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Value range products have changed a lot in the past decade or so. I have always bought things like value tomtoes and beans , as I don't see much difference between them and a premium brand especially when you are cooking with them. To this list I have added creamed rice pudding, custard and garlic bread, as they have come on leaps and bounds. Gone are the days of watery rice pudding. However I still will not buy value white bread nor eggs (as they are likely to come from caged hens). I was really swithering to buy Sainsbury's Basic Vegetable Sausages, when I spied them in the freezer section, as they are the main part of a meal but decided to try them anyway. You only live once and if they were that terrible I had only lost 99p. Plus thy really could not be as bad as some vegetable kievs I once had that were dry and just plain foul.
Veggie sausages come in two types. There's the fake meat ones resembling and tasting like a meat sausage as much as possible ala Linda McCartney and Quorn. Then there's the ones that are made of potatoes vegetables, cheese and other goodies and more resemble sausage shaped stuffing. I really like Tesco's cheese and leek sausages and adore the Wethersopoons ones you get with their veggie breakfast. . The Sainsbury's Basic sausages that come in boxes of 6 sausages are of the latter kind made up of various vegetables and held together by potato and a type of crispy coating. The great thing about these sausages is that they are approved by the Vegetarian Society and suitable for vegans too. At 99 pence they are between 50 p and a pound cheaper than their non value equivalents.
Opening the cardboard box I am greeted with six sausages about five inches long. They are a slightly orange colour and the vegetables (carrots, onion, sweet corn, pepper and green beans) are highly visible giving them a colourful mottled appearance. They had very little smell when in there frozen state. Perhaps there was a slight hint of vegetables but that was all.
The sausages are very easy to cook. You can either grill them on a medium heat for quarter of an hour or put them in the oven on gas mark 6 (can't remember the electric oven temperatures) for about 25 minutes. I did mine in the oven. I turn them about halfway through but they were still a bit soggy and pale but by the time the 25 minutes were up they had browned to a golden orange where they were not slightly blackened. In the cooking process they had been flattened slightly and were a bit less sausage like than when fully frozen.
The first time I had these sausage was with some mashed potatoes and peas and sweetcorn. This was a bit of a mistake, as the elements of the meal were all too similar. I was also worried about how much protein there was in the meal. Each sausage has 3 grams of protein out of the 45 grams you need each day. Luckily they are fairly low in calories with only 69 per sausage. They are also extra low in saturated fat (0.7 grams) and they only just miss being low fat at 5.6% fat. I found these sausages were much better as an accompaniment for beans on toast the second time I ate them.
The reason for having them as an accompaniment is that the sausages are less sausages more like potato croquettes with added vegetables. When fully cooked they have a nice crisp coating that must be the wheat gluten and rye flour. The aroma is again fairly nondescript. One you cut into them they are quite soft and a bit squidgy inside. The texture is adequate but definitely not like a sausage but the taste is rather mild. You can detect some of the vegetable flavours especially the sweetcorn but on a whole its like eating a bland potato shape with a hint of seasoning especially black pepper. They would have enhanced with some type of herb seasoning to give them a bit more flavour.
I am not sure whether I would get these sausages again or not. They maybe cheap, vegan lowish in caloris and fa but I find they lack the versatility of other veggie sausages. You certainly could not use these in a sausage casserole, toad in a hole or even barbecued in a roll. I think the term sausage is very much a loose one. They are nice enough as an accompaniment to something like beans on toast but in future I will pay the 50 pence or so extra for veggie sausages with a little bit more substance.
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I quite often eat vegetarian meals even though I'm not a vegetarian. I might try these as they can't be worse than Tesco's own offering however, I think most of the veggie sausages are too much potato and on the bland side. X