Gardein products finally made it to Australia in June. Hurrah! I’ve seen so many Gardein recipes and pictures from favourite bloggers based in North America and it’s awesome that Gardein are now available for Australians to join in the fun. I was lucky to receive three samples for review. Many thanks to Plant Based Foods for sending those my way!
First up is my favourite so far, the Sizzling Szechuan Beefless strips. I followed the oven bake method and you then toss the strips in the spicy sweet sauce provided. It was a real challenge trying not to eat all the strips before assembling the plate and taking photo. I stir fried some red capsicum, broccoli and carrot and tossed those in the sauce too (that piece of broccoli at the front there just wouldn’t stay still so I gave up). This dish reminded me of a holiday in Canada back in the 90s, where my friend would always order Szechuan Beef from the local Chinese restaurant. I wasn’t vegan back then, and your common Australian Chinese restaurant menus never seemed to have this dish even though it seemed to be on every restaurant menu in North America at the time. I’m really pleased to have a vegan version:
Next up are the Chipotle Black Bean Burgers. I really like these, the chipotle added a nice kick and I’d certainly buy these again. They’re gluten free too. When nectarines are back in season I’ll make a spicy salsa and add some guacamole:
The Crispy Chick’n Sliders are a convenient quick snack option. The buns are included in the four-pack of sliders. The buns are the sweeter sort that I encountered everywhere on my travels to the US. In Australian bakeries our plain hamburger rolls are not sweet. I cooked the sliders in a non-stick pan (no oil required). You add the buns to the pan to warm them just before the sliders are done. The sliders themselves are not as flavoursome as I had anticipated but they do make a good base for whatever flavours you want to add. I enjoyed mine with salad and lemon scented mayonnaise:
The Golden Fishless Filets were incredibly fish fillety. I never liked fish before I was vegan and when eating these I had that momentary panic of “maybe I got it all wrong and this is the one non-vegan product in the range”. It’s all vegan of course. Arthur loved these and has put in an order for many more (and yes, that’s an awful lot of empty space in the photo. The other dishes were in the dishwasher so big dish it was):
Okay so I’m not very adventurous when it comes to burger fillings. I’m happy with greens, red onion and tomato (if you haven’t noticed already). I toasted some bread for these as we didn’t have any bread rolls at home. These taste exactly like chicken burgers I used to get many years ago from fish and chip shops:
The Mandarin Crispy Chick’n (shown in the top photo) comes with a packet of sauce. I made the Kung Pow Chick’n recipe from the Gardein website, which calls for adding some garlic, ginger, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar to the provided sauce. I cooked these in a frying pan with a little sesame oil. The texture was softer than chicken though next time I’ll oven bake them to see if they turn out differently.
I knew the kids would go for the Seven Grain Crispy Tenders. We tried some plain to begin with, dipped in tomato sauce. These make a great filling for a salad wrap:
Finally, the Chick’n Scallopini. I marinated the scallopini in a little lemon juice, olive oil and dried mixed herbs then served it on top of some roast garlic and dill mashed potato. The texture of the Scallopini is like the Fishless filets, though obviously without the fish taste. This was quite chicken-like and does well on its own with some veggies, or as part of, well any meal you like really! The Scallopini is also gluten free:
I also bought the Teriyaki Chick’n Strips but haven’t used those yet.
Overall I liked everything I tried. Some of the products will be purchased again and will come in handy for those times when I’ve completely forgotten about getting dinner ready. I did find that when I baked the Fishless Filet, Crispy Chick’n Patties and the Seven Grain Crispy Tenders, they all released a fair bit of oil though nothing a paper towel couldn’t fix.
I purchased my Gardein products from La Manna supermarket at Essendon Fields. Until July 26th the range costs $8.99 each, currently making La Manna the cheapest option to my knowledge. Other stockists include the Cruelty Free Shop, Prahran Convenience Store, Smith & Deli, selected IGA supermarkets and more. Please check the Gardein Australia Facebook page for info on their stockists.
The Gardein website has loads of recipe ideas and videos too. I’ve bookmarked quite a few ideas to try. I just need to decide where to start as everything looks good!
Disclaimer: I received a packet of Chipotle Black Bean Burgers, Szechuan Beefless Strips and Crispy Chick’n Patties for review. The remaining products were purchased by me.