I have some friends (*ahem*—you know who you are) who have expressed to me recently that they’re a bit overwhelmed with having to suddenly cook for themselves at home instead of relying on restaurants, and that it would be helpful to have some ideas for things they can easily make at home without having to make stuff entirely from scratch. So I thought I’d share one of my favorite quick-n-easy dishes, which is really just fancied-up frozen Gardein strips.
I’m not sure if Gardein products are available worldwide (?), but in the US, the brand is sold at Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, and lots of other national grocery retailers. Is Gardein “junk food”? I don’t know, and I don’t really care. It’s yummy, it’s vegan, it’s widely available, and the ingredients aren’t horrible. This particular recipe uses Gardein Szechuan Beefless Strips, which are sort of thin and chewy and a little bit dry, which I guess is kind of like the meat used in beef and broccoli-type dishes. Anyway, it’s delicious, and it comes with a moderately spicy Szechuan-style sauce that I love.
These frozen convenience meals aren’t very cost-effective, though, and honestly, I think they’re a little sad just out of the package with nothing added to them (the broccoli in the picture on the bag is just a “serving suggestion”; it’s not included). I like to use them as a component in a more substantial dish instead of just eating them as-is. Here’s my favorite way to do it. You could definitely substitute it with tofu or tempeh or homemade seitan (and your own sauce), and that’s fine! This is a recipe for when you want something fast and easy, though.