Friday, February 1, 2013

Review: MorningStar Farms Mushroom Lovers Veggie Burger

With each passing day, I find myself becoming increasingly more of a vegetarian.  I still eat meat, but I only eat it maybe twice a week (usually it's one time or less).  I'm not sure why I'm making that transformation, but it's because of that transformation that I'm increasingly seeking out more vegetarian friendly foods in my grocery store aisles.  Now, I've done plenty of MorningStar Farms reviews on the blog, so it's not a new product line for me, but today's review is of one of their veggie product that I've never tried before but sounded incredibly delicious to me for the same reasons that they gave this product its name with this MorningStar Farms Mushroom Lovers Burger.  Yep, I'm a lover and I picked up a box of this on sale for $2.99 at Meijer.  Each box contains four frozen veggie burgers and each burger is 2.25 ounces, ahs 110 calories and also has seven grams of protein.  These veggie burgers are a mushroom lover's delight because they are made with ample amounts of mushrooms and in the case of this burger, those mushrooms are Portabellas and Buttons.  These burgers are also cholesterol free and 59% less fat than a typical beef burger, so there's clearly some health benefits to eating these.

Having had multiple varieties of these veggie burgers before, I pretty much knew what to expect.  The burger would primarily be soybean based and then include the add-ins of choice.  That was the case here and each burger included a very high amount of sizeable mushroom chunks, so it was a mushroom lover's delight in that respect.  One thing I didn't expect was the number of red peppers that were included too and when I saw that, it kind of excited me because I wasn't expecting any sort of kick out of these since mushrooms are usually such a neutral flavor.  Also included were various spices, but most prominent on the list was garlic so that's all I'll mention.  MorningStar Farms gives directions for three preparation methods for these (pan frying, microwaving or grilling), but since I had a little extra time to kill, I chose to pan fry it.  After frying these on low for about 5-7 minutes, I pulled it out of my skillet and what I got is what you see above.

When I took my first bite, the two things I tasted primarily were the red peppers and the garlic, which is a good thing that there was some sort of flavor there because the mushroom flavor was tame, as you'd expect it to be.  The mushrooms did have flavor and it was certainly noticeable and delightful, but had they been left on their own, this burger would have been incredibly boring.  Instead, their mild flavor was drawn out more and assisted in a great way by the garlic and pepper flavor.  You know how mushrooms taste when you eat them on top of a pizza?  Well, that's how they tasted here, meaning that each time you bit into one, it kind of squirted watery flavor out and that flavor included the aforementioned garlic along with balsalmic vinegar that was also in the ingredient mix for this burger.  That balsalmic vinegar brought a sweet, acidic kick to the table and that worked perfectly with all the aformentioned tastes.

Buy It or Fly By It?  This truly is a mushroom lover's burger.  While it's not the greatest mushroom product that I've eaten, it does highlight the mushrooms and bring them out in a way that gives this burger a BUY IT rating.  This one is going on my go-to list for times when friends have cookouts and I just don't feel like eating meat.  Heck, it's so good that I could even seen it converting one of them!  Okay, maybe they are too much of hardcore carnivores for that, but the flavor here is something that even a carnivore would enjoy.


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