Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gardein + Sweet P Fries + Broccoli

As I've mentioned on this blog time and time again, I'm cheap. Not in a trashy, tawdry way (well, maybe). But in the "I can't believe I just spent $5 on that!" way. Although I live for mock meats, I'm rarely willing to shell out the big bucks when I know I can make a batch of seitan for way, way cheaper. But let's face it — seitan is no Gardein.

Despite the high price tag of $4.99 per bag of 10 strips, Seven-Grain Gardein Crispy Tenders fill the hole in my little vegan heart. Whatever was missing from my life before is completely fulfilled thanks to these little munchkins:

Don't you just wanna squeeze his little mock meat cheeks and dip him in maple-Dijon sauce? That's exactly what I did. But I found the Gardein flavor so appealing, I abandoned the sauce and consumed the other two strips naked (they were naked, not me!).

But enough with the Gardein gushing. On the side, I tried deep-frying a batch of my Curried Sweet Potato Fries:

I've been tweaking this recipe for my cookbook and my original instructions called for baking. But sweet tater fries (or any fries, really) don't get crispy enough in the oven for me. So I'm adding frying instructions to the recipe. But I'll also leave in a baking alternative for those who'd prefer not to fry.

I also tested my Spicy Citus Broccoli Salad again:

This cold salad is a refreshing way to enjoy lightly steamed broccoli on hot summer days. It's spiced with red pepper flakes, sriracha, and a hint of lemon. Plus, it kinda makes up for the fact that I fried the hell out of my nutritious sweet potatoes, right? Here's the whole plate:

23 comments:

Lauren said...

Gardein nuggets rule my life. I want to put them in a grilled Daiya sandwich. No shame.

keephangingon said...

Hahahaha!! Squeeze his little mock meat cheeks! I'm really not into mock meats, but I made my own raw vegan patty from the Live Garden Burger recipe by Victoria Boutenko. Total yumminess! Post the recipe for your sweet potato fries PLEASE!!! :)

Rick said...

i smiled at least three times from your writing in this post. thanks for making my day start with a smile :D

The Shenandoah Vegan said...

I hope and pray Gardein lowers their prices.

The Kuntrageous Vegan said...

mmmmmmm. Have you had the cajun wings? SO GOOD.

Kiersten said...

Squeeze his mock meat cheeks? Haha! You're too funny. I'm pretty cheap too. That's probably not a bad thing though seeing as I am an unemployed college student at the moment. I haven't tried any Gardein products yet (because of the price) but I have heard really good things about them.

Amysthoughts said...

I rarely eat mock meat but when I do its always Garein! YUM!

Erin said...

Looks like a damned tasty meal! I'm totally in agreement about the Gardein tenders. I had some dipped in marinara and totally fell in love.

Eric said...

still yet to try Gardein... maybe because im cheap too??! :D

Leslie R. said...

I've never had Gardein...tempting!!

MissAlyssa said...

looks delish!

Jessica said...

I can't wait to try your recipes, but I think I'm going to have to tone down the heat a bit. That's a lot of red flakes on that broccoli! Ye-ow!

Jenny Wright said...

I can't wait for your cookbook, that broccoli salad looks delicious!

Courtney said...

I am ridiculously frugal (okay, okay, cheap :-) ) too, so I have yet to try Gardein. But it is good to know that they just *might* be worth their pricey price tag...thanks for your review!

Courtney

jodye @ 'scend food said...

Ahh it all sounds so so good! I am especially keen on that broccoli and the sweet potato fries, as I do eat broccoli and sweet potatoes every night, literally. Thanks for a great new idea!

Lori said...

That looks very good. I'm just beginning to try different mock meats, so I'll add Gardein to my list to try. Love sweet potatoes and look forward to your cookbook so I can make your version.

Anonymous said...

most of the time when I read your blog, I feel like I am reading an ongoing teaser advertisement for your cookbook. It gets a little annoying. Why not throw us out a recipe every now and again. If that recipe rocks, then we'd be more likely to buy your cookbook, which apparently has become the point of your blog.

Sheridanna said...

Well, hello rude comment before me. Bianca has posted recipes plenty of times on here, but now that she has a book deal and is getting so close to the cookbook coming out, it's silly to expose the recipes beforehand. Long-time readers know this. I apologize for seeming negative on here Bianca. But you are the nicest, most generous person in the world and it bothers me that someone would post a negative comment on your blog or honestly scold you for not posting recipes. Not to mention, this particular post consisted of store-bought mock meat, fried sweet potatoes (I think most people can try that one out sans recipe) and a broccoli salad, in which you provided the ingredients.

Anonymous said...

whooaa... my comment was not meant to be rude at all, just providing some honest, candid feedback. I have been vegan for almost three years and found VC shortly after that, so while I can't tell you exactly how long I have been reading the blog, it has been a while for me too. I could have posted my comment on any post, just chose the latest. It just seems like a pattern, I will see a pic, read a description, think yes, would love to make that and then it turns into a plug for the book. I am not Bianca's friend, I am just a vegan foodie who looks to various sources in the blog-o-sphere for inspiration on things to cook and prepare. If I were her friend, I would likely jump to her defense as you have - you're obviously a good friend. I am just a reader who is getting frustrated with the teases - that's all. Since Bianca has put herself out there in the public spotlight, I assume she has somewhat of a thick-skin and can take a little constructive criticism - no offense intended. 7 of the last 11 posts have been "wait for the cookbook" and the 4 that weren't? a global announcement, 2 dining out and a stir fry night with an old friend... I'm just sayin'.

Ruby Red said...

"They were naked, not me" = best quote EVER!!

I loved the title as well, it got my attention immediately with its wonderfulness. Also, agreed: maple-dijon is amazing for mock-meat and cutlet dipping. (Even though you abandoned it in case...just wanted to put that out there.)

foodfeud said...

Hmm, yeah, I've never been able to get baked sweet potato fries crispy but I refuse to fry...Hoh well. Yours look good :)

jessica said...

i totally agree with the anonymous poster. it's nothing to get worked up over, he/she was just pointing out a fact. i feel the same way when i read this blog anymore, there's some photo of something that looks delicious, but rarely is a recipe included as well, it's usually just a plug for the book. months and months of this, and it does get a little annoying.

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