This week’s review is Vivera’s Veggie Shawarma Kebab. It’s quite an intriguing prospect as, having been vegetarian for my whole life, I have no concept whatsoever of what a shawarma should be like, or indeed a kebab of any kind. So, despite the off-putting fact that the packaging contains the word ‘tasty’ twice in the same sentence, we gave it a try.
A new week, a new brand! This time around we’re trying the No Bull Burgers. Points for a funny name, although it’s fairly ironic since these are, in fact, trying to be something they’re not. Which I would argue is the ‘alternative’ meaning of Bull, if you get my drift.
Here’s another look at a frozen supermarket option: the smokey jalapeno burgers from Sainsburys. They are described as ‘mixed beans with a melting nacho sauce and a puffed rice coating’. The nacho cheese is kind of placed right on top of the bean burger, so that when it is cooked, it oozes out after you cut into the burger.
This week we’re looking at a burger we’ve eaten a fair few times. There was a period when Quorn or Linda McCartney were your only options for supermarket fare, though the market has expanded hugely since then and both brands have changed and updated their recipes.
This week, we’re looking at Tofurky’s deli ham, and whether it stands up to the standard of faux ham slices that we already eat.
The Tofurky range has steadily been expanding in our local supermarkets, so we’re always happy to give them a try when something new comes in. The ham is particularly exciting, because we already go through quite a lot of the Quorn ham and smoky ham products.
This week we’re pitting two types of faux chicken pieces against one another to find out which we like best!
We started out with the Tofurky pieces, as you can see here.
The interesting thing about these is that when you get them out of the box, they…
We’ve got a double bill for you this week, as we take a look at two items from the Sainsbury’s Love Your Veg range: their Mac & Jack (macaroni cheese with BBQ pulled jackfruit), and their Sweet Potato Katsu Curry with Sticky Rice.
As we picked these both up from their new range that we hadn’t tried yet, we decided to cook them both up at once – and review them at the same time, too. Let’s start with the katsu curry.
We’re kicking off with the Quorn Jambalaya. This was very spicy, with chunks of Quorn chicken in the tomato sauce with plain rice, sweetcorn, and peppers. It’s actually a pretty simple dish – very plain, and easy to put together yourself if you wanted to. Particularly since they’re just using their own Quorn chunks, when you think about it, this is basically just a fajita-style mix with fresh veg thrown in. And probably not even all that fresh.
In summary, it was just kind of boring. I wouldn’t bother buying it again. Why would I? I can make the same thing myself any night of the week, and it’s not even much harder or more time-consuming to do so.
The sausages were also spicy, with the chilli taste coming through strongly – but I’m not sure I could find the sweet part. Otherwise, this was really just a plain Quorn sausage. It’s so disappointing when a brand focuses on creating spice rather than flavour. There were also some herbs scattered throughout the mix, but these just make it like a normal Quorn sausage once again.
The verdict? I wouldn’t bother having these again either. Actually, more than wouldn’t bother: I didn’t like them. So, that’s a couple of busts for this review.
Ah well – now we know!
Two things, actually: first up, the Moroccan Spiced Bakes with Red Pepper and Apricot. While these technically make no claim towards being burgers, just look at them: they’re burgers.
They were the ones I liked the sound of the most from the packet, and they were quite tasty. They had a soft exterior and interior, which left them feeling a little bit mushy in the middle. The apricot pieces were chewy lumps scattered throughout the mixture, and the burgers were quite spicy too – almost like a curry taste.
There were also chunks of pepper and carrot throughout the burgers, which was somewhat of an odd choice. I can kind of see how these ingredients would go together in an actual curry with sauce, but in a burger, there’s not the same kind of texture or even flavour. It didn’t really work for me – it just seemed like an odd combination which didn’t go together.
It was kind of a shame, but after burying them inside bread buns, it was easier to ignore the flavour and just enjoy a bit of spice.
Now, onto the beetroot burgers! I was a bit leery of these as they do say on the packet that they contain “a hint of mint”. Now, I can’t stand mint – even the hint of it, usually – so I was worried that I was going to hate them.
On the other hand, I do love beetroot – but weirdly, the beetroot was very subtle, and there was also hardly any mint that I could detect – except for the fact that I could smell it. You might question whether my tastebuds had been dulled by the spicy bakes, but actually, I tried the beetroot burgers first.
The texture was much the same except for less mushy, and it was a reasonably solid burger with the ridges across the top doing little more than set dressing, as far as I could tell. This burger was probably the one I preferred off the two, but only because it wasn’t totally odd – there was actually hardly any impression at all left behind after I had eaten it. If I hadn’t made notes, I wouldn’t be able to tell you a thing about it.
On the Vegburge scale, I give this (bake – beetroot)…
Taste – 3/10 – 4/10
Price – 5/10 – 5/10
Rest of experience – 4/10 – 5/10
The mango chutney, disappointingly, does not ooze out as it does in the photo on the packaging. Which is a shame, because that looks like a lot of tasty mango chutney. As it is, the amount that was actually in the burger was so little that I hardly noticed it at all. You can barely even see it when you look at the burger from the inside.
Can you spot it? That tiny little splodge there that barely justifies inclusion on the front of the packet? It was sweet, but only if you managed to isolate a small amount on your fork – otherwise, forget about tasting it at all.
It was a somewhat fragrant taste, though there wasn’t a single flavour from the ingredients which I would say stood out from the rest. It was kind of herby; if I had to describe it in a word, I would probably say “green”.
There was quite a size disparity between the two burgers in the same packet, which was troubling. They were crispy in texture, and quite solid all the way through – not as crumbly as one might expect. All in all, they weren’t very much to write home about.
Which is a big shame, because the burger on the packet? I was excited to eat that burger. It just turned out that what was on the outside didn’t really represent what was on the inside.