Saturday, 15 January 2011

Taste Test: Yves Veggie Nuggets

Like anyone, I get into my little ruts with meals, especially when I'm short on time. Part of my decision to stop eating meat was driven by my desire to eat a wider variety of higher quality food. That's why I wrestled with the idea of vegetarian 'convenience' foods, or meat replacements - it wasn't the point.But I was picking up my weekly shop on the way home one night and Choices Market were giving out free samples of these little guys. They look and feel like any chicken nugget I've ever eaten (the breading is more crumbly than fast food ones, but similar to comparable cook-at-home varieties). A tip of the hat is deserved for the thought put into their shapes - oblong and "the boot" (or, as it was noted on the web, "Minnesota", which is just delightful).

Taste-wise, they're somewhere between a chicken nugget and a mozzarella stick with the cheese missing. Crunchy on the outside, tender in the middle, they're a great alternative to any processed chicken product of dubious or fast-food-chain origin.

Nutritionally, we're on to a winner... I compared the nutritional info available on Yves, McDonald's and Bell & Evans websites and calculated that Yves is appreciably lower in fat and cholesterol, and higher in fibre than both of the chicken varieties. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Yves Veggie Nuggets contain more protein per 100g than McDonald's "all breast meat" nuggets do (curious, considering Bell & Evans "all breast meat" nuggests had considerably more).

It's worth mentioning that the Veggie Nuggets contain eggs, so they're not vegan. I wasn't able to read anything on their website about the origin of their eggs. More research to come!

At this point I'm still enjoying the novelty of veggie cooking, but it's safe to say that may wear off in time, or at least on occasion. Having a few 'cheater' items is a sort of insurance policy, especially after a night of G&Ts.

Final verdict: tasty, nutritionally and ethically angelic, considering the 'fast-food' category. Four out of five zucchini!

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