I’ve reviewed a few Gardein products, and I’m always on the lookout for new vegan products to try so when I saw these vegan Gardein szechuan beefless strips I had to try them out. I really like to support the “mock meat” products even though I honestly don’t eat them much anymore. We both tend to prefer plant based whole foods, but on occasion I like to take the easy way out and try new things.
This ingredients list is why I prefer whole foods. Lots of ingredients, and whilst most are whole foods, there are some that I just wouldn’t use in wholesome cooking, however in the grand scheme of things this isn’t going to hurt you when used in moderation. Without the sauce these are pretty decent nutrition wise, with 11g of protein per serving, 7g of fat and only 250mg of sodium. I’m guessing the sauce with the soy sauce, sea salt, and miso paste really bumps that figure up though.
These come with a couple of cooking methods and I chose to use the stovetop method because it’s quick and easy, plus I had things in the oven already… The strips look kind of anaemic straight out he bag…
Once cooked with the sauce though they soon look different. I had mine with pasta and salad, Bob had his with potatoes. Honestly they looked very unappetizing, maybe I should have oven baked them afterall?
So the taste test? Hmmmm, I’ll pass. They weren’t super spicy or hot, definitely not szechuan as we’ve known it. For me with Gardein it’s always been the texture. This is ‘old school’ Gardein, which is kind of rubbery. I like the meatloaf, roast and some other products but this was just rubbery. It’s that weird texture when you bite into it occasionally that squeaks against your teeth as you chew.
In all whilst it was fun to try these, I don’t think I’d buy them again. I’d stick to the chick’n style items instead, they tend to be a lot nicer in taste and texture. If you’ve tried them, let me know what you thought in the comments!
If you stovetop these, they should be cooked super quick to be tender. These are a favorite in our household, although something we eat only once in a while. I try to do them justice by preparing a large veggie stirfry, then added some steamed yakitori noodles to that. All this cooks up in 15 minutes while the ‘meat is crisping. Thaw the sauce, and while the pan is still quite hot, pour over the strips and toss quickly. Plate the veggies and noodles, and ladle the strips and sauce over the top. It’s quite good.
Mmmmm sounds delicious Nancy! I will admit that since this review I’ve definitely grown to like these a lot! Like you we used them in stir fries! So good!
I love these things. They are best baked in the oven where they get crispy. These are the best meatless dish I’ve ever had if you bake them and pour the sauce on.
I just got their pork bites and beef bites! They were on sale at Ralphs last week!
These have to be baked…stovetop frying means they’ll be rubbery and you’ll lose out on how good they can be as crispy fake beef.
I don’t think most white people are so afraid of spice anymore though, so for companies like Gradein and pretty much any other making Asian wannabe ‘inspired’ foods labeled as hot or spicy taste utterly bland or spiceless is really dumb. Western tastes aren’t what they were 3 or even 2 or even 1 decade ago.
I will have to try them again and bake them
Considering most products we’ve had that have been listed as “hot” or “spicy” but aren’t I’d say tasted in the USA are definitely blander than the rest of the world. JMHO