Summer to me means cookouts with friends and family. It means drinking an ice cold beer at an outdoor concert. It means spending family vacations at the beach. It means fresh off the vine tomato sandwiches. It means fireworks in July to celebrate our Independence. Summer was my Mom’s favorite season. Naturally, she longed to be near water being raised in a Navy family. Adding a pool to our house was her top priority. We spent all Summer having pool parties complete with burgers and hot dogs on the grill. Food has such an important role in our lives as it ties us to our memories and I still think of those long, summer nights swimming until my feet and hands were completely prune-like. I don’t have a pool anymore, but I can recreate those memories with new, vegan options on my plate at a cookout.
For this 4th of July, I decided to review a new product – The Beyond Burger. The Beyond Burger is the creation of Beyond Meat and is a 100% plant based, vegan burger. It stands out among its competitors by being a fresh product that is sold in the meat cases. You heard that right – it is literally sold right next to the 80/20 ground beef. Normally, I would avoid these cases while grocery shopping, but I hope that its placement encourages accidental purchases by meat eaters and possibly convert a doubter. The Beyond Burger is the answer to the people that could “never live without a burger.” An answer to those that say you don’t get enough protein even though this product is made from pea protein and contains 20 grams of protein! An answer to a cholesterol free, delicious burger. It is currently only available at select Whole Foods and Safeway grocery stores. Check here to see your closest location!
For my preparation, I chose to cook mine in a sauce pan on the stove top. I topped it with the best vegan cheese, Chao Creamy Original flavor, as well as lettuce, tomato, vegan mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and pickles. I chose a sesame seed bun from Arnold Bread. Arnold Bread offers a variety of vegan options like 100% Whole Wheat loaves and Sandwich Thins. A more complete list of vegan bread items can be found here.
Now for the review – I have to admit that I was very skeptical about this product from the second I heard about it. Reviewers have dubbed this “the burger that bleeds” which is creepy and too realistic for me to a real beef burger. The red color comes from the beet juice that they use to dye the product, but it still throws you off when you open the package. As I was cooking the burgers, my husband could have sworn it was real beef he could smell in the air. I did cook it a little bit longer than the instructions to bring the product up to temp and I steamed the cheese on top before assembling my burger. We decided to try the burger by itself with no toppings or bun. I have to be honest – this burger is crazy realistic. I couldn’t believe that it even chews like beef. I have mentioned before that I don’t miss ground beef products especially because they could always be a little sketchy when you would have a bite with gristle. That would ruin the meal for me. The more I ate of the burger – the more the texture started to creep me out. It was just too realistic for me. That being said, if you love ground beef and really miss it, this burger will for sure take you back down memory lane enjoying a burger by the pool waiting on fireworks to spark.
Wannabe Vegan: 6/10 ~ Omnivore: 10/10
I almost forgot! My all time favorite part of July – tomato season! Today, I picked my first tomatoes off my plants and I can’t wait to enjoy them for lunch tomorrow in a pita sandwich.