Gardein Chick’n Good Stuff
So for this #MeatlessMonday post, I thought I’d review Gardein‘s Chick’n Good Stuff. The nice folks at Gardein were nice enough to send me some review coupons for their products.
I was really appreciative of them doing so, so much so that I didn’t even think about the fact that you can’t get Gardein in Kansas City (that I know of.) So, on a trip to St. Louis, Mrs. WellDone was able to land the mother load of frozen Gardein products. For this post, I will talk about the Chick’n Good Stuff and in future posts, we’ll talk about the “beef” tips and their “chicken” fingers (both of which were really good.
What is Chick ‘n Good Stuff?
Chick ‘n Good Stuff is basically everything you want in a vegan meal. They take their garden/plant-based chicken and stuff it with marinara and vegan cheese. The outside is breaded with a flavorful coating. You bake, you eat, you enjoy. End of story.
Of all the Gardein products I’ve tasted from Mrs. WellDone’s mother load, these are probably my favorite for one reason: the marinara. Sure, everyone at Gardein just winced a little because I didn’t say the chicken, but that’s not a knock against the plant-based chicken at all. I really did like how moist and tender it was. But the marinara was like… amazing. I would have eaten it all by itself.
Don’t get me wrong, Gardein makes a mean vegan chicken. It has all of the texture and most of the taste of real chicken. (Gardein chicken has a slight aftertaste that was less than chickeny, but that’s common to all plant-based chicken products. It’s also a little harsh because I was paying careful attention to any difference between Gardein and real meat for this review since I think it’s important faux meat products get close to what they are emulating.) So really Chick’n Good Stuff gets high marks in the flavor and the “I’d drive to St. Louis and buy it again even if it means buying less Match Meat category.” Two thumbs up.
The Less Than Good
I’m not labeling this “the bad” by any means, but there was one part of the Gardein that was less good than the others: the vegan cheese. Not that Gardein doesn’t get an A for effort, but as a non-vegan, I could tell it wasn’t real cheese. It just didn’t feel right.
Is that fair of me to judge Gardein on? Maybe not, but I rate vegan food on two scales:
1) Would I eat this as a vegan? The answer is everyday.
2)Would I serve this to my non-vegan friends in order to get them to consider veganism? This is where the Chick’n Good Stuff stumbles. I probably would not because of the vegan cheese. If I had non-vegan friends coming over, I’d make the Crispy Tenders instead because those were almost perfect copies of real chicken.
Buy and try them. Even if you are not vegan, the marinara is good by itself and the whole experience is worth a try.
Picture from gardein.com
One Reply to “#MeatlessMonday Gardein Review #1 – Chick’n Good Stuff”
The main problem I have with the non-organic, heavily processed meat analogs is that they are full of questionable ingredients that undergo a lot of manufacturing to become the final product. The ingredients themselves are generally saturated with pesticides, the manufacturing process itself denatures the proteins and fats, is full of unhealthy hidden additives while the advertising creates the illusion of a healthy food. The products themselves are packaged in plastic, which in most cases leaches well known carcinogenic endocrine disrupters like bisphenol-A.
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t say I’m a fan of meat products, they’re even worse in terms of pesticide concentrations, exposure to hormones and high levels of fat and then the cruelty to animals is a huge issue as well. Even ‘humanely’ raised meat still must be slaughtered.
I feel as though in America we have deviated so far away from a natural healthy diet that it’s no surprise products like Gardein are popular. It seems as though there’s a desire for manufactured food, rather than the real thing, regardless of the long term health consequences.