May 21, 2010

Morningstar Meal Starters Chik'n Strips

Oh man… where did this week go? I remember it being Wednesday, and thinking, "Hey - I should type up this post and schedule it, so I don't have to remember when Friday hits," which was then followed up with, "Nah - I'll take care of that later." And now I look at my calendar, and it's Friday already! Yikes! Side note, it's also my wife's and my fifth wedding anniversary! Hooray for us!

Okay, down to business. This week, I tested out the last product available at my local grocery store. It's definitely time to hit up the co-ops for some additional fake meat. I'd had these Chik'n Strips from Morningstar sitting in my freezer for a long time. Ever since the ill-fated Trader Joe's Chicken-less Strips experience, I've been really wary of fake chicken strips. But, since I hadn't gone co-op shopping yet, it was time.

I was already planning on having a stir-fry for dinner, with real-meat chicken, so I threw the fake meat chicken into a separate pan to heat it up. I figured I could have both, just in case the fake meat was terrible. I used a little bit of oil in the pan, to help keep it from sticking, but ended up using significantly more, because it stuck anyway. Man, did this stuff stick.

Finally, everything was finished, and I assembled my plate - stir fried vegetables and chicken, on brown rice, with two different sauces (I was feeling experimental), and some fake chicken. Before I mixed the fake chicken with either of the sauces or the vegetables, I popped a piece into my mouth. Not bad, actually. Very slight gluten-y flavor, but nowhere as strong as I'd expected, considering the fact that gluten was one of the first ingredients. Even better were the extra-crispy bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan. Granted, those had absorbed a lot of oil, and were practically deep-fried - it's hard to go wrong, there. But they had a nice, crispy texture, and an almost-burned flavor that was very appealing. The strips themselves were not as awesome but still good, especially with the sauce and vegetables. I was pleasantly surprised.

The experience:
Texture - nicely chewy (with the bonus of the crispy bits)
Flavor - not really chicken-y, but not a bad flavor - like chicken it blends well with other flavors

Final grade for this attempt: A-

8 comments:

  1. eww.. really? The flavor on these things is horrible. I use them in a pasta recipes that really does well with some 'chicken' but I have to rinse whatever that spice mix is on them. Even the smell makes me sick if I don't rinse them first =/

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  2. Really? I don't remember these being covered with a spice mix or not. I thought they were gluten-y, but bland. I guess Tracy will speak up on it soon enough, though.

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  3. I don't really remember these very well, but in the picture, there's some sort of spicing going on. I don't recall them having much of any flavor, really.

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  4. I use them in vegetarian chicken tacos all the time - cook them with whatever taco spices you normally use, like cumin or pre-mixed Ortega Mexican spice, and they're delightful.

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  5. I don't never have a problem with these sticking to the pan - and I don't use nonstick cookware. How high was your burner? I generally keep the heat at medium-low and move them around a bit. I don't even use oil all the time - sometimes a bit of spray oil. Maybe you already did this, but if not, give it a try! It's less fattening that way, anyway :)

    PS For a while I was convinced these and the TJ's chickenless strips were the same thing, and TJ's just repackaged them, but...they're so, so definitely not.

    PPS I've found that sage goes really well with these, especially if you serve them with a salad.

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  6. This 'chicken' is for those who don't have taste buds, the texture is quite disgusting and the taste is close to cardboard. If you say it tastes like chicken you've obviously never eaten chicken.

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  7. Rockgoddes: I never said they tasted like chicken. I actually say that they don't taste like chicken. But, in the same way that chicken blends with other flavors, these did too.

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