No such luck! I’d heard some mixed reviews on the product; some vegans I know found the texture off-putting, others thought it was delicious. I would have to say I fall into the former category.
Husband and I tried the Gardein for two separate meals, using two different cooking methods to see if maybe the method could affect the texture.
The first time we made it, we used the stove top method to cook the “breasts”. I thought the marinade was passable…nothing special but overall, nicely flavoured. It was exactly what I’d expect from a pre-packaged product. I compared it to bottled salad dressing: sure, it’s tasty; but, a homemade one is just as easy and has way more personality. Husband just outright did not like the marinade. He thought it was really bland and did nothing for the product.
As for the texture, that’s where I had a problem. It was way too reminiscent of actual chicken for me…granted, it’s been years since I’ve consumed chicken; but, the texture was exactly what I remembered chicken to be like. And it really freaked me out. I don’t even want to describe the texture because it gives me the creeps. That being said: if you liked eating chicken and have missed it, I’m sure you would go crazy for this product…the texture is that similar to the real thing. Husband, for example, went veg by association and used to really enjoy meat and he thought the texture was just fine.
The second method we tried was the oven method. I enjoyed this version slightly more than the first. Cooking the Gardein in the oven dried out the “breasts” enough for the texture to improve a little for me. It reminded me less of the real thing this way, which was a vast improvement in my mind. Husband liked this method least. He felt it became too dry and that the marinade was overcooked and added a slightly burnt taste to the outside of the “breast”.
I have to say, we couldn’t give Gardein a rave review. We hoped to; but, the product just wasn’t for us. I’ll take well-seasoned broiled tofu or tempeh any day over pre-packaged faux meat.