One of our favorite burgers is a mushroom swiss burger and we were too scared to try a veggie burger plain anyway. So I grilled up an onion with a can of mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil and minced garlic. I prepared the burgers in the same skillet since I was using that anyway though you can microwave them as well (and I have tried this since when only making one for myself). They actually smelled good! As they were cooking, I sliced some swiss cheese and tomato and got the plates and buns ready. I put the cheese in between the burgers and hot toppings so it would partially melt. I put a little mayo on mine. The above photo is the result. Doesn't it look good? Surprise!... they WERE good. They tasted just like a regular burger. I did taste a small bite of the patty by itself so that I was a proper product tester. While it was not gross, I can't say that I would ever eat it by itself. But the texture was so close to a real burger that I was very impressed. And when eating on a bun, no aftertaste! The biggest surprise though was that my husband liked it. I had been trying to make them for a few nights but he didn't want to try them so he kept being sneaky and starting dinner before I could. I finally caught him one night and said "NO! I am making the veggie burgers tonight and you ARE going to try them!" at which point he whined something. The end result was that his burger was gone and he, along with the kids were annoyed that I only made one per person! I did this so that if we didn't like it (I told you, I was not confident going into this one), I could cook them in a different way the next time.
My breakdown of the product we tried:
Color: very close to the cheaper burger patties that you can buy.
Size: It is a small (don't remember exactly how many ounces each patty is) patty that fits well on a store bought bun. They would kind of drown if you were using the fancier burger buns though. I actually think the size is perfect. I think that if they were bigger/thicker, it would be noticeable that it was not meat when you bit into it (taste wise). They also do not shrink since they are not meat.
Texture: Very much like a real meat patty. By looking at the pictures of some of the other varieties, I think that they might have a different texture (and very different color) so this only applies to this variety.
Price: Pretty expensive to my cheap butt. Veggie products are not cheap to begin with and this line is quite a bit more than the Boca line, though they also taste a lot better. The bigger boxes at BJ's were $10 and over. The smaller boxes (which are quite small... less than a half pound) were $3.18 at the Commissary which means that at regular stores they were probably $4 or more.
Variety: Amazing! This is just what I saw (have looked at BJ's and the Commissary)... Burgers (Grillers Original, Grillers Vegan, Grillers Prime, Garden something, Black Bean Chipoltle, Spicy Black Bean), "Chicken" Patties (I think I saw two kinds), "chicken" nuggets, "chicken" (chunks of unbreaded grilled chicken looking stuff), breakfast sausage patties, breakfast sausage links, hot dogs, corn dogs, "meat"balls, chili, and riblets! That is a LOT! And this is not all, its just the products from those two stores, they have MANY more at other stores.
I was hoping that I would have tried another variety by the time I did this write up but we have had a pretty busy week so I hope to do another post within the next week. Today at the store we bought the chili with my free coupon and will use it tomorrow for our Meatless Monday meal with some cornbread and veggies. My husband wants to try the black bean burgers (either variety) and maybe the riblets. I might use my other BJ's coupon (with a $1 coupon) to get a box of the chicken patties or nuggets since my kids liked the burgers so much. Bottom line... These will not replace the occasional thick juicy beef burger. But they do make a nice quick guilt-free snack.
The MorningStar Farms site has a sweepstakes going on right now where they have a giveaway every Monday in honor of Meatless Monday. Tomorrow they will be giving away 10 nice looking Cuisinart Toaster Ovens. I will be entering, will you? Go here to check it out.