Friday, July 19, 2013

The Veggie Major: Gardein Barbecue Wings Review

I thought it would be a nifty (mind my 50s language) idea to document what it is like being a vegetarian in college in a segment called The Veggie Major. Clever and fitting name huh? *High-five to myself!!* 

I have been a vegetarian for over three years now. A lot of my friends and family wondered how I would be able to stay a vegetarian in college because it is even difficult for an average non-vegetarian person to adjust to eating in college, attempting to avoid making the wrong food decisions and gaining the infamous "Freshman 15". I believe it is more difficult for vegetarians to make that adjustment because they would have to make sure they receive important every day nutrients like protein without eating meat. 

I kind of struggled a bit at the beginning of my freshman year. I was not taking in all of the nutrients that my body needed with the foods that I was eating from the dining commons. Now that I don't have to depend on dining commons, I can choose my daily menu and incorporate foods that will keep me healthy and provide me with the nutrients that I will need. 

Being a vegetarian, there are some foods that I miss, like BBQ!! I LOVE BBQ!! Smokey, tangy and sweet together in one dish?! Now that's what I'm talking about!! 

When I went to Target and saw that they have VEGAN barbecue "chicken" wings, I have to try it! Gardein Barbecue Wings are make of soy, what, organic grains and veggies. On the packaging, it states that both veggie and meat-lovers will like this product. One serving of 4 wings is only 120 calories, making it a great alternative to chicken if you are watching the amount of calories you intake. Also, a serving gives you 14 grams of protein which is fantastic for vegetarians who need to make sure they are getting their daily dose of protein without meat. The best part about it that I wish they would put somewhere on their packaging in larger words is that they use non-genetically engineered soy and wheat. That's huge!!!! Soy beans are one of the most genetically engineered crops, and for them to use non-GE soy is awesome!

Though it says that it takes only 5 minutes to prepare, it actually took me double that time. It would probably take 5 minutes if you just threw everything together willy-nilly, but I wanted to make it taste good so I was okay with spending a little extra time! 

Though they don't say it on the packaging, another great cooking method would be grilling the wings, especially if you are going to be serving these at a party. The grill marks on the wings would make them look beautiful and would convince your guests that they actually are chicken. 
Who says you can mix art with food?! This coming from the girl who would always pretend she was Picasso and create pieces of art out of her leftovers.

They look like real BBQ chicken wings, but do they taste good and not like cardboard covered in BBQ sauce? 

Texture: These wings very much resemble the texture of real chicken. It is not like biting into a piece of soft tofu which many people think it would be like. The inside has that stringy, pull-apart type of texture that real chicken has. How do they make it like that? SCIENCE, BOYS AND GIRLS! 

Taste: It tastes like chicken! There is a slight difference, but it's not very noticeable when the wings are covered in sauce. The sauce, however, is just alright. It has a very slight smoky flavor, but I wish there was a bit more. It is not as tangy as I expected; therefore I had to have some ketchup on the side. It definitely leans more on the sweet side. I could have sworn I tasted tamarind in the sauce, but apparently there is none. 

Final verdict? It is a great product that is perfect for vegetarians like me who crave BBQ. I will definitely repurchase these. I've tried a couple of products from this line (primarily at The Yard House) and I keep on taking a double take to make sure they are vegetarian. It is incredible that they contain no meat whatsoever! 

Whether you are vegetarian or not, give this product and brand a chance! 

Lisa xx

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