Friday, December 2, 2016

Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick'n -Meat Free Meals

I eat meat-free every meal at least two days a week.  It increases the number of veggies I get in my diet, and allows me extra money to buy really good quality free-range beef and chicken for the days I do eat meat.  But with low blood sugar, getting adequate protein  is important so I do look for veggie protein meals that can be quick and easy on work days and are made with ingredients I can recognize from nature.

These are my favorite, the orange crispy chicken.  They take just 6-8 minutes to prepare and served with a little leftover rice or noodles and some raw veggies, I have a really tasty workday meal. The orange chicken, unlike many veggie "meats" contains just ancient grains, not just whole wheat flour, such as amaranth, millet, quinoa, and KAMUT khorasan wheat.  The coating does have a little wheat but it's non-GMO and non genitically-engineered.
Gardein has quite a line of products and this one and the regular crispy chicken pieces I have every single week when I work from home. The "pork" and "beef" strips are also excellent and make great faux Chinese or Thai "takeout" (recipes on the Gardein blog).  Just a note:  If you are at Trader Joe's and see the meatless crispy chicken in the freezer case- I am almost positive it's made by the Gardein people for Trader Joes.  The Crispy chicken has a real unique look/coating and taste and they are EXACTLY like my Gardein ones and made in the same place, but they are cheaper. So be on the lookout.

Today I worked for home and was able to cook, eat and post about my choice on my 30-minute break. All I needed was a dish with hot water to warm the ready-made sauce and a pan with a little olive oil the heat the chick'n.
Once they were heated through and starting to brown I mixed them with the heated sauce. I usually do this in a bowl so not to pick up any extra oil in the pan.

Gardein is a Canadian company.  I'm beginning to think that Canada has stricter food regulations than the US.  I get my Kraft blue box mac and cheese through Canada, which up there is called KD (what they call it). Seriously, I'll buy a case of it at a time. It has way less artificial ingredients and additives than the US Kraft dinner and tastes better with less fat.  Even my husband who does not like the US version gobbles it up. The Gardein products as well have way less "science experiment" sounding ingredients than some US brands of veggie "meats".  Maybe it's a coincidence but I've been very pleased with the quality of those two items.

You can find Gardein all over the US (Carol - where you live they are at Smith Foods).
This was half the package - it says it serves 3 but that's more as a side, not your major entree. I could probably eat the whole package but I'd be too full to move but they are THAT good, like the orange chicken at your favorite Chinese place without all the fat and salt.

Dividing the package in  half (no sauce) is

195 calories
0 grams Saturated or Trans fat
less than 400 mg sodium
0 sugar
and the best part 15 grams of protein.

Adding a tablespoon of the yummy sauce to your entree adds just 40 calories and 8 grams of sugar.

With a couple big spoonfuls of rice and some veggies I had a filling lunch, ready in 10 minutes, for less than 300 calories that was SERIOUSLY better than those frozen diet meals.
click on photo to enlarge -I dare you

These are by far my favorite meatless "meat" products as far as pretty clean ingredients, minimal additives and taste and super easy to make, just heat them up!  Also, my grocer will often have them on sale which brings them to just a bit over a buck a serving.  Not bad.

Gluten Intolerant?

Gardein also has 4 yummy gluten free products.

ground Beefless (great in any recipe that calls for hamburger)
chick'n Scallopini (yummy!)
garden burger and
black bean burger.

Enjoy - a Cow or Chicken will thank you!

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Thanks for visiting. Having been fortunate enough not to have to diet as a young woman - hitting middle age to find my Metabolism moved to Aruba and didn't even send a postcard was a rude awakening. Thanks for sharing the fun and the pain of getting back in shape. Note: If you are a stranger and include a link in your comment - it will not be posted, to ensure no SPAM or viruses are shared. Any link I post is tested first.