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!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gardein's Super Dreamy Chicken Scallopini (Plus Bonus Chik'n Cacciatore Recipe)

Last year the good folk’s over at Gardein sent me out a bevy of their products to sample, some have been hits like the Tuscan Breast and some have been misses like their Buffalo Wings (which I purchased myself). But the biggest hit of the bunch has been Gardein’s Chicken Scaloppini. I let these little cutlet’s sit in my freezer for over a month having no clue what to do with them. Usually when I try a meat analogue it’s already seasoned up, drenched in whatever sauce it needs to be and ready to go. But this was just a blank slate. I haven’t cooked or eaten chicken in 8 years so I didn’t even know where to begin flavor wise.

Then one rainy day I found myself hankering for some tofu cacciatore but due to my Puttanesca Scramble addiction I was completely out. Then I remembered these little cutlet’s hanging out gathering that funny freezer fuzz and decided to break them out. I defrosted one cutlet in the microwave for 30 seconds, sliced it thin, tossed it in a little flour, pan fried it and added it to my homemade cacciatore sauce. One bite and I melted. It was so delicious. I made “Chicken” Cacciatore everyday for the next week and if you follow me on twitter you know that it was my last dish of 2009 and the first dish I had in 2010 (at 4am!)

Of course I wouldn’t leave you guys hanging without the recipe for my cacciatore sauce so here it goes:

Makes 2 Servings

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup diced white onion
2 clove garlic, mined
1 small carrot, diced
One 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon parsley flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Sauté Onion, garlic and carrot in olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until onions become translucent. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

If using Gardein Chicken Scaloppini defrost desired number of cutlets for 30 seconds in the microwave, dust with flour and pan fry in a separate skillet. Once cooked slice then and serve over cacciatore with brown rice.

Also check out my Chik’n Quesadilla recipe using Gardein Chicken Scaloppini here.


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