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Two roasts, and finally a taste of that Greggs sausage roll

Things have been quiet here lately, as a big hole in my budget (due to having to finance a four hour commute for a while!) meant there's not been much in the way of exciting cooking or eating. No more of those fancy M&S meals here, no sir. Trying to fill in the black hole in my financies means eating on the cheap, and so I've been cooking as much as possible from the cupboards and freezer. I just used up half a bottle of passata, a tin of black eyed peans and some root veggies to make a stew, then made some dumplings to go with, using flour and vegan suet from the stores. Cheap, filling and tasty - it didn't feel too much like eating punishment meals.

But all that frugality means I haven't got lots of exciting meals to share with you, so here are a few random pics from my phone from over the last few weeks.

A few weeks back, I went down to official home of the best vegan Sunday roast in South London, the Amersham Arms. Only it turned out I'd picked the one day that they weren't serving Sunday dinner. After drying my tears, I took the barman's recommendation to try the Royal Albert a short stumble down the road. Getting a good vegan roast in a non-specialist pub has always felt like getting soy milk from a stone, but the Royal Albert actually delivered. 

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The vegan roast was a sweet potato, kale and mushroom pie, along with all the good roast trimmings you'd like to see: roasties, carrots, broccoli, cabbage and a swimming pool of gravy. As a side note, I appreciate that the Royal Albert prices their vegan roast a few quid cheaper than the meat versions. It gets my (vegan) goat when places try and charge the same for vegan and meat meals: come on, folks, we know how much meat costs and we know how much vegetables cost. Stop trying to rip off vegans. Hat tip to the Royal Albert for not trying the same trick, and for a good roast. 

Having been denied our lovely Amersham Arms roast, we headed back to New Cross a couple of Sundays later to get the roast of dreams. I deviated from my usual order of Wellington, in favour of the chick'n and leek pie. It was nice, but I know now I was wrong to cheat on my beloved Wellington. Never again. 

South London's best vegan roast

That roast - look at those yorkies! - was definitely worth the wait.

And talking of long awaited vegan feeds, I'm happy to report I finally found a branch of Greggs that had the celebrated vegan sausage roll in stock. I bought one, took this pic and then snaffled it quietly on the train home. After weeks of hearing people tweeting about how good the vegan sausage roll was, did it live up to expectations?

In short, naaaah. I didn't love it. It just tasted way too salty, and the texture was a bit pappy. I'm not a convert to the Gregg's vegan sausage roll, but I'm glad it exists. I'm glad high street chains are adding more vegan options, I'm glad that there's something you can grab at a train station without animal ingredients, and I'm glad that it only costs £1.20. When you're on a tight budget, £1.20 for the latest vegan sensation seems very pleasing indeed.

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  1. January's are always hard for us because it's the slowest month work-wise...so we try and eat out of the pantry as much as possible. I had to break down and go shopping 2 weekends ago tho!

  2. Sounds like your pantry foraging is resulting in some fine meals but I am most jealous that not only do you have a pub serving amazing vegan roasts but that when it is not serving them they can recommend you one nearby - that sounds like heaven. And I am with you on the greggs sausage roll - great to have it available (after all who gets haute cuisine at greggs!!!) and I would love a taste.

  3. You found an elusive Greggs roll! Shame it wasn't that great though. Another friend told me she found it too salty -- thought she'd have to mainline water all day after eating one of those. I haven't tried it myself, I figured it was a bit over-hyped so I'm not bothering to seek it out specifically (but, good to know it's an option in a train station in case I ever need it!).

  4. I got to try a Greggs (Quorn) sausage roll on the first day of its launch, mine was overbaked and I agree salty! Its value for money for money though when you got the hunger pangs. I haven't had veggie pub grub in a long while, we only ever go out to eat at the pub when my MIL is over. Would be really pleased if I was served anything like what you ate. Your spot on re: places overcharging for vegan meals equiv to that of meat! I do a four hour commute to and fro work, so sympathise, makes it for a long long day.


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