I had to try the new veggie burgers with the science fiction names.
I made a special trip to Los Angeles where the Impossible Burger was being test-marketed at selected Umami Burger restaurants.
Then, I went in search of the Beyond Burger, but it was sold-out at every health food store I tried. Finally, though, I got lucky and chanced upon a fresh shipment of them at the Loma Linda Market not far from my home.
The Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger, made by different companies, are the result of new technology that manipulates plant protein in new ways to create a meat-like patty that really tastes, smells and looks like animal protein burgers.
I mean, really. These burgers could fool a carnivore. They even “bleed” like meat, remaining pinkish in the middle when cooked as directed.
I am less pleased, though, to report that both brands are loaded with ingredients that look like they belong on a chemistry class chalkboard, not a food product label. And both are also heavy on calories, salt and fat.
Good heavens, each Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger has 22 grams of fat! There are fast-food cow burgers that have less fat than that!
True, this is plant fat, not animal fat, but the weight scale in your bathroom might not notice the difference.
So, I’m good with calling the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger an amazing new vegan indulgence. Not so sure I’m good with calling it health food.
Here’s a recipe for an old-fashioned veggie burger that tastes like the ones I’ve loved since I was a kid.
Camp Meeting Veggie Burgers
2 cups Loma Linda Vege-Burger (see note)
6 tablespoons juice drained from canned garbanzo beans (save beans for other use)
3 tablespoons onion, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons dry quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon ground sage
- Combine all ingredients. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Divide into eight portions. Scoop each portion into hot oiled skillet, form into patty, and cook slowly over low heat until moisture is almost gone, about 15 minutes.
- Turn and cook another 10 to 15 minutes until cooked through and firm.
Yield: 8 burgers.
Note: Loma Linda Vege-Burger is a ground beef substitute for ground beef, very low in fat, available in cans at health food stores or online. Other vegetarian ground beef substitutes also are available and can be used in this recipe.