I remember the days when finding vegan foods at cafes was almost as difficult as finding a decent date and the only way to have a veganised version of your old favourite foods is to make it yourself. As much as I like cooking and experimenting in my kitchen, there are days when I don’t have the time to cook anything more than tofu and two veg for dinner.
I’m having more and more of those days now, being a new mum of a fussy 3 months old. Some days I don’t even get a chance to sleep, let alone cook. Which is why I’m super excited when Coles announced the launch of its plant-based products range called Nature’s Kitchen. That’s right, Coles has come up with its range of plant-based products, 20 of them to be exact. Veggie patties, pasta, curry, sausages, you name it.
Being locally produced and Coles a native brand, the prices are quite competitive and sometimes more affordable than similar products which are mostly imported from the US. There are so many to choose from but here are the ones I especially loved:
- Nature’s Kitchen Chicken Style Tenders
- Nature’s Kitchen Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers
- Nature’s Kitchen Original Meat-Free Sausage
- Nature’s Kitchen Vegetable Tikka Masala (Pilau Rice) and
- Nature’s Kitchen Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese
The range is divided into two categories, one is ready-to-eat meals which you can just heat up in the microwaves and the second is premade munchies like sausages and veggie patties which you have to cook on the stove or in the oven.
I used these as my ‘emergency meals’ – for the odd times when I don’t have time to cook or ingredients to cook with. My husband and I had the Vegetable Tikka Masala and Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese one Sunday for lunch after we just got home from shopping for baby clothes (I was planning to cook until the baby started fussing and screaming for my attention). There was no way I would be able to make anything decent before we both pass out from starvation. I popped these two in the microwave for a few minutes each and lunch was sorted.
At first glance, both of the ready-to-eat meals look a bit on the small side but once you’ve tucked in, they are actually quite substantial. Flavour-full and filling. I added some steamed vegetables (broccoli this time) as I often do to meals to boost their nutritional content and it was perfect! They tasted fresh, not too greasy and not too ‘healthy’, if you know what I mean. I actually like them both as they are quite delicious but given that I’m more of a ‘rice’ person, the Vegetable Tikka Masala (Pilau Rice) was my favourite of the two. My husband likes the pasta more so he’s happy to have the Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese all to himself.
A few days later I found myself in a similar situation – it was 7pm and I haven’t had a chance to cook. The little one was screaming her head off while dear husband was trying to settle her. And so, I popped the Chicken Tenders in my air fryer and the Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers on the pan and made a decent dinner for two out of them.
The tenders remind me of chicken nuggets! It has great texture and slight chewiness and a crunchy ‘skin’.
The Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers is really good! I think this is my new favourite vegan burger patties, second to my home-made vegan burger. It has great BBQ flavour, seriously smokey, slightly sweet, chewy, and it doesn’t fall apart on the stove like I’ve found with most veggie patties.
And just a few of days ago, I made a big breakfast of scrambled tofu and sausages with the Original Meat-Free Sausages.
How good do they look?! Very realistic looking sausages, has a good bite to it, mildly spiced and yum! I wouldn’t be surprised if people can’t pick up the fact that it’s vegan. I think this is going to be a game changer for a lot of people and one of Nature’s Kitchen popular products.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with the Nature’s Kitchen products I’ve tasted so far and looking forward to trying the rest of their range. Well done Coles for making these delicious product range and making plant-based food more accessible to everyone. Times is definitely changing and there’s never a better time to eat vegan than now!
If you haven’t had a chance to try Coles Nature’s Kitchen range of products, check them out at your nearest store now and let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: This post is made in collaboration with Coles. All views and opinions shared are (and will always be) my own.