Goodlife recently got in touch to ask if we'd like to try out some of their vegetable-based foodie products. Nobody at The Madhouse is vegetarian but I am always looking out for healthy options and any simple swaps that cut down on fat/calories and get more fruit and veg into our diets has to be a good thing. They have a wide range of products available but I started off with some of their sausages and pulled two boxes out of the freezer.
On the left are the French Beans & Spinach Sausages with Wensleydale Cheese (a mix of peas, spinach, Wensleydale cheese, cauliflower and green beans with rehydrated bulgar wheat and couscous in a vegetable casing). On the right are Red Sky Tomato & Basil Sausages with Creamy Mozzarella (red pepper, tomatoes, sweet potato, rehydrated bulgar wheat and couscous with Mozzarella and basil inside a vegetable casing).
You can grill or fry them but I popped them in the oven for 25 minutes while I baked some potatoes. They actually looked exactly the same when they came out as when they went in, minus the frost ! I was surprised when Madhouse Daddy said that he wanted to try them too - he's French so a total carnivore and anything vegetarian is usually treated with disdain and suspicion ! I used them as I would normal sausages, serving them up with a baked potato and beans, and we both thought they were lovely. They don't have the usual "veggie sausage" background taste of soya (I think that's what it is) and they don't rely on vast quantities of herbs and spices to give them flavour, showcasing instead the natural flavours of the innovative vegetable combinations. They taste great as they are but could also be incorporated into dishes like sausage casserole or toad in the hole. I'd love to see the kids faces if I served them a rainbow of hot dogs using colourful Goodlife sausages instead of my usual bangers ! It could be a great way of getting veg-shy kids to try eating vegetables in a fun way too.
An even bigger advantage is that they are a healthier, lower calorie version of my usual sausages - the green ones contain just 86 calories per sausage and the red ones are 70 calories each.
Goodlife is a brand that I had never heard of but they have been creating inspiring vegetable-based products for over 25 years. The range consists of four sausage varieties and two burger varieties including: Beetroot & Feta Sausages with Roasted Fennel; Red Sky Tomato & Basil Sausages with Creamy Mozzarella; French Bean & Spinach Sausages with Wensleydale Cheese; and Cauliflower & Mature Cheddar Cheese Sausageswith Truffle Oil. Burgers include Spicy Veg Bean Burgers with a kick of Chipotle Chili and Picador Parsnip & Sweet Carrot Nut Burgers with crunchy Cashews.
I'm looking forward to trying out more products from the range very soon. Don't be fooled into thinking that they're just for vegetarians - the whole family (including carnivorous Frenchmen !) can enjoy them. With this in mind, I would like to see bigger boxes though, as each pack only contains four burgers or sausages which isn't enough for a complete family meal.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £2.69 for the sausages, £2.29 for the burgers
Available now from Waitrose, Booths, The Co-operative, Ocado and independent stores
for more information : http://www.goodlife.co.uk/
Disclosure : I received the products in order to write an honest review.