Gardein Mandarin Chicken – Review

One word, AWESOME!

I decided to get a few things at Target this past Saturday afternoon, and in the middle of finding the perfect stockings for my two new furry additions to the family, I realized I needed something for dinner. I love shopping at Target, because ever since they added the grocery section I find many wonderful meatless options either in frozen foods or on the shelves next to some of the dry foods. Thankfully, Target has begun offering some Gardein choices in their vegetarian section. I was reaching for the meatless burgers when I noticed the Mandarin Chicken package!

Of course, I couldn’t just serve this alone. I’d need some sort of side, so I opted for a steam-in-bag broccoli, and added some some boil-in-bag brown rice at home, (can you tell I’m all for convenience?) My entire meal took less than 15 minutes to make. I did however have to improvise a little when it came to the sauce for the Mandarin Chicken. The pouch exploded in my microwave, and I only had about 2 tablespoons of sauce, watered down sauce, left. I add a little honey and some red pepper flakes and mixed it into the chicken as it was in the pan.

It was delicious! This package is enough for several meals if you are cooking just for yourself. I not only had enough for dinner, but I had plenty left for lunch today and dinner later as well. So for less than $6.00, between the Gardein and the broccoli, I managed 3 very tasty and convenient meals. I won’t count the rice, because I already had that.

I love Gardein. There are many meatless offerings I haven’t had, simply because not all markets sell all of their products. I suspect they just sell the most popular. I won’t complain very much though, since I’m happy to be able to find anything from them. If you want something delicious, quick and not too pricey, especially if you are feeding several people, this is the way to go.

Gardein Mandarin Chicken easily gets 4 tuna cans from me!

Freschetta by the slice – review

I bought one of these yesterday at the market. I had planned on having it for lunch, until one of my office neighbors offered to share her lunch with me. I’ll take homemade pasta with sauce over microwave pizza any day, so this was left for today.

As frozen microwave pizza’s go, this actually tasted quite good. I had hoped to find the one with veggies, but other than this cheese slice, the only other one in that section of the freezer had chicken on it.

It was cheesy, and spicy and had the right amount of sauce. Of course the crust wasn’t crispy, even with the special tray included, but I didn’t expect it to be. I have yet to taste any microwave pizza that has crispy crust. This is why I always make mine in the toaster oven, but we don’t have one here at work so I had to make do. The price was incredibly reasonable at $1.99. Really, you can’t go wrong with that.

Regardless of the lack of crispy crust, I’d recommend this for an inexpensive lunch that will satisfy the taste buds. It was filling and I will certainly be trying it again. Next time I will hopefully find the veggie one.

I give this a rating of 3 tuna cans. It really was quite good.

Sophie’s Kitchen – Vegan Seafood

Yes, you read that right, vegan seafood! AAAHHHH!!!!

I’ve been a vegetarian for a little over 3 years now. It hasn’t been easy, as I’ve lived my life loving a good rare piece of meat. I became a vegetarian for ethical reasons, after only being able to see 5 seconds of a video about factory farming. The image of a sick cow trying to get up only to be dragged by a forklift will haunt me for the rest of my life. After seeing that, I no longer wanted to be part of that world. And if you eat meat, you are part of that world.

But, I digress. Since that time I haven’t been able to satisfy my love of seafood. There are quite a few companies that make some amazing tasting fake meat products. But seafood isn’t an easy thing to fake. Imagine my surprise when one day I walked into Whole Foods and found http://www.sophieskitchen.com (I tried to add the link another way but it wasn’t working. So far, I’ve had the “fish” filets and Prawns. The prawns were very tasty, but the filets are to die for! Tomorrow I’m trying the shrimp. I’m hoping they are as good as the other two products. They also have calamari, but I’ll skip those since I was never crazy about real calamari. Ick.

Even if you aren’t a vegan or vegetarian, you might want to go and have a try. Replacing even just one or two meals a week with meatless products will make a huge difference to keeping some of these animals from being needlessly killed.

I’m giving this amazing product 4 tuna cans!

Amy’s Curried Lentil soup

Sounds good huh? Yeah, well don’t let the name fool you. I had spent most of my afternoon thinking about having soup for dinner. After leaving work, I went to Whole Foods, thinking I’d have less trouble finding a good vegan/vegetarian soup. True, I had no trouble finding several that looked very appetizing, this one actually making my mouth water. It’s been raining all day here and the prospect of spending a dreary Halloween evening having a delicious curried soup was just enough to make driving home in the rain actually not too terrible.

After feeding The Gang and Sofie, I readied my special soup bowl and toasted some bread. As soon as I opened the can, it wasn’t my mouth that was watering it was my eyes. What the hell? Okay, I know the can says curried, so I deal. After a three minute nuke, and some butter on my toast, I sit in front of the TV, turn on The Thing and take my first spoonful!

Wow! What a disappointment. I mean, it was just meh. Warm soup with lentils, some pieces of chick peas and a bowl full of bland. I suppose I could have added some salt and pepper, but for Pete’s sake, it’s a curried soup! I don’t know about you but to me that means FLAVORAMA! I wound up using it as a dip for my buttered toast and just poured the rest down the drain.

I hate when you eat something you were so looking forward too and it just doesn’t deliver. I feel so cheated! Like I was totally screwed out of my dinner, and since I already ate something I can’t make something else because then I’d feel like a total pig!

My only saving grace will be the chocolate ice-cream I’m going to have in about five minutes! At least I know THAT won’t disappoint. Chocolate ice-cream never does.