Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Meatless Monday and a Tasty Oxymoron

One of my resolutions was to continue eating a more plant based diet (not Diet, you know what I mean.) It started off with Macaroni Monday where I'd make a lovely vegetarian pasta dish every Monday night. But I've recently tried to make Monday (or Tuesday due to my work schedule) totally meatless.

Breakfast is easy, a pre-workout Larabar, juice and my vitamins post-workout and then a fruit parfait shortly after. Dinner is also easy because there are endless varieties of vegetarian pasta dishes out there and I want to try all of them. Last night I boiled Dreamfield's penne rigate with a can of Progresso cannelini beans, drained and tossed with homemade pesto, a bag of fresh baby arugula and freshly cracked black pepper. I topped mine with a few goat cheese crumbles which got all soft and melty with the heat of the dish. It was delightful!

Lunch is where it gets tricky. A salad is not substantial enough unless it's got a pile of meat on top. My sister is a fan of something called a "veggie burger." Which is an oxymoron to this carnivore. I admit to being prejudice against veggie burgers because they're straight up nasty. But of course I haven't eaten once since the Nineties when I tried vegetarianism on for about five minutes. My sister raved about the Dr. Praeger's tex-mex burgers that she got at Trader Joe's so I picked up a box. I also picked up a box of Trader Joe's Vegetable Masala Burgers to try out.

Dr. Praeger's have really good flavor and I like that you can see all the peas and corn throughout. The tex-mex spices are mild but nice. The texture is dreadful in the microwave, better on the stove top but who wants to wash a skillet at lunch time? Not I.

The Masala burgers are OUT OF THIS WORLD! So spicy and flavorful and satisfying. They have double the fat of Dr. Praeger's but also double the flavor. The texture is great even in the microwave and they are made without soy, which is a big bonus for me. Try them grilled on top of a grilled naan bread and you won't think twice that you're eating a veggie burger.

Veggie burgers are nice in a wrap, in a sandwich or just on a bed of greens topped with a bit of cheese and spicy mustard any day of the week. What are your favorite veggie burgers and how do you like them?

Hello? Is this thing on?


  1. I've tried the straight up veggie burgers from Trader Joe's, but they must not have floored me because I believe I have a 1-year-old-frost-laden one in the waaaay back of the freezer still in the, not so memorable. I actually like making falafel from the Moosewood cookbook and that's sort of a veggie "meatless" know, with the yogurt sauce and served in a flatbread. Yum!

  2. I am fond of the black bean Gardenburgers. And I have found that every veggie burger I ever met benefited from a turn on the grill. When you have the grill fired up over the weekend, throw on your Monday lunch-burger and let it soak up that delicious grilled flavor. Then it will heat up easily in the microwave when you're ready. When I'm in a veggie burger mood (not that often, as you know - hee hee) I usually will go ahead and grill half the box when I'm doing a dinner on the grill, 3 or 4 burgers depending on the brand. Then I've got a couple on hand for the next couple days.

    Oh, I like to put the cheese on top and let it melt on the grill, too, vs. putting cheese on it when I'm putting the meal together. The cheese seems to get a little smoky flavor too.

  3. Right now I'm hooked on the Morningstar Farms Chick'n Patties. They are like those breaded patties we used to have in school, but totally meat-free!
    I grill one on my panini press, with a laughing cow cheese spread on a Arnold Sandwich thin.