Congratulations to Cadry Nelson on winning our “Escape Winter” giveaway! Check out her amazing guest blog and recipe ft. gardein’s seven grain crispy tenders, sautéed kale, broccolini & baked french fries. YUM!

meatless meals with gardein

I am so thrilled to have won the grand prize in the Escape Winter giveaway from Gardein!  One, I’m more than eager to trade the land of wind chills and icicles for sandy beaches and palm trees.  And two, a year’s supply of Gardein will be most welcome in our household.

Gardein products are some of our regular favorites, especially on nights when my husband and I want a dinner that is quick and delicious without much fuss.  When we’re in a takeout mood, instead we reach into the freezer for a satisfying dinner that’s ready in about a half an hour.  No tipping necessary!

Our freezer holds several of our most loved Gardein products – beefless burgers, fishless filets, mandarin orange crispy chick’n…  However, if I had to whittle it down to just “one” all-time favorite Gardein product, the Seven Grain Crispy Tenders would get top honors.

The tenders are terrific on a sandwich or alongside garlicky noodles, but most of the time we eat them on their own as the main course for a simple dinner.  I follow the package directions on the tenders and then add some complimentary side dishes.

A whole meal is ready in no time with tenders, sautéed kale & broccolini, & baked fries.  That is perfect on a busy weeknight.  The sautéed kale and broccolini combines two nutrient-dense vegetables and always enticing minced garlic.  The broccolini gives extra texture and crunch to the cooked kale.

And baked fries?  Well, I don’t have to tell you that fries make any dinner better.  Plus, the clean-up is simple, because parchment paper is used for browning instead of frying in vats of oil.  I leave the skins on for extra nutrients and flavor, and just make sure to give the potatoes a thorough scrubbing before cutting into them.

Sautéed Kale & Broccolini

yield: 2- 4 servings

preparation time: 10 min

cooking time: 30 min

total time: 40 min


  • 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch (about 11 ounces) broccolini, cut into one inch pieces with ends removed
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 bunch curly kale, leaves removed from ribs and roughly chopped
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a large skillet, bring extra virgin olive oil to a medium heat and sauté garlic for a couple of minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add broccolini to the skillet and sauté for a minute more. Add water to the skillet and cover for about 3 minutes, allowing the broccolini to steam.
  3. Once most or all of the water is gone, uncover the skillet and add chopped kale. Evenly combine the kale with the broccolini and sauté for a few minutes more, until the kale is soft and wilted.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and serve warm.

Baked French Fries

Serves 2


2 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into french fry shapes

1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place half of the french fries on one baking sheet and half on the other.  Drizzle oil on the potatoes and toss evenly to spread.  (One teaspoon of oil should be enough for all of the potatoes; however, use another teaspoon if necessary for even coating.)
  3. Spread the potatoes evenly across the baking sheets, being careful not to overcrowd for best browning. Sprinkle potatoes with salt.
  4. Bake potatoes for 20 minutes. Remove potatoes from oven and flip them with a spatula for even browning.  Return the potatoes to the oven and bake for 10 minutes more.  Remove from oven and serve.

Thank you to Gardein for hosting this awesome contest!  If you’d like to see more of my weeknight-friendly recipes, come visit me on