A lot of people may not realize that you can still keep eating all the foods that you’re used to eating while on a 100% vegan diet. Gardein meatless products uses various plant-based ingredients to replicate traditional foods that contains animal products.
It’s incredibly easy to go vegan in 2017
Gardein is probably my favorite for vegan meatless products. Their products are 100% certified vegan and they come up with a vegan version of your favorite comfort foods such as chicken tenders, chicken burgers, battered fish, meatballs, crab cakes, sweet and sour pork… all vegan!
Familiar Comfort Foods
Gardein create many different familiar comfort food products ranging from hot pockets to a holiday roast (vegan roast turkey). Their foods are great to transition meat-eaters who are starting vegan, Gardein can “veganize it” pretty good, and even though I haven’t tried every single Gardein product yet, most of which I have tried are usually excellent.
Below I’m going to do a short review of all the products that I have tried at least once. Actually, aside from the Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n, I’m pretty sure I have bought all the other ones multiple times.
1.) Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n — My rating: 5 out of 10
If you like ordering orange chicken at chinese restaurants then you might like to try this one. I’ve tried this one only one time cause I thought it was just okay. I used the microwave to heat them up and then pour over the “Mandarin Orange” sauce. It came out a little bit crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. You could throw it in the pan and stir-fry it with some broccoli and peppers, serve it on top of rice, it would be better than take-out for sure.
2.) 7-Grain Crispy Tenders — My rating: 6 out of 10
These vegan “chicken” tenders are pretty good on their own, but you can dip it in some vegannaise (vegan mayonnaise) like I do. You bake them in the oven and it comes out with a nice crust on the outside, slightly crispy. The texture is comparable to chicken meat for sure, and I think it taste pretty good, I have bought this one myself more than a couple of times. It taste good cold too, a lot of times I just eat them out of the fridge.
3.) Porkless Bites — My rating: 7 out of 10
Making vegan sweet and sour pork is easy when you have porkless bites, just add in some cooked green peppers and pineapple with the sauce. This did not look red and pretty like the picture in the label, but the taste made up for it. The porkless bites have a chewy meaty texture that soaks up the sauce quite well and is very addictive. The sweet and sour sauce is perfect and is no different from the ones in chinese restaurants.
4.) Beefless Tips — My rating: 7.5 out of 10
Another chinese take-out favorite is beef and broccoli. I have made the vegan version of this a few times with Gardein’s “beefless tips.” It has a really beefy flavor and inside you can taste little bits of onions and other ingredients, it goes incredibly well with rice. Some other meal ideas with beefless tips include black bean beefless chili and beefless tips and vegetable skewers.
5.) Black Bean Burgers — My rating: 7.5 out of 10
I’ve had many different kinds of vegan burgers in the last 5 years, and most of them weren’t that good, it’s always the flavor or texture that was lacking in some ways. So that’s why I was reluctant to try Gardein’s “black bean burger” when I saw it in stock at my grocery store. But since I trusted Gardein products to deliver, I thought I’d give it a try. Not bad at all, very heavy black bean flavors which I like. I heated it up in the microwave and the texture coming out was pretty good, it smelled like it had a good mix of spice in that burger. It is actually one of the top vegan burgers I’ve ever had. I would buy it again for sure.
6.) Mini Crabless Cakes — My rating: 8 out of 10
These vegan crab cakes taste just like the real thing. They come out of the oven golden and crispy, they’re full of crab flavor which is mixed nicely with peppers and green onions in a very creamy vegan mayonnaise. It’s very possible to think these are real crab cakes. They are a great food to eat while watching movies, not good for sharing of course because you’ll want them all by yourself. The first time I tried them I finished the whole bag, pretty sure I could eat two or three bags in one sitting easily
7.) Gardein Golden Fishless Fillet — My Rating: 8.5 out of 10
If you tell someone these fishless fillets are real fish fillets, I bet a lot of people would actually believe you! They have a very strong fish smell and flavor. Out of the oven you’ll get a nice crispy battered crust, and the fillets have a flaky texture very similar to fish fillets. You can get your omega-3s with fishless fillets without the cholesterol of real fish. It’s great on it’s own or you can serve it with fries (fish n chips), make your own vegan tartar sauce to assemble a vegan Fillet O Fish, or even make meatless sushi roll.
8.) Gardein Chick’n Sliders — My Rating: 9 out of 10
I lost count of how many times I’ve had these. Before I went vegan I used to be a big fan of McDonald’s McChicken burgers, Chick’n Sliders are a great replacement for that. The buns are soft and a little bit sweet, the “chicken” patties are crispy and juicy on the inside. I normally do microwave for these and they turn out fine, if you like extra crispy then use the oven. Unlike some other ones I have mentioned, these are only good hot and fresh, they don’t do as well when cold.
9.) Gardein Classic Meatless Meatballs — My Rating: 9.5 out of 10
If I had to pick my favorite vegan meat substitute of them all, this would be it. They almost do have the texture of real meatballs, and inside they’re full of spices like fennel seeds, paprika and turmeric. Toss it in some tomato sauce and you have a pretty solid vegan version of spaghetti and meatballs. But they go well with almost anything, I have eaten them many times with rice.
Great Vegan Transition Food
Although vegan products are free of cholesterol and hormones, a lot of these meatless meat products are still very highly processed and contains lots of fat. They are a great “training wheel” for people looking to take small steps into a healthier diet and lifestyle. Going from a standard american diet of meat-heavy foods to a vegan diet of fruits and vegetables may be too extreme for some people, meatless meats are a great way to transition yourself slowly in a comfortable way without sacrificing your taste buds.
Where To Buy
Most big supermarket chains or natural food stores like Whole Foods Market carry at least a few Gardein products in the freezer aisle. There are many different variety of products and the availability at each store will vary. If you cannot find the product you want to buy in stores, you could suggest it to the store manager to stock them.
I hope you have found my review to be helpful, let me know of your own experience with these products with a question or comment down below, thanks for reading. Cheers