Boy do I have exciting news for you guys today! There are few animal products that I still crave anymore but now and again I want a fish fillet from McDonald’s. Yes, I realize that is gross, yet it was a guilty pleasure. I’d pull into that drive through, sunglasses on with a scarf around my head (not really) and order a couple of those sandwiches with extra tartar. Yeah, I said it, extra tartar sauce. Then I’d cruise on home with my mouth just watering away and dive right in with my best friend. We both had the fish fillet obsession, extra tartar.
Well, becoming vegan caused me to kiss goodbye those poor little fish fillets. Until now. Gardein, that genius of a company, creates some pretty damn good faux meat products. I don’t generally purchase faux meats but every now and again the recipe calls for it. Generally, if I am trying to impress a very stead fast omnivore who thinks I live off of kale salads and celery, I will go pick up some “meats” in order to wow and amaze them that vegans can eat pretty much the same as anyone else if we want to, just free of cruelty.
I digress. I was strolling through a grocery store in Chattanooga and saw some Gardein fish-less fillets. It was one of those moments where I had tunnel vision and little cupids were flying all around me blowing silent trumpets. The pearly gates were opening and beyond them were fish-less fillets!…..so I grabbed a bag. I then proceeded to pick up everything I needed in order to make a DIY animal product free fish-less fillet with all the fixings. Go big or go home!
The result was a pat on the back to Gardein for somehow pulling off everything I loved about the “fish” fillet, including the crispy outer batter, to the perfect texture on the inside. I do not care for the taste of animal flesh anymore, and they somehow managed to make it similar enough to actual fish to call it a fish fillet, but not so flesh like that it freaked me out. Great job guys! Now seems as good a time as ever to mention that these thoughts and this review are strictly my own. Gardein is not sponsoring this at all.
I created a tangy tartar sauce to slather on my whole wheat bun as well as picked up some cheddar cheez slices for the top. I then decided I needed to have some chips along with this sandwich, and if I have chips, I need dip. I looked in my cabinet and saw I had a can of chipotles….chipotle ketchup it is! Smoky and sweet….perfectly paired with fresh baked potato chips! Now, as for the sandwich, a trifecta of deliciousness. Crispy fish-less fillet with melty cheez and tangy tartar sauce, all set in between a hearty whole wheat bun.
I was able to create a guilt free version of one of my guilty pleasures. The best part? It’s not a guilt pleasure at all anymore! Not only is it cruelty free but it is SO much healthier since it is all baked instead of fried. Win-win!
I hope you are all as pumped about this meal as I am. If you are, let me know in the comments below. Also, tag me @peppers_peaches or use my hashtag #peppersandpeaches on instagram or twitter!
- For Sandwich:
- 2 tbs tartar sauce (recipe below)
- 1 slice dairy free cheddar cheeze (I used Go Veggie)
- 2 pieces of Gardein frozen fishless filets
- 1 whole wheat bun
- Tartar Sauce:
- ½ cup vegan mayo
- ½ tsp mustard
- ¼ tsp prepared horseradish
- ½ tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbs relish
- Chipotle Ketchup:
- 1 cup plain ketchup
- 1 medium canned chipotle
- 1 tbs adobo sauce (in the can with the chipotle)
- ⅛ tsp smoked paprika (or a dash of liquid smoke)
- Potato Chips:
- 3-4 small russet potatoes
- salt and pepper
- Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.
- Add a medium sauce pan to stove, add cold water, and turn on high to bring to a boil.
- While waiting on water to boil, combine ingredients for tartar sauce together in small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Next, combine chipotle ketchup ingredients in a blender and blend until combined. Pour in air tight container and set aside.
- Take your potatoes and slice them about ⅛ thick into chip pieces. Place in boiling water on stove for 5 minutes.
- Drain potatoes and set on paper towels, pat them dry as best you can. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place potato chips on a greased baking sheet, separating them as best you can. Place in oven for a total of 25-30 minutes. You will need to keep an eye on them to determine when you want to take them out. I like mine partly crispy and partly floppy, so I don't cook them the full 30 minutes.
- About half way through potato cooking time, add the 2 pieces of Gardein fish-less fillets to the pan. cook them for 15 minutes or until sizzling hot and crispy. Take pan of potatoes and fillets out at the same time.
- Place a piece of cheez on top of them and allow to melt (I sometime place the fillets back in oven for 30 seconds to heat the cheez quickly).
- Now assemble your sandwich-place cheez topped fillets on bottom bun, put tartar on top bun, then place on your fillet. Pour the chips next to the sandwich and place a generous dollop of ketchup on the side. Dig in!