One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gardein's Tuscan "Chicken" Breast

The folks at Gardein emailed me to inform me that they had a bad batch of their Tuscan chicken breast out there in circulation. I was extremely skeptical, it's easy to blame a bad experience on a "bad batch" but on the off chance they were telling the truth I accepted their offer to try another batch of their Tuscan chicken breast.

With skepticism written all over my face I baked up one breast, plated it with a salad again and took a bite. OMG!!! (Yes I just said OMG) It was sooooo yummy. I'm going to be honest with you, it’s been so long since I had actual chicken I couldn't tell you if it did or didn't taste like chicken but what it did taste like was one damn delicious meal. The taste, the texture, the sauce, everything was perfection! And for only 150 calories and 22 grams of protein how can you go wrong! I now officially know what all the fuss is about. Gardein's Tuscan Chicken breast will now and forever be the go to convenience food in the fridge.

13 comments:

  1. I've only been vegan (again) for a 18 months now so I can tell you it does not taste like chicken but once you cook it until it's not slimey any more then it definitely has the consistency down pat. It's so real it made me once. ( I think that's a good thing, in a weird way)

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  2. 150 calories and 22 grams of protein - now that's what I'm talking about!

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  3. My wife and I tried these and we were very impressed by the taste and texture. Neither of us have had chicken carcass in many years but we thought this was the best "mock" product, at least in texture, that we've had. We did wish that Gardein would make this product without the sauce though, so we could do it our own way.
    Having said that we initially enjoyed the taste and texture of this product, it's well worth mentioning that we both got really bad stomach aches and other unpleasant related conditions only minutes after consuming it. We won't be eating them again.
    Perhaps it was one of the bad batch...

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    1. Did you ever figure out what did this? I got some Gardein chick'n things from Costco (sauce separate but I still used it) and have eaten it twice in two months and both times I got a stomach ache like you did, minutes after consuming it. I'm thinking it might be the batter they put over the outside of the gardein to give it flavor...if they have to fry it to make it stick. Stomach ache reminded me of one I used to get after eating a doughnut.

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    2. This post was written about 4 years ago when Gardein first introduced this product. It is my understanding that there was a problem with the one of the original batches that went out and the problem has since been solved. Personally, I haven't had a problem with this particular product since. Hope that helps! Sorry it didn't sit well with you. Please contact the makers of Gardein they are usually really responsive. If you have the packaging still it's super helpful because they can track the batch that way and hopefully, if anything is wrong with the batch, they can pull it.

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  4. Hi Alicia!

    I am totally sold on Gardein, but I do not particularly care for the versions they do with the sauces. I prefer to do my own thing when it comes to that. Just wanted to let your readers know that at most Whole Foods you can order Gardein by the case (at a discount) and it does not come flavored or with sauces. I like this option because it gives me a "blank canvas" to create on - yet it is still super quick and easy!

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  5. Maybe I'll try this now! I always see it at the store.

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  6. I know, right?! They are so yummy! And I say on the back of the package that one serving has 100% of your daily B12 amount, which is something I always struggle with. Awesome product for sure.

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  7. I will definitely try it,after reading the positive comments.To be honest about the taste of Chicken lately,it doesn't taste very good these days.An alternative would almost be permanent. Try the Beefless strips as well,you wont be disappointed.

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  8. Lin Aylward, Richmond BCNovember 27, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    I am really impressed with the Gardein products. As a rule the textures of their products are good, and I don't experience the same level of gastric distress I do when I eat other soy-based products.

    I don't know if they are available in the US, but the dijon breast variety is my absolute favourite. The plain products are very good too and can be easily substituted for meat in just about any recipe I find. I just tried their vegan stuffed turkey for lunch today. Yum! Although I think I'm still more partial to Quorn's turkey loaf, but it is not vegan.

    Oh, I should mention not only am I not vegan, but I'm also only about 80% vegetarian (long story). Despite not having those dietary restrictions, I still opt to eat these products. I think they are that good.

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  9. One of the food carts on the U of WA campus started using the Gardein beefless strips and the chick'n strips in their burrito bowls. I'm not vegetarian, but I decided to give them a try and both were wonderful. I think they are getting the foodservice (unseasoned) versions and marinating them.

    I have vegan friends who have a problem with anything that is too close in texture to real meat, and these would probably freak them out. The texture is so spot-on that if they were served as meat in a stir-fry, I might think that they had been slightly over-tenderized, but I might realize that they are meatless. I'm going to pick up some of the lightly seasoned products to cook at home on the days when I don't want anything to die for my dinner.

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  10. The meatballs are awesome as well. My kids can't tell the difference in spaghetti.

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  11. My wife and I are not the slightest bit vegan or vegetarian and we really enjoyed our experience with a couple of different Gardein products (Beef Tips and Mandarin Orange Chicken). I plan on making them a regular purchase whenever I see them at the store.

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