Sunday, May 9, 2010

Gardein...I love the convenience of this garden protein!

With the opening of the Fresh And Easy just a block away, we have been determined to make use of it's convenience. Fresh and Easy has some nice options for vegans. We have tried the Fresh And Easy brand of blue corn tortilla chips, french baguette, fresh fruit cups, tortillas, vegetables, and everything bagels (which Matt LOVES). Our greatest discovery there has been Gardein garden protein products. I had read about Gardein on various food blogs and assumed that only CA and NY would have such a convenient vegan option available at their grocery stores. The Gardein products are located in the fruit and vegetable aisle, at Fresh And Easy. Gardein is being used as a vegan pizza topping on international pizza chain, Z Pizza's,  Berkeley vegan pizza. And, Chipotle is test marketing their marinated Gardein in select stores.

The first Gardein product we tested was the meat-free Tuscan Breasts. These are awesome. 120 calories and 21 grams of protein! They are ready-made, so you just heat up and enjoy. We paired with rosemary potatoes from Fresh And Easy and steamed green beans. A little Daiya or Teese cheese would have made the meal even more awesome!

Our next Gardein adventure was with the versatile meat free Chick'N Strips. 100 calories and 18 grams of protein! These were good, but I do wish we had spent some time with marinading before hand. I have a feeling that the Gardein would soak up most marinades and enhance the flavor of the Gardein.

With that said, if you are needing to put together a quick meal, these strips are easy and read-to-serve. I can see these being great for adding protein to a salad, pasta dish or even a pizza! We used the Chic'N Strips in a teriyaki vegetable stir fry. We got the stir fry vegetables and Gardein at Fresh And Easy. We served over white rice.

By the way, I love colorful, bold, bright frying pans and pots! I got this cool green one about a year ago. If you see a rad frying pan in your shopping adventures, let me know. I am always on the hunt!


  1. Hey there - this is Erin from the Fresh & Easy team. Loved reading about us in your blog! We added gluten-free products to our line this year and we recently had a focus group on expanding our vegetarian and vegan options. Would love to hear any suggestions from you!

  2. I would love to see more organic produce options from Fresh And Easy. I'd also love to see vegan prepared meals, vegan soups, vegan muffins, regular pecans (not candied)....I could go on and on! :)