Asda Beetroot and Root Veg Burger

Asda Beetroot and Root Veg Burger

As soon as I saw this burger, I knew I had met my dream. I LOVE beetroot, and the best part is that J can’t stand to eat it. This means I had these beetroot burgers all to myself! They come with a sachet of beetroot salsa as well, which I was excited to try. They’re frozen, which means you have to defrost the sachet in a cup of boiling water.

Asda Beetroot and Root Veg Burger
Asda Beetroot and Root Veg Burger

There are big chunks of beetroot and root vegetables in the burger, including large pieces of carrot as you can see below. It also contains nutty and smoky seeds to complement the flavour. It is quite crumbly – I barely managed to get the two I ate onto a burger bun without losing half of them. The inside has a more mushy texture, and there’s no crispy outer layer or anything to distinguish it. I quite enjoyed that, though – we don’t always need breadcrumbs. The one criticism I had while eating these was that they don’t always seem to have been blended quite correctly. In one fo mine, I had a massive piece of asparagus. I mean, truly massive and chewy. It was more than a little uncalled for. I’m not even sure that asparagus has any right to be inside a root vegetable burger. 

Asda Beetroot Burger
Asda Beetroot Burger

The sauce, however, was my favourite part of the whole meal. It has a very sweet and vinegary taste above the beetroot. It was absolutely delicious, and I would like to buy it separately as a dressing for other meals! I tried it with some sweet potato fries as well and the sweetness just worked wonderfully. I’m going to have to do some research to see if it is actually available on its own at all.

Asda Beetroot Burger with Salsa
Asda Beetroot Burger with Salsa

ON THE VEGBURGE SCALE, I GIVE THIS…

TASTE – 8/10

PRICE – 5/10

REST OF EXPERIENCE – 7/10

Vine Post: Spaghetti Ragu

This week, we decided to do something with that free sauce we picked up at the Foodies Festival. We wanted to create something based around a ragu sauce, and went for this tasty spaghetti ragu number.

It’s very simple – no recipe to speak of, you just cook the veggies and mince together and then add the sauce. The spaghetti cooks separately, and when they are ready, you combine the two together. Give them a good mix and serve with garlic bread and a generous scattering of grated cheese on top. Done!

We used a load of veggies (green beans, onion, green pepper, mushrooms and peas) from our recent veggie box delivery, which we’ll be covering soon on the blog with a full review.

Asda Spicy Piri Piri Bean Burgers

Spicy Piri Piri Bean Burgers

This week, we decided to try the Asda Spicy Piri Piri Bean Burgers, which I was a bit apprehensive about. After all, look at all those chillis on the packet! In the end, I actually decided to forgo these in favour of some beetroot burgers which you’ll hear about soon. On the other hand, J was keen to give them a go, and after having a tiny nibble of his, we were able to cobble together a review between us.

Spicy Piri Piri Bean Burgers
Spicy Piri Piri Bean Burgers

As you can see, this is a classic veggie burger with big chunks of vegetables inside. It has quite a mushy texture overall contrasted against a firmer, crispy outer layer. There are chunks of sweetcorn, broccoli, onion, and cauliflower, as well as a soft butternut squash mash throughout. It has a slight taste of onion and is very aromatic. They are very filling, and quite thick, as you can see below. 

Spicy Piri Piri Bean Burgers
Spicy Piri Piri Bean Burgers

They are actually not too spicy until the aftertaste kicks in. At that point they are about the same heat as the Quorn spicy vegan burgers, which were far too much for me. J loves them, of course. They have a tingling on the tongue which finishes the aftertaste, if that gives you any indication of the spice. If you’re in doubt, I would advise staying away – they definitely deserve the 3 chilli rating!

Spicy Piri Piri Bean Burgers
Spicy Piri Piri Bean Burgers

ON THE VEGBURGE SCALE, I GIVE THIS…

TASTE – 6/10

PRICE – 5/10

REST OF EXPERIENCE – 3/10

Vine Post: Festive Carrot Soup

This one was a lot of fun to make – I love a festive carrot dish, and it was the first thing that we thought of after picking up this cranberry sauce at the Foodies Festival. As you know by now, I’m a soup lover – and in fact Black Friday brought us a new individual blender which we will be showing off next time we get the chance to make smoothies.

There’s really nothing sophisticated at all to this recipe, and you can chop and change it as much as you like. Here’s the bare bones for you to work with:

  • Take as many carrots as you like, peel and cut them up, and pour over MightyFineThings cranberry, sweet chilli, and honey sauce
  • Mix them with a chopped yellow pepper, a couple of garlic cloves, and some fresh rosemary
  • Put into a 180C fan oven for 30-40 minutes
  • Place into the blender
  • Meanwhile, cook a tin of cannellini beans in a frying pan until just browning
  • Blend it all together!
  • Add a drop or two of maple syrup
  • Blend to mix, then heat up again in the pan
  • Serve with delicious crusty, cheesy bread

We had a lot of fun with this one! The texture comes out quite grainy because of the carrots. If you want your soup to be smoother, then just cook the carrots for longer until they are totally soft. Careful – don’t let them burn!

Here’s the Vine so you can see how we did it:

Foodies Festival Christmas 2016

Our Foodies Festival haul

Hopefully by now you’ve seen our Foodies Festival highlights post from earlier this week! As promised, today we’re bringing you a more in-depth look at the show and the brands that we encountered there. First off, let’s start by saying that we both loved walking around the event and speaking to all of the new brands. Everyone we spoke to was lovely and there were a lot of fantastic foods to sample. 

Stalls at Foodies Festival Christmas
Stalls at Foodies Festival Christmas
Visitors browsing at the stalls
Visitors browsing at the stalls

We also managed to catch a few of the demonstrations that were going on, although it’s not usually the kind of thing I would stop for. It was actually quite interesting to watch a whoopie pie being made – I had one from Hummingbird Bakery and enjoyed it, but it was nowhere near as tasty as the samples that were available after the demonstration.

A demonstration in the chef's theatre
A demonstration in the chef’s theatre
Watching the big screens
Watching the big screens
Making whoopie pies
Making whoopie pies

Our Haul

We enjoyed a huge goodie bag of treats which we will be going through in a moment, and we also snagged a few bargains. One of the highlights of the event was the Riverford stand, where we definitely found ourselves in veggie heaven. Riverford is a company that delivers farm-fresh food right to your door, within a much shorter time span than the food on supermarket shelves. You can get various types of box delivered every week with no contract or commitment, and they are packed with fresh vegetables, fruits, and more. We ended up signing up for a veggie box, which we will be reviewing at a later stage, and were treated to some free fruits in a tote bag as a result.

Our Foodies Festival haul
Our Foodies Festival haul

So, what about the brands we picked up along the way? Here’s a quick overview of some of them! These are the items from our goodie bag, which we were happy to try out. There were Inspiral kale crisps, tomato and basil sauce along with some basil seeds from Seeds of Change, “mylk” with coffee from Rebel Kitchen, Nature Valley protein bars, and some fiery sweet chilli noodles.

Seeds of Change sauce
Seeds of Change sauce
Mylk from Rebel Kitchen
Mylk from Rebel Kitchen
Fusian Noodles
Fusian Noodles
Inspiral Kale Crisps
Inspiral Kale Crisps

When we went past the Wonky Fudge stall, it was all over for me. One bite of a sample and I knew I just had to have some. We picked up the Christmas fudge there and then, and J also nabbed some salted caramel fudge.

Wonky Fudge - Christmas
Wonky Fudge – Christmas
Wonky Kitchen - Salted Caramel Fudge
Wonky Kitchen – Salted Caramel Fudge

These sauces were running at a fantastic offer of 3 for £12, so we had to go for some. Mightyfinethings have put together a very interesting range of sauces, such as the mango sweet chilli and honey, which we absolutely needed in our cupboards. There’s also a cranberry version just for the festive season which we picked up too – look out for that in a recipe coming soon. We also fell in love with their apple and honey spiced balsamic. 

Mightyfinethings sauces
Mightyfinethings sauces

Finally, we also picked up this Pure Maple syrup. It does what it says on the tin and is absolutely delicious. We tend to use quite a bit of maple syrup when cooking, but I’ve got a feeling that this is going to be reserved for special occasions as it’s just so sweet and light.

Pure Maple
Pure Maple

All in all, the event was a lot of fun and definitely something we would attend again. When you can get huge bargains like this, and avoid the unpleasant crowding of shows at places like the NEC, it’s a no-brainer. The Truman Brewery venue was excellent and only partially killed me with going up and down the stairs, but in fairness we were carrying a very large amount of goodies!

Vine Post: Foodies Festival Highlights

We had a great time over the weekend at the Foodies Festival Christmas show, an event aimed at food lovers ahead of the festive season. You probably saw some of our exploits over on our Instagram story if you follow us there!

We’re going to be going into more depth on Wednesday about everything we saw and the brands that we were lucky enough to try. For now here’s a quick highlight reel from the event. 

This includes some of the stalls at the Truman Brewery venue, as well as a brief look at one of the shows in the cake making theatre. We ended up bringing back several bags full of food to try, so look out for some reviews and recipes coming up soon!

There were so many stalls to look at and a lot of the owners were happy to chat with you about anything. They had samples out for you to try and would explain the origin of their products, as well as what inspired them to start up the company. There were far too many brands to mention them all by name, but we did pick out a few favourites who you will be hearing about in our next post. 

There was everything from food delivery services, to flavoured alcohols, to sauces and vinegars, to cakes and sweets, to street food, and back again. We ended up not getting anything to eat at the show itself as a large percentage of the street food stalls were cooking meat alongside their veggie options, which is too big of a risk for me! We had plenty to keep us going with all of the samples however, and ended up heading to a late lunch/early dinner at The Blues Kitchen after the event. Yes, if you’re wondering – we had creole burgers again! 

Asda Mac ‘N’ Cheese Burger

Asda Mac n Cheese Burger

So here’s a new one. Mac n cheese… in a burger. We were half amused and half sceptical when we first spotted these in the supermarket. It’s a bit of an odd idea, so it would have to go either one of two ways. This has to be the best idea ever conceived, or the worst. 

Asda Mac n Cheese Burger Packaging
Asda Mac n Cheese Burger Packaging

Well, in reality, it’s probably somewhere on the mid-lower end of that spectrum. The burgers weren’t bad, per se. It’s nice to see something new on the shelves, and nice to try something new as well. But maybe macaroni cheese is something that is supposed to be served on its own, while a burger is something else entirely. And maybe we should start calling it macaroni cheese again instead of Americanising everything.

Asda Mac n Cheese Burger cooked
Asda Mac n Cheese Burger cooked

It’s certainly not as good as an actual macaroni cheese dish. The sauce just doesn’t have that strong cheesy taste that you expect. There is a lot of cheese in the breadcrumbs, but that’s kind of the opposite way around to how it should be. It needs more cheese overall to really earn the label. The texture of it is pretty weird – the breadcrumbs aren’t as crispy as you would have them on a normal burger or indeed a normal macaroni cheese. There is more crust than there is pasta – it’s certainly not as thick and full as you see in the image on the packaging. There is just one layer of pasta on the inside.

Asda Mac n Cheese Burger
Asda Mac n Cheese Burger

How to improve it? It definitely needs to be a thicker burger with more structure to it. Right now, it’s very crumbly and saggy, and it’s difficult even to transfer them from the baking tray to the plate without having them break into pieces. It’s too heavy to hold itself up, and this is after cooking in the oven. There is absolutely no way that you would get away with microwaving this.

All in all, this one promises much but leaves a lot to be desired.

ON THE VEGBURGE SCALE, I GIVE THIS…

TASTE – 4/10

PRICE – 5/10

REST OF EXPERIENCE – 4/10

Vine Post: Caramelised Onion and Spinach Open Quiche

Caramelised onion open quiche

We have another open quiche recipe for you this week! This time it’s caramelised onion and spinach. It’s a fairly simple recipe, but a bit more classic than our apple and cheddar version. 

Caramelised onion open quiche
Caramelised onion open quiche

I love the open quiche format because it’s all the tastiness of the filling without the fattening pastry. As much as I do love pastry, it’s just too much to eat on a healthy diet. That’s why we’re trying out a few of these recipes to come up with variations that we enjoy the most.

The recipe is below, as well as the Vine – so you can give it a go yourself!

Caramelised Onion & Spinach Open Quiche
Serves 2
A quiche without a crust!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 red onion, chopped
  2. 2 tablespoons garlic oil (other oils will also do)
  3. 2 large handfuls of spinach
  4. 7 cherry tomatoes, halved
  5. 1/2 teaspoon rosemary (chopped)
  6. 20g cheddar (grated)
  7. 4 eggs (lightly beaten)
  8. 100ml oat or coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Cook the onion in the oil for around 20 minutes. Take care not to let it burn (as I did!!)
  2. Place the tomatoes cut side down across the bottom of a baking dish, and cover with the onions.
  3. Wilt the spinach in your frying pan, then add over the top.
  4. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top of everything.
  5. Mix the eggs, rosemary and milk together and pour into the pan.
  6. Bake at 200C/180C fan in the oven until set in the centre for about 35 minutes.
VegBurge http://vegburge.com/

Announcement: Vine Changes and Going Forward

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As you may or may not be aware by now, Twitter recently announced that they are shutting down Vine. As we use this service for our weekly video posts, it’s clear we are going to need to make some changes! Going forward, we have put some plans into place. These will ensure that we can continue providing the videos alongside our recipes.

First of all, we are currently in the process of moving all of our Vines to a cloud server so that we have back-up copies. During this process we are also re-uploading them to Instagram. That is where they will live, at least for a little while, as we make the transition. When Vine does close its doors, we will be shifting every blog post over to an Instagram embed rather than a Vine embed.

We’re pretty upset to lose our Vine followers and statistics as these have been the backbone of our audience so far. With some of our videos reaching over 100,000 loops, it’s a big blow for us. But we’ve decided to take it on the chin and use this as momentum to get our standard higher than it already is.

To that end, we have plans to switch from mobile video to using a DSLR. Videos are going to be fully edited and posted on YouTube once Vine expires and we reach the end of our video backlog. We want to provide a smoother, more professional video process so that you can enjoy a polished product every week.

We’ll give you a heads up when we are ready to open up on YouTube, but for now, please go ahead and follow us on Instagram for the latest updates. It might be the end of Vine but it’s certainly not going to be the end of us!

Vine Post: Apple and Cheddar Open Quiche

This week we’ve got a lovely recipe with a bit of a twist! We love a good quiche but the pastry is just too fattening. In a bid to make it more healthy, the open quiche is rapidly becoming one of our go-to meals. This one is particularly interesting because of the inclusion of the apple. Paired up with strong cheddar and some Quorn vegetarian bacon, it’s a great choice for an autumn dish.

Here’s the Vine so you can see how we made it. Carry on scrolling down to read the recipe!

Apple and Cheddar Open Quiche
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 large apples (cored and cut into slices)
  2. 1 cup apple juice
  3. 4 strips of Quorn bacon (cut into small pieces)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon rosemary (chopped)
  5. 1 cup cheddar (grated)
  6. 4 eggs (lightly beaten)
  7. 1 cup oat or coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Simmer the apple slices in the juice until they just start to turn tender - about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the apples and put them across the bottom of a large baking tin or dish.
  3. Simmer the remaining juice until it is reduced to a couple of tablespoons. Pour it over the apples.
  4. Fry the bacon.
  5. Sprinkle the bacon, rosemary and cheddar cheese on top of the apples.
  6. Mix the eggs and milk together and pour into the pan.
  7. Bake at 200C/180C fan in the oven until set in the center for about 40 minutes.
Notes
  1. There's a lot of potential for variety here. Use apple cider instead of juice if you want a richer taste!
Adapted from Closet Cooking
Adapted from Closet Cooking
VegBurge http://vegburge.com/