Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Product Review : Gardein Beefless Tips

From what I've seen, all of the Gardien products are transitional and convenience foods. They're perfect for people who want or need to cut back on their meat consumption, but would have no idea what to do with a block of tofu; for new vegetarians who aren't yet used to cooking meals where a meaty main dish isn't the focus; for long time veg people who've got a craving for something a little meatier; and for anyone who is busy, but wants a meal that's healthier than fast food.

The Beefless Tips come frozen as 1 inch cubes. To prepare them, I browned them in a cast iron frying pan with a bit of olive oil, as the directions suggested, then used some white wine to deglaze the pan, a few drops of shoyu, and crushed garlic. Next time, I would add more water, a bit of dijon mustard, and maybe some fresh thyme. I served them with mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus.

The texture was nice and light, much more tender than I expected. A bit of the grain and vegetable texture came through the beefless tips-I could see some white pieces, and feel some diced onions-which was unexpected, but I actually really enjoyed. The flavor was very mild, and the beefless tips seemed to soak up whatever flavor you put on them. They would probably be very nice in a stew during the colder winter months, on kabobs during the summer, or maybe sliced into thirds and used for a beef and broccoli-type dish.

I would buy these again, especially if I was visiting my family. My two complaints are that the package contains 2.5 servings, which is an odd amount, and I wish that they made beefless filets or beefless roasts because for me, cubes are not very versatile, and I would find it much more useful if I could cut them however I wanted. JD enjoyed the meal, and said they were okay, although "they taste like fake meat, but that's to be expected."

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