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When is a Chicken Not a Chicken?
By Holly Kalyn, Editorial Intern for Compassionate Cuisine
When it’s made from plant-based ingredients! Mock meat products probably shouldn’t be part of anyone’s everyday diet, but if and when desire strikes for the real flavor and texture of meat, it’s nice to know that there are some options out there to sate your cravings. We recently tried two vegan chicken products and here’s what we found.
Beyond Chicken Lightly Seasoned Strips
This product blew my mind for a few reasons. First and foremost, Beyond Chicken uses 100 percent plant protein and contains just as much as real chicken, a serving of 6 strips holds a whopping 20 grams. Secondly, it looks and tastes very similar to real chicken strips. Every detail down to its texture closely imitates meat. Thirdly, in addition to being an 100% vegan product, it’s also non-GMO, kosher, and antibiotic, hormone, and gluten-free. Lastly, it’s essentially ready to eat when you buy it. A quick heat in the microwave or in a sauté pan and it’s good to go. What’s more is Beyond Chicken emulates the plain and basic form of chicken strips, making it the perfect solution to everything from fajitas to chicken salad, and also providing the luxury of dressing it up and using it where and how you choose.
When you want a quick, comforting and kid friendly option, these chick’n fingers are a good go-to meal. They might be a hit on game day too. Not only do two delicious tenders contain 15 grams of protein and 15 percent of your daily iron requirement, this product is also dairy-free, non-GMO, and certified vegan. When baked in the oven, these develop a nice crispiness on the outside crust and pack a flavorful punch with the help of zesty spices and seasonings. Inside is a softer, chicken-flavored and chicken-textured tender. These would be awesome in some vegan ranch dip or vegan honey mustard. In case chipotle isn’t your thing, Gardein makes a whole line of chick’n products suited to different palates. Other choices are chick’n scallopini, 7-grain crispy tenders, and teriyaki chick’n strips. If you’ve tried any of these others, let us know what you think!
The following products were not taste-tested, but give them a try and let us know what you think!
Yves Meatless Deli Slices
Yves newest creation in the his deli slice family, smoked chicken tastes and feels just like a chicken deli slice would, the only thing you will notice is missing is the fat and cholesterol. These slices are an excellent source of protein and are delicious. Very low in fat, one serving of four slices contains only 100 calories and zero cholesterol while providing 20 percent of your daily B12 requirement, 20 percent of your daily iron requirement, and 16 grams of protein. What would a sub sandwich be without a few deli slices! Some smoked chicken, lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo on soft sour dough bread and my guess is you’ll be in vegan paradise. If you’ve never been partial to chicken slices, no worries. Yves makes a whole variety of deli slices including salami, bologna, ham, turkey, and roast beef. You’ll never again be at a loss when making sandwiches when you have these slices around!
As we mentioned above, Gardein makes a quite a few faux chick’n options. Their chick’n scallopini, made in the traditional chicken fillet fashion, holds 14 grams of protein in just one piece and is gluten-free, non-GMO, and certified vegan. Even better, all the preparation these require is a quick sauté to heat them through and dinner is served. Or if you want to jazz things up and make scallopini piccata, check out Gardein’s quick tutorial on how to create a fast, gourmet dinner.
There are plenty of breaded mock chicken patties on the market, but you don’t see too many options for the grill, making Morningstar’s chik’n pattie griller extra special. Containing only 80 calories, this patty boasts 9 grams of protein in one serving. More conveniently, these guys have 4 possible cooking methods; in a skillet, in the oven, in the microwave, and yes, on the grill. Try them at one of your barbecues this summer and let us know what you think!