I so wanted to attend the Natural Foods Expo West in California this year! It wasn’t possible but I’ve enjoyed attending vicariously through pictures on twitter and blogs I follow. I have experienced a little jealousy: Another Hungry Vegan shared a photo of a Gardein brand fish-less fish fillet and I mourned.
I don’t miss a great deal from my pre-vegan life. If I miss anything, it’s usually junk food which I don’t need to be eating anyway. Things like hot dogs or fish sticks. I grew up eating fish sticks. Both my parents worked so I was responsible for making sure my brother and I got fed. I cooked easy food: food like fish sticks. Not the healthiest food choice but there’s no denying they’re tasty and I miss them. Then I saw that photo on the blog and was so excited Gardein made a vegan option. Now, how to find it?
I didn’t have to look too hard. I had to return some light bulbs to Super Target and, on a whim, I checked the freezer section. What to my wondering eye should appear? A bag of Gardein brand fish-less fish fillets! I performed a happy dance in the aisle. Now, I could only hope they would live up to my expectations.
I have tried some awful meat substitutes but Gardein has never steered me wrong. I could write odes to their various products but I promise I won’t: I did list my favorites here if anyone is interested in trying the brand. I have tried a vegan fish substitute I won’t ever try again so I will admit some hesitation before purchasing Gardein’s but my trust for the brand made the hesitation momentary. Home with me they came.
Tonight, I took the opportunity of trying them. I’ve been doing laundry and ironing today; all the excuse I needed for an easy reminiscent-of-my-childhood meal. I added some onion rings to my baking sheet to round out a meal I anticipated being wonderful. I made some tartar sauce-Just Mayo and pickle relish mixed together in equal amounts-to serve on the side and, when the twenty cooking minutes were up, tucked in.
Gardein pulled through for me again. Their fish-less fillets are better than the ones I remember from my childhood. The golden coating bakes crispy after 20 minutes in the oven (flipping halfway through) and the texture is perfect. I wouldn’t recommend them for daily consumption for health as well as fiscal reasons-only six in the package 😦 – but, if you’ve been missing fish sticks, find a bag of these. You won’t be sorry.