Friday, May 14, 2010

EASY DELICIOUS VEGAN | Gardein Chick'n Salad Wrap

When I tell people that my diet is plant-based — that I don’t eat meat, dairy or products containing ingredients derived from animals — I think they imagine my meals consisting of unappetizing greenery and tofu. They don’t believe that they will ever be able to have a “normal” meal with me. And on some levels this is true. I won’t sit down to a typical hearty steak and potatoes meal. My hearty steak and potatoes meal is just left of typical!

There are many products on the market now that help to take the guesswork and experimentation out of creating pure vegetarian meals based on omnivorous ones. These products make my life so much easier. Gardein garden protein, a meat substitute, is one of my favorites. Gardein is so close to the texture and flavor of real meat, I have never had anyone I’ve served it to question that it wasn’t real meat.

One of my favorite uses for Gardein has become chick'n salad. It’s a wonderful quick and easy lunch. I like to whip up a large batch and keep some in the refrigerator for a few days to get another meal or two out of it. You can really take the reins and create your own chick'n salad sandwich using Gardein chick’n filets as the base but below is my favorite recipe — a traditional chicken salad with a twist that I learned from The Conscious Cook.

Before I share the recipe, a word on Vegenaise, which is a major part of it: Vegenaise is my all-time favorite mayo substitute. In fact, I like it better than mayo altogether. I've personally turned quite a few omnivorous friends and family members on to Vegenaise simply because of the taste. I once served my own mother a sandwich slathered with Vegenaise and was told that she intended to replace mayo in her house with it, it's that good.

Any vegan mayonnaise will work well in this chicken salad recipe but for the best taste I recommend Vegenaise, which can be found in health food stores and even many well-stocked supermarkets.



1 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 pounds Gardein chick’n filets , chopped (about 2 to 2 ½ packages, wipe off the marinade that comes on them)
¾ cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss to combine. Place over a bed of arugula and romaine on a whole wheat wrap. Fold and secure the wrap (you can use a toothpick if necessary), and serve.

Enjoy your left of typical chicken salad sandwich. I promise, no one will be able to tell that it's not chicken!

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