Coles 'Nature's Kitchen' Range Review
As many of you know, I’ve been vegan since 2014, and have truly been able to see how much Veganism has grown in the past couple of years. I remember when I first decided to go vegan, the main options out there were almond milk and maybe vegan ice-cream (if you were lucky). Nowadays, plant-based products, particularly meat alternatives are booming and hitting supermarkets all over the world! Every week I seem to come across new vegan products hitting the shelves, so you know what that means… I HAVE to purchase them to support them and also do a taste test.
Recently, Coles launched their new ‘Nature’s Kitchen’ range and boyyy am I impressed. I actually first found out about their range through vegan Facebook groups where people were excitedly posting up about how Coles’ vegan range had expanded (think vegan burgers, sausages, lasagne, and more). Today I’m going to be reviewing 4 of the products from their range to give you my honest thoughts and reviews on how they taste. Let’s go!
First off let’s start with the new ‘Chicken Style Meat-free Tenders’. A million different recipe ideas came to mind when I decided to cook these up, but I finally settled with the burger option and it was a winner! I’ve got to admit, they do have a bit of a funky smell when you initially open up the packet but that disappears once you fry the tenders. Let me just say, the taste and texture are both SO good.
Even my boyfriend (who had the pleasure of enjoying the other burger) said the same, they’re simply great. The taste isn’t anything too strong which I also like because it’s super versatile and you can easily incorporate it into other recipes. All in all, really impressed with this product and I give it my thumbs up!
Next up, we have the ‘Southern Smoke Infused Tofu’.
I was really excited about this one because I’m a big fan of tofu. Particularly since I grew up in an Asian household, tofu has always been a staple for me even when I wasn’t vegan. Firm tofu is my favourite so I knew this one was going to be a big hit for me. Well, guess what? I was right!! Not only is the texture of this tofu great, but they’ve really seasoned it well as it is the perfect mix of smoky, sweet and salty. Not to mention, since it already has a marinade all you need to do is cut it up, fry it then it’s ready to be enjoyed! Given the way this tofu was seasoned, I decided to add it into a burrito bowl as the flavours complemented everything really well. If you’re not big on plant-based meats, then this tofu is perfect for you.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Tofu, again?! But hold up!! There are different textures depending on what kind of tofu you buy so I was determined to try the new ‘Organic Silken Tofu’ since it is such a common ingredient found in Chinese cooking (i.e. the cuisine I grew up eating).
To prepare the tofu I simply sliced it and steamed it until it was hot throughout, then transferred it into a bowl and broke it up into smaller chunks using a spoon. To dress it, I put on a combination of soy sauce mixed with maple syrup (to make a sweet soy sauce), pepper, chilli paste/oil and sesame oil. Garnish with a handful of chopped green onion and sesame seeds and BAM you’re done! As easy as that. It’s a great dish to prepare for dinner to share with friends and family. For a complete dinner I’d prepare a greens-based dish (using Chinese broccoli or bokchoy), perhaps stir-fried with shitake mushrooms too. Bottom line is, if you haven’t tried silken tofu before or if you haven’t yet prepared it in this way, try it and you won’t be disappointed. It’s smooth, silky and quite literally melts in your mouth.
Last but not least, let’s review the ‘Original Meat-free Sausages’.
I incorporated them as part of a big vegan breakfast because hey, you can’t go wrong with that! So these (like the chicken tenders) also have a bit of a funky smell when you take them out of the packet, but it tends to go away once you fry them up. What I do really like about these sausages is that they actually have a nice casing on the outside, as I find that most vegan sausages don’t. They fry up really well as they don’t fall apart and the outside browns and crisps nicely. The texture is great, but I personally find these too meaty (which for some people is a great thing haha!). Taste is very subjective though and I know friends who have enjoyed them so I’d still recommend everyone to give these a shot.
All in all, I’m genuinely so impressed and happy with the new Coles Nature’s Kitchen range. I honestly didn’t expect them to come out with such an extensive range of vegan goodies and the fact that you can tell they’ve put a lot of effort into actually making them taste good is so amazing! I’ve tried a few other products in their range (their lasagne) and cannot wait to try the rest. They’re all reasonable priced too and I can’t wait to see Coles continue to expand their vegan range in the years to come!! Please go show them your support by purchasing the products to show that there’s a demand for these products, I promise each and every one of us make a difference and it goes to show since they’re continuing to introduce these incredible plant-based goodies into their stores! I hope you found this helpful, happy cooking :)