I was pleasantly surprised by this Vegan offering! I am a carnivore. I eat a lot of meat, chicken and fish and am not easily impressed by vegetarian foods that mimic meat. This one had me at first bite.
You can either prepare these in the oven or in a skillet. The “Preferred Method” is the oven so I went with that, wanting to give this product the best chance of a good review. You preheat the oven to 450 F, place the tenders in an ungreased baking dish and allow then to bake for 7 minutes on each side. When they came out of the oven they were a golden brown and wonderfully aromatic. The smell made me hungry, but I was still quite skeptical.
As soon as the tenders were cool enough to taste, I gingerly took a nibble just around the edge. The crunch was fantastic, just hard enough for that perfect crunch. The first flavor note was a bit salty like authentic buffalo flavors that always tend to be a bit salty to me. The saltiness immediately dissipated into a mild to medium heat. The heat is mild to begin with but as you continue crunching away, it intensifies a little. It never gets too hot. The heat is perfect. The flavor is typical buffalo, again, perfectly done.
This is where it got really interesting. Being a hard core carnivore, I truly expected a weird, soft, slightly yucky texture. Was I ever wrong! If I had not known that this was a plant-based food, I would have easily thought that it was a regular chicken tender. It’s appearance is darker than chicken tenders but the taste and texture was excellent, much better than some popular chicken nuggets that you can buy in some fast food restaurants. While I ate these without sauce for the sake of this review, with any of the commonly used sauces that people add to buffalo chicken tenders, it will easily surpass many other processed chicken products. I simply could not find anything wrong with this product.
A serving is 3 tenders for 210 calories, 14 Net Grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of fat and 17 grams of protein. The label says there is NO ADDED SUGAR, which is excellent. Dextrose is listed in the ingredient list after salt, which means that there’s less dextrose than salt and since there’s 0 grams added sugars in the entire box, it’s not enough to measure. The only problem here is that as good as these things are, you might better plan on the nutrition for the whole box. You just might eat it. There’s 2 1/2 servings per box.
I bought these for $4.00 at Publix Grocery which is a common grocery chain in the South. They are owned by Kroger like Ralph’s, Dillons, Smith’s, King Snooper’s, City Market, Fry’s, QFC and Harris Teeter. You should be able to find them almost anywhere in the U.S. , because these stores span 35 states. At $4.00 for 2 1/2 servings, you can also afford them. I think price is critical because no matter how good a food is, if you can’t afford it, it’s useless. dr. Praeger’s has produced a quality vegan offering at an affordable price.
It’s always fun to do a positive review, but we can’t always do that. We are as honest and as critical as we can be so that you can depend on us. You may find something wrong with these tenders, but I can’t. They are obviously a processed food and do not seem like a freshly prepared, home made chicken tender, but they are good. The taste, texture and price is great and that crunch is wonderful. dr. Praeger’s makes other products that I fully intend to investigate. If this is representative of their other products, I may get to do more positive reviews than I ever thought possible. 🙂