Vegan Alternatives to Cheese and Meat

Hi everybody! How are you? Here it’s all good and am enjoying the best winter weather: sunny and cold, perfect for walking! With so much talk of Veganuary, there is also talk of what are the best cheese and meat alternatives. And boy, there are many! But if you are following this blog, you might have noticed that I am not too keen on those plant-based brands that are owned by multinational corporations that are known for mainly dealing with non-vegan food and products. However, there are so many brands that were born as vegan and have been bought by such multinationals, making it difficult for people to navigate the variety of such products.

Don’t despair! In this post, I’ll try my best to help you with identifying such brands, making it a bit easier for you to avoid involuntarily buying from these corporations.

But before I proceed, I would like to say that this issue seems to annoy a lot some vegans because they raise the argument that: “It doesn’t matter buying from these multinationals because the main aim for vegans should be to have as many people as possible going vegan. We should actually be happy that vegan products are becoming more and more popular, as this will make it easier for people to go vegan”. I am going to make it clear where I stand: I don’t agree with this (next: the “plant-based options of McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC”…).

Corporations like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Unilever, Nestle, etc. are all very well known for exploiting animals, people and the environment: buying their products means financing them and helping them exploit more animals, people and the environment. Involuntarily buying from them happens: it has happened to me and it will happen again for a very simple reason, as they keep buying smaller, emerging, independent, vegan brands that are successful, so everybody will end up giving them some money. But then you learn, and if you know which are the brands, you’ll avoid them. But giving money voluntarily to Coca Cola, Pepsi and the likes, refusing to acknowledge the facts in the name of promoting veganism popularity, doesn’t help anyone, except such multinationals. It doesn’t help the animals that are being tortured and killed for the making of their non-plant-based products; it doesn’t help the people that are being exploited, especially in the developing countries; it doesn’t help the environment, which is being polluted and destroyed to make space for more intensive farming.

Obviously, there are also people that might not know about this issue, and well, we really can’t do much about that.

Remember that knowledge is power, information is power, knowing things is empowering and after a bit, you will be able to easily recognise which companies are owned by non-vegan multinationals.

Now, without further ado, here is a list of which plant-based brands are owned by the likes of Coca Cola, Unilever, Pepsi Co., etc.

  • Cauldron – tofu, soya-based products, falafel (Middle Eastern, Moroccan, frozen), Korean bites, Tandoori bites, sausages (Lincolnshire, Cumberland) (Monde Nissin);
  • Linda McCartney – vegan sausages, vegan sausage rolls (Hain Celestial);
  • Richmond – meat-free sausages/mince/burgers/bacon/meatballs (Kerry Group);
  • Naked Glory – no-chicken/no-beef/no-ham deli slices, quarter pounders, sausages, tenderstrips (roast, smoky BBQ, Tikka), no-beef strips, no-meat balls, chick’n burgers (Kerry Group);
  • Vegetarian Butcher – what the cluck, the great escalope, magic mince, little peckers, good karma shawarma, (Unilever);
  • Vitalite – dairy-free spread, dairy-free block/grated/slices (Saputo Dairy);
  • Sheese – creamy, blocks, grated, slices, (KKR);
  • Mozzarisella (Frescolat);
  • The Green Butcher – vegan slices (JSB);
  • Heck – vegan breakfast sausages, meat-free chipolatas, italia chipolatas, italia burgers (Heck)

These are some of the most common brands of plant-based foods in the U.K. that you can find in supermarkets.

Also, consider that there are famous plant-based brands that are not vegan (see Impossible Meat, you can also read some more here).

So now you will probably ask yourself, what will you be able to eat since these are very popular brands, so easy to find. It seems like this stuff is becoming more and more difficult!

But don’t worry, your TVCL is here!

Who is not owned by the big corps:



There are some more, but I hope this gives you the idea of how many creative people are out there, making new vegan products that you can buy without feeding the massive corporations. There is always an alternative, and your choice is important!

You can also find some more information here and here.

If you find it useful, let me know. Also, if there is any mistake, get in touch and I will rectify it 🙂



Recipe Sunday – Vegan Rösti

Happy Sunday! It is the end of the weekend, we’re getting ready to enter the new week (can you believe we’re already halfway through January?!) and I have the perfect pick-me-up for tonight’s dinner: vegan rösti.

These are delicious and deceptively easy patties of grated potato and kale or cavolo nero. I make them anytime I don’t know what to eat, want something easy to make, fairly healthy but with a little bit of a kick.

There are a couple of different ways to make them: either slightly boil the potatoes and then use a potato ricer or grate raw potatoes. As I don’t have a potato ricer and don’t want to cram my small kitchen with single-use utensils, I go for the second version, grating the potatoes raw. However, you could also boil the potatoes and grate them, but I find that some potato varieties don’t come out great and are just too smushed making it difficult to then get the classic Rösti’s appearance (unless you make the recipe for Smashed Potato and Sage Rösti by The Vegan Larder 😍).

One very easy recipe is the one from the Vegan Society.

There are also different versions of this recipe, using other veggies instead of the kale/cavolo nero, like in this recipe for Potato and Pumpkin Rösti by ElephantasticVegan.

My version is very basic:


  • 2 potatoes;
  • a bunch of kale (leaves only, no stems) or chopped leaves of cavolo nero;
  • pinch of salt and black pepper;
  • oil to grease the pan


  1. Peel the potatoes and grate them (similarly to julienne);
  2. Press the grated potatoes to drain excess liquid (otherwise they will stick to the pan and likely get burnt);
  3. Put drained potatoes in bowl with kale/cavolo nero and salt and pepper, mix well;
  4. Heat a bit of oil in a pan;
  5. Make patties (Rösti) of the potato and kale mix;
  6. Fry patties (Rösti);
  7. Serve hot.

I hope you’ll make this recipe and enjoy them as much as I do!

Let me know what you think.

Happy Sunday!



On Vegan and Plant-based Milk

Beautiful peeps! I hope you are all doing great and have survived the holiday period (and maybe enjoyed it, too!). I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed this time as I had a few days off from work and oh my, I needed it: the last months of 2021 had been quite demanding at work and hadn’t managed to get a proper balance in my personal life, so getting almost 10 days off had been fabulous. A lot of relaxing and recharging, much needed. It has been also a good time to catch up with some reading and researching and I am going to share with you the fruits of such research!

Today I wanted to expand a bit on what I was writing about in my last post, where I was referring to the Veganuary website suggesting to use certain foods and ingredients as substitutes for their non-vegan counterparts, while they are owned by big multinational corporations such as Coca Cola, Unilever, etc. that are really not vegan nor have animal and environment welfare as part of their principles.

An example, is the Alpro brand. Oooft! I know, it is everywhere, it is convenient and it has a wide variety of non-dairy products. Unfortunately, Alpro is owned by Danone, a massive multinational company with a focus on dairy products (it literally started as a yoghurt producer).

Similarly, the successful oat milk brand, Oatly, has been recently purchased by The Blackstone Group, an investment management group: its CEO, Stephen A. Schwarzman has shares in companies connected to deforestation in the Amazon (you can read a bit more here and here).

Another popular plant-based milk brand that is owned by a parent company to a multinational is Plenish, which has been acquired by Britvic, which “holds the franchises for producing and bottling Pepsi Cola and 7Up in the United Kingdom“.

Other brands that are not independent:

  • Rude Health (PepsiCo.);
  • Provamel (Danone);
  • Soya Soleil (Danone).

These are just few of the most popular brands that are taking over the vegan and dairy-free market of milk substitutes.

You might find this frustrating because these brands are easy to find and fairly cheap, and now you might wonder if there can be alternatives to these plant-based milks, as it seems that as soon as a brand becomes just a bit more available, any of the multinationals want a bite of them! Well, don’t despair! There are plenty of smaller and independent plant-based milk brands that are fairly easy to find and still maintain their ethical essence.

Among these are (and no, I am not sponsored by any of them):

  • Mighty Pea;
  • Plamil;
  • Ecomil;
  • Good Hemp;
  • Isola Bio;
  • Minor Figures (although I am afraid of where they are heading with their big expanse in the U.S. market).

The good thing about these smaller/independent businesses (at least in theory and from what they advertise), is that they use fewer and more genuine ingredients and it is easier to hold them accountable for what they are doing.

I am going to keep a watchful eye on the situation and will keep you updated with any changes.

It’s all for today, my beautiful kittens!


Veganuary it’s here!

It’s officially 2022. Today it’s the very first day of a new year and I am very excited to see what it will bring (but I don’t want to jinx anything as we’ve seen how the past 2 years have gone, generally speaking). And with the new year, it comes also Veganuary. Let’s take a look into it.

Veganuary is an initiative by the UK organisation with the same name, that promotes veganism by simply asking whoever want to take part to try a vegan diet during the month of January. I think it is quite a simple and fairly effective initiative and it can surely benefit the vegan cause: they provide facts to raise awareness without being too pushy, in their website you can find recipes to get you started as well as nutrition tips. They are making it very easy for people to potentially go vegan, without excuses of not knowing what to eat, of vegan food, being too difficult to make or that the dishes are not balanced. On the Veganuary website, you’ll find all the relevant information.

The initiative started in 2014 and seems to go quite well. However… I still have to find a person that decided to go vegan because they tried Veganuary. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I live in a small rural town, but it also seems that the places where I can get a vegan takeout or even sit in for a meal, have either closed or significantly reduced the variety of vegan food on offer. Yes, supermarkets are providing some ready meals or quick to make stuff, which is great when you are in a hurry and didn’t manage to cook anything the night before. But they are not for everyday consumption. So I am wondering where are all these vegans? Are they only in the bigger cities? If you know, please share your knowledge.

Now, going back to Veganuary and its effectiveness. I applaud the initiative and the organisation because they are raising awareness not only in the UK but all around the world, and as the old saying goes “The more, the merrier”. But I have to raise a concern (no, I don’t have to-have to in the categorical sense, but that I feel I should. Then why you don’t say that? Because I don’t want to. Now let’s proceed.): some of the ingredients they are suggesting people should use, are from brands owned by multinational companies such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, etc, which we established are not vegan (you can find a list of non-vegan companies, as well as a chart of the multinationals and the brands that they own). I know that many vegans are very excited about this initiative, and again, I am too and I am very supportive. Also, I understand that they are promoting the use of certain foods because they might be cheaper than buying them from smaller, independent companies and it’s also easier than making them yourself: all factors that can help people approach veganism.

Nevertheless, I strongly believe that any money given to these companies is just protracting the suffering of animals: it doesn’t matter that that product is labelled as plant-based and vegan-friendly if it comes from a business that is exploiting animals, its employees and the environment (you can read some more of this here). There are really plenty of small businesses that make vegan food and ingredients, that are true to vegan ethics because they were born as vegan and ethical companies. There are several places where you can find lists of such businesses for vegan food, clothes etc. and if you find yourself stuck in terms of beauty products and snacks, FreedmStreet is the website for you (no, this is not a paid post, it’s just that I have been buying stuff from them for the past 3 years and I am always 100% satisfied, hence why I am suggesting it).

So, go vegan, try it for January, for a few months or for your life, but try to do also some research: there are many resources online that you can consult and this blog wants to make your life easier, plus there is a massive community online and many charities and organisations to whom you can talk about going vegan.

If you need any assistance, please leave a comment or get in touch!

And to conclude, here are some easy recipes to get you started