This may be my favorite way to enjoy meat substitutes! I think I’ve mentioned before that I tend to gravitate towards beans, lentils, veggies, and the like for my protein consumption. But with all of the AMAZING meat substitute options out there these days, sometimes you’ve just got to take advantage!
Mary Jeanne, my three-year-old daughter, and I were watching a cooking show the other day, and the super cute chef was searing some breaded salmon. And I found myself almost salivating as we watched! Not over the salmon itself (although I am sure if I enjoyed fish, that would have been some amazing salmon!), but the way she was preparing it.
So…why not concoct my own breadcrumb recipe, and try breading a meat substitute?
MJ and I luckily had a free afternoon that day, and we found ourselves at Whole Foods, a store that usually we just walk around in and maybe enjoy a bakery item, but can’t really afford to purchase much of anything at! But it was our lucky day—the Gardein was on sale, clearly a sign that we should buy some and create some seared and breaded Gardein for dinner that night. (:
That’s just what we did! And let me tell you, this is one AWESOME dish. When Andrew came home from work that evening and we sat down for dinner, we all felt like we’d gone out to a restaurant. Even better, it made great leftovers for Andrew’s lunch the next day.
I served this Gardein with some super easy and delicious green beans and basmati rice. The green bean recipe is below, and I highly recommend pairing it with this Gardein.
Also, I used Gardein, but you could really use any meat substitute here. You’ll just want to make sure you choose something thinner, like a cutlet, with enough surface area for the breadcrumbs to coat.
I dip the Gardein cutlets in egg before dredging them in the herbed breadcrumbs—this helps keep the breadcrumbs from falling off as we sear the Gardein. But if you want to keep this meal vegan, you could probably get away with dipping the Gardein in unsweetened almond milk instead. I don’t think the breadcrumbs will adhere to the Gardein as well, but if you are willing to be a little patient, I think you would still have success. If you try it this way, let me know how it works out!
Also, you can probably guess that you’ll need a food processor to make the breadcrumbs. If you’re looking for a good food processor, here is the one I have been using almost daily for years. Can you say you love your food processor without sounding crazy? Because I seriously love this kitchen tool! A food processor of this size is a little more expensive than some of the smaller ones out there, but trust me, investing in a food processor that holds at least 9 cups is the way to go. You’ll want that extra space!!!
Make this delicious dish, and let me know if it’s the hit at your house it is at mine!
Seared Herb-Breaded Gardein with Green Beans
For the Gardein:
- 8 Gardein cutlets, or other meat substitute, I like to use the Gardein "Chick’n Scallopini" here
- 5 slices sourdough bread
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- Olive oil, for searing
For the Green Beans:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 16 oz bag green beans, frozen
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ red onion, sliced into thin rings, then cut the rings in half
- 1 cup vegetable broth
Make the green beans
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Add the garlic, onion, and ½ tsp sea salt. Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes, until the onion begins to release its juices.
- Turn the heat down a little bit, add the green beans, and toss them in with the onion and garlic. Now add the vegetable broth, the remaining ¼ tsp sea salt, the pepper, and the garlic powder. Stir once more.
- Cook just under medium heat for 15 minutes, until the beans are cooked through and have absorbed some of the vegetable broth. There should still be some broth in the pan, but it will have mostly reduced. Green beans are done!
Make the breadcrumbs
- Put the garlic clove, rosemary, thyme, sea salt, and bread slices in the food processor. Pulse to get things going, then process until everything has broken down. The herbs and garlic should be small flecks, and the breadcrumbs should be very fine.
- Now add in the melted butter and process again for about 30 seconds to incorporate the butter.
- Remove the breadcrumbs from the food processor, and pour them into a shallow baking dish so it is easy to dredge the Gardein cutlets in them. (I like to use a 9x9 baking dish).
Prepare the eggs and the skillet
- Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl.
- Heat a few Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
Bread the Gardein
- While the oil heats, take a Gardein cutlet, dip it in the egg, then transfer it to the dish with the breadcrumb/herb mixture.
- Dredge each side of the Gardein cutlet with the breadcrumb/herb mixture, and carefully transfer it to your skillet with the heated oil.
Sear the Gardein
- Keep the skillet on medium heat, and sear the breaded Gardein for 3-5 minutes on the first side, then flip. Sear the other side for 3-5 minutes. I like to do two cutlets at a time. The breadcrumbs should be golden brown on each side.
- Repeat until you have breaded and seared all the Gardein. If the skillet gets too hot, adjust the temperature as necessary.
Plate and serve!
- I like to serve this over basmati rice. Put down a bed of rice, put the green beans and some of the juices over the top, and then serve the Gardein on the side. Yum!!!!