Last night, I decided to make over a tasty looking seafood entree being advertised by Lean Cuisine, and poke a little fun at them while I was at it.   My boyfriend, Spencer, has been away on a ski trip, so I’ve been fending for myself over the past week or so.   I started on a new exercise program, and I’m feeling great.   And I’ve been eating a little lighter too, when all by my lonesome.

Lean Cuisine’s new advertising is actually quite catchy … Advertising Restaurant Quality Meals in Minutes.



Well, why not prepare this meal at home?   Which also allows family members add their protein of choice!

This dish literally took me 15 minutes from start to finish.   And our veg version is healthier for you, as well as being considerably more economical !!  And if I must say so myself, doesn’t my homemade version look fresher and more vibrant ?!?!





But before we get to this super quick and really delicious recipe, if you are still eating fish every now and again, I ask you to consider the following ….

Here are 10 Reasons to choose Garden Grown Vegetable Protein over Salmon and other Sea Life:

  1. Salmon are smart.
    A recent study at Oxford University showed that fish learn faster than dogs.  Ever wonder how a salmon finds her  breeding grounds thousands of miles away?
  2. Overfishing is a serious ecological problem.
    A total of almost 80% of the world’s fisheries are fully- to over-exploited, depleted, or in a state of collapse. Worldwide about 90% of the stocks of large predatory fish stocks are already gone. In the real world all this comes down to two serious problems.  We are losing species as well as entire ecosystems. As a result the overall ecological unity of our oceans are under stress and at risk of collapse.
  3. Fish are Sentient Beings Too … Harm at the Farm.
    Four-fifths of the United States’ most popular fish flesh, salmon, consumed in the U.S. is farm raised.  They are raised by the millions in compact cages.  Salmon also routinely go insane and sustain sores from sea lice and other injuries from intense crowding.
  4. Salmon are Cruelly Killed for your Eating Pleasure!
    Fish farmers do often use bats to beat large salmon to death.  All methods used to slaughter fish are grotesque and cruel. Fish have their gills slit while they are still alive, and smaller salmon are often packed in ice and left to slowly suffocate or freeze to death.
  5. A New and Troubling Way to Farm Fish is on the Horizon – Genetically Engineered Salmon
    As if traditional fish farms weren’t bad enough, AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. is currently seeking FDA approval of its AquAdvantage salmon, a farmed Atlantic salmon genetically engineered to grow twice as fast as natural salmon.  There’s no way this can be good.
  6. Fish are High in Toxic Chemicals
    Fish have extremely high levels of chemicals such as arsenic, mercury, PCBs, DDT, dioxins, and lead in their flesh and fat.
  7. PCBs in Salmon Cause Memory Loss & Brain Damage
    Scientists have proved that people who eat only two servings of fish a month have difficulty recalling information that they learned just 30 minutes earlier. The culprit is high levels of mercury, lead, and PCBs in their blood. PCBs, synthetic chemicals polluting water and concentrated in fish flesh, act like hormones, wreaking havoc on the nervous system and contributing to a variety of illnesses beyond forgetfulness and vertigo.  Studies at Harvard University have also shown that children born to mothers who eat fish are slower to talk, walk, and develop fine motor skills and have weaker memories and shorter attention spans.
  8. You’ll Increase your Risk of Cancer
    The Environmental Working Group estimates that 800,000 people in the U.S. face an excess lifetime cancer risk from eating farmed salmon.
  9. Salmon is High in Cholesterol and Fat.  Vegetable Protein really is the Smarter Lean Cuisine!
    Plus, salmon flesh contains high amounts of artery-clogging cholesterol and fat.  Let’s compare a 2.5 ounce portion of my Gardein Chick’n Scallopini Vegetable Protein Patty to a Salmon Steak:

    • Veg Patty:  110 calories, 14 g of protein, 0 g cholesterol, and only 4.5 g of unsaturated fat.
    • Salmon:  200 calories, 20 g of protein, 50g cholesterol, and a whopping 13 grams of unsaturated fat (2g saturated).
  10. Because Faux Fish is Available !!
    Overfishing is a fact and our greed is destroying the environment.  In order to address this concern, why are we humans so crazy as to create genetically engineered fish when we do not need animal or pesce protein to live?   Did you know that there are a number of plant-based mock seafood products on the market today, which uses sea vegetables (or sea weeds) for that “fishy” taste you may still crave.  Check out May Wah Vegetarian Market, a Vegan “Seafood” heaven!

Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea.  Joy to you and me!  

Choose smarter, leaner plant-based cuisine, and leave the fish and sea life to the ocean where they belong ❤

Please see these resources for more information and consideration:
PETA | People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Ocean Conservancy | AquaCulture & Problems with Genetically Engineered Fishing | Why Overfishing is a Global Disaster

Garden Grown Protein w/ Orzo & Veg Medley
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This dish was inspired by a Lean Cuisine Seafood entree. By choosing a garden grown protein, you'll have a smarter, healthier meal on your table in a matter of minutes.
Serves: 2
  • ⅔ cup orzo
  • ¾ cup (1 small) carrot, peeled & julienned
  • ¾ cup (1/2 large) yellow pepper, deseeded & julienned
  • ¾ cup frozen peas
  • -----
  • 2 Garden Grown Protein Patties, (such as Gardein Chick'n Scallopini or May Wah Vegan Mock Salmon)
  • Fresh herbs such as basil, tarragon, parsley &/or chives
  1. For this recipe, I used a tall stock pot with a fitted steamer basket. Fill pot with just enough water to cook the orzo, but not so much as to boil the veggies.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add orzo, and set timer for 10 minutes.
  3. Place veggies in a steamer basket. After 2 minutes, add steamer basket with veggies to the pot, and cover. Continue cooking for 8 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your Garden Grown Protein Patty according to package instructions.
  5. As shown here, I used a Gardein Chick'n Scallopini Patty, which takes 7 minutes to pan fry.
  6. Drain your orzo. Toss orzo with the veggies, and serve topped with the Garden Grown Protein Patty, and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
  7. I thought the orzo might need some oil or Earth Balance, but it did not! I simply went with Gardein's delicious herb gravy that comes with the scallopini.
  8. P.S. If you have leftover orzo, this makes a delicious breakfast scramble. Simply mix with some crumbled tofu & veggie ham. Serve with toast or as a breakfast taco in a burrito.



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