I am not a vegetarian. I live in the Midwest, where eating meat is the thing “normal” people do. I worked at a meat locker in high school and my dad has started the tradition of giving us 1/2 a pig for Christmas.
That being said, my family has been cutting down on the amount of meat we eat – for both financial and health reasons. We now do meatless meals two or three times a week.
Recently, we had an opportunity to sample some of the offerings from gardein (garden + protein). This is a line of plant-based food that is cooked to have the taste and texture of lean meat. Gardein products are all very easy to prepare, which makes them a great choice for busy moms who want a quick meal that is still healthy.
Compared to meat alternatives we’ve tried in the past, gardein was a hit. I had dinner on the table in just a few minutes and everyone ate full portions with no complaints.
One thing I would recommend is to be cautious on the amount of product you use if your family isn’t used to eating plant-based meat substitutes.
I cooked the entire bag of the Teriyaki Chick’n Strips in a stir fry dish for our family of three. My husband loved it, but ended up with a bit of an upset stomach afterward. When I used half the bag of Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n with some rice and veggies, he didn’t have any problems.
From a cost perspective, this would also help save even more money on your grocery bill.
Gardein products are a little hard to find in my area, so you might want to check the store locator on their website before adding them to your shopping list. I found them at Target, but the store did not have the full product line.
Spaghetti and meatballs is one of my son’s favorite meals, so I’m still looking for the Meatless Meatballs for us to try. I don’t know if I could convince my family to forgo a Thanksgiving turkey just yet, but the Holiday Roast looks tasty, too.
Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.
Photo credit: gardein