Okay I admit it – I’m a Gardein-a-holic… No shame. Any kind of stuffed, tasty vegan “turkey” breast is going to get a thumbs up from me.
These “Crispy Pocket Meals” by Gardein are so easy to add to a meal and actually taste good. Pop them in the toaster oven, whip up a side dish or two and you’re good to go.
Fake meat might not be the healthiest thing you could have for dinner but it’s definitely one of the easiest. Gardein makes really approachable fake meats that taste really good (even my carnivore boyfriend approves). This is the kind of thing you could bring to a family gathering (of non-vegans) and nobody would really bat an eye. Sure, they’ll probably ask you if it tastes like cardboard (it doesn’t) but they’ll get it. It’s a piece of turkey just like the one they’re eating. Only you feel happy that no turkeys were harmed in the making of your dinner.
So this is what I whipped up for a dinner for one this long weekend. I was craving a nice big salad and some “cheesey” quinoa mac and cheese so that is exactly what I had, along with a “turkey” breast stuffed with kale, barley and sun dried tomatoes. And of course a glass of Chardonnay could never go amiss.
For the quinoa “mac and cheese” I used NONA cheesy-style sauce with Daiya shreds on top. I added frozen corn and diced tomato because I was in the mood for some extra veggies. It turned out pretty good!
This was my first time trying the NONA cheesy-style sauce and I liked it. I’ll have to buy more and try it in a couple of different recipes. The “cheese” is made with raw cashews. Does it taste EXACTLY the same? No, but I can tell you it’s still really good. In fact, since starting to go vegan I’ve been surprised at how little I miss cheese. I was a die-hard cheesivore and as far as I was concerned you’d have to snatch my brie (or my chevre, or aged gouda or stilton…) out of my cold, dead fingers before I’d give it up. But once I started listening to that little voice in my heart saying “I know you can do better, I know you can go totally vegan”, I was amazed to find that it wasn’t that hard to give up after all. And learning more about the dairy industry and factory farming will really help curb those cravings. (Yep, this one should about do the trick… Be warned that the link contains some graphic content, but if you can’t stomach a 5 minute youtube video maybe you shouldn’t be stomaching the industry..)
Check out Gardein’s Crispy Pocket Meals some time and let me know what you think. I found these at Whole Foods but Gardein products are available at a lot of different grocery stores and online (from retailers like V Word Market )
(Addictive vegan Green Sauce recipe here)
I hope to follow up soon with some more reviews about different delicious, dairy-free cheeses in the near future too, so stay tuned!
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 250 mL jar NONA cheesy style sauce
- handful Daiya mozzarella style shreds
- ¼ cup fresh diced tomatoes (optional)
- ¼ cup frozen corn kernels (optional)
- Bring veggie broth or water to a boil and add quinoa.
- Cover and let simmer 18-20 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.
- Toss in corn and tomato and stir.
- Add jar of NONA cheesy style sauce, stir, let sit on low heat 5 minutes.
- If desired, top with Daiya cheese shreds and let melt (or broil in oven or toaster oven).