons (still very good though!) but it appears as though all of the vegan products have their own separate fryer. If anyone can find information that is different though, please let me know!

So these nuggets were really good. I would say they were very similar (if not identical to) the Birds Eye chicken nuggets that you can buy in the shops. So if you like the Birds Eye version then you will enjoy these Burgerking versions. They were crispy and fluffy and just exactly what you want a nugget to be.

Price wise, you can get packs of 3, 6 and 20 – quite the jump. They start from £3.99, £4.99 to £6.99. £7 for 20 nuggets!! That to me is Bargain of the Year. Although not sure if I could really eat 20 of these by myself…

Overall: 7/10. A really good addition to fast food, but no different to what you could already buy in a supermarket.

T xxx

Veganuary additions at Starbucks

I am not a coffee drinker, so I don’t tend to frequent coffee shops unless they a) have really big cups of tea or b) they have new vegan options on sale that I have to try. Starbucks would be one of those places. They tend to have quite a good vegan range, and also recently announced that they would no longer charge extra for vegan milk alternatives (about time!!). They also tend to do quite a lot of seasonal treats so I do find myself stopping in every season or so if something takes me fancy.

Until now, I had only ever had soya milk in my coffees because that was usually the only milk alternative that places do not charge extra for (and I include Starbucks, Costa and Cafe Nero in this, although there may be others) so when I saw that Starbucks were doing a whole new oat latte line for their festive new year drinks, I was quite excited! I have heard that oat milk is best in coffees, as it thickens up and froths up the nicest out of all of the non-milk milks.

On offer they have chocolate and orange oat latte and strawberry and vanilla oat lattes. They are also offering a honey and hazelnut oat latte but since I do not consider honey to be vegan friendly (more on this topic to come later!) I don’t include this in their vegan menu. I therefore went with the chocolate and orange latte, as it sounded the nicest option. Plus who doesn’t love chocolate orange??

It was actually quite disappointing. It had the tiniest hint of chocolate, but tasted more like a standard mocha than it did chocolate orange. I will admit the oat milk did seem a lot frothier and fluffy than my usual soya latte, but it didn’t add any flavour to it. Maybe coconut milk would add a little bit of sweetness? I tend to find coffee a bit too bitter to have in large amounts, so anything to sweeten it up is all good in my books. I got zero orange flavouring from this latte, so overall it was just a nice mocha. It wasn’t awful, but it also wasn’t anything to get too excited about.

I also tried the vegan carrot cake that looked way better than it tasted. Carrot cake is probably my favourite type of cake (true vegan choice right there!) and I have still not yet mastered the perfect home baked carrot cake. So I therefore have to make do with what is on offer when out shopping. Surprisingly (to me anyway) carrot cake is not a very popular flavour (???) so I think I have only had carrot cake maybe twice in the 6 years I have been vegan. They also had on offer for Veganuary a chocolate and caramel muffin (groundbreaking), a cherry crown pasty (this did look pretty nice to be fair to them), a pecan and caramel brownie and a caramel and date cookie. So out of those offering, only the cherry crown pastry is even remotely exciting. Unless again you like caramel everything.

This carrot cake was so dry and it was THICK. It was almost like a bread it was so thick. It is actually quite small by snack standards but I was more or less full by about half way through it. You definitely needed a drink with this though as the cake itself managed to find every bit of moisture in my mouth and suck it away, meaning I had to really work to chew and swallow each bite. Combined with the coffee, it wasn’t the worst, but it definitely was not the soft and light spongy cake that I had been expecting.

Now I know that Starbucks are not the best business – they have routinely been outed for paying little to no taxes in the UK and they are also one of the big companies that took a covid bail out payment, despite being a multi-million dollar company. In my high street alone there are 3 Starbucks stores – and all 3 are pretty big with quite a number of staff – so it is not like they are struggling for money as much as they claim to be. That side of the ethics aside, they are one of the more expensive coffee shops out there: I had only a tall latte (the smallest size) and the cake and that alone was around £6. Which personally I could get a way better snack and a way better drink at literally any other store for less money than that. I do feel glad that I am not a fan of coffee because the idea of drinking Starbucks every day would genuinely bankrupt me – £4 every day for a tiny coffee?? What do people have to earn to be able to afford such spending!?

Now I am quite a forgiving person though so I may still go back and try some of their other options. I am also a big believer in supply and demand, so if it takes me trying multiple vegan options in their stores to convince them to create more exciting and readily available vegan coffee and cake options, then so be it. Again though, I will not expect anything special….but hopefully something at least passable.

Overall: 4/10. It’s fine. Definitely not the best option out there but good in a pinch.

T xxx

Krispee Kreme caramel doughnut

I feel it is my duty to try all of the Krispee Doughnuts so here we are! This time I went for the Salted Caramel doughnut. I still believe that salted caramel is a really lazy option for vegan treats, as there are so many other combinations that would be far tastier and far more exciting. I think every single brand out there has salted caramel as their vegan option and honestly it gets old quick. Especially if you’re like me and don’t like caramel all that much anyway. But I had been very impressed by the other new vegan options that were release so I thought it only right to give this one a go too.

Now this was not good. I missed the part of description that told me it had a salted caramel filling, so I went into this just expecting a simple caramel topped doughnut. I like caramel in small doses, so was quite looking forward to this. It was the lovely soft and fluffy dough that you’d expect and the chocolate and caramel on top was a nice combinations of flavours without feeling too sickly.

But then I bit into the middle and got at least 90% of the caramel filling in one bite. I nearly gagged. I have never had my mouth welded shut before but this was very similar – there was so much caramel that I truly struggled to even open my mouth. It was so sickly too that my immediate reaction was to just spit it out, but it was so gummy and sticky that I couldn’t open my mouth to do so. After about ten seconds of my inwardly panicking that this was how my life ended, I finally managed to spit it out and now I think I have a fear of these doughnuts.

I’ve said before that I am not the biggest fan of caramel as I find it so overpoweringly sweet, and I always find that salted caramel tastes burnt to me. But I thought that if this had just been a standard doughnut, with the caramel top and nothing in the middle, that it may actually be alright – there would be no overpowering flavours and I wouldn’t feel like I was going into sugar shock afterwards. This is therefore your warning to read food descriptions FULLY and CAREFULLY, so you don’t have the experience I had.

Again, this is a speciality doughnut so it was £2.65. So for a near death experience, pretty cheap. But I would say that unless you absolutely LOVE caramel (as in, would happily bathe in the syrup if it was allowed) then do not try this. You have read above how I found it, but then my partner tried it and (being a big caramel lover) gave it a full 10/10. ‘Best doughnut ever’ he said as I hid away from him for fear the doughnut may try to finish me off for good.

Overall: 0/10. Only good for those who live for the caramel. Which if you do, then this will probably be your Holy Grail of vegan food.

T xxx

‘The reality of…’ series

When I was thinking about ways to improve this little blog, I thought about some of the things I wish I had known more about before I started on my vegan journey. There is so much information out there that it can be very overwhelming to really know what the reality of a situation is: I knew that eating meat felt immoral to me, but why did i think this? I knew that most vegans don’t wear wool or silk, but what was this based on?

Veganism can tend to be viewed in a very black and white mind frame, in that you are either 100% perfect or you are a bad vegan. Even when I have looked into some of the issues for my own interest and for my own information, the amount of information was still too overwhelming to really wade through, and the information was at both ends of a spectrum: Either 100% good or 100% bad. There was very little middle ground, and I think that this middle ground is where many people sit when deciding whether or not to begin a vegan lifestyle.

I therefore thought it would be helpful to see both sides of the arguments on a number of different topics and issues. Hence, ‘The reality of…’ series was born! I really want to be able to not only deepen my own knowledge of a topic, but also to share that information with others and open up a chance for discourse and discussion. I do not believe that anything in life is as a simple and good and bad, and this is always something that has really interested me. It will also be interesting to see what new things we learn along the way and see if that in turn affects our views on other subjects.

I truly believe that a person can never be too informed about a situation and as someone who loves learning and reading up on different viewpoints and arguments, I am really looking forward to seeing where this series goes. I cannot guarantee when I will post them, as I already think some topics may be WAY more complicated than others and therefore will have way more information to read through. But I will be aiming for at least once a month to begin with and see how I get on with that!

If any of you guys have any topics or issues that you would like to discuss or wish me to research, then please do let me know in the comments, or even send me an email and I shall do my best to get through them!

T xxx

Krispee Kreme chocolate fudge brownie

So these were actually available before the New Year actually began, so thankfully I was able to try the vegan options before my healthy kickstart started! I decided to start with the one I thought I would most enjoy, and it was the chocolate fudge brownie.

This was no where near as sickly as I thought it would be. It also wasn’t as…gross as I thought it might be? As in I thought I would eat it and need to lie down from the amount of sugar coursing through my veins. But it was actually quite mild. The dough was soft and spongey and the icing wasn’t overpowering at all like icing can tend to be. There was some chocolate in the middle of it but I think this must be mostly dark chocolate as it was almost bitter. Which when combined with the sponge and icing was actually a really nice combination, as the sweet and tart mellowed each other out a bit.

I actually felt quite satisfied after it too. I didn’t feel sick, but I also didn’t still feel hungry. I also didn’t feel bloated and gross like some sweet treats sometimes can make you feel and I honestly expected that when I saw just how sweet the doughnuts looked on display.

Now the main question – did it beat Doughnut Time? Now those who have read through my posts will know that Doughnut Time is one hell of a guilty pleasure. The doughnuts on sale there are extravagant and extra and are a once in a while treat (and not just because of the fact that they are exclusive to London) that I do not have on any regular basis. This Krispee Kreme doughnut however, I probably would have more often. It isn’t as sweet and sickly, and are quite a reasonable size too. They aren’t anything spectacular (the Doughnut Time options are works of art on their own right) but are definitely an easily available and affordable option.

Price wise this doughnut was £2.35. Which isn’t that expensive, especially when you can get a pack of 6 for £10. They are however slightly more expensive than the non-vegan options, possibly due to the fact that they are considered ‘limited’ or ‘special’. There are one or two ‘special’ non-vegan doughnuts which are the same price so I guess there isn’t too much of a vegan tax on them. Unfortunately though, it seems as though you still cannot get just a plain glazed doughnut from Krispee Kreme unless you order it directly from their website, and even then you have to order a 12 pack of them (at least near me anyway, it may be different world-wide) which just seems odd to me. As it stands, the only places you can buy just a plain and simple glazed doughnut is Gregg’s, and a plain sugar ring is available at Wenzel’s. But it’s nice that we vegans can now have an option that is a little bit special.

Overall: 8/10. Surprised I enjoyed this as much as I did. Definitely a good contender, especially for something a bit more special than just a glaze or a sugar ring.

T xxx

Veganuary 2022

It is the best time of the year…Veganuary!

Honestly the period between Christmas and New Years is normally so exciting because it is the time when brands and restaurants announce what new items they will be releasing for Veganuary. Obviously some are more exciting than others but the main thing is just how many brands announce new things – too many to really keep up with! But I thought it might help to list a few of the announcements that I am most excited for, and naturally as more are announced throughout the month I shall keep things coming!

For starters though, if you want to learn more about Veganuary, the month challenge, or for inspiration and starting points on how to begin your own vegan journey, please do check out the official Veganuary website for all the information you need. You can then go through my blog and see which vegan items currently on sale are worth a try, and which you need to avoid.

Krispee Kreme

First off, I think Krispee Kreme are super late to this party – as one of the LEADING doughnut companies in the world it is laughable that they have only JUST come out with more than one vegan option. Shameful really. That being said, I am so excited to try these new flavours that I don’t even care how long it took them to get them out! They have released Fudge Brownie Bliss, Caramel Choc Delight, and Apple Crumble doughnuts. Judging by the other non-vegan options they have, I am fully expecting to go into diabetic shock after one bite of each…but some things need to be done. Once I find a store near me that actually stocks them I will definitely let you know my thoughts!

Lidl

The supermarket has gone ALL OUT with their vast vegan range. They have released about 10 (although this could be way more, I haven’t counted since their first announcement) new items, including gnocchi, burgers, pizza and broccoli nuggets. No doubt there will be more as the year goes on, as Lidl are probably the best supermarket for the affordable vegan options. I intend to slowly make my way through the entire Vermondo range and let you all know the winners.

Meatless Farm chicken breasts

I am a BIG Meatless Farm fan. Their burgers are my go-to favourites and their entire range is consistently high quality, tasty and affordable. It wasn’t until the announcement though that I realised that they don’t appear to have done a chicken style meat yet – I have only ever seen red meat alternatives – so it will be very interesting to see how a chicken style meat replacement option compares to the red meat options. If they are as good as the rest of the range has been, then these could potentially be a meal staple for my household and a true game changer for our meals.

Babybel

Yep. You read that right. Babybel – a true staple of Britain and cheese – is releasing a vegan version. Now I have not had a Babybel for….well…years. At least 6 years at this point anyway. But even now I hear people talk about how Babybel cheese is on a different level to other dairy cheeses, so my expectations are high for a plant-based vegan version. I also believe this is one of the few cheese brands that has made a vegan option available – most vegan cheeses are either from specialist vegan brands, or are a supermarkets own version for their own plant-based range. My hope is that if Babybel can come up with a vegan option, then maybe other big brands like Philadelphia and Cathedral will also bring out their own vegan options. We shall see….

Watch this space everyone, and if you have seen any other announcements that you are super excited about please let me know in the comments and I shall make sure to check them out!

T xxx

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2022!

Goodness what a bizarre thought that is. Part of me felt like 2021 would never end and at the same time it seems to have flown by so quickly.

Needless to say 2021 was a busy year, and burn out was very real towards the end of the year, so apologies for the zero posts during December. But I decided to just take the whole month off, enjoy the Christmas and festive period, and to have a think of where I wanted to take this little blog moving forward.

So with that being said, I will be trying some slightly different content on this blog moving forward and I am very excited for some of the things I have planned. I hope you all had a wonderful New year – however you may have celebrated – and I will see you guys all very soon!

T xxx

Garden Gourmet burgers

I think I may have found the best burger…

I had not seen these on sale before, but had heard good things about the range as a whole. So I gave them a try, wanting something different to my usual Meatless Farm burger. Oh boy were these a treat and a half!

I found these to be the perfect medium between the Meatless Farm burger and the Beyond Meat burger. Personally, I found the Beyond Meat burger TOO meat-like. It was very juicy and the texture was almost too close to actual meat for my liking. So while I can attest that the Beyond Meat are indeed very good burgers, as someone who doesn’t like the texture or look of actual meat they were a bit too realistic for my liking. The Meatless Farm burgers are also very yummy, but do run the risk sometimes of being a little too dry – they definitely need cheese or a sauce in order to make them an elite burger.

But the Garden Gourmet were amazing! They were just the right amount of juicy, so you didn’t end up making a massive mess down yourself when taking a bite, but not so juicy that they almost ‘bled’ when they cooked the way the Beyond Meat burgers do. The texture was also perfect – slightly chewier than the Meatless Farm Burgers but not so chewy that you actually question if it is real meat you are eating. As I say, for my own personal preference, this is exactly what I want in a burger, so I would highly recommend you try these if you enjoy the Beyond Meat but don’t want to pay the Beyond Meat price tag for hem.

I bought this pack for £3 so it is on the slightly pricier side of meat-free burgers out there, but when compared to the £5 price tag of the Beyond Meat option this actually seems like a true bargain! You also get two burgers in a pack, so if it is just you you’re cooking for, that’s two very tasty meals sorted. I also feel that this would be the right type of protein that you could have just on it’s own – similar to how you may have eaten steak I guess? – with just some veg and chips or something like that. It really doesn’t need much added to it for it to be tasty so anything you do add just amplifies it up another level. I had it with some This Isn’t bacon strips and some Violife mozzarella squares and – OH MY – words cannot express how good these are.

Overall: 10/10 so far as I am concerned, but 9/10 for those who like their meat-alternatives to be as close as possible to the original meat version.

T xxx