Friday, January 19, 2007

Naturally Preferred Veggie Burger

Well, I was all stirred up yesterday evening and I was going to try making some homemade veggie burgers from a new recipe that I found on the internet. So I went to the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients that I needed when I discovered that my local grocery store does not carry chickpea flour. Dang it! I think they carry every other product that Bob's Red Mill makes except chickpea flour. So, I will have to make a trip to the health food store to get that. I guess the weekend might be a better time to experiment with a brand new recipe anyway.

So, without the chickpea flour, I knew I wasn't going to be making any homemade veggie burgers, so I walked over to the freezer section and started looking at the veggie burgers there to see if there was anything new, and vegan. That's when I spotted a box of veggie burgers called Naturally Preferred. There's not too much info on the internet about them, although I think I have seen them in the health food stores before (I could be wrong), but this was my first sighting of them in a regular grocery store. I checked the ingredients to see if they were vegan, and they were. Then I noticed something strange about the ingredient list. It basically read like the veggie burger recipe that I was wanting to try last night, which is pretty much just a combination of TVP and vital wheat gluten (along with a little chickpea flour) and some flavorings. I decided to pick up a box of these so I would have something to compare my homemade burgers to so I could see how close I could come to achieving that storebought veggie burger texture.

I ate one of these last night and it was very good. Now it's probably my favorite vegan veggie burger that is supposed to be an imitation of a beef hamburger. It will be interesting to compare the homemade ones to this (once I make them) and see how close I can get. For today's lunch, I just brought one of the Naturally Preferred patties on a whole wheat bun with a couple of pickles. I used to have to bring along some Vegenaise in one of the little blue lunchbox containers, but now I just keep my own big jar of Vegenaise in the fridge at work. For me, there's less waste that way. Mmmmmmm... I love veggie burgers with Vegenasie and pickles.

In the red container I've got some delicious BBQ Soy Crisps by Genisoy. My boss introduced me to these things a month or so ago and I have been buying bag after bag since then. These are so delicious, and so much more substantial than just a regular old rice cake. The BBQ flavor on them is really good too. The only bad thing about them is that it is entirely too easy to eat the entire bag in one sitting.

And then, I accidentally turned today's lunch into a big 'ol soy fest by bringing some edamame. This was actually my first time trying edamame since becoming vegan. In fact, I had never even heard of them until after I became vegan. Now, I think that the ones that are still in the pods are really cute, and it would be fun to pop them out of the pods and eat them, but space is at a premium in the lunchbox, so I couldn't afford to fill up a bunch of space with the pods. So I bought the ones that were already shelled. I just boiled them and then used a grinder to put some nice chunky sea salt on them. I tried some of these last night too and I really liked them. I will definitely be snacking on them a lot in the future.

Dessert ended up being a Cashew Cookie Larabar for the sake of simplicity, and also because it's NOT made out of soy. I was so happy yesterday when I went into the store and the Larabars were still on sale. I stocked up again. I have gotten into the habit here recently though of eating one of these for breakfast every morning on my drive to work, so my stash never seems to last that long anymore.

Well, that just about does it for Friday's lunch. If I can locate some chickpea flour this weekend, I might try making that veggie burger recipe that I'm so interested in (I'll wait until I actually try it before I show you where I got it, I want to make sure that it's good). If I can't find that, then who knows what I might end up bringing.

Thanks for looking at my blog and I'll see you on Monday.



Kris said...

Yum, yum, yum! So glad to see you're back, Kenny! We were all worried when you left last time. I'm such a worst-case scenario worrier!

I know what you mean about the negative criticism and stuff. I get some interesting emails from time to time on my blog. But I'm glad that you are back. Your blog is always delicious and inspiring for a meal that I tend to neglect.

I have seen these burgers you got at the store recently, I'll have to give them a try. We have been on a huge veggie burger kick lately. They are just too good!

Oh and in one of Sarah Kramer's earlier books, I think the one with the green cover, there is a vegan peanut butter cup recipe that is the most incredibly decadent thing I've ever had. I only let myself make them once or twice a year.

Welcome back!

sireneatspoetry said...

I just wanted to compliment you on your blog! I recently went to a vegetarian restaurant in Denver called Watercourse Foods. I ordered the Seitan Buffulo Wings and loved them so much I have been thinking about them all week long! I googled for the recipe, found your site and have been very much happy at the finding! Also...the Bento Box! This is going to be perfect for my school life.

...all the food on here looks amazing! I will be back to check out your lunches. :D

raising_kahne said...

Ive seen Naturally Preferred. I thought it was just a Kroger Brand? Good to know about them, I might have to try them!

kennyboy said...

You're probably right because I did get it at Kroger. I've not noticed it on other items, but I've not looked either.

All I could find on the internet was the company who makes them and they have a pretty sparse webpage. But it looks like they do all kinds of private label stuff, so I bet you are right.

kennyboy said...

Thanks for the nice comments too everybody.

It's fun to be blogging again.


kennyboy said...

Oh, and sireneatspoetry, the laptop lunchbox is very cool. I discovered it over on Vegan Lunch Box and immediately ordered one (actually two). I've since found a couple of other cool bento lunchboxes that kinda' interest me. I might invest in a different type one of these days just to mix things up a little bit.

Midwest Vegan said...

Welcome back! I found your blog shortly before you stopped blogging and I was concerned that your impressive tutuorial did you in. I'm glad your back and have enjoyed catching up on your current posts. Can't wait to see what you'll be posting for lunch in the future.

I've been thinking about getting one of the laptop lunchboxes. Do you have problems with leaking? Are you able to microwave in the dishes without issue?

kennyboy said...

I usually carry mine in the horizontal position just to make sure that I don't have any leak problems. I guess that might be more of a problem with a kid who carries it and swings it around by the handle.

Only the red container and the little blue one come with lids, I use Glad Press-n-Seal on the other containers when I need to.

So no, I haven't had any problem with leaking.

I microwave them all the time. I do try to be careful though and not let them go too long because I am paranoid about heating them up too much and warping them. But I have let them go longer than I meant to before (got to talking and quit paying attention), and so far have had no problem. They microwave just fine.

Jude said...

I am going to make some veggie burgers - I haven't found any shop bought burgers that I like - so I'm feeling a bit inspired and will look forward to hearing how you get on with yours Ken.
I have a laptop luchbox and I adore it. If in doubt I use clingfilm - this may be the same as press and seal (who knows!!) but nothing seems to leak and microwaving seems fine too.
Have a great weekend everyone (I am hoping, hoping, really hoping for snow, but no sign yet:)

NightOwl said...


It is so great to have your enthusiasm and delicious food back! I'm so happy!

And the Watercourse rocks! The only veg restaurant in Denver. Thank goodness we've got it.

Kris said...

Ken, I got my husband this kind of bento box at Bed Bath and Beyond. It has a large outer box with 2 smaller ones that can nest inside of it. It's kind of hard to describe. You can see a picture of it here:

You'll have to paste the URL together to see it. Anyway, the containers are a really good size and we use them all the time. And they were only $10.

robiewankenobie said...

what was the veggie burger recipe that you were going to try? i haven't seen anything like it on the internets, and i'd love to try it!

kennyboy said...

I guess you'll probably have to cut and paste this into your browser, but it's over at Bunnyfoot's blog:

There are actually several recipes there that I would like to eventually try.

I didn't make the burgers this weekend, so if you try it before I do let me know how it turns out.

robiewankenobie said...

rock! thanks!

Lady Di said...

I'm not so sure what your area is like (I know you're in NC, but I don't know if you're in a rural or urban area or how far away from one you are), but I get my chickpea flour at the Indian grocery store. It's way cheaper.