Product Guide

Gardein Vegan Savory Stuffed Turk’y

gardein vegan turkey substituteFull disclosure: I’m not personally a big fan of meat substitutes, but I can fully understand why other vegetarians and vegans like them. I grew up with meat as a child, and one of the reasons I went vegetarian as a teen way back when was that I simply didn’t like it. Fast forward to my own kids, who have never tasted meat, and they really enjoy meat substitutes. I’m sure it’s the satisfying texture and heartiness that appeal to them, as they have nothing to compare the taste with.

Thanksgiving and other holidays are so much about comfort and nostalgia. So even though they’re not my thing, I can understand why turkey substitutes have become so popular. Especially in families that have a lone vegetarian or vegan and are faced with the “OMG! What will I make!” dilemma, they can be a handy solution. As the subject came up in a talk I recently gave on veganizing Thanksgiving, it seemed that most people shared my sentiments— we’d rather have stuffed squash or other alternative main dishes if at all possible, but the meatless turkey substitutes can be helpful in a pinch and are certainly preferable to the real thing — those hapless turkeys, bred in captivity and stuffed with hormones and antibiotics to speed their growth at a crazy pace.

Gardein recently sent me their Savory Stuffed Turk’y to sample. It really doesn’t try to look like a dead bird, and in fact reminded me more of a savory pastry, as each one-person serving is very compact. These come with a savory gravy which adds a lovely flavor element. I had guests over as well as my grown kids and we all agreed that it was delicious. It’s not the kind of thing you’d want to eat every day (well, maybe my sons would …), but for a special occasion, those who gravitate to this kind of flavor and texture experience may be delighted. It is neither soy-free nor gluten-free, so if you have those restrictions, this product is not for you.

There are other brands of meatless turkey substitutes to explore, the most well known of which is Tofurky brand, but I can’t speak for it since at the one Thanksgiving where I saw it being served, the younger crowd devoured it while I busied myself with a stuffed squash! To find out more about the Gardein brand, and where to buy it, visit their Thanksgiving page, which also features delicious recipes by renowned vegan chef Tal Ronnen.

Thanks to Gardein for providing this product sample for my family and friends to try.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    city o city
    November 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I live in Denver Colorado and I can not seem to finds these. They sound really good, but they are nowhere to be found. I tried two different whole foods and another natural grocery store with out any luck. Any ideas?

  • Reply
    Nava
    November 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Have you checked Gardein’s Store Locator page: http://www.gardein.com/wheretobuy/store_locator.php — I doubt you’d find it by tomorrow, but perhaps in anticipation of the holiday, you could see if you might find a customer service e-mail on Gardein’s site, and perhaps someone there can help you. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Tricia
    October 2, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I actually find Gardein at my local Kroger store. Do they have Kroger where you live? It can be hard to find, but Kroger has it, usually has a good selection, and at a great price!

    • Reply
      Nava
      October 2, 2012 at 11:26 am

      I find lots of Gardein products in my local Stop & Shop and natural foods store. I don’t buy them too frequently but my kids really like them!

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