Suma saag aloo

There is a myth that people should not eat canned food over fresh. But in fact, a lot of canned food is very nutritious and if you don’t live in a swanky London home near an organic farmers’ market, sometimes buying tinned food in bulk is good for vitamins, calcium and protein – and you can then affordably live on a budget, just add whatever fresh produce you can find, and potatoes to fill you up. That’s what people did during the War, and they were a lot better off for it. SUMA Saag Aloo is a ‘curry in a tin’ with potatoes, spinach and spices.

Read up on keeping people & pets safe in the kitchen (many ‘human foods’ are unsafe near animal friends – including mushrooms, salt, onion, garlic, nutmeg).

It certainly beats living on fried takeaways or the dearth of good food at local ‘food deserts’ (you know the type – ‘local supermarkets’ that basically sell sweets and frozen pizza/chips in the freezer). Tinned foods are also easy to store, as they don’t go off. Don’t just heat up a tinned meal and put in a bowl. Make it into a proper meal. You can mix up tinned vegan tuna with salad and chickpeas, you could cook up some rice to serve with vegan cans of chilli, or use a basic recipe to sub with tinned food, to make a real feast. The ultimate ‘vegan healthy canned meal’ is one of England’s favourites anyway – beans on toast! Use a vegan butter with no palm oil, and you’re sorted.

ready-made vegan tinned meals

suma vegan mac n cheeze

Suma offers a childhood-comfort tinned vegan mac n cheeze and cheesy pasta pot (nice with good bread). For Mexican food, try SUMA spicy chorizo stew (chickpeas, peppers) or for Italian suppers, try vegan meatballs or spaghetti bolognese.

We Can Foods offers a wide range of affordable canned meals, all high in protein and calcium. The range includes bolognese and carbonara (with ‘vegan ham’), curries (madras, korma, tikka, Szechuan  and Thai), along with Mexican chilli.

coconut kale dahl

GEO Organics offers tinned meals including chickpea lentil dahl, tasty tarka dahl, coconut kale dahl, chickpea apricot tagine & Moroccan chickpea tagine. Plus side dishes of Bombay potatoes (with tomatoes  & spices) and thick vegetable hotpot (carrots, parsnips, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes & herbs).

Free and Easy ready meals are found in health stores. Choose from chickpea bean tagine, bean cassoulet, vegetable balti, vegetable chickpea curry, three bean chilli, Middle Eastern chickpea casserole & sweet potato kale curry.

Princes plant-based ready meals are in 2-person portions. Just heat for 5 minutes on the stove and serve with rice, pasta or on baked spuds:

  1. Thai Green Curry (onion, green pepper, green beans, sweet potato, water chestnuts) in a garlic, lime, ginger spicy coconut cream).
  2. Mexican Mixed Bean Chilli (tomatoes, peppers, spices and mix of beans – kidney, black & pinto)
  3. Chunky Vegetable Curry (lentils & chickpeas with potato, carrot, onion, green beans, tomatoes & spices)
  4. Lentil & Mushroom Bolognese (red lentils, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, carrot, peppers, garlic, ginger, herbs and molasses with vegan Worcestershire sauce)

suma vegan sausages and baked beans

SUMA baked beans with Lincolnshire-style vegan sausages are sold in easy-to-open tins (no can opener required), for a quick snack. Baked beans are rich in calcium and protein, so adding some sausages gives even more nutrition. Unlike the best-selling brand (which also now offers cans of beans with vegan sausages), this is a local workers co-op that supplies organic wholefoods to health stores nationwide. Ideal on toast or baked spuds, you’ll never go back! Find in shops, or buy online. Heinz now offers plant-based sausages and beans in tins (along with a very-tastes-the-same cream of tomato soup).

ASDA sells a good line of plant-based tinned meals. Look out for OMV sweet potato coconut curry and chickpea lentil dahl.

suma vegan mushroom ravioli

SUMA vegan ravioli with mushroom sauce makes a nice change from tomato, and this one is beef-free, instead containing a tasty mix of vegetables (parsnips, leeks, carrots, garlic, onion) in pasta with a yummy sauce (includes parsley and nutmeg). Sold in easy-to-open tins (no can opener required), this brand is a local workers co-op that supplies organic wholefoods to health stores nationwide. Find in shops, or buy online. Also check out their vegan cream of mushroom soup.

buy ready-made ‘tinned vegan fish or beef

John West plant-based tunas

John West has launched very tasty ‘vegan tuna salads’ in aluminium easy-to-recycle foil containers with lentils, chickpeas and split peas alongside vegetables, wild rice and quinoa, blended with plant-based soy and wheat protein. Sainsbury’s sell nice vegan ‘no chuna’ in spicy or creamy tuna mayo versions.


Fishpeas (Latvia) sells ‘canned fish’ including white fillet in oil, wheat pollock and tuna (made from pea protein). Better Meat has launched ‘vegan corn beef’ in tins.

better vegan luncheon meat

ready-made vegan tinned puddings

nature's charm coconut milk

Nature’s Charm offers tins of vegan custard and condensed milk, plus jars of caramel topping sauce in various flavours (salted caramel, butterscotch or chocolate fudge).

We Can tinned vegan desserts include rice pudding, plus there are vegan custards (vanilla but also strawberry and chocolate for school dinner memories!)

Princes offers lots of tinned fruits in syrups including strawberries, cherry filling and rhubarb, ideal with vegan custard or ice-cream for a quick sweet snack.

Clearspring organic fruit purees

Clearspring Organic Fruit Purees are in aluminium packs that are easy to recycle. Good for on-the-go or ideal for recipes. Made in Italy with minimum heat to retain goodness, choose from 14 varieties, and use them in smoothies or serve with porridge or granola. You can even freeze them as a frozen dessert. Mostly in blends of apple, pear or blueberry.

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