Review: Beyond Meat

Have you heard of Beyond Meat?

grilled

Beyond Meat is the newest plant-based animal protein replacement to hit the market. It’s a relatively new product (as far as consumer products go) and as recently as this year became available nationwide (after starting on the West coast). Made from a variety of plant-based proteins, Beyond Meat has received high accolades for its resemblance to animal protein in both flavor and texture.

I wasn’t impressed.

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I’m always leery of fake meat products. I chose to adopt a plant-based diet to get away from animal products, so I’m a little freaked out by products that try to imitate the very foods I left behind. Luckily, very few faux meat products resemble their counterparts, so the occasional meat analogue isn’t a big deal (except for a weird McRib type sandwich I refused to eat once because I swore it was real).  Additionally, I’m usually hope very happy with the ingredients lists of most of the processed plant-based meat products; Beyond Meat was not exception.

I was a little excited to see Beyond Meat at the Whole Foods I go to in Dublin, Ohio. I’d heard such great things. And, at just under $6 for four servings (pretty big ones), I thought the value was OK. What I didn’t like were the ingredients. They almost deterred me from purchasing the product. The second ingredient is isolated soy protein. Ugh. (The first ingredient is water.) The package does reassure consumers the soy is non-GMO, which is good, but still, soy protein isolates? Oy! The very thing that gives soy a bad name, and BAM, there is it. Among the remaining list if ingredients (which isn’t short, by the way) is a HUGE chemical I’ve been going out of my way to avoid – titanium dioxide. Seriously? Why is an ingredient in caulking in my food?!?!

Even if this product didn’t contain questionable ingredients, I wouldn’t buy it again. The “Grilled” flavor wasn’t appealing in taste or texture, and barely ate any of it. What a waste.

Save your money and don’t even bother trying Beyond Meat. You can make an amazing meat substitute with tofu – a much less processed soy product. Or, mash up some beans, a binder and a little something to dry everything, and BAM, you’ve got a veggie burger. (I have a few burger recipes on the blog; do a search.)

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Beans & Greens Mushroom Burger

I spend most Sundays in the kitchen. I prep food for the week, plan meals, create recipes, and clean out the fridge. The last part is usually what yields the most interesting creations!

Last week, during my clean-out-the-fridge sweep, I found some mushrooms that didn’t get turned into soup and a half bag of kale pieces that didn’t join their other half in kale chip heaven.  I tossed around the idea of adding the kale to my traditional mushroom soup, but I wasn’t sure how that would turn out, so I came up with something else. Having recently run out of 4 Ingredient Bean Burgers, I decided to turn my fridge finds into burgers for the week. After rummaging through the pantry and the vegetable draw, this is what I came up with.

Beans & Greens Mushroom Burger

Beans & Greens Mushroom Burger

14 oz mushroom caps, diced (about 2 cups)

1 med onion, diced (about 1 cup)

3-4 clove garlic, minced (about 2 TBSP, heaping)

2-3 c chopped kale

2 cans beans, rinsed (about 3 cups)

1/2 c nutritional yeast

Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.

Saute onions and garlic in a splash of water or veggie broth until begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Add mushroom pieces. Continue to saute until mushrooms have cooked down and become soft. Add kale pieces and cover pan to steam/wilt greens. After greens are sufficiently wilted, remove mixture from pan. Set aside. Note: You may have to use a strainer because the veggies tend to give off quite a bit of water.

In a large bowl, add rinsed and drained beans. Puree with a stick blender (or in a food processor or high-powered blender) until mostly smooth. (I like to leave a few pieces for texture and presentation.) Alternately, you can hand mash the beans the with a potato masher. Once beans are mashed, add nutritional yeast, seasonings and cooked veggie mixture. Stir to combine. (If mix is too wet, add additional nutritional yeast or a binder such as quinoa flakes or oats.)

Form 6 large balls from mixture and place on foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. (Spray foil with cooking spray.) Slightly flatten each ball to desired patty thickness. Bake burgers at 375F for about 45 minutes, or until hold shape when moved and are no longer wet or gooey in the middle.

I used one can each red and white kidney beans.

I used one can each red and white kidney beans.

Mashed beans. Pretty pink!

Mushrooms, Onions, and Garlic in Pan

The mushrooms may seem like a lot before they cook down, but don’t worry; in a few minutes, they’ll shrink to half (or less!) their size.

Bean & Lentil Veggie Burgers

When I made my Bean & Lentil Chili, I made enough lentils to make some veggie burgers. I’d been tossing around the idea of for a while, so when I finally got around to making them, I was pretty psyched – even though I hadn’t written down any of my ideas, so I had to wing it. Oooops!

This is what I came up with…

Bean & Lentil Veggie Burgers

3 c cooked beans (2 cans)
2 c cooked lentils (French, green or brown)
4 T soy sauce
1/4 c banana peppers
1/2 c tahini
1/2 c ea diced carrot, onion, celery, green pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven 350F

Saute carrots, celery, green pepper, onion, and garlic in a little bit of broth.

Puree beans in food processor. Add lentils, veggies, soy sauce, tahini, and banana peppers. Stir to combine. Mixture will be very wet.

Drop giant spoonfuls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Form into patty shapes.

Bake 60+ minutes or until dry to the touch.

Makes 6 very large burgers. Freezes well.

Click here for nutrition information.

Bean & Lentil Veggie Burger (topped with banana peppers)

These burgers are a little dry. I think next time I make them I’d add a couple tablespoonfuls of nutritional yeast to help take away some of the pre-baking moisture. Of course, you could always use oats or quinoa flakes to help bind the ingredients.

 
While these were in the oven, I kept thinking about turning the mix into a “meat” loaf or even mini loaves.
 

Bean & Lentil Burgers Freeze Well!

Vegan MOFO Day 29: White Bean Burgers

I love bean burgers. Usually, I made black bean burgers with a little bit of a tex-mex flair. This time, however, I wanted something a little plainer that wouldn’t over power traditional burger fixin’s. Thus, I present to you – White Bean Burgers.

White Bean Burgers

2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed (about 3 cups)

1.5 c carrots, chopped

1 c onion, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 – 1/2 bell pepper, chopped

1/8 – 1/4 c banana peppers, chopped

1/4 c tahini

2 TBSP nutritional yeast

2 TBSP parsley flake
2 TBSP oregano
1 TBSP basil

1 TBSP Mrs. Dash Chipotle Seasoning or chili powder

Satl & Pepper to taste

Saute onions, garlic, carrots, bell pepper until tender (about 5 minutes). Add a little water to the pan if items are dry. (Bell peppers may emit enough water to saute.) Add seasonings and stir.

Add half of beans to large bowl and mash. Add veggies, remaining beans, banana peppers, and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine.

Mixture will be very moist. Wet hands before shaping burgers to avoid sticking.

Scoop large amount of mixture and roll into a ball. Place in large skillet sprayed with cooking spray and flatten into burger shape.

Brown on each side and heat through until center of burger is warm.

Freezes well.

Serving Size: 5 large burgers

Click here for nutrition information

White Bean Burger

Don’t forget to check out the last few days of Vegan MOFO!

Mushroom Burgers

I love veggie burgers. They were my first foray into the world of vegetarianism. I was about five years old when I had my first one. My dad’s parents were vegetarians, and they gave me a Worthington veggie burger…from a can. Yup, from a can. My mom used to laugh and laugh remember some of the food they tried to serve us. She said the veggie burgers were like sponges – covered in gravy, of course (Why does meat – real or fake – from a can always come with jelly like gravy?!). But guess who ate them. Yup, five-year old me.

In honor of my trip down memory lane, and my love of veggie burgers, I created two new burger recipes this week. I’ve been in the mood for mushrooms, and I’ve been in the mood for veggie burgers; thus, the mushroom burgers were born.

These burgers are both kind of dense, and they’re a little high on calories. But, they’re also very filling! The Mushroom Oat Bran Burger is nice and heavy, with a milder flavor, and would be great on a bun. The Mushroom Sunflower Seed Burger is more flavorful and little softer. It might benefit from being baked in the oven. Although, the skillet gave it a nice, crusty outer layer. 

Mushroom Oat Bran Burger

8 – 10 oz mushrooms, coarsley chopped

1 sm, med onion, chopped

1-2 clove garlic, chopped

1-2 TBSP veggie broth

1/4 c nutritional yeast

1/2 c quinoa flakes (can sub quick or rolled oats)

1/4 c oat bran

1 TBSP tahini

1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

Seasonings: salt, pepper, parsley flakes, basil, oregano, etc

Saute the onions and garlic in 1 – 2 TBSP veggie broth until translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and seasonings and cook until very tender – about 10 minutes. (You want as much water as possible to cook out of the ‘shrooms.) Remove mixture from heat and cool – about 5 minutes.

Add mushroom mixture to food processor. Add nutritional yeast, quinoa flakes (or oats, if using), oat bran, tahini, soy sauce. Process until thick, paste like mixture forms.

Let mixture sit for 5 – 10 minutes to firm up. Refrigeration isn’t necessary, but it might speed the firming process.

From mix into three balls. Flatten into patties and either cook in a skillet about 5 minutes on each side, or bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes, flipping after the first 20.

Baking gives the burgers a firmer texture, but it doesn’t give them the nice crunchy crust of the skillet.

Each burger has about 200 calories with about 5g of fat, 8g of fiber, and 12g of fiber. Not too bad…

Mushroom Oat Bran Burger

Mushroom Sunflower Seed Burger

8 – 10 oz mushrooms, coarsley chopped

1 sm, med onion, chopped

1-2 clove garlic, chopped

1-2 TBSP veggie broth

1/4 c nutritional yeast

1/2 c quinoa flakes (can sub quick or rolled oats)

1/4 c sunflower seeds

1 TBSP tahini

2 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

Seasonings: salt, pepper, parsley flakes, basil, oregano, etc

Saute the onions and garlic in 1 – 2 TBSP veggie broth until translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and seasonings and cook until very tender – about 10 minutes. (You want as much water as possible to cook out of the ‘shrooms.) Remove mixture from heat and cool – about 5 minutes.

Add mushroom mixture to food processor. Add nutritional yeast, quinoa flakes (or oats, if using), sunflower seeds, tahini, soy sauce. Process until thick, paste like mixture forms.

Let mixture sit for 5 – 10 minutes to firm up. Refrigeration isn’t necessary, but it might speed the firming process.

From mix into three balls. Flatten into patties and either cook in a skillet about 5 minutes on each side, or bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes, flipping after the first 20.

Baking gives the burgers a firmer texture, but it doesn’t give them the nice crunchy crust of the skillet.

Each burger has about 250 calories with about 11g of fat, 8g of fiber, and 14g of protein. Again, not too bad, especially if you forgo the bun and eat it naked, or wrap with lettuce leaves. Crunchy!

Mushroom Sunflower Seed Burger

 If you don’t want to turn on the oven or the stove, try these burgers on the grill, and enjoy one of the last weekends of summer :-)

This recipe is being shared at:

 Diet, Dessert, and Dogs for #WellnessWeekends. Thanks once again to Ricki for the awesome chance to share with so many health-conscious people, and a great big thanks to her for highlighting my Beans to the Rescue Cheeze Sauce! 

Simply Sugar & Gluten Free for Slightly Indlugent Tuesdays. Thanks to Amy for hosting!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursdays. This is a first time post there  for me, but I don’t see a lot (or any?!) vegan recipes being shared, so I think this is the perfect place to share a couple easy and delicious veggie burger recipes :-)

All the Small Stuff for Tuesdays at the Table (Ya ya, I know it’s Friday, but I’m a little slow this week.) And It’s a Blog Party for Delicious Dishes