Recently, the people at Gardein were kind enough to send me some coupons to try three of their products for free. I’ve reviewed one of their products before, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to do so again.
(available in the refrigerated section)
When I saw this package of vegan barbeque I was immediately excited. I loved eating barbeque in my pre-vegan days, so when I saw how good the Gardein BBQ Shreds looked in the package, I couldn’t wait to try it out in a sandwich.
I got home and decided to eat some of the barbeque for lunch. I cut open the package and was hit with a smell. It smelled sorta like barbeque sauce, but way sweeter, like they had added too much sugar. Not willing to let the off putting smell ruin it, I followed the instructions on the back and cooked the pulled shreds in a small pan on the stove. I toasted the bread, opened some pita chips and ended up putting together a quick and delicious looking lunch. Sadly, the sandwich wasn’t as yummy as it looked. I took a bite and was shocked by how sweet the barbeque sauce was. It tasted pretty much like brown sugar, tomato sauce and some seasonings were just mixed together. To make matters worse, the taste stays in your mouth for a while afterwards. On the other hand the texture of the shreds were great. Slightly chewy, but still with the a soft shredded feel, it reminded me a lot of pulled pork. So all in all, the sauce was gross and over powered the entire meal, but the shreds were good. If Gardein would sell the shreds dry, I would totally buy some, but as long as they continue to add that barbeque sauce, I won’t be buying this product again.
(available in the freezer section)
I have to say, these breaded strips are the best vegan “chicken” product I’ve ever eaten. Boca, Morningstar, Gardenburger, nothing from these brands even compares to these tasty crispy tenders by Gardein.
They taste so much like chicken that you should be able to trick any omnivore into thinking these are the real thing. They taste how I remember chicken, and have an amazing texture. They’re chewy and juicy with a crispy breading that pulls everything together.
Whether you eat them plain with a dipping sauce, put ’em in a casserole, or put them on top of a salad, there’s no wrong way to eat these tasty chick’n strips. Since they’re low in fat (only 1.5 grams per serving!) and also high in protein (9 grams per serving), you can indulge in these without having to worry about your waist-line. So if these are available in your area, go buy them now! If they aren’t available in your area… Well then, I hope for your sake that they come soon, because these are truly delicious.
(available in the refrigerated section)
Each package comes with four skewers (each with four pieces of “meat”) in a sauce. I was warily eyeing the sauce, afraid that it was the same kind that the BBQ Shreds had come packed in, but thankfully it wasn’t. The barbeque sauce was quite yummy, with a hickory smoke flavor. The “meat” itself reminds me of roast beef. It’s very tender, but doesn’t fall off the stick after being cooked. I tried it first by putting the pieces of “beef” on longer shish kabob skewers along with slices of zucchini, fresh apricot, red onion, and drizzling it with balsalmic vinegar and olive oil. I then baked it at 400 degrees for 16 minutes, flipping half way through the baking time. The result was sooo good. The meat was tender and moist, with a smoky kick under the sweetness that came from it being baked next to the apricot slices. I would seriously recommend trying it this way, because it was delcious!
The second way I tried the bbq skewers was in a shepherd’s pie. I baked the skewers as instructed on the back of the package and added it to mushroom gravy (I was lazy and used Campbell’s canned mushroom gravy, which is accidentily vegan) along with corn, lima beans, peas, green beans and sauted onion. I added the gravy mixture to a casserole dish, then topped it with colcannon (mashed potatoes + sauted kale = colcannon). I placed it in an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees and let it bake for 15 minutes. This too was very yummy. Pretty quick and easy to throw together (especially if you’re using left over colcannon), I can see myself eating this quite often in the future.
So all in all, Gardein had two hits and one miss. The Crispy Tenders and BBQ Skewers were very yummy and I would definitely recommend that you try them. The BBQ Shreds on the other hand need their sauce changed, before I’d recommend it to anyone.