When I decided to go vegetarian with dreams of being vegan, I was missing Chinese food. My favorite choice was always beef and broccoli and one of my husband’s favorites was sweet and sour pork. I was never much of a fan because I don’t like a lot of heavily deep fried foods. When we lived in the city, there were tons of Chinese restaurants that offered tofu options instead of meat, but in my little small town it’s a little harder to come by.
Insert the frozen aisle of most grocery stores even in my small town.
Gardein Sweet & Sour Pork! It’s not beef and broccoli, but it’s a great Chinese alternative without all the grease and heavy feeling. It’s super easy to make and you can easily customize it however you like. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting on the rice cooker to cook your rice!
Follow these simple steps to make your Chinese at home my way.
- Place 1 cup of Basmati rice and 2 cups of water in your rice cooker. I also love this product with Jasmine rice, but my husband doesn’t care for it so I just save it for meals when I’m the only one eating rice. Remember to wash your rice thoroughly before cooking.
- I always serve broccoli on the side with my Chinese food no matter what variation I’m making. Start boiling fresh or frozen broccoli on the stove top with some water. Once completed cooking, drain the excess water and add a little bit of sea salt and vegan butter. I prefer Smart Balance because the price point is usually a little cheaper.
- While everything is moving along, put 1/2 a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet and let that warm up. Once heated and completely melted, add the porkless chunks. Saute until all sides are crispy. It takes about 6-8 minutes when stirring frequently.
- Once they are fully cooked, add the sauce packet that comes in the Gardein bag. At this point, you can add whatever you want in addition to the Gardein pork. My favorite addition is chopped canned pineapple. Other options we have added were snap peas, sugar snap peas, sweet onion, bell pepper strips, mushrooms and broccoli. If you are using these fresh veggie additions, I prefer to saute them before adding, but the pineapple just needs to be heated and mingle with the sauce.
- Once plated, I always sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Occasionally I will use a low sodium soy sauce, but not always.
My favorite aspects of this product are that it is made with Non-GMO soy, it is certified vegan and labeled for easy reading and it’s nutrition content. For one third of the bag, there are 120 calories, 3 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 9 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein! My husband and I usually eat two thirds of the meal the night of and I usually get about a third the next day for leftovers. It heats up well in both the microwave or stove top the next day.
Wannabe Vegan Rating: 10/10
Omnivore Rating: 9.5/10