PETA UK Vegan Food Awards 2015
The future is bright for the vegan food revolution. 2015 has seen even more vegan cookbooks hit the shelves, vegan restaurants are popping up in every corner of the UK, and Beyoncé has even launched a vegan food home-delivery service.
It makes perfect sense – choosing vegan is a recipe for enhanced health, a reduced carbon footprint, a clearer complexion and an even clearer conscience. And for producers, it makes good business sense, as vegan foods can be enjoyed by everyone, even the most ardent meat-eaters, many of whom are looking to reduce their consumption of animals’ eggs, milk and flesh.
Consequently, specialty vegan food has never been as widely available as it is today. So, to help you navigate the dizzying array of faux meats, dairy-free sweet treats and other animal-friendly favourites on sale across the UK, our judges have been busy sampling the very best of what’s on offer. The winners below are our top picks – feast your eyes on this lot, and then go out and feast on them yourself!
Best Dairy-Free Milk
There’s nothing quite like a glass of vegan chocolate milk. This creamy, chocolaty drink is packed with oaty goodness and healthful fibre and even fortified with calcium and vitamins. It’s perfect for hot chocolate, too.
Best Vegan Meat
Kids (and adults) love these moreish chicken-style nuggets, and you can rustle them up in just 8 minutes. Serve them with a crispy green salad or chunky chips for the ultimate comfort food.
Best Vegan Mayonnaise
Unleash the taste of this smooth, easy-squeezy mayo. The creamy egg-free delight is the perfect accompaniment to chips, or add it to a salad-packed sandwich to perk up your lunch break.
Best Dairy-Free Cheese
These original cheese slices from Violife are the real deal and prove that vegans don’t have to give up cheese. The satisfying cheesy slices are perfect for sandwiches and toasties, or do what we do and eat them straight from the pack. They’re available at Asda and Tesco, so you’ll never have to go without.
Best Faux Seafood
Grill or barbecue these with a bit of oil, lemon and garlic for the ultimate vegan prawn experience. The succulent “prawns” bring an additional dimension to any last-minute vegan curry you happen to be whipping up – and no one had to die for them.
Best Vegan Burger
We were spoilt for choice with vegan burgers, but these juicy ones from Linda McCartney nabbed the top spot. Perfect grilled, the rich mushroom and spinach taste will make you feel warm all over.
Best Vegan Sausage
We can’t believe how good these taste. The pork-style “sausages” are wrapped in a delicate puff pastry for a satisfying crunch through to the soft centre. And the best part? They’re cruelty-free, of course! Serve with a generous splodge of ketchup.
Best Vegan Curry
The newly vegan tofu katsu curry from YO! Sushi takes the curry crown. There’s an explosion of taste and texture in each bite, but it’s mild enough for everyone to enjoy. Add some of YO!’s vegan vegetable gyoza dumplings and inari pockets and you’re in heaven.
Best Vegan Pizza
The pizzas at this growing chain are completely customizable, and that includes the option for lush, melty vegan cheese. This is seriously good gourmet pizza. Whether you have it delivered to your door or dine in, you can finish your meal with Firezza’s refreshing vegan sorbet.
Best Vegan Pie
This organically produced pie is a hearty classic with an Arabian twist. Filled to the brim with satisfying vegetables and chickpeas, the addition of apricots and hint of mint inject a surprisingly sweet kick. It’s vegan, of course, and you’d never guess this perfect flaky crust is gluten-free, too.
Best Vegan Ready Meal
This is the ultimate vegan comfort food with all the rich creamy cheese taste you could want. In a hurry? A few twirls in the microwave and it’s done. Be sure to look for “dairy-free” on the label as not all Amy’s mac & cheese products are suitable for vegans.
Best Vegan Noodles
It’s rare to get this kind of flavour at this value. A substantial serving of noodles is smothered in yakisoba sauce and topped with a generous helping of fried tofu. If you like it hot, go for the Sweet Chilli Tofu Yakisoba. Noodly goodness.
Best Vegan Sandwich
We love the combination of sweet potato falafel, creamy houmous and fresh coriander jam between two slices of whole-grain bread. This is a delicious and satisfying sandwich that packs a lot of flavour in a lunch on the go.
Best Vegan Dessert
You can grab yourself this luscious dessert in one of 57 Loungers restaurants, you lucky thing, you. Order with ease from its vegan menu and finish off your meal with this rich dark chocolate torte.
Best Dairy-Free Ice Cream
There are so many dairy-free ice creams to choose from now, but we think these are pretty unbeatable. Delicious swirled strawberry and vanilla ice cream sits happily in a gluten-free chocolate-filled waffle cone to achieve simple perfection.
Best Vegan Confectionery
These wonderful chocolates bring a rich caramel taste that is unrivalled in the dairy-free world. No doubt, the individually wrapped treats would be “much too good for children”, according to Miss Trunchbull.
Best Dairy-Free Yoghurt
Great as a breakfast treat or a healthy dessert, this creamy coconut yoghurt with a layer of raspberry compote is sure to please. But don’t forget to try the other flavours, too.
Best Luxury Food Item
When you want something really special, you can’t go wrong with these gorgeous chocolates. Vegans (and their jealous friends) will delight in the elegant designs, tempting varieties and option to hand-pick your selection. It’s a great gift for all the chocolate lovers in your life.
Best Innovative Vegan Product
Have yourself a merry little bird-free feast this year. The vegan roast dinner with all the trimmings – stuffing, gravy, and even fudge brownies – serves six and comes with a vegan wishbone. Bring comfort and joy to your table without all the fuss and with none of the cruelty.
Best Vegan Menu
You’d never need to leave La Suite West, a vegan paradise with a full breakfast, traditional afternoon tea, and five-course tasting menu. Or order à la carte and top your meal off with exquisite temptations such as Tiramisu with Almond Biscotti or Chocolate & Raspberry Fudge Cake with Chocolate Sauce. The beautiful surroundings with food to match make for an unforgettable experience.
Best Vegan Food Service
Move over, Beyoncé – there’s a new vegan food delivery service in town! Give Kitchen delivers nutritionally balanced prepared vegan meals to your door. It does all the hard work, and you just pop the food in the oven or microwave. Choose one of its 22 Day Challenge meal plans or create your own from its mouth-watering menu. And what’s more, for every meal you purchase, Give Kitchen will give a meal to someone in need.
Best Vegan Cookbook
Whether you’re a long-time vegan or just getting started with compassionate cuisine, Vegan Love Story, a beautiful vegan cookbook, is sure to inspire.
A compassionate plant-based diet is the obvious choice for people who are worried about cruelty to animals, climate change or their health. It’s becoming more and more popular every day, and as the PETA Vegan Food Awards prove, delicious vegan options abound in restaurants, in supermarkets and on the high street.
Give it a try for yourself. Order our free vegan starter kit, which is packed full of recipes, tips and advice, including nutritional information and ideas for quick and tasty plant-based meals.