One meat substitute that my family really likes is Gardein.  These are great alternatives to meat, and the brand carries many varieties.  The ingredients list, while long, is easy to understand and free of red-flags like corn syrup, hydrogenated oil and artificial additives.  Gardein is free of cholesterol and saturated fat (all fat actually) and it contains fiber which animal proteins do not.

Gardein

We eat very little meat in my home – my husband eats fish occasionally and I don’t eat any meat.  My kids eat meat occasionally, but I’m not a fan of preparing it, so it is not very often.  My husband loves Gardein, so these are a nice treat.  They are pretty processed, which is why I still classify them as a treat and not an everyday food.

This was my son’s plate on Saturday night.  We all ate the same dinner, but my son hadn’t eaten too much of his when I remembered to take a picture, so I was able to snap it!  (Yes, I am STILL using Christmas plates. . .)  He has the Gardein chicken strips (which my kids don’t realize aren’t real chicken – they LOVE them!).   With those, I served strawberries, roasted sweet potatoes and kale that I sautéed with a bit of tamari.

Gardein, Sweet Potatoes, Kale

This meal took about 30 minutes, as it took a few minutes to preheat the oven to 430 degrees, and then the Gardein took about 20 minutes to cook.  I put the sweet potatoes in the oven at the same time and temp as the Gardein, and I prepped and cooked the kale while they cooked.  Easy, easy, easy!  Delicious and healthy.  Yum.

Have you tried Gardein?  Let me know your favorite variety!