This is not a recipe. This is our Vegan Burger Challenge. For many months now, the vegan Facebook pages have been full of posts about the Beyond Burger. Living in a small town, we have only been able to dream about those burgers and hope one day they would come to our town. Today I FINALLY got my Beyond Burger!
I found the Beyond Burger at a local grocery store, Lowe's Foods. A few members of our local vegan group had found them there & had been kind enough to share this news with us all. My first attempt to get a Beyond Burger failed. Obviously my other local vegans were much quicker getting to the store (Hey, I have kids and I had to wait for payday.. that's Christi's Real Vegan Life 😂😂).
Today, I finally found them! Since this is a blog about budget friendly vegan meals, everyone can understand my dilemma when I realized I had found the Beyond Burger and it was $7 for 2 burgers. This may not seem like a problem to single vegans or couples, but I feed 5 people every night (some times 8 if my other kids stop by). I come home from work each day to a very hungry & hard working husband, a teenage boy who never gets full, a teenage daughter, & my 18 month old grandson everyday. I would have to buy 4 packages to feed everyone ($7×4 =$28) and that became expensive quickly. I still have to buy veggies for toppings, buns, and cheese. If I buy a side item (which was sweet potatoes tonight) I am looking at a $50 meal... too much for this mama.
AFFORDABLY PRICE -
As I mentioned above, $28 for the Beyond Burger is a little too much. These burgers are a "treat" night experience for this family. I could only afford to buy two packages today and spend $14. This is how the Vegan Burger Challenge was born! I had to "sale" it to my family!
I will buy the less expensive ¤t family favorite - the Gardein Beefless Burger. The Gardein Beefless Burger was on sale! It was just $4 for four patties. Perfect! Now I'm under $20 and have plenty of food.
My winner for the price category is a no brainer- Gardein wins this round!
EASY TO PREPARE -
The Beyond Burger was very easy to prepare. You cook each side about 3 minutes. If you are squeamish, be warned, these burgers are very realistic. They look like, feel like, and cook like "real" burgers (see picture below). You could easily come home after work and have these burgers on the table in 20 minutes.. a real plus if you have to go from work, to home, to after school activities.
The Gardein Beefless Burger took a few more steps to prepare, but it was still very easy. You could have this meal in under 20 minutes also. If you are squeamish, this burger is the better choice. It does not appear to "bleed" like the Beyond Burger.
My winner for this round - it's a tie. While the Beyond Burger was slightly easier to prepare, it may bother people by being a bit too "real". This one is really going to be based on personal preference.
The Beyond Burger looks REAL in the package. It may be a little too "real" for some vegans. It didn't bother me personally because I already knew what to expect from the postings in vegan groups. I was only bothered by making a trip into the meat isle to get it, but that's another story. When cooking, these burgers look "real". The Beyond Burger even looks "real" when you cut into it (see picture below). The burger appears "meaty", thick, and even "juicy" - think about a gourmet burger at a restaurant. You could definitely win over a few carnivores with these burgers.. which is a good thing for the animals.
The Gardein Beefless Burger also looks like a "real burger", at least a precooked, frozen, "real burger". This burger is easier to handle if you don't like the appearance of a "bleeding" vegan burger. This burger is much thinner.. think fast food burger patty size. If you like a "double burger" this is the perfect size for stacking. It is a plus that I didn't have to go to the meat isle to buy this burger. It was nestled in between several bags of Gardein products in the freezer isle. Once the Gardein Beefless Burger is cooked, it looks like this:
My winner this round would be The Beyond Burger because it has such a great appearance once prepared.
Here's the real test! I seasoned both burgers exactly the same (salt, pepper, paprika, and cumin). They both taste alike, to be honest.
The winner this round - there's not one. This is just a tie.
The Beyond Burger has a very real feel and texture. If this bothers you, like it did my husband, you will not like this burger. It "eats" like a "real" restaurant style burger. They definitely got the look and texture correct. I really liked this burger because, again, I see potential to win ovet a few omnivores. We all started this journey somewhere. I remember trying Gardein fishless filets the first time and thinking "I can do this!"...
The Gardein Beefless Burger was the winner with my husband and kids. The texture is less "realistic".. which they all preferred. I think this burger is definitely easier for people who are already vegan to handle. It is a good vegan burger and I think omnivores would enjoy it on their "meatless Mondays" too. These burgers are both great. The texture is a matter of personal preference.
My winner is this category would be the Beyond Burger, but I was out voted 3 to 1. So.. offically the winner is Gardein Beefless Burger.
Both these burgers are sure to be a hit with your vegan family. There are lots of factors to consider. I enjoyed the Beyond Burger and will probably buy it again in the future, as a treat.
Our family will continue to purchase the Gardein Beefless Burger for most of our "burger nights" because they are inexpensive and my family prefers them to the Beyond Burger.
My overall winner is going to be Gardein Beefless Burger, only because my family prefers it.
Honestly, these burgers are both great choices. If you are going for the closest to "real" pick the Beyond Burger. If you are going for an affordable vegan burger, pick the Gardein Beefless Burger. It's all about personal preference .