Gardein Vegan Crispy Tenders And Mashed Cauliflower

May 11, 2010 by Keri

Lunch today was a little remix of last night’s fajitas, which looked something more like bowl o’ nachos.  I topped off a few smashed tortilla chips with black beans and rice, smashed pintos, sautéed onions and peppers, and a little melted Daiya.  Sounds like a tasty mess, right?  I was originally going to make taco salads, but when I realized I was out of romaine that didn’t stop me from using the fajita leftovers.

Vegan Taco Recipes

Over the weekend, I picked up a bag of Gardein Crispy Tenders.  I’ve heard from a lot of lovely vegan bloggers that these are phenomenal, and I’m willing to try any raved-about vegan food at least once.  Plus, I’ve never tried anything from Gardein that wasn’t amazing so I trust their products.  These tenders are crispy, delicious, and would be absolutely perfect for stunning your meat-eating friends.  For some reason, my little man wouldn’t touch them, but I’m fairly positive these would be perfect for kids that haven’t been raised veg as an alternative to those nasty nuggets (and I’m pretty sure if he would have taken a bite he would have liked them).

Vegan Meat

We dipped our nuggets in Trader Joe’s natural barbecue sauce, and to go with them I reheated the rest of the leftover beans and rice.  I also made a cauliflower mash by steaming cauliflower until soft and then mashing it with a little vegan butter, sea salt, black pepper, basil, and rosemary.  I’m not trying to replace the potato or lower my carb intake by mashing cauliflower, but rather try something different.  I’ll always be a potato girl!  And mashed cauliflower is definitely tasty.

Vegan Meat

I’d highly recommend the Gardein tenders, especially if you know someone who has a little one addicted to fast food nuggets and wants to make a delicious, still convenient change to something far healthier.  Speaking of impressing the nonveg crowd, I have a wedding shower for over 30 people to plan food for and I’d love your ideas on what to make to impress.  I’ll definitely be breaking out the Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (little reusable gift bags of cookies as favors) and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World (for the bride’s cake), but what else besides sugary treats?  As always, I hope everyone had a great day.  I know I say that every day, but I really mean it!

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I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!


  1. Amanda says:

    Hmm… are you going for a food theme? It appears I’m on a risotto kick and would be inclined to recommend that but I’m not sure how shower friendly that is (or isn’t it?). I’d def. include a delicious salad – perhaps a walnut/raspberry vinaigrette/craisin/apple/fake feta salad! MMM.. just the thought makes me want to go out and make it! Can’t wait to see what you dream up!

    • Keri says:

      Yum! Thank you, that salad sounds delicious. I’ve heard a lot about making fake feta lately- I’ll have to give it a try! I hadn’t thought of a theme, but now I’m thinking a cookie party would be fun! 🙂

  2. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) says:

    Oh that looks GREAT! And I love what you said about bikinis and rocking it! Here’s to mothers rocking out their bikinis!!!

    Tomorrow I am posting a boat load of raw vegan savory FAST nut pates and recipes. That may help w/ the shower for not sweets? But i am such a sweets girl!

  3. Danielle (Coffee Run) says:

    That’s exciting you get to make vegan dishes for a wedding shower! (At least I think it’s exciting). Cookies never disappoint and I usually make dips or bruschetta…something “appetizer-y” for gatherings

    The gardein crispy tenders…I tried them once and I can’t say I liked them 😕 But I have a feeling its because I cooked them in the microwave so they were mushy. I really should have used the stove!

    • Woz says:

      Definitely give them another go in the stove. They really are nommy! 😀

    • Keri says:

      I think a cookie party sounds like fun.. maybe cookies and cupcakes. Is it rude to fill my guests with sugar? Haha
      I think you should definitely try them again in the oven- processed foods never (or rarely) do well in the microwave! 🙂

  4. Dianne says:

    I still haven’t tried anything from Gardein! I always plan to and then shrink at the price tag, haha. That’s so exciting (and I’m sure nervewracking) to be planning food for a whole wedding! I’ve always found veggie sushi to be an elegant finger food that’s fairly easy to make in mass quantities.

    • Keri says:

      Yeah, I know it’s a little $$. 😛
      It’s just the shower, not the whole wedding, but veggie sushi is a good idea! That would be really elegant and fun- thanks!

  5. How about stuffed mushrooms, yum! Homemade pita chips and hummus always go over well. Just appetizers, or a whole meal? Finger sandwiches are good shower food, too.

    • Keri says:

      Mmm.. I want mushrooms right now! Just appetizers, I’m not sure I could do a meal for 40 people in my house… 😀 Finger sandwiches would be great too- thanks!

  6. vegeater says:

    I recently had a big party, and I made savory mini corn muffins, and mini pecan pies, among other things. I agree with OV’s suggestion for finger sandwiches — I particularly love cucumber sandwiches.

  7. hbobier @ Basil Vodka says:

    I recently discovered, then promptly fell in love with, all things created by Gardein. Phenomenal.

  8. I’m so glad you posted about those tenders..I always see them at whole foods and am yet to try them! Might have to pick some up now!

    • Keri says:

      They’re very good- just from Danielle’s experience, be sure to do them in the oven rather than microwave! 🙂

  9. Michal says:

    I love gardien chicken fingers, they are so delicious! My meat and potato’s grandpa couldn’t even tell that they werent chicken once i gave them to him. He was so surprised that I was eating them he was like “why are you eating these…?”

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