December 2, 2011 by Zuri
Gardein‘s meatless products recently sent me coupons for their products, so I might review them for the blog. Despite their generous offering of coupons, the opinions stated below are 100% my own.
The coupons I received were for four products, and unfortunately, Whole Foods is nowhere near my apartment – it’s way across town – so I had to settle for whatever Gardein products were available at my local Publix Supermarket. Unfortunately, this meant trying only three things: Orange Chicken, Burgers, and Beef Tips. I was really hoping for some Chicken Strips, but it just wasn’t in the cards.
First, the burgers. I’ve been sick with a kind of cold flu nasty bug thing, so I needed something quick to make. The burgers cooked up quickly on my mini-Foreman grill, about seven minutes, and I topped them with grilled mushrooms, lettuce, ketchup and mustard on potato rolls. Oh WOW were they tasty! I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with non-meat burgers, and haven’t really found one I was truly happy with – until now. I never liked the texture of Morningstar Farms burgers, and the flavour was always kind of off. Boca’s grilled patties were usually near-palatable, but the other flavours were just lacking. These burgers however were very flavourful, not dry at all, and “meaty”. This isn’t to say they remind me of eating beef, because I haven’t done that in ages. More that they have a depth of texture and chewiness that I didn’t think you could find in a non-meat product.
I ate the first burger, and was still hungry, so I went back and ate a second one! They come four to a pack. I just recently finished off the last two burgers in the pack, and I was not disappointed. I highly recommend trying Gardein’s burgers if you’re looking for a good tasting, good textured, all around pretty damned decent burger!
Next up, the Orange Chicken. I picked up two of these, assuming I would like this better than either of the other two because I like chicken more than I like beef or burgers. Boy was I wrong.
I cooked the product according to the package instructions. This also gave me the perfect opportunity to try out using our new rice cooker to make some brown rice and steamed broccoli (which, as an aside, I completely failed at). The chicken looked ok? I mean, it looked chicken-ish. It was slightly browned on both sides in about eight minutes, and had a packet of sauce inside to add at the end. The sauce wasn’t bad, though I was used to more spice from other forms of orange chicken sauce. It was mostly the texture of the chicken I had a problem with. It had a very fried outer texture, and a somewhat squishy inner texture that I didn’t like. I thought it was ok at the beginning, but halfway through lunch I just couldn’t eat it anymore. In hindsight, it makes me a bit disappointed that I didn’t pick up a second bag of burgers instead of a second bag of chicken, as I was really disappointed with this particular product. Maybe I just had high expectations.
I haven’t had a chance to try out the Beef Tips yet, and I’m still struggling to get over this cold bug I’ve been wrestling with for the last week. Maybe I’ll wait til my taste buds clear up before giving this last one a try. Maybe I’ll make them with some nice egg noodles, something simple. We’ll see.