GreenBeat Veggie Burger Press

We were recently contacted by Greenbeat and asked to review a three-in-one veggie burger press and the corresponding eBook.* We can only review and endorse the veggie burger press as the recipe eBook is not vegan.** The product comes with two different size presses, large and small, and wax paper sheets. There is also an attachment that pops off to for an option to make a large stuffed veggie burger.

greanbeat burger press box with seal Greenbeat system

The veggie burger press arrived quickly and I decided a plan of attack by finding, and changing, a veggie burger recipe that I wanted to make. I also bought Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger because I was excited to have stuffed veggie burgers with vegan cheese. The Beyond Meat burgers are too greasy to use in the press for small or stuffed burgers. Even with the wax paper, they did not work very well and ended up falling apart. The homemade veggie burger worked well with or without the wax paper. I tried the homemade burger as a large and small patty.

veggie burger in press  veggie burger on bun

Product: Greenbeat Veggie Burger Press

Overall Grade: A-

Pros:

  • This system allows for easy veggie burger forming, while keeping your hands mostly clean.
  • The system is compact. The pieces all fit inside each other, allowing for the system to take up only a small space in a drawer or cabinet.
  • Using the press allows for uniform sized, professional looking veggie burgers.
  • The product is easy to purchase through Amazon.
  • The cost is a little under $16 and should make homemade veggie burgers cheaper than buying packaged ones in the store on a regular basis.
  • Helps reduce the consumption of processed veggie burgers. Especially if you use fresh and non-processed ingredients.
  • It is a great way to be accountable to yourself by knowing what is in the food you consume.

Cons:

  • Even though we are not reviewing the eBook, we found it to be a con since most of the recipes contain dairy and egg. They can be substituted with vegan items, but the dairy and egg industries are full of torture, pain, and death and we cannot promote that. We hope that the company will consider making more, if not all of its eBook cruelty-free.
  • The attachment to make the stuffed veggie burger was very difficult to remove. I had to wash and dry off the press, and make sure my hands were dry, and I still struggled to open it. I only made two stuffed burgers, but making large amounts would have been frustrating.

  

* We will gladly accept vegan products for an honest review.

** If you purchase the veggie burger press, please note that the recipe eBook that you will get a link for is not vegan. Many of the recipes include dairy and egg and therefore, we do not endorse the eBook. We recommend using your own recipes.

 

 

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The Beyond Burger Goes Beyond Expectations

I have to be honest, I have been excited about this burger since I heard about it a year ago. I have been waiting patiently, or not so patiently, for it to be available in my area. The marketing has wooed me and I have been dreaming of a vegan burger that can draw in omnivores. When I saw this was available at my local whole foods, I became diligent in trying to get my hands on a box or two. It was hard since they were selling like vegan hotcakes. When I got my hands on a package, I decided to make a cheeseburger on a gluten free bun, with onions, vegan mayo, and BBQ sauce. If I would have had pickles in the house, they would have been on top as well.

BB package

I had read reviews that my house would smell of meat when I cooked the burger and that I should be prepared to be disgusted by the look of the burger. Neither of those things happened. My home smelled delicious, but not of meat- it was more like a grilled veggie smell. The pinkness of the burger did not upset me because it still didn’t look like meat to me. I was a bit taken back by all of the oil in the burger and the calorie count. I knew this would only be an occasional treat for me. Fast forward to dinner and my first bite and I loved it! The texture was a bit “meaty”, but not anymore than other veggie burgers that are intended to imitate meat.  It has been decades since I’ve had meat and this reminded me of a good veggie burger. It had an aftertaste of what I remember Boca burgers tasting like, only better. I am very excited for the omnivores in my life to give this a try at their next BBQ. This seems like a great burger for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores.

beyond burger on plateBeyond burger on plate

Overall Grade: A

Product: Beyond Meat, The Beyond Burger

Pros:

  • This burger becoming more available in stores across the country. Right now it is in Whole Foods and Safeways.
  • It is packaged like meat to entice omnivores.
  • It is vegan, gluten free, soy free, and delicious!
  • It has no cholesterol
  • It has 20g of protein!
  • This needs its own bullet point, it is DELICIOUS!
  • It does well on a pan and on the grill.
  • It looks like a burger to entice omnivores.

BB cooking

Cons:

  • It is pricey! Whole foods sells it for almost $6 and there are two patties equaling a quarter of a pound. If we want to entice omnivores, this product needs to be cheaper or comparable to two meat burgers.
  • It is too fattening for me. The amount of grease that came out, was a bit much for me. I don’t mind this food on occasion, but I can’t do this on a regular basis. The calorie count was also a bit high for my tastes.
  • The plastic packaging is a bit much and seems wasteful. The container could be smaller.
  • Most veggie burgers are offered in packages of 4 or 6. Two patties is just odd. We have a family of three, so we have to buy two packages for almost $12!!

BB in package

Crab and a Clean Conscience- Gardein Crabless Cakes

Ahoy maidens and mateys!  Veganswashbuckler is back, or you may call me Squashbuckler for short, as me fellow Vegan reviewer Amanda will do.  The crew quite likes it, and I admit it be less of a mouthful than how I was christened.  Just don’t call me late for dinner, especially if Gardein Crabless Cakes be on the menu.  Arr!

These fine morsels deserve the grade of A.

Now, before I became a Vegan pirate, when I was a wee little corpse munching scalawag, methinks I tended to avoid the crab cakes.  I never cared for mayo, and even today I fear the Vegan version.  Nevertheless, if ye like the stuff, by all means check this out, from another of our Vegan reviewers, Dawn.  Nevertheless, blindfold any miserable corpse muncher and give them a taste test, and I dare them to tell me these cakes are crabless, ye scoundrels and crab steaming poltroons!  And, since they already be blindfolded, make them walk the plank unless they reform their ways!

These tender chunks of delight are a treat lightly fried, and they come out crispy on the outside and juicy in the center.  They have the essence of the briny deep, they do, and a fine texture that will leave ye in amazement.  Add these yummy fries as a side, courtesy of another of our Vegan reviewers, Julie, and ye will have yerself a mighty fine repast with little effort.  Tell the chef to have the night off, but to take it easy on the grog and bring yer ship back in one piece.

The only real criticism I have of these nuggets is that they’re a bit tinier than ye think, and they only come ten to a package.  Ye may be left a little unsatisfied, but the flavor is a big winner.

Tofurky Ham & Cheese Style Pockets- Vegan MoFo Day 14

Ahoy, mateys.  Veganswashbuckler, the piratical bane of the shores of all carcass devourers, is on extended leave from a plundering, and I’m at yer service with another Vegan chow review.  Today, I get in touch with me inner bachelor, and review an item perfect for any gentleman with a heart o gold who’s too inept or lazy to cook a fine cruelty free meal for himself.

tofurky-pocket-seal.

Tofurky Ham & Cheese Style Pocket overall grade: A-

I gave me chef the day off on this one, as any rank amateur can handle prepping one of these fine repasts.  He’d better bring me ship back the way I left it, or I just might leave him on a deserted island next time we’re in the neighborhood.  But I digress.  I prepared me pocket the way it was meant to be, in the microwave, and it cooked up nicely.  A fine chef am I.  Here is what you get when you do it right:

tofurkypocket2

Looks mighty tempting, I’d say.  But hands off!  Tis for me.  The cheese and briny haminess were a gourmet complement to one another, and it sure reminded me of those very hot pockets I ate in the distant past, the ones that were done in two minutes and would burn a hole in yer mouth if ye lacked the requisite patience.  I’d say the overall product is very tasty, though they be a bit stingy on the filling, methinks.  But if yer expecting authentic ham and cheese taste, Tofurky has delivered.  The convenience is mighty enticing, and the cleanup is much easier than swabbing the deck.

On the negative side, I did not count the ingredients, but I’d estimate them at around 30, so it may not be the healthiest treat.  And one pocket cost me $2.99, so I’d need to do a lot more raiding and plundering if I made a regular habit of these delectables.  But hey, if yer at home hangin around in yer skivvies and you’ve knocked back a bit too much of the ole grog, these pockets just may hit the spot!

 

 

 

 

Field Roast Gives Tofurky a Run for Their Treasure- MoFo Day 10

Grade: B+

Ahoy, mateys!  Your favorite Vegan pirate has disembarked again to review another worthy Vegan product.  Today I bring you a Vegan sausage from the good landlubbers at Field Roast, provisioners of other Vegan victuals such as deli slices and Chao cheese.  Tis football season, after all, and it makes a great excuse for my first mates to entertain without resorting to cruel obscenities, such as slaying at least 25 of fowl to provide a mere 50 Buffalo wings.  These links will satisfy any wretched corpse muncher, and if they still want to bellyache to ye, tie them to the mast and leave them for the albatrosses and the gullies!

The particular sausage I’m reviewing today is their smoked apple sage.  For various reasons, I rate it a B+, as I must compare the caliber of this product to that of the other fine provisioners at Tofurky, and I give the edge to Tofurky.  Tofurky be the OGs of mock meat, and any worthies to challenge them have their work cut out for them.

 

smokedapplesage

 

That is what you need to look for in the stores, mateys.  And I must warn ye, if you are a Vegan who shies away from mock meats that are too authentic, then this is not for ye.  I found the flavor of this delicacy quite satisfying after a long voyage with nothing but filthy laddies (and ye may think a sausage would be the last thing I’d want to see after such an arduous journey).  The texture was also very fine, but not quite on a par with whatever Tofurky has concocted for their links.  Just something oddly crumbly to me in these sausages.  One bonus behooves these sausages over the Tofurky, and it be in their packaging.  Without using much extra material, all four links be individually wrapped, so ye need not worry about eating all four within a matter of days.  For my gluten free mates, this product is strictly verboten, me fear; there are other brands that provide gluten free sausages, and keep yer eyes out for land and for these patties when they hit a store near you.

My chef prepared my meal with gluten free penne pasta, imported from the distant shores of Costco, he tells me, though I’m unfamiliar with this part of the seven seas.

 

smokedapplesagemeal

 

In it he added some onions and garlic, a healthy amount of olive oil, a bit of salt, dried sage, and red pepper flakes, and butternut squash with a drizzle of maple syrup to boot.  As ye can see, he sliced the links up on a bias, but he failed and should have added more sausage!  Alas, I’ll keep him around as he’s the best I got, and Polly has taken a liking to him.

Back to the boat, mateys; those shores won’t plunder themselves.  Arr!

 

 

 

 

Kale & Quinoa Tasty Bites

I love a good vegan meatball. It has been years since I’ve had one that I haven’t made myself. There are some varieties out there that are vegetarian, but not vegan and others that have gluten. I was delighted when I saw these Kale & Quinoa Tasty Bites at the store. I knew I had to make a vegan meatball sub right away.

 

Kale Bites with seal of approval

 

Product: Kale & Quinoa Bites by Yves

 

Overall Grade: A+. They had a nice density, chew, and flavor. It makes me want to be lazy and never make my own again!

Pros:

  • Delicious taste. They were so good, I feel like not making veggie balls when I can just pick up a package.
  • They are available at Walmart! While I don’t love that store, a lot of people shop there and that makes these easily accessible to consumers.
  • Great price!
  • They are packed with veggies (Potatoes, chickpea flour, kale, carrots, quinoa, onions), so I felt like I was eating healthy.
  • They made a great substitution for my favorite dishes like spaghetti and “meat”balls and subs.
  • They are vegan AND gluten free

 

Cons:

  • Those with allergies beware. They do not contain soy/dairy/eggs, but the website says “not suitable for consumption by persons with an allergy to soy, eggs or milk.” I am not sure why they have that statement. I have a dairy allergy and I was fine eating them.
  • The package could have contained more veggie balls. This was just enough for 2.5 people for dinner. I like leftovers though and this package didn’t allow for that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo from Veggie Product Reviews!  It seemed only fitting that today we review a frozen taco.  Yes, a frozen *taco*.  I was going to get another box of Carla Lee’s Nut Balls, and right next door I saw Carla Lee’s Nut Tacos.  I’m easily enticed by anything taco and anything mini, so I picked up a box.  I really wanted to love them. Unfortunately, I just didn’t.

Product: Carla Lee’s Nut Tacos

 

nutTacos

Carla Lee’s Nut Tacos with vegan cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and hot sauce.

 

Overall Grade: C+  These were just ok and probably got the + just because they were so darn cute.  I was also a little annoyed by the fact that I had to use a spoon to push down the filling so there was room for toppings.  This is frozen food, it shouldn’t be that much “work”.  Yes, I know that’s lazy, but when I’m cooking prepared food from the freezer it’s because I’m feeling lazy.

Pros:

  • Small and easy to eat
  • The shells crisped up nicely
  • The shells didn’t crack too badly
  • The tacos were more filling than they look.  Those 4 tiny tacos with the toppings really were enough for dinner for me.
  • I recognize all the ingredients, so no scary stuff

Cons:

  • The filling didn’t get a crisp on it like the nut balls, so even for me it was a little soft
  • They’re a little greasy
  • The shells got super hot (obviously) but by the time they weren’t burning my fingers, the filling wasn’t hot enough
  • The heat level was weird.  It was too hot to be mild, too mild to be hot, too hot with the added hot sauce.  And, I like the flavor of my hot sauce better than the heat here)

Overall, I think the problems I had with the nut tacos could be solved by just selling the taco nut meat as crumbles and letting you cook it on the stove top for your own shells. You’re already doing the toppings anyway.   Or, if they’re really excited about the mini tacos, package the shells to go in the oven and the filling to go on the stove top and let you assemble.

 

 

 

 

 

Tofurky BBQ Chick’n Pizza

Those days roll around when you need to do something quick for a meal. When those days hit, I like to have a frozen pizza on hand. I try not to rely on that often, but when I do I want a good pizza waiting for me to pop in the oven.  I don’t like to feel like I am eating junk food, so I serve it with a salad full of veggies, and sometimes fruit. While I enjoy many of the vegan gluten free classics, I sometimes crave new flavors. I was delighted when I heard that Tofurky came out with a line. I was even more delighted when I learned that I could find one of those locally.

Product: Tofurky Barbecue Chik’n pizza with roasted corn

pizza bos

bbq chickn pizza

Overall Grade: A. I really liked the combination of BBQ sauce, chick’n, onions, cilantro and corn. I would buy this again and hope to try the other flavors listed on the website.

Pros

  • The flavor combination is non-traditional is nice to stray from the norm of pizza flavors
  • It is nice to have a vegan protein on pizza every so often.
  • Tofurky was NOT skimpy on the toppings, like I’ve seen on other frozen pizzas. I like a lot of toppings on my pizza!
  • The crust was good. I have to comment on the crust since this is a gluten free pizza. Not all gluten free crusts are created equal.

Cons:

  • The BBQ sauce was a little too sweet for me. I prefer more of a tangy sauce.
  • This pizza is too small to feed 2.5 people. I’ve noticed this with all vegan pizzas. Maybe they think we eat small portions?
  • The pizza is expensive. I don’t remember the exact price, but it is at least, if not pushing, $10. In my opinion, that is entirely too much money for the size of the pizza.

 

 

 

 

Rock the Mock (Chicken)

Our post today comes to you from our friend Brenda. She has been a junk food vegan since 2001, and is new to the food blogging world.

I was craving mock chicken biscuits over the weekend, so I broke out the Delight Soy patties.  I have used Delight Soy patties and nuggets for years, and they always hit the spot!  Be aware, though, they contain gluten and soy.  If that isn’t a problem and you’re looking for a mock chicken product, read on!

Product: Delight Soy patties

Delight Soy Package

Patties cooking

Overall Grade: A. These patties are quick, easy, versatile, and delicious (as are the Delight Soy nuggets).  I made mock chicken biscuits with the patties pictured above, but they are also good shredded in mock chicken salad, or cubed on top of a salad or in a pot pie, among other things.  You can buy them frozen at Earth Fare, Whole Foods, etc. and then cook them in a skillet (I didn’t use any oil for the patties) or the oven.

Pros:

  • Delight Soy is based out of Morrisville, NC.  So for those of us in the Triangle area, that’s a local company.
  • Good taste and texture, and they aren’t too dry.
  • Easy to make and versatile.
  • Easy storage in the freezer.

Cons:

  • The patties and nuggets contain gluten.
  • I wish they were a little cheaper.
  • Not available as widely as some other meat-replacement products.  There is info here on where they are available.

 

 

 

From the Freezer Case: Carla Lee’s Nut Balls

I finally got around to making zucchini noodles last week and I wanted just the right thing to go with them.  I’ve been eagerly awaiting the Beyond Meat “meatballs”, but I haven’t seen them in stores yet. I did come across these while I was checking for them.

Product: 
Carla Lee’s Nut Balls

 

Carla Lee's Nut Balls #vegan #glutenfree #xgfx

 

Carla Lee's Nut Balls served with Zucchini Noodles and Arugula Pesto #vegprodrev #vegan #glutenfree #xgfx
Carla Lee’s Nut Balls served with Zucchini Noodles and Arugula Pesto

 

 

Overall Grade: B+ I really enjoyed them.  If I were the only consideration, I probably would give them an A.  I knocked it down just a little bit in consideration of our readers who aren’t gluten/soy free like I am.

Pros: 

  • Flavor is savory, but not overpowering to other items on the plate
  • I can pronounce all the ingredients and regularly have them in my kitchen.
  • Gets a nice little crisp on the outside
  • Fewer than 10 minutes from freezer to plate
  • They don’t really require quite as much oil as the directions say.  But do be sure to continue to turn them and not just let them sit on one side for too long.  They’re more likely to stick.

Cons: 

  • A little spendy.  But then I realize that I’m getting 3 servings and they’re natural ingredients and that helps balance this out. (plus, Carla Lee’s website says they give 50% of the net proceeds to feed humanity)
  • The name is a bit misleading. They’re called nut balls, but the first listed ingredient is brown rice.
  • Even though they get a nice crisp on the outside, they’re a little soft.  I foresee this being more of a problem for those of you who eat gluten / soy products.