oven cooking

I tried Gardein’s Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n

My Gardein’s Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n on steamed rice

I’m always a little curious about vegetarian replacements for meat, especially since vegetarian options have proved to be much easier for my digestion.  I have had pretty good luck with Gardein in the past so when I saw this Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n I was fully on board.  Full disclosure, I’m not a big fan of chicken find it to be basically flavorless.  Although, I do enjoy chicken nuggets.  Because of this I was fairly certain I wouldn’t be disappointed if this didn’t taste like chicken.  So here’s what I thought.


Be sure to read the packaging!  As you can see in the picture, 140 calories is highlighted in a beautiful, encouraging, green.  Sounds great, right?  Below that, not highlighted, it states “per serving without sauce”.  If you are buying this you want the sauce, otherwise it’s not Mandarin Orange.  I did not read the packaging.  Luckily, I was not worried about the calories today.  Besides, this review isn’t about healthiness or calories, just taste.

There were a few different cooking options listed on the back.  The front of the package says it takes 8 minutes and that is probably accurate if you cook it on the stove.  Keep in mind that the rice is not included so factor that into your cooking time.  I have a rice steamer so I started the rice just before starting the oven preheating.  I chose the bake option for my “Chick’n” and this takes about 16 minutes once the oven is ready.  I line my pans with foil and then spray an olive oil cooking spray on the foil.  Next step, spread out the nuggets and placed in the oven for 8 minutes.  After 8 minutes, I turned the pieces over and cooked for 8 more minutes.  The sauce packet needs placed in hot water for at least 3 minutes to warm up.  Once the pieces are cooked, place them in a bowl, pour the sauce in and stir the pieces in the sauce.

Once I put the pieces on the bed of rice and tossed on some green onion, I was ready to enjoy!  The flavor of the sauce was pretty tasty.  A sweet taste with a hint of citrus.  It had the consistency of syrup and I would prefer it a little thicker, but it covered the pieces well.  The nuggets themselves seemed to taste a lot like chicken nuggets to me.  The breading was pretty good and the texture was very much like a chicken nugget.  I thought the sauce was going to make the pieces soggy or soft, but they remained crispy.  I’ve tried other frozen chicken nuggets, that had meat and I thought these were pretty comparable 

The overall result is that I was pleasantly surprised and would recommend giving it a try.  I will be buying it again and I hope you like it too.

Delicious, baked baby potatoes

Hello, food lovers!  They say to blog about what you know so, for my first attempt at blogging, I have decided to share my favorite potatoes.  Seasoned baby potatoes baked in the oven.  So easy and so delicious!1-DSC_0015 (1)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.  While the oven is heating up you have plenty of time to prepare the potatoes.
  2. Foil the baking pan.  I usually cook for one or two people so a small cake pan is big enough.
  3. Wash those babies!  I’m talking the potatoes.
  4. Dice.  Depending on the size of the potato, I usually cut them in fourths.  You can cut them smaller if you want your potatoes crispier, just make sure you are checking them regularly because it will take less time to cook through.
  5. Cover in oil and seasoning.  To do this, I put my potatoes in a plastic container that has a lid.  I then pour in about a tablespoon of olive oil.  The seasoning depends on what you like and how many potatoes you are cooking.  I usually cut up about 10 baby potatoes and add just under 1 teaspoon of seasoning.  I personally use McCormick’s Grill Mates, Montreal Steak Seasoning.  I like to have a minimalist kitchen so I’m a big fan of one seasoning that works for many foods.  I lid the container and shake the potatoes until they are evenly coated.
  6. Pour the coated potatoes into baking pan.

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Once the oven is preheated, place the pan of potatoes in the oven on the top or middle rack and set the timer for 35 minutes.  After 35 minutes, poke a few potatoes with a fork to make sure they are cooked before removing.  They should feel fairly soft on the inside, but crispy on the outside.

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Once cooked to your liking, remove from the oven and enjoy!  They are steaming hot on the inside so I recommend letting them sit for a few minutes before eating.  My final word of advice is, don’t be like me and forget to turn off the oven!

Thanks for reading and please stop by again soon!