This time last year, Gardein threw their hat into the ever-growing frozen burger game with their Ultimate Plant-Based Burgers that “looks, cooks, smells, and satisfies like real meat”. This product must have been a smashing success, as they’ve since added 3 new burger varieties: Ultimate Italian-Style Chickpea Burger, Ultimate Black Bean Burger, and the Ultimate Falafel Burger. Additionally, they’ve included 3 new Chick’n products that are made for our grown-up appetites: Ultimate Plant-Based Chick’n Tenders, Ultimate Plant-Based Chick’n Nuggets, and Ultimate Plant-Based Chick’n Filets.
I was able to locate the Falafel Burger, Chick’n Tenders, Chick’n Nuggets, and Chick’n Filets at my nearby Target. I have to say, if you are newly veg the Ultimate Chick’n can’t be beat. It’s thick and juicy, with a perfect crispy crunchy coating. It also definitely looks and cooks like real meat.
My favorite of the lot was the Chick’n Nuggets. I like that they are bite-sized, and remind me of popcorn chicken. I enjoyed mine simply, with some ketchup for dipping.
I served up the Chick’n Tenders on some freshly made waffles, courtesy of Aunt Jemima’s Original Mix (one of my favorite “accidentally vegan” items). Sweet and savory is always a great flavor combination and it allowed the tenders to soak up some maple syrup for added umami.
Sandwiched between two buns, vegan mayo, and pickle slices, I enjoyed my Chick’n Filet extra crispy. Chicken sandwiches are all the rage at fast food joints and this copycat sandwich patty definitely serves up some hot competition.
Lastly, I tried the Falafel Burger in a pita wrap, along with plant-based tzatziki sauce, chopped spinach, and red onion. I was surprised by how much I liked this patty and can see myself enjoying it in many different ways. It was not overly spicy and held its shape very well. I look forward to locating the other new ultimate bean burgers because if they are anything like the falafel patty I will be hooked!
Side Text from YNV: I get this question a lot, “is bread vegan?” It is, and it isn’t. Generally I would say bread is vegan, so long as it does not contain milk, eggs, honey, etc. However, many shelf-stable breads contain emulsifiers, such as mono and diglycerides. Mono and diglycerides can be derived from both animal and plant sources. I have found that most companies I have reached out to, tend to use vegetable-derived ingredients. (I do not recall the last time someone replied to state they use animal-derived ingredients unless it was wine). Really the only way to know is to ask the company themselves. I took it upon myself to reach out to BIMBO Bakeries USA, as they own many of the bread brands I find in stores near me. The mono and diglycerides have been confirmed vegetable-derived by BIMBO Bakeries. I reached out to BIMBO Bakeries to ask about their ingredient sources and was told that “the mono and diglycerides that we use are vegetable-derived. If it contains milk, butter, or eggs it will be listed in the ingredients.” BIMBO owns; Sara Lee bread (they make Artesano), Oroweat, Thomas, Ball Park Buns, and more! So as long as the remaining ingredients do not contain any animal derivatives, feel free to dig into their bun selection this BBQ season!
Target Location: 3405 McHenry Ave, Modesto, CA 95350