"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Health, Nutrition and Special Diets > Vegetarian/Vegan
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-14-2015, 06:09 PM   #1
Certifiable Executive Chef
 
Janet H's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 3,282
Veggie Burgers - good, bad and just plain weird.

It's summer and the height of BBQ season. It seems that every week we are invited to someone's burger bash and happily accept but as one of the few vegetarians in my circle of friends I almost always asked "what brand of veggie burger is best - just let me know and I'll have some on hand"

I am so happy that my friends are thoughtful and accommodating and WILLING to ask because imo some of the commercial offerings are well.... lame.

Vegetarians like others, have widely ranging opinions on what they "want" in the perfect burger. Some want burger taste, some want burger texture, others want a great sandwich but don't much care if it takes like a traditional beef burger. I am squarely in the traditional camp. I want a veggie burger that is a decent approximation of a beef burger. Here are my picks and pans.

Best in Show:

Morningstar Grillers Prime. Morningstar makes several veggie burger blends. Prime is by far the best of the bunch. It has a higher fat content than most of their offerings and with fat comes flavor. Once grilled, it actually drips a little as yiou bite into it. Hands down winner. Only one store in my area stocks these and I drive out of my way to buy them.


And then there's the rest....

Boca All American Flame grilled (comes with stripes) - a distant second.
Second in line with has decent texture but much less flavor and is dry. Not surprisingly, it's also a whole lot better for you than first place but hey.. we're talking burger here; perspective is needed. With the accompanying cheese, mayo, pickles, bun, etc. saving 30 calories on the patty is just not that important!

Gardenburger original - Honorable mention
This was the first nationally available veggie burger. Not a bad sandwich stuffer but the texture isn't even a little like a burger, nor is the flavor, still it offers balanced flavor and not too much salt. For years my local Red Robin offered these on their heart healthy menu and they were unbelievably good. I finally asked how they got them to be so much better than I could at home.. the answer? They dropped them in the deep fryer.
Bribed with fat once again.

Not so good:
Veggie burgers with beans, corns, chilis, curry, ginger and other "ethnic" flavors. These things just don't belong in burgers - sorry. Fail.

Anything in a can (usually from the health food store). Canned "burgers" are just icky and most of them are super salty.

Finally the weird..

Amys Sonoma Veggie
Who puts quinoa in a burger? Sorry Amy but the Sonoma Veggie burger with walnuts and quinoa is not bad to eat but it's not a burger.

Morningstar Tomato Basil Pizza burger
If I want pizza, I will order pizza. Patty-fied pizza holds no appeal. Fail.

Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burger
Includes peas carrots and corn. More aptly named succotash patty, imo

Dr. Praeger’s Kale Veggie Burger
Kale - INSIDE the patty. Nuff said.

I've read a lot of Veggie burger reviews over the years and it's interesting to me that the original gardenburger usually shines. I don't get it. Eaten plain (no bun or swag) it's a pretty tasty bite of food but as a team player IN a burger build it fails, imo.

Do you have a preferred veggie burger?

__________________

__________________
Forget love... I'd rather fall in chocolate!
Janet H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2015, 09:00 PM   #2
Head Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,079
+ 1 on the Morning Star Farm grillers.
Been a vegetarian 28 + years , and they are my burger of choice.
I usually bake them first, then toss on grill last minute or two to char them up a bit.

Got to watch out, they dry out quickly.

** I've even defrosted them, marinated them in some wine, olive oil, shallots, fresh herbs ... then grilled them up**
__________________

__________________
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2015, 10:04 PM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 19,041
The closest I have ever come to a veggie piece of meat is when I stayed at a friends house in Tenn. She served me turkey bacon. Actually, if I have to, I would buy it without hesitation. It was very good. Can't say anything about veggie burgers though. I let someone talk me into trying one. Just one bite was all it took. I left the rest of it on the plate.

But I will say, that is one complete review of all that are on the market.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2015, 10:18 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24,104
Veggie Burgers - good, bad and just plain weird.

Very nice guide, Janet!

Any veggie burger I've had has been, well, yech. Will have to watch for the Morningstar Grillers Prime.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2015, 06:52 PM   #5
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Independence, Missouri
Posts: 1
Question Your recommendation would be appreciated ...

I'd like to find a veggie burger without onion or garlic. I greatly dislike those flavors, which my hubby loves. He could get them by adding them as toppings. Is there any decent brand out there that might suit my needs? Thank you!
__________________
baeb47 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2015, 08:14 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 19,041
Welcome to DC. I am sure someone will come along with an answer for your question. We have several veggie eaters here.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2015, 09:25 PM   #7
Certifiable Executive Chef
 
Janet H's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 3,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by baeb47 View Post
I'd like to find a veggie burger without onion or garlic. I greatly dislike those flavors, which my hubby loves. He could get them by adding them as toppings. Is there any decent brand out there that might suit my needs? Thank you!
I'm not aware of national brands that have absolutely no onion but you might try the boca cheeseburger flavor. it has a small amount of onion powder in it but it is waaaaay down the ingredient list so there can't be much.

You could make your own veggie patties and there are a number of recipes online. Another option is to grill up some nice portobello mushroom caps and use those as the "burger" part of the sandwich.

here are a couple of recipes that might work if you want make your own - just omit the onion and garlic...

Morgan's Veggie Patties Recipe : Guy Fieri : Food Network

This is a great article on how to make your own and discusses options to tweak recipes to suit your own taste. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/15/di...mini.html?_r=0

I occasionally make a veggie burger mix that has walnuts and diced, cooked mushrooms. the nut crunch is a good addition and the mushroom adds important flavor depth..
__________________
Forget love... I'd rather fall in chocolate!
Janet H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2015, 10:37 PM   #8
Executive Chef
 
Whiskadoodle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Twin Cities Mn
Posts: 2,954
Thanks Janet for your review and Larry S et al for comments too.

Grilling burgers is still pretty economical, easy on the cook, and you can make as many as you need for guests. When we include veggie burgers I want to have what guests will eat. We have tried several different brands, and if we didn't care for them, then surely those are not what we want to serve.

My best alternate is to make stuffed Portobello mushrooms. Grill the shrooms, and then flip stuffing side down on a perforated grill pan to finish. You can make any kind of stuffing, as long as it's not Thanksgiving stuffing IMO.

I read somewhere recent that Whole Foods has ready to cook veggie burgers in their fresh foods section that are supposed to be pretty good. We haven't tried them yet.
__________________
Whiskadoodle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2015, 10:42 PM   #9
Executive Chef
 
Rocklobster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,787
We sell a black bean veggie burger at the shop and it is quite good. Tastes like chili...
__________________
Rocklobster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2015, 10:55 PM   #10
Head Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,079
What I like about the Morning star farm grillers, and the basic boca burgers is that the consistency and flavor allow them to be treated like a burger ( lettuce, onion, tomatoes, pickles , ketchup , cheese .......

Others that were mentioned in the above list , either have specific flavors ( black bean....) which aren't bad, but can't really be treated like a typical burger ( although tossing some guacamole on a black bean burger with chopped onions, tomatoes and cilantro would be a treat)

Then there are those which are basically pressed vegetables incorporated into a mushy potato - like base. The consistency is all wrong, the taste doesn't resemble anything close to a burger, and in my opinion , are a great disappointment when Im in the mood for a " Burger - like" sandwich .

I use the term "Burger - like" because thats what all veggie burgers are or attempt to be. Going in with this attitude will make you appreciate it more. they are not hamburgers and will never be hamburgers. The taste will be off, the consistency will be off. Often dry. But, they can be used in a similar way, which makes serving them up to a veggie guest easy, since they can use the same toppings.

Often I see " meat eaters" bite into a veggie burger, and make that face of disappointment, then they always say " this doesn't taste anything like a hamburger". of course it doesn't, its not meat but for those who go in with an open mind , and can accept that it is its own thing, with its own taste and consistnecy, then it could be accepted more readily.
__________________

__________________
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
egg

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.