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

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Not So Traditional North Carolina BBQ, Day 17

My time in the south has been as a vegetarian or vegan, so I haven’t really jumped on board with much of the North Carolina cuisine. BBQ seems to be big here and I don’t know all that much about it. I’ve had BBQ vegan sandwiches before and they were delicious. From what I have gathered (mind you as a vegan who normally doesn’t pay much attention when people speak about meat), there is a playful debate in the state in the style of the BBQ sauce. One seems to be a red sauce with a tomato base and the other seems to be a vinegar base with no tomato.

I am a huge fan of both tomato and vinegar, so either sounds amazing to me.  In some of the vegan BBQ sandwiches that I’ve had, I remember a strong vinegar taste and I loved it! I think I’d honestly like them both, cruelty free, of course! For today’s theme, I decided to make up a batch of my homemade BBQ sauce, which has a tomato base and a good amount of vinegar. This might be blasphemous to some native North Carolinian’s, but this is vegan BBQ- anything goes!

In my recreation, I used Butler’s Soy Curls that I ordered online as they are one of my favorite faux meats. They are freeze dried crispy curls that you re-hydrate and then cook as you desire. I have ordered these several times before as I have yet to find them in the area stores. We have been known to use the curls in stir fry, satays, BBQs and sandwiches. I think they are versatile enough to be used in many ways. They do a great job at absorbing liquid and sauces and have a nice flavor on even on their own. On this particular occasion we ate the BBQ over quinoa, but my favorite way is on a sandwich with vegan mayo and pickles. As a bonus, I like to throw on some vegan mayo based slaw.Butler Soy Curls Package

My BBQ sauce is a tomato and vinegar base. I might have just broken a law and if you’re from North Carolina, don’t yell at me. I’m a vegan-gluten free-Northerner trying to recreate a Southern dish. Just be happy that I tried! I have made this sauce before and I usually make it to taste, but I’ll provide a recipe below with some guidelines. I encourage you to taste the sauce and make it your own. When I made the sauce, I added it to the rehydrated curls and simmered until warmed through. I could hardly wait for dinner, I kept snacking out of the pan.

BBQ Soy curls
I forgot to take a picture of my plate. This is the BBQ simmering in the pan.

Amanda’s Southern Inspired Vegan BBQ Sauce

  • 8 oz no salt added, organic tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp molassas
  • 2 tbsp tamari, low sodium
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp or more of your favorite hot sauce
  • Agave nectar, to taste

In a bowl add all of the ingredients except the agave nectar and whisk. Before adding the agave nectar, taste the sauce to see how much sweetener is needed. I like less sweetener. Add more or less of any of the ingredients.

Happy MoFo’ing!