Vegan Food Review: Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders

Note: this review is also applicable for TJ’s Chickenless Crispy Tenders, as we have made both side-by-side and can’t tell a difference.

If you ever have a craving for chicken nuggets, these crispy vegan wonders can easily be subbed in their place. We started getting these when we went vegan because we’d gotten into the habit of making chicken nuggets for our son when the main course we were eating was too spicy or so, back when he was a little more timid of an eater. Now that he eats almost everything we do, these are in our freezer as a standby meal for the whole family. Pop these in the oven (or toaster oven), add some veggies, maybe some potatoes or a grain, and voila! Fast and easy dinner.

Flavor. I might not have been able to separate it out at the time, but the part of a chicken nugget I used to enjoy was the crunchy breading. The chicken filling was just that – filler – within the delicious outer crust. Once we switched to these vegan delights, it became obvious that a successful “nugget” or “strip” doesn’t require actual chicken. Here, the breading is a little oaty, flavorful, crispy as advertised, and the right amount of salty.

Appearance. What can I say? They look like a chicken nugget (or tender). Not that the plant-based center/filling is abundant, but the texture is pretty spot-on as well.

Ingredients. Another soy- and vital wheat gluten-based food. These have a fairly long list of ingredients which is usually something I watch out for (if I’m being processed-food picky). But when scanning them, methylcellulose is the only one I’m unfamiliar with – a quick search on this leads me to believe it’s serving as a thickener or emusifier. I assume a regular chicken nugget would also have a thickener and binders. The Kamut (ancient grain), amaranth, millet, and quinoa are all good things, even if they’re likely low in quantity.

Gardein meatless chickn

Omnivore-Friendliness. On a scale of “feed this to everyone you know” and “avoid at all costs,” this gets a resounding “feed this to everyone you know!” If they like chicken nuggets, there’s a very good chance they’ll like these chicken-free tenders. They may not even be able to tell that they’re not the “real” thing. Plus, they’re kid-approved. Win-win!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the makers of this product, nor have I been paid by anyone to provide a positive or negative review. Thoughts and observations are my own, and are provided simply as a guideline for those interested in vegan food products.Also, I have very few readers and as such, this review could not be expected to help or harm sales.

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