I hope all the mommies had a great Mother’s Day! It was rather dreary around here, and Zoe didn’t get me anything (WORTHLESS) but it was a solid weekend nonetheless. But today, I have a #meatlessmonday recipe to share with you all! Also–check the bottom of the post for a coupon to try the product!
I love food. We know this. It isn’t really a secret…
I was going to put a meme in here, but it wasn’t even worth it.
And we know that I approach food with an angel/devil mentality–80/20 all the way. Why? Because I am an athlete, I have a chronic illness, and, I don’t know, I am interested in a future of being a healthy athlete, and to encourage that in others!
I love to cook, though I am more than just a bit semi-homemade, and I love my animal protein. Unfortunately, sometimes animal protein doesn’t always love me back (Especially beef) or is within budget (or the husband’s preferences). I am so lucky that I live in Chicago and by and large have access to a fantastic diversity and variety of products and ingredients, but regardless, even so I often find myself staring down a week wondering if I really want to have the same darn thing every day for lunch again.
But salad bars (believe me, I have some excellent ones around me) and even Subway adds up! As much as I love them, I still need some variety in my life beyond eating my string cheese before or after. And, well, let’s just say that steak frites are kinda off the menu (again, stomach plus budget).
That is part of the reason that I get so OMG EXCITED over new foods that make nutrition delicious, accessible, and affordable to us all. It is also part of the reason that I go out of my way to investigate new products on the market that fit such criteria. Thus my reviews this winter:
- Walmart’s Gluten Free campaign (PS: I am making my Beet Burgers at the beach and I’m so excited!)
- Mariano’s and the Naturallly Smart Eggs (mental note: take spiralizer to beach)
- trying out Blue Apron
- using the Orange Chef Countertop helping us to make ourselves and our kitchens smarter.
When Alex is working nights, it isn’t so hard for me to meal prep proteins for myself as well–I just do it all at the same time. Extra every thing = Susie and Alex taken care of. Some of the things that we worked with last year:
But when he is off of those services, I find myself struggling with inspiration as well as time. I resort to a lot of pouch low-sodium tuna that I mix with whatever random condiments that I have on hand (no lie, I did that 3 times last week. I wish that was an exaggeration). In short, I need to have a little bit of a shake up in the brought-from-home meals.
Gardein Plant-Based Chicken for Lunch
That is why I was so excited to try out Gardein meatless products. They are made with non-GMO soy, ancient grains, and veggies and are excellent sources of protein, fiber, and iron while having no cholesterol and better fat and calorie ratios than the traditional meat proteins. Many are also gluten free, which, though not a necessity for me, is certainly a perk when I am review products for you all–I want to review products that are relevant to you all!
Gardein products are in the frozen section (with many of the other meatless products), I can keep them at work and heat from frozen in just a few minutes. The fact that they are frozen removes the pressure of eating them all-at-once, so I can have fun with the variety and switch things around! And speaking of variety, did you know that Gardein has over 20 different meatless products on the market? SO MANY OPTIONS.
I chose to bust out of my comfort zone/lunch rut a little bit, and went with the following:
- Gardein Crispy Chick’n Sliders (includes the buns!)
– 10g of protein/ serving
– Won Better Homes and Gardens’ Best New Product of 2014 (voted on by over 70,000 consumers)
- Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips (including sauce)
– 15g of protein/ serving
Let me explain my choices a little bit, and why they are “uncomfortable.” Which seems hilarious, considering that they are chicken. Or, more appropriately when discussing Garden plant based chicken, Chick’n!
A) I used to be a sandwich for lunch girl, but now I am much more of a deconstructed sandwich and all the other things for lunch girl. (Too many words to hyphenate, lol). And I tend to be wary of products that come all together. But Better Homes and Gardens has to know something, right?
B) I had a terrrrrrible experience way back in the day with a fake chicken product that pretty much did me in. I wanted to really test Gardein and see if they could back up their product claims.
C) I make my own sauces, generally–and Asian style sauces can really be finicky. But this time, I wanted to put my trust in their hands–again, a need to but out of my (admittedly delicious) rut and try something new.
D) I honestly love poultry (hello, turkey in my carry on) but I tend to reserve chicken for dinner and keep turkey and deli meats for lunch. But even those have been less frequent.
E) I currently have a great ground beef alternative–my savory TVP that I often make (the recipe/method for that is included in my Vegan Balsamic Faux-lognese).
Here is what I came up with for lunch:
Korean BBQ Style Gardein Chick’n Sliders
- 1 Gardein Chick'n Slider
- 1-2 TBSP Gochugang (Korean Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce)
- 1/4 cup Fermented Cabbage Slaw (See Notes)
- 2-3 slices fresh cucumber and radish
- Prepare Frozen Gardein Chick'n Slider according to package directions.
- Layer with slaw, cucumber, and sauce.
- For true experience, use Kimchi (Spicy Korean fermented cabbage slaw). Beware of spiciness!
- For less spicy option, try sauerkraut, or make quick slaw of shredded red cabbage, shredded carrot, rice wine vinegar, and a little bit of whole grain mustard.
Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips Wrap
- 1 bag (3 servings) Gardein Teriyaki Chick'n Strips (frozen)
- 3 wraps (your choice)
- 1/2 cup shredded jicama, raw
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot, raw
- 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage, raw
- 1/4 cup edamame, shelled, cooked
- 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
- 1 TBSP course grainy mustard
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce/liquid aminos
- 1/4 cup pickled ginger (optional)
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- Prepare chick'n strips from frozen according to package instructions (stove)
- Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients, save for wraps and ginger.
- When Chick'n is done, remove from stove, allow to cool and assemble wraps by layering slaw, chick'n, and ginger (optional). Finish with optional sesame seeds.
- Roll wraps, and store for the next 3 days in air-tight boxes or bags!
- Kick up the heat a notch with red pepper flake!
My verdict: I love them.
Seriously. You know that I would tell you otherwise. I first tried the strips just on their own for dinner, and I thought they were fantastic. A great texture–perish the fears!–delicious taste, and prepared in a flash. At work, I loved feeling “decadent” for once with something that I don’t have EVERY SINGLE DAY.
My niggle: The Teriyaki strips are to be prepared in a pan on the stove, so that kind of hindered my prepare-at-work plans. However, they kept and traveled well! And it was the right choice to have them in a wrap, something that I haven’t done in a while.
My other niggle is simply a fact of the matter: lots of ingredients. And I wouldn’t mind the option for a whole wheat bun. OOOhhhh or even a pretzel bun! How good would that be??#MeatlessMonday goes to Work! Delicious #plantbased lunch recipes with @Gardein #ad Click To Tweet
Want to try Gardein products for yourself? Click here for a Coupon for $1 as well as to find out where you can find the individual products in your area!
What are your favorite plant-based meat substitutes? What type of lunch rut have you found yourself in of late?