Gluten Free Vegie Burgers
Most people shudder if you mention gluten free vegie burgers and for good reason. It conjures up memories of an epic fail in the taste and texture department. You know, the experience of a tofu pattie cut in the shape of a traditional meat based burger. Right now, you know that this scenario usually ends with either a sog-fest or some kind of plastic-cardboard chewy experience followed by a renewed conviction to find something better.
Times are changing however. More and more products are coming onto the market that offer a real alternative for gluten free vegetarians. These alternatives are also starting to offer a good product at a reasonable price complete with great taste and confidence building textures that are sure to provide you with some dining satisfaction to boot.
One such product you may not have come across yet is the Gluten Free Vegie Burger by Vegie Magic.
Thanks to Birubi Foods, a Melbourne based manufacturer, we have been able to get hold of some samples to see what these gluten free, vegetarian burger patties are all about.
We didn’t want to deliver a review based on just one sampling. What’s the point of that? We set out to really put this product through the wringer!
Not So Droll
Usually you see food reviews talking about the details of how products were prepared (complete with recipe) and to be honest, this is such a boring approach. Sure the drooling starts, but it’s not because of hunger!
We wanted to make this realistic and straight forward. Buy product, eat product, enjoy product. That sort of thing. So we set out to see how well these vegie burgers performed realistically.
Most people tend to eat around three main meals a day and we wanted to see how well this product performed for each.
You know, the usual, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, but we also had a look at it’s performance from a vegetarian’s perspective. It was even put through the ‘kid test’.
In each of our scenarios, we considered, in reality, how people might like to prepare these babies in the home….not in a restaurant, prepared by some kind of ninja skilled chef.
We decided that Eggs Benedict and a good ol’ hearty burger were something that many people frequently miss once they are on a gluten free diet. We also thought that these gluten free vegie burgers would be well challenged by these types of meals.
Introducing Vegie Magic Gluten Free Vegie Burgers
Retailing at $5.99 for a 2-pack, it’s price is comparable to other vegetarian options already competing for shelf space in your friendly Dairy Department. From our observations these particular Gluten Free Vegie Burgers are actually slightly cheaper.
For the not-so-vegetarian it is also a good alternative to traditional meat based options in the meat department at most supermarkets.
The samples we had all had a generous shelf life which is refreshing to say the least.
Packed in a sealed clear ‘meat’ tray, the Gluten Free Vegie Burger certainly comes in to the heavyweight class. These are solid burgers and you can clearly see the vegetable content in each one. The nice thing is that the vegetable content is not chunky. It’s subtle.
When you open the pack, the first thing you notice is the delicious creamy smell coming from the patties. Without being too strong, you can pick the cauliflower, cabbage & corn in the patties, but they are not overwhelming at all.
Each pattie is neat & tidy. It’s well formed, not flimsy. This means that they are easy to work with and hold their shape during the cooking process. We used both roasting and frying techniques to test this.
Breakfast – Eggs Benedict Stack
Our version of eggs benedict was a stack including bacon (yeah, this is not a vegetarian dish), baby spinach and hollandaise sauce.
Surprisingly, cooking these Gluten Free Vegie Burgers was very easy and no fuss. It does take a little while for the pattie to brown, but this does give you time to poach the egg and cook the other ingredients.
We layered the spinach directly on top of the vegie pattie when constructing the stack on purpose. A vegie burger’s worst nightmare is to be partnered with other moist ingredients. Whilst the pattie did become a little soft, it still maintained it’s shape and performed well within this dish.
It’s flavour was very complimentary and creamy and worked in very well with the other ingredients. Not overpowering and it certainly didn’t have any one particular vegetable flavour overpowering the rest of the dish. It was amazing.
The absolute surprise was that this pattie definately left you feeling full. It’s very satisfying and completely enjoyable.
Lunch – Burgers
Burgers, particularly the high stacked variety are usually not able to be enjoyed by people diagnosed with Coeliac Disease very often.
We loaded this burger with all of the usual elements of an Australian burger. You know, beetroot, onion, pineapple, lettuce and cheese. We even threw in some bacon for good measure (you can never have too much bacon, right?), but despite all that extra fluid in the burger, the pattie held it’s own.
These Gluten Free Vegie Burgers really are versatile. They didn’t disintegrate and blended nicely in a flavour packed dish. Their own flavour is not lost, but it’s not overpowering either.
The biggest problem with a stacked gluten free burger is the actual gluten free bun, but that’s a story for another time.
A Vegetarian dinner
We asked a health concious vegetarian friend to run these Gluten Free Vegie Burgers through their paces.
One of the first things they noticed is that there are no cooking instructions on the pack and that you have to look these up on the Vegie Magic website.
They were pleasantly surprised at the ability of the pattie to brown when pan fried without oil in a non-stick pan. Their expectations were slightly different given that the patties feel quite dry straight from the pack.
The outcome was a delicious chewy exterior. The inside, however, was a little doughy and perhaps cooking at a lower temperature for longer would give a better result.
These patties have a pleasant flavour, lightly seasoned, and definitely more-ish. There was mention that they were the best vegie patties that they had tasted.
It’s hard to remember that this is your basic potato and veggie pattie.
The Kid Test
Getting kids to eat vegies is an incredible challenge for a lot of parents. Coeliac kids are no different. From this perspective, these Gluten Free Burger Patties are definately a game changer.
The kids will hoover these burger patties up and ask for more. You can serve them plain, hot or cooled, as morning tea or an after school snack. The burgers we cooked didn’t stand a chance given the speed at which the kids devoured them!
The biggest problem was that we ran out of the patties! If you ever see these on the shelf in your local supermarket – get some. They answer so many questions for kids diets. They are also incredibly convienient and easy to prepare.
It’s a good thing Vegie Magic are extending their range in the near future and that this will include yet more kid friendly choices.
This product has no dairy, egg, fish, gluten, peanuts, sesame, shellfish, soy, tree nuts or wheat. It is vegan and vegetarian.
Vegie Magic Gluten Free Vegie Burgers are regularly tested for the presence of gluten as part of the manufacturing process. There is a ND (Nil Detected) statement on the packaging. A very safe product for Coeliacs.
Where do I buy them?
Look for these Gluten Free Vegie Burgers in Independant grocery stores. Places like Ritchies, IGA, Foodworks, Drakes, Foodland and some smaller retailers such as fruit and vegetable markets, delis and butchers are also stocking them.
If you are in Victoria, Ritchies and IGA stores are your best bet. For other states IGA is most likely to stock them and not just the city stores. Don’t be surprised if you come across these in rural stores as well.
If they are not yet on the shelves of your local independant store, ask the store manager if they can get them in. They are worth it. They really are!
Keep an eye out for new gluten free Vegie Magic products in the near future. You won’t be disappointed, believe me.
Do you have a gluten free product you would like reviewed? Why not send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.