Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chik'n

Wednesday, April 02, 2014 , , , , , 7 Comments

Vegetarian Vegan Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chicken
Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick'n with Red Pepper and Broccoli over Brown Rice

If you miss ordering chicken dishes at Chinese restaurants, then Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chik'n might be just the thing for you. It really resembles the meat you get in Chinese restaurants - you know the meat that people sometimes complain 'isn't real?' Actually the first time I had Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick'n, it kind of creeped me out because it reminded me of the chicken from Chinese restaurants. Not to worry though, this Vegan Chicken is certified vegan so you know that there aren't any pesky hidden non-vegan ingredients in there!

Vegetarian Vegan Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick'n
One serving (1/3 bag) of crispy chick'n & sauce has 17 g protein, 20 % RDA iron, 4 % calcium, 0 g saturated fat and 165 calories.

The package says that you can add in your favorite vegetables and I think that the vegetables add a lot of great flavor (and nutrition) to this dish. However, there is not enough sauce for added vegetables. The veggies took some of the sauce from the chick'n and made the sauce harder to detect. My solution to this is to take the sauce from two packets. Then use your favorite sauce (homemade or store-bought Chinese sauce would be amazing) on the packet that you stole the second sauce packet from. Now you have two different Chinese dishes with the taste and health enhancing properties of vegetables.

Vegetarian Vegan Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chiken
Look at that steam! Mmm mmm!

This really is easy to make. First you have to put the sauce packet in a small bowl or cup of warm water to let it thaw while you are cooking the chik'n and veggies. Then just saute the frozen chik'n for a few minutes until golden and crispy. Remove the chik'n from the pan and saute the veggies for a few minutes. Then add back in the chik'n and the sauce. Voila!

This would be a great quick weeknight dinner if you put rice in your rice cooker and set it ahead of time to be done when you get home from work. Of course, you could always pick up some rice from your local Chinese restaurant. It's usually pretty cheap to just buy rice.

Vegetarian Vegan Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chicken
Tasty, Fast & Easy Dinner, Much Healthier & Cheaper than Take-out

One of the great things about this product is that it is readily available. There is not a local grocery store I haven't found this in yet. Look in the frozen section at Target, Meijer, Kroger, Plum Market, Whole Foods, Ralph's, Safeway, Publix, Albertson's, Winn Dixie, A & P, etc. You might never have noticed at your local grocery store, but it's probably there if you live in the United States or Canada.


Cornucopia Wholefood & Vegetarian Restaurant Dublin, Ireland

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 , , , , , 9 Comments

Vegan Scone and Jam Cornucopia Dublin, Ireland

Located in a super cute and hip part of Dublin, within walking distance of Trinity College, Cornucopia has a cool and laid-back vibe. The neighborhood was picture perfect!

Dublin, Ireland
On our way to Cornucopia

Cornucopia Whole and Vegetarian Vegan Restaurant Dublin, Ireland
Cornucopia Wholefood & Vegetarian Restaurant Dublin, Ireland

Wicklow Street Dublin, Ireland
Near Cornucopia Dublin, Ireland

Although Cornucopia is a casual dining restaurant, it has a homey feel. In fact, I did not feel like leaving. It felt like I was hanging out in the house of a friend who was an excellent and health-conscious cook.

The menu changes on a regular basis. Vegan and Gluten-Free items are clearly marked and, if you're not sure about something, you can ask the staff. They are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Knowing that I probably would not have another opportunity to eat at Cornucopia any time soon, I asked the staff for suggestions of what to get and I was not disappointed.

I have read other reviews of Cornucopia and some people complained that the restaurant is too popular and there is a long line and / or they found it difficult to find a seat. We were there just after the lunch time rush and had no trouble at all finding a seat and no line to wait in.

Vegetarian Vegan Food Cauliflower, Fennel and Puy Lentil Pie with Dill and Chervil Mash, Garlic Potatoes with Roasted Hazelnuts, Tomato and Rocket Salad Cornucopia Dublin, Ireland
Cauliflower, Fennel and Puy Lentil Pie with Dill and Chervil Mash, Tomato and Rocket Salad, and Garlic Potatoes with Roasted Hazelnuts

You order at a sort of cafeteria counter, choosing your main dish from their specials of the day and two fresh salads. We had a delicious, hearty Shepherd's-Pie-like item called the Cauliflower, Fennel and Puy Lentil Pie with Dill and Chervil Mash. The Garlic Potatoes with Roasted Hazelnuts were mouthwatering and satisfied my craving for vegan potato salad. The Tomato and Rocket Salad (Rocket = Arugula for the Americans) was only ordered because I thought I needed some greens, not because I thought it would be particularly amazing, but it really was very tasty and I found myself craving it the next day. The olives and dressing gave the fresh veggies a burst of flavor.

After a few nights of dinners in hotels that did not quite know what to serve vegans (they tried their best and I am extremely grateful for that), getting this hearty, healthy, tasty food felt like such a treat.

I missed a picture of our dessert because it mysteriously disappeared from the plate before the camera could come out. No idea how that happened. We had something like a berry crumble topped with vegan yogurt. It was heavenly. I could not control myself enough to get a picture of it, need I say more!?

Vegetarian Vegan Scone and Jam Cornucopia Dublin, Ireland
Vegan Scone and Jam
I wanted to feel like I was eating real Irish food so we got vegan scones. I even took some to go because, well, they are THAT good and I had this crazy desire to have tea and scones for breakfast in my hotel room at some point during our Scotland / Ireland trip, but I was never able to make it happen in Scotland.

Tea and Vegan Scone with Jam from Cornucopia Dublin, Ireland
Tea and Scone for Breakfast

Wicklow Street Dublin, Ireland
I felt so good after eating this healthy food that I was literally running down the street, grinning from ear to ear.