Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Best Thing I Ate This Month That Wasn't A Veggie Burger

In case you aren't lucky enough to live just a couple blocks away from an amazing ice cream shop that has incredible vegan flavors, I thought I'd share one of my favorite store-bought vegan ice creams:


Yes, you read that correctly: Chocolate blended with Scotch Whiskey. I don't talk about alcohol much on this blog because, well, I've never found a veggie burger with bourbon in it (but if that exists, please invite me to eat it!) But I love whiskey.

And I love chocolate. So chocolate + whiskey together in vegan ice cream? That's kind of my idea of heaven.

Steve's Ice Cream is made in Brooklyn, but their website says it's available at natural food stores across the U.S. - I even looked up my hometown in Virginia, and it says Steve's Ice Cream is available there too! Not all of their flavors are vegan, and the packaging does not make it obvious which ones are at first (look for the small print that says "non-dairy" at the bottom of the label), but they have a few other vegan flavors in addition to the Chocolate Scotch... although I have to confess, I have not tried them yet because I just can't help myself from always buying the flavor I am obsessed with.

Steve's Ice Cream
Purchased at: Whole Foods in Manhattan and Natural Frontier Market in Astoria, Queens
Available at other natural foods stores around the U.S., check website for locations.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Veggie Burgers in the News

Thanks to an anonymous commenter who alerted me to the news that White Castle is now offering veggie sliders on its menu at some locations!

Although I have seen the film Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, I have never actually set foot inside a White Castle. But maybe I will have to change that soon, to try out these new sliders - which are made with Dr. Praegers veggie patties (no word on whether they are vegan or not, some of Dr. Praegers products are vegan while others are not). Supposedly they are only available for a limited time, as the fast food chain is just testing them out as a menu item - but hopefully they will realize the importance/benefit of offering vegetarian options, and make it a permanent menu item!

Has anyone tried these sliders yet? What did you think?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Veggie Burgers in the news - event in NYC

My friend Maria sent me this link as a heads-up to an exciting veggie burger event happening in NYC this Sunday:
Brooks Headley Has Created the Next-level Veggie Burger (via GrubStreet)

I don't know if I'll be able to attend, so if you are in NYC and you end up going, please let me know how it is!!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Made By Lukas Beet Veggie Burgers

The other day I spotted something new in the refrigerated vegetarian/vegan section of Whole Foods:


I’ve tried a lot of refrigerated and frozen veggie burgers, and even veggie burgers made from a dry powdered mix before – but I’ve never tried veggie burgers made from a refrigerated vegetable mix, so I was excited to add this Made By Lukas beet vegetable burger mix to my shopping basket.


The instructions said simply to “shape into 4 patties” – I was only cooking for myself, so I just made one (planning to eat the others in the next couple days, or shape them and freeze them if I need to keep them for longer). Wary of how the fresh beets might stain my hands, I wore latex gloves for this part.

If you didn’t know that was a vegan mixture of beets, cabbage, quinoa, and sunflower seeds, wouldn’t you think it kind of looks like raw meat?

The mix is very soft, but once it fried for a few minutes on one side it was not difficult to keep it in one piece when I flipped it over with a spatula. I let it cook the full 4-6 minutes per side that the instructions recommended, but even fully cooked it was still quite soft.


Beets are one of what I consider the secret ingredients for a great veggie burger – they add color that fools even meat-eaters, and they have a great hearty flavor.

That said, I also enjoy beets on their own and in various other recipes. But unlike other veggie burgers I’ve had in the past which contain this great ingredient in smaller amounts, the beet flavor is VERY prominent and unavoidable in these burgers. So while I’ve urged beet-haters to try other veggie burgers despite their misgivings about the bright red-pink ingredient, I would caution only beet-lovers to sample these ones! Beets are not the only ingredient, but they are the most prominent flavor.


For beet-lovers, though, the taste of these patties is quite delicious! The only topping I put on my burger was a tiny bit of mayo, but I probably could have even done without that because the patty was so moist and flavorful on its own - and quite hearty and filling.

But eating it felt more like eating a vegan Sloppy-Joe than a burger. The patty was so soft, even after being fried on both sides, that it just mushed in my mouth like a shredded beet salad on a bun. The bun held it all inside okay, but the patty would not have kept its shape at all on its own. It was tasty, without a doubt, but quite a different experience from eating a “normal” veggie burger.

The Whole Foods location where I found this mix also had a carrot-parsnip flavor, which I was tempted by (because I love parsnips and think they are a very underrated vegetable!) – and the Made By Lukas website shows that they also offer a kale flavor, which is probably equally delicious. And they’re all completely vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free! This is probably the closest you can get to home-made without taking the time to measure and mix all those ingredients together on your own - so it's a great quick and easy option for a meal.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Made By Lukas
purchased at: Whole Foods in NYC (Bowery location)
price: $7.99 per container (makes 4 burgers)

YumVeggieBurger review #139

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sugo’s Beach Buns & Bites at Long Beach's Shoregasboard

Last weekend we took the Long Island Railroad out to Long Beach for a day of relaxation on the beach. The water was freezing cold, so I didn’t swim for more than a few minutes, but just lying on the sand by the ocean was lovely.


It had been a couple years since I was last at Long Beach; I don’t go there as often as I go to Rockaway Beach, so I had no idea what food options would await us. Luckily, we found Shoregasboard - a parking lot of food trucks right off of the boardwalk. And luckily, I found a veggie burger:


At first I was disappointed to see that Sugo’s Beach Buns & Bites did not have a vegetarian taco option (what the heck?), but I was mollified to see a veggie burger listed on the menu along with all their meat-burgers and hotdogs. The friendly food truck’s staff informed me that the patty was vegan, but the bun was not (and the burger comes with cheese by default, so ask for it without if you don’t eat dairy!).


After several hours out in the hot sun, I was starving, so I dug right into this burger – even though it had slices of Portobello mushrooms on top, and I’m normally not a mushroom fan (Portobello can occasionally be the exception to this rule for me, though). The patty was decent, it was obviously some brand of frozen burger patty, with large chunks of vegetables (including a lot of carrots, most notably). The flavor was pretty mild, nothing spectacular.


The arugula and Portobello slices gave the burger a little bit more substance and flavor, but it still felt small and flat, and for $8 I would have liked a bit more in the way of toppings! There was some kind of slightly spicy sauce as well – although there wasn’t enough of it to keep the whole burger from tasting a bit dry (I suppose normally the cheese helps with that, if you order it with the cheese). The bun was just average.

It wasn’t the most amazing burger (or the most filling – I was still hungry after!) I’ve ever eaten, but I was grateful that there was a vegetarian option available. I do seem to find veggie burgers wherever I go… I wasn’t even planning on reviewing one this day, but as soon as I saw it on the menu, I knew what my next blog post would be!

Cost: $8.00
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Burger patty: 2       Bun: 3      Toppings: 2

Sugo’s Beach Buns & Bites
parked at Shoregasboard at Long Beach
Riverside Blvd at the boardwalk
Long Beach, NY 11561

YumVeggieBurger review #138