Saturday, March 2, 2013

MorningStar Farms

Being a BzzAgent sure does have its perks! I'm in like a bazillion campaigns right now, which is slightly overwhelming, but exciting at the same time. I love having the chance to try things I might not normally buy and let people know what I think!

This time around I got to try a veggie burger by MorningStar Farms. If you've never heard of them, they make veggie burgers along with a plethora of other faux-meat products like chicken patties, wings,  sausage and bacon. I have tried veggie burgers before and not been a huge fan. Honestly, since I'm not a vegetarian, I'd rather just eat a real burger and real bacon, but sometimes switching it up is good. Especially since we're in Lent right now and Fridays are supposed to be meatless, so this is a great time for this campaign!

I picked up a box of the Grillers Prime which supposedly has more of a prime steakhouse flavor. I figured I'd let my husband try them out since he gave up gluten for Lent but I didn't read the box before purchasing it. I also mistakenly assumed there were just 2 burgers in there, but actually there were 4! Sadly for Mike, there is gluten in the burgers so he couldn't have one. And while I'm on the subject, let me tell you what is in them.

Ingredients: Textured vegetable protein (wheat gluten, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, water for hydration) corn oil, sunflower oil, egg whites. Contains 2% or less of: Cornstarch, natural flavors from non-meat sources, soy protein isolate, autolyzed yeast extract, salt, caramel color, onion powder, spices, hydroloyzed vegetable protein (corn, wheat and soy), garlic powder, potato starch, maltodextrin, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, succinic acid, sugar, nonfat dry milk, soybean oil, wheat fiber.

Wow, what a list. Half of that I can't pronounce! And as you can see, these products are not for vegans! Egg whiles and dry milk are included. Honestly, they almost need to call these "soy burgers" instead of veggie burgers. But maybe the inclusion of real veggies in them would take away from the burger taste.

Continuing on. There are 4 in a box and they are packaged in packs of 2 so I decided to try 2 of them out for lunch one Friday afternoon. There are 3 suggested cooking direction: Skillet, Microwave or Grll. Since it's like 14 degrees out and we have a foot of snow still on the ground, the grilling option is out. But I may pick up some more when the summer comes and try them out on the grill. I decided to do mine on the skillet. Cooking them in the microwave was just not very appealing. Skillet cooking was pretty easy - 7.5 minutes on medium heat in a covered skillet. Of course, making sure it reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. It doesn't say to put them in a pre-heated skillet, but I did, figuring it would help to crisp up the edges.

So I cooked them and honestly, they smelled quite good while cooking. If anyone else had walked in right then, they'd probably have thought I was cooking actual beef burgers.
Once they were finished I topped one with munster cheese and left the other plain so I could get an true option on the burger. I'm a cheeseburger girl and I figured I'd prefer that one. 

I was wrong! I actually liked the plain burger better. While it didn't taste like real beef, it was very similar. It didn't taste like fresh beef though, more like a frozen TV dinner patty. I let my oldest try it and she claimed to like it (more on that later). I think I might actually purchase these again in the future. 

We had beef burgers later the next week and my kids hate burgers (weirdos) so I figured I'd just cook up the other two veggies burgers for them. Grace said she wanted one. She took a bite and then said she didn't like it. Kids. Sheesh.

So one thing MorningStar has on their website is a page of recipes you can make with their products. I'm DEFINITELY going to have to buy some more to try out some of these - or substitute real beef, ha ha. Here's a few that look good to me:

Maybe I can sneak them into a meal plan and not tell my kids they're not eating meat! We'll see.

I received this product for free to try and review because I'm a BzzAgent.

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