(Photo of a lovely Portobello Gardenburger, skipthepie.org.)
I’m sure a few of you read that title and barely made it down to this first sentence. Am I right? Well, pat yourself on the back if that is you, because you might just be glad you stuck around.
I happen to be a big fan of veggie burgers. Garden burgers. Whatever you call them, I love them! And I am taking it on as my personal good deed of the day to convince you to like them too. (I know, some of you are already fans, so I can’t wait to read your comments below!)
First of all, a quick introduction, just in case you are new:
There are some fabulous recipes for homemade veggie burgers, which I am sure are the best tasting and best for you…And one day I will master one and share it here!
Meanwhile, I usually buy a box in the frozen food department of the grocery store. There are many varieties of veggie burgers out there, but the three I most commonly buy are Boca, Original Garden, and Portobello Garden. Here they are in their boxes:
(Haha, and the one I had already tore into…You can see my enthusiasm in the box itself! )
Obviously these are NOT meat-burgers, so before you open that box, you must change your expectations of what a patty is supposed to look like. To be fair and give you all of the facts, I thought I’d show you each patty, up-close and personal:
Don’t run away if this photo doesn’t make your mouth water. Hang in there, I really think I can still convince you!
The beauty of these burgers in manifold:
1. They are GOOD FOR YOU. Really, it’s a pretty good feeling to wolf down a big burger, piled high with all the fixen’s, and actually FEEL GOOD about what you just did. You gotta agree.
2. They are relatively inexpensive. (Except in Hawaii where everything is expensive.)
3. They are SO easy to make. I love to put them on the grill like a real burger, but that is totally unnecessary. You can heat them on a pan, or even in the microwave! Easy schmeezy friends!!
4. You can do any variety of things with them! Be creative and have fun. They will pick up the flavor of whatever you dress them with! I’m a huge fan of barbecue sauce, guacamole, and even teriyaki (with pineapple..yum!)
For this little veggie burger meal, I made the three varieties each uniquely. It was just Jonah, Dave and I for this one, and here’s what I did:
Jonah got a BOCA burger, which has the most meat-like taste to it, on an onion roll. Ketchup, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and some cheese. The Boca burger is a fantastic gate-way veggie burger. You might even fool an inexperienced burger eater. (Probably not, but maybe.)
Dave and I each had the Gardenburger (I chose the portobello variety which I adore.) My boys aren’t as fond of the Gardenburgers because you can actually SEE veggies popping out of the patty. (This is what I LOVE about them!) We put them on the thin whole-grain buns that are a magical creation in themselves. We piled ours with avocado, spinach, tomato, mustard, ketchup, and a nice Muenster cheese.
I plated them up with Sweet Maui Onion Rings, and a nice piece of corn on the cob, and a few carrot slices…Perfect with iced tea on a hot summer evening!
Jonah, the resident meat-lover, took one bite and honest-to-goodness said: “These are SO good! I want this EVERY NIGHT for dinner!”
Really. I wouldn’t lie about this stuff.
Those of you with more sophisticated tastes, (ahem, fellow veggie lovers–) will appreciate the mere appearance of layering veggie patty, on veggies, and more veggies. Hello, this is really good stuff!!!
As for nutrition, you can probably guess…
I turned to Skipthepie.org which is a site that has very useful nutritional information on just about anything you can think of.
I had a quick look to compare a (vegan) Gardenburger, to a basic McDonald’s Hamburger.
First, the nutrition label for the Gardenburger:
And here is the nutrition label for a basic McDonald’s Hamburger:
This is NOT a hard choice for me to make, that’s for sure.
If you love veggie burgers, please speak up! How do you like to eat them? Is there a restaurant that serves them just right? Do you make homemade patties!? Share in the comments below! Thank you! And if you’ve never tried these before, I hope you will, then report back, okay?