The Cruelty-Free Review

A review of compassionate products, foods, and recipes

Gardein Sliders with Daiya Havarti cheese

on September 6, 2012

I’m not going to lie: I miss burger sliders. Chili’s big mouth bites were my favorite chain restaurant entrée.  Mini burgers topped with bacon, cheese, ranch, and fried onions; I was foolish enough to think that the smaller burgers meant less calories and fat but that couldn’t be further from the truth. 4 big mouth bites pack a mind-blowing 1,579 calories and 97 grams of fat (28 saturated). The side of fries that come with it adds another 520 calories and 31g fat. Okay, I don’t miss the ‘nutritional’ content so much. Or the various animals that were killed or otherwise tortured to make the meal. But I do miss burgers in mini-form. So imagine my delight when my initial foray to Nooch brought me together with Gardein beefless sliders. I couldn’t get those suckers into my basket fast enough! And of course I needed some cheese to put on those babies; what better than the Daiya Havarti wedge that had been eluding me?

The sliders come 4 to a box and are packaged in pairs. The instructions are to pierce the plastic and microwave for 30 seconds but I needed about an additional 45 seconds to cook them fully. I don’t have the most powerful microwave though so 30 seconds may work on better models. I took them out and let them sit the 1 minute that is suggested and cut some slices of Daiya to top them with. I also had some fresh roasted green chili that I thought would go well on them. I added some salt and pepper Popchips to my plate and dug in.

I was a little disappointed by the mushiness of the sliders, especially the buns. I think that letting them sit in the wrappers that extra minute caused them to become even softer, so I would suggest not leaving them in there. An alternate way to cook them is to use a sauté pan; I will definitely use this method next time to see if it solves the mushy problem. The slices of Daiya I cut were a little too thick and overwhelmed the sliders a bit, but overall the flavor of the burgers was good if not exactly outstanding . I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Gardein is reinventing the wheel when it comes to veggie burgers but I love their products because of the healthy grains that are used and as you can see from the nutritional info these are a great deal better than the sliders I used to eat. No guilt here!

I don’t think I ever had Havarti cheese before I began transitioning to a vegan diet so I don’t know how Daiya’s version compares. I do like the tanginess and creaminess and think it works very well on burgers. I made these awesome green chili black bean burgers last week and topped them with the Havarti and even Robert enjoyed it so I think that says a lot! I think my favorite Daiya wedge flavor is the cheddar but I guess that’s because I’m a classic-flavor girl at heart. Still I am impressed by Daiya and their ability to make some of the best tasting vegan cheeses out there. It’s also great to see vegan foods becoming more available in chain grocery stores. The very week after I found the Daiya Havarti for the first time at Nooch I saw it at King’s Soopers! If you can get your hands on any of the varieties I highly suggest you try them out and if you need any ideas on how to use it, look no further than Vegnews; their top 7 vegan cheese dishes features my pal Barb at number one!

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12 responses to “Gardein Sliders with Daiya Havarti cheese

  1. Ohhhh I cannot WAIT to try Daiya when I visit the states in November!!! CHEESE MONSTER INCOMING!!! 😉

  2. Good to know! I’ve only ever tried one Gardein product before and I enjoyed it, but I’m always turned off by the price (I’m so cheap!). I like when other people try products though and let me know if they are worth it! Otherwise I never would have tried So Delicious Coconut Ice Cream (yesterday and it is AMAZING!)

    • My favorite Gardein product is the beefless tips. I get about 3 meals from one bag, so I’m okay with the price, but I totally understand that the cost is a turnoff. I rely a lot on otherss suggestions about vegan foods to try. If it weren’t for Barb, I would never have tried Gardein or Daiya!

  3. Barb says:

    The Havarti is really good, but I think maybe the Jack is my favorite of the wedges… Of course, I love them all, so picking a first, second and third is really splitting hairs 🙂 Too bad the sliders came out mushy- I’m always kind of suspicious of microwavable meals for that very reason, especially when there’s bread involved!

  4. Bummer about slidermush. It was a good idea, though… I don’t think I can eat those- soy- but still interesting nonetheless. Ruby Tuesday had zucchini sliders you might want to look at(to check how animal-friendly they are), but those are also pretty easy to make at home, too. Really excited about the Daiya wedges, thanks! 🙂

  5. Daiya makes Havarti?!?!?!?!? Oh. My. Word! I really want to try it! Thanks for this review!!!

  6. These things are crazy! It boggles my mind that vegan, pre-made, frozen sliders with buns actually exist now. The bun part seems to be asking for problems though, so I’m not surprise the texture suffered. Adding daiya is a sure fire way to improve most savory foods though, so nice save. 😉

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