Thursday, June 24, 2010

'Chicken' with Lemon and Fennel Seeds

I tried something completely new for this blog tonight. As someone who hasn't eaten meat since she was 12, I scarcely remember what it takes like, much less crave it. However, the brand Gardein (recently on the market) has done some amazing things with texture and flavor of vegan meats (for now they just make 'chicken' and 'beef,' but I'm hoping they expand their product line!), and it made me wonder if I could adapt their packaged food to a recipe.

In particular, the "tuscan chicken breasts" come with a sauce, but the sauce is packaged separately, so I wondered if I could take a chicken recipe and use these vegan chicken breasts in place of regular meat. An added benefit is that it means I could cook "chicken" for my non-vegan boyfriend for the first time, resulting in a rather romantic meal together! In fact, his words afterward were, "If this is what it tastes like, I could eat vegan!"

You'll need 4 Gardein "tuscan chicken breasts" for this recipe, which is two packages. Look for them near tofu in the grocery store. As I mentioned, you won't need to use the sauce, so save it for another use if you like, or simply discard it.

Here's the 'chicken' before I did anything to it:

Sprinkle the 'chicken' with 1/4 tsp. black pepper and set aside. The original recipe called for salt, as well, but I omitted it since salt is already in Gardein's formula.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 'chicken' and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Add 3 tablespoons dry vegan white wine of your choice (I liked a French Sancerre here), 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds and 1 garlic clove, pressed through a garlic press. Cover the skillet, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

1 'chicken breast' plus about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of the sauce drizzled on top is 230 calories. Add some rice or warm bread and some broccoli rabe sauteed with a little garlic and crushed red pepper, and you'll have a complete dinner!

Gardein chicken breasts $7.98
dry white wine $20.99
lemon $0.69

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance