Julie Anne Rhodes
Are you contemplating a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle? Maybe you’re an omnivore like me, and just want to lighten your meat intake by 1-2 meals a week, but find it difficult to plan meals without protein being the main attraction? Garden + protein = Gardein. A heart healthy, award-winning meat alternative, that is made mainly from soy protein, vital wheat gluten, and ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet, and kamut).
Ready made products
I know most people are too busy to plan, shop, and make dinner every night… I wouldn’t be so busy otherwise (nor would I be writing a book to address that very issue), so I understand the importance the company places on ready made meals. My favorite of which was definitely the buffalo chicken wings.
Gardein Buffalo wings with roasted broccoli & ranch dressing
However I will almost always opt for my own homemade marinara sauce, and Oven-Fried Parmesan Gardein Chick’n Filets or Tenders. Ok, it’s not vegan, but no animals died for it! Gardein is high in protein and iron, low in fat, has no trans fats, and is completely cholesterol free. The brand is endorsed by both New York Times bestseller, Tal Ronnen… who helped develop the tasty product, and Oprah’s trainer, Bob Greene.
My Oven-Fried Parmesan Gardein Chick’n Fillets or Tenders
I prefer the Gardein products like the chick’n fillets and beef tips that you would use to create your own recipes from scratch as I did with my Gardein “Beef” & Broccoli, or my Gardein Chick’n Paprika below. You can really adapt most recipes.
My Gardein “Beef” & Broccoli
No matter which Gardein product you decide to put on the table… you will be eating an animal and environmentally friendly meal. When I’ve served it to my clients and friends… the plates have come back clean time after time.
Gardein Chick’n Paprika
My Gardein Chick’n Paprika

Servings: 4


  • 1 10z. pkg. lightly seasoned chick’n scallopini, defrosted
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 2 tablespoons “earth balance” margarine, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup regular cashew cream (see note)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice


1). Mix flour and garlic granules well. Melt earth balance in a large skillet over medium heat.Sauté chick’n scallopini until browned, 2-3 minutes, flip and brown the other side 2-3 minutes.Remove to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

2). Heat oil in the same pan. Add shallot, and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in paprika, and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and nutritional yeast flakes., and simmer, stirring up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, for 5-7 minutes. Add cashew cream and lemon juice. Stirring frequently, cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until sauce is well incorporated and slightly thickened.

Note: This is a method of replacing the dairy that I learned from The Conscious Cook cookbook. Cover 2 cups of raw cashews with water, and refrigerate over night. Drain and add fresh water to same level as cashews for thick cashew cream, or 1 inch above cashews for regular cashew cream. Puree in a blender until smooth and creamy.


Serving suggestions: Serve with buttered noodles, new potatoes, or rice, and any green vegetable of your choice.

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