Garden Gourmet burgers

I think I may have found the best burger…

I had not seen these on sale before, but had heard good things about the range as a whole. So I gave them a try, wanting something different to my usual Meatless Farm burger. Oh boy were these a treat and a half!

I found these to be the perfect medium between the Meatless Farm burger and the Beyond Meat burger. Personally, I found the Beyond Meat burger TOO meat-like. It was very juicy and the texture was almost too close to actual meat for my liking. So while I can attest that the Beyond Meat are indeed very good burgers, as someone who doesn’t like the texture or look of actual meat they were a bit too realistic for my liking. The Meatless Farm burgers are also very yummy, but do run the risk sometimes of being a little too dry – they definitely need cheese or a sauce in order to make them an elite burger.

But the Garden Gourmet were amazing! They were just the right amount of juicy, so you didn’t end up making a massive mess down yourself when taking a bite, but not so juicy that they almost ‘bled’ when they cooked the way the Beyond Meat burgers do. The texture was also perfect – slightly chewier than the Meatless Farm Burgers but not so chewy that you actually question if it is real meat you are eating. As I say, for my own personal preference, this is exactly what I want in a burger, so I would highly recommend you try these if you enjoy the Beyond Meat but don’t want to pay the Beyond Meat price tag for hem.

I bought this pack for £3 so it is on the slightly pricier side of meat-free burgers out there, but when compared to the £5 price tag of the Beyond Meat option this actually seems like a true bargain! You also get two burgers in a pack, so if it is just you you’re cooking for, that’s two very tasty meals sorted. I also feel that this would be the right type of protein that you could have just on it’s own – similar to how you may have eaten steak I guess? – with just some veg and chips or something like that. It really doesn’t need much added to it for it to be tasty so anything you do add just amplifies it up another level. I had it with some This Isn’t bacon strips and some Violife mozzarella squares and – OH MY – words cannot express how good these are.

Overall: 10/10 so far as I am concerned, but 9/10 for those who like their meat-alternatives to be as close as possible to the original meat version.

T xxx

Beyond Meat Burger

I finally decided to take the plunge and try the Beyond Meat range. I have heard that these are meant to be amazing and I finally decided, with the weather what it is and social gatherings now allowed, it seemed like the right time.

For starters, these are a weird one. They do not look like meat. They come out of the packet looking quite pale, like most vegan burgers do really. When you cook them they do get quite pink and crisp up very nicely across the top and bottoms where they have been grilled. They also don’t really smell of anything. I mean they smell like tofu? And tofu doesn’t really smell. They also had their own….juices. It was grease (or maybe it was, who knows) but as soon as you started to cook them they started to fry in their own juice, and when you bit into them you actually had ‘meat juice’ come out of them.

But then you eat them and GOODNESS ME are these scary good. The texture is exactly how I remember beef burgers to be. It was almost crumbly, the way that mince crumbles when you’re cooking it. And it tasted like meat. Not fake meat or really well seasoned tofu, but actual meat. To the point that I actually had to recheck the package to triple check I hadn’t picked up the wrong one! Now when I did eat meat I always enjoyed a good burger, so this taste was wonderful to relive that again. But the vegan moral part of my brain just could not compute vegan products being this meaty.

Personally, I like knowing for certain that my meat free products are completely meat free. I prefer the slightly ‘synthetic’ texture and taste of some vegan products, as it reconfirms for me that I am, most definitely, not eating meat. By all means it can taste like meat, but I don’t really like having a direct copy of a meat product. I think that is why I’m still quite uncertain as to whether or not I actually like these.

However, I can see why these are so popular and are so raved about. If you served these at a BBQ of very committed meat eaters, I bet you £1million that no one would be able to tell the difference. These burgers will do wonders to help convert a lot of people to eat more meatless options, and it is quite amazing to see just how far vegan food has come in the past few years.

Price wise, they are quite pricey. £5 for a pack of 2 so if you are hosting quite a few people it can obviously get very expensive very quickly. But that being said these are definitely worth that price. Personally I wouldn’t buy these too often, but as a special meal or a once in a while treat, these would be worth it.

Overall: 15/10. Almost too good….makes me nervous.

T xxx

Vegan at Krusty Burger

During our trip to LA two years ago, Universal Studios was one of our favourite days. If you have never been, you should! We also got super lucky in that we went in a really off-peak time: The entire park was practically dead, we waited no more than 10 minutes for any ride, and I got to meet so many of the characters! It was such a lovely day and I wish it was possible for us to go back more often.

One of the best parts of Universal was Springfield. Having grown up with The Simpsons – with Lisa the Vegetarian being a MASSIVE part of my own veggie journey – it was so much fun to be able to run around Springfield and see all of the different places. Unfortunately the massive pink sprinkle donut was not vegan friendly, otherwise that bad boy would have been my lunch AND dinner.

I was very excited though to actually go to Krusty burger. We had packed some snacks for the day just incase they didn’t have any options, and was quite surprised that Krusty Burger had a vegan option. I will admit I did not have high hopes: I thought it would be your standrad fast food type burger.

Now I will admit, it didn’t look great. It was, however, huge. As most food seemed to be in the US. It did come out looking a little bit flat and limp, but for a theme park I didn’t really expect it to be anything close to posh.

It tasted absolutely amazing! It did taste like a fast food burger, in that you could easily tell that it wasn’t super fresh and had probably been pre-made elsewhere before being shipped to Krusty Burger, but even with all of that it was still really moist and super tasty. The patty was a bean patty, with a very slight spice to it, and came with vegan mayo and some lettuce. I was very surprised at just how bloomin’ good it was! The flavours all worked well together and even though it was a ‘fast food burger’ it wasn’t greasy or salty at all and was very filling.

It was also the perfect size. Yes, it was pretty big by other burger standards, but with the small portion of chips that came with it, it made a very satisfying and filling meal without making you feel like a grease bucket afterwards. I did leave a few chips, but the burger definitely hit the spot and helped me take a well needed break from the LA sunshine and about 15k steps.

It was lucky we had this burger when we did though because there were actually very few other vegan options available to us apart from chips. Which was kind of disappointing. It was good that we brought a load of snacks with us, otherwise we would have been very hangry little tourists! I do not know if it has increased the vegan options available around the park, so please let me know if there’s anything new that I need to try out! Any excuse to go back really….

I live close to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, but seeing the actual Hogwarts Castle and the whole of Hogsmead town was like being home again – the fact that all of the actors also had English accents was also very comforting and gave me a nice little bit of home sickness. But no vegan butterbeer for me but I did get to live out my 10 year old fantasy of going to Hogwarts.

Overall: 8/10. Still fast food, but good lordy was it was good!

T xxx

Plant Menu chicken burgers

Aldi is seriously killing it with the vegan food selection! I think I may have worked out how to really improve my burger eating experience.

2 words: Brioche. Buns.

It has been a while since I have had brioche anything, so I was very excited to find these in Aldi. They are exactly what they say they are: Vegan brioche burger buns. They taste exactly like brioche and add a very nice little flavour to my burgers.

We also tried these chicken burgers and they were…ok? I never really understood the allure of chicken burgers anyway (ignoring the whole, having to kill a chicken side of it anyway), but I know that they are meant to be healthier than the beef/red meat varieties that you could buy. But we saw this and as it is a new vegan option that we haven’t tried before, we gave it a go!

They don’t really taste of much. They are however very filing, so I guess that’s good if you’re looking for something light that will still make you feel full. The brioche bun was good with it, although since the chicken doesn’t taste of much, all you could really taste was the brioche. Make of that what you will…

We also added a few slices of Violife cheese and overall it did make a pretty decent burger. Nothing overly special, but a decent burger none the less. If you have anything to really amplify a burger let me know in the comments!

Overall: 7/10. Brioche buns are a game changer…the chicken burgers, not so much.

T xxx

No Bull steak burgers

Another week, another burger to try! One of the best things about being vegan is you will never be without a burger option. For the most part they are also all really affordable and are easy to pick up.

The No Bull range can be found in Iceland and Asda (at least where I live) so are pretty easy to come by. These burgers were also £2, which is also pretty good value since they are quite big beefy burgers. Of course by beefy I mean thick…there is no beef in them. That would defeat the purpose of them being on the blog…

Unfortunately these were kind of disappointing. They taste nice…they taste like burgers. But the texture is just…odd. They have that frozen texture. The outer edges were nice because they crisped up the most and had that very nice burger texture to them. But the further you got into the centre of the burger the more wet and flaky it got. But not in a good juicy kind of way. Just in a bad ‘this is like a wet book’ type way.

Now I don’t know if that’s because we maybe needed to cook them for longer, but we cooked them as instructed on the packet and even left it slightly longer so the outside was pretty charred. But the middle was still just…soggy. While I don’t necessarily want my vegan food to remind me of meat or to act as a perfect replacement for meat, I also don’t want it to be like chewing wet cardboard. Perhaps because it is made from mushrooms meant it was always going to be a bit wetter than expected, but either way it was a let down.

The other aspect is that it doesn’t really taste of much. It tasted charred, but that’t how I cooked it, so it had a slight smokey flavour to it. But other than that it didn’t really taste of much. perhaps if I had added some ketchup or cheese slices or lettuce and tomato to it then it may have all worked really well together, but as a stand alone burger it was quite bland.

Overall: 3/10. There are better burger options out there. If any of you guys have mastered the art of cooking these though, please let me know as I may need to try again!

T xxx