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Un-meaty veggie burgers?

  • p

I am totally freaked out by Boca burgers. They look, smell and taste too much like what I remember meat to look/smell/taste like.

(To all you meat-eaters about to protest: the last time I ate meat was 10 years ago, so my memory isn't perfect.)

My veg friend concur - some veg products are too meat-like for us to enjoy. Any recs for veggie burgers that taste like veggies? Or at least, not like meat?

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  1. I find this sooo funny. Why even bother eating a buirger of any kind if you don't eat meat and don't want something that tastes like meat. I mean, "it tastes TOO meaty." Well, isn't that the whole idea, to make something fake that tastes like something else. I'm sure everyone making this type of thing strives for that product. If you want something that tastes like veggies buy carrots, celery, lettuce, eggplant and rutabagas, they all taste like veggies I guess.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Monty

      Monty, There are lots of different kinds of "burgers", not all of which taste like beef - but they all fit nicely on a bun with toppings (which your suggestion of buying carrots, eggplant and rutabegas doesn't really work for). Think, salmon burgers, even fish cakes and crab cakes. So, it you don't have anything to add to the discussion - lay off.

      I'm not a vegetarian, but I too prefer veggie burgers that don't strive to tase like beef burgers. And, I actually find it sort of odd that there are so many vegetarian items that strive to taste like meat. I mean, if yo've given up meat do you really want to be eating pseudo versions of it?

      As a suggestion, Annie's California burgers are quite "veggie" and non-meaty. I'd love to know of others too.

      1. re: potluck

        That's kinda my point - I'm veg by choice, not obligation (ie, doc's orders), so I don't want to eat anything that resembles meat.

        "Burger" was perhaps the wrong word - "patty" is what I meant. So, not a fake/replacement burger, but some similarly shaped food that's made of vegetables.

        That said, thanks for the suggestions.

      2. re: Monty

        A burger is a patty. It doesn't neccessarily mean meat. If the packaging said "vegetarian hamburger", that would mean fake beef patty, but a "veggie burger" is a patty made out of vegetarian ingredients.

        I eat meat, and love a good steak, but I love veggie burgers too.

        1. re: Monty

          We encouage posters who have a suggestion for piccola to add their input here. However, if you don't have a suggestion for a product for piccola to try, please refrain from replying. This board is for food discussion, not for passing judgement on the food choices others make. Thanks.

        2. Have you tried Sunshine Burgers? They have a clean, unique taste. Hearty. Main ingredients: ground sunflower seeds, brown rice, shredded carrots.

          Link: http://www.sunshineburger.com/593774....

          1. I like the Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Patties, which have a nice blend of veggies and a good mouth-feel, without being faux-meaty. I've been told that the Subway Veggie Patty/Veggie Max subs use these. (And if you haven't tried them, this Subway sandwich is my favorite meal in a pinch when I'm traveling and there are no other vg options -- quite common for me in the Southeast.)

            I also really like a chicken-substitute product named Veat in the bite-sized shape. (The larger pieces are not as good.) These are a very good stand-in for chicken and when sauteed in a bit of EVOO, are delicious. I get them at Whole Foods Market. I LOVE them tossed in a piccata sauce over pasta.

            1. have you tried the grilled vegetable variety of boca burgers? to me, at least, they taste like grilled veggies and do not taste meaty at all.


              1. If you're not looking for something vegan, Trader Joe's "Nirvana" patties are made with egg whites, a variety of vegetables, and Indian seasoning. They're quite tasty with mango chutney.

                1. I love Gardenburger's Black Bean Chipotle burgers.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: tracyk

                    I like Gardenburger's original version. Doesn't try to be meat, they're just tasty.

                    1. re: valerie

                      I like most of the Gardenburger varieties. I think they are reasonably tasty, and each variety has a different flavor profile without trying to simulate beef. I agree with OP that Boca burgers are pretty nasty.

                      Just because a person eats meat, that person doesn't have to have meat at every meal.


                      1. re: e.d.

                        Another vote for Garden Burgers! Boca Burgers give me oggita!

                  2. How about falafel? You can make them look like burger patties and dress them the same way, or shape them in balls and eat them in a pita pocket with tahini sauce. These are the original veggie burger.

                    I don't like hamburgers at all so if I'm given a choice, I'd go for a grilled portobello mushroom cap. Delicious on a roll with some shredded veggies.

                    1. for a burger that tastes like veggies, i like dr. praegger's (available at trader joe's).

                      i'm not sure what's so difficult to understand about fake meat products. i gave up meat 17 years ago for ethical reasons, not because i don't like the taste of meat. for people like me, fake meat allows me to have occasional "meaty" treats without having to compromise.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: arifa

                        Nothing wrong with fake meat - I just don't particularly like it. Even in Asian restaurants, I'd rather have tofu/tempeh than "mock chicken/beef/pork".

                        1. re: arifa

                          Another vote for Dr. Praeger's (sp?)
                          We're going through a bit of withdrawal in my house, because our TJ's hasn't been stocking them for a month or so. Horrors!

                          What's nice about these is that they don't try to be a meat substitute at all.I do eat meat, so when I want a meaty burger I have the real thing.

                          The package actually highlights the veggie-ness, pointing out that one can actually see pieces of individual veggies inside the patty.

                          Now if only I could find them again...

                          1. re: AdamL

                            COuldn't find them at TJ's but scored some at Pathmark - and they really ARE great! Thanks!

                        2. Vegelicious Veggie Burgers are great, I like the Santa Fe ones the best. My kids love them...

                          1. Costco sells Veggie Patch bistro burgers, wild mushroom and rice. They are really very good. I don't substitute them for beef. I just eat them cause they are good.

                            1. Dr. Praeger's!!
                              I LOVE the California Burgers.
                              You can actually 'see' the pieces of veggies. They're sold at Trader Joe's and also my local HFS.

                              Costco used to carry them on the West Coast, but I haven't seen them lately.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: cindy

                                I love Dr. Prager's California burgers too! Totally veggie!

                                However, is it just me or have they become a little less veg-ful since they changed the packaging?

                              2. I am not a vegetarian but I like to eat meat-free more and more, so I keep a good stock of meatless items in the freezer and my overall fav for all things vegetarian is MorningStar. I buy their Spicy Black bean patties, Tomato Basil Pizza Burgers, Philly Steak patties, Chik'n nuggets and patties, Sausage style crumbles and Steak Strips. I have never been disappointed with their products. I get Boca products also, but they have a odd, funky taste to them that makes me kinda leery. I think that a meat-free item shouldn't necessarily taste like meat, and Boca tries to taste like meat but doesn't really taste like real meat, just fake meat. Am i making any sense here??

                                1. I like Gardenburger brand - and I totally agree w/you...I prefer patties that aren't "meat-like" (and I'm not a vegetarian - if I want meatlike, I'll have a real burger). Gardenburger makes or used to make one called "Fire Roasted Veggie" that was great, but I haven't been able to find them in a long time.

                                  At Whole Foods, there is a sunflower seed burger that's excellent but I can't recall the brand.