Sainsburys Smokey Jalapeno Burgers

Sainsburys Smokey Jalapeno Burgers

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. read more

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Cauldron Aduki Bean Melts (with Mango Chutney!)

Cauldron Aduki Bean Melts

This one is a bit of a mouthful, but we’ll give it a go: we’ve tried the Cauldron Aduki Bean Melts, Made with Aduki Beans, Spinach, Mushroom and Aromatic Spices, Filled With Mango Chutney. I’d like to point out that I added my own punctuation there. Some brands just aren’t mindful of their grammar.

 

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.

On the Vegburge scale, I give this…

Taste – 2/10

Price – 4/10

Rest of experience – 3/10

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Cauldron Vegan Sausages

Cauldron Vegan Sausages

We promised more Cauldron reviews, and here we are! This time, we’re checking out the Cauldron vegan sausages.

They have a wide range of sausages available, so it’s always a tiny bit disconcerting when something is named “vegan” rather than being given a flavour. Like, what kind of flavour is vegan anyway? Is it a taste I’m supposed to recognise? Anyway, we’re going to look at some of their other sausages later on, so we’ll see why they’re so special they get their own names.

Meanwhile, back to the sausages in question. We froze them and then cooked them in the oven according to the instructions, which ended up resulting in the sausages actually splitting open. This isn’t too uncommon I guess, but shows the structure of the sausages to begin with. 

They have a thick, chewy exterior layer which is a different texture to the inside. There, it’s all soft beans. It’s quite a nice contrast actually, and an enjoyable sensation when chewed. I have to give them props for that, especially when compared to the odd texture of their burgers.

The interior was made up of flavourful vegetables of various kinds, and I could certainly taste the haricot beans and tomato pesto – though perhaps more tomato than pesto. There’s a slight spice to them as well, though not too much as to be unpleasant or to undermine the taste.

Overall, I enjoyed these enough to say I would confidently buy them again. They’re a good plate-filler and I’m sure would be well suited to a summer barbecue as well.

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Cauldron Vegan Burgers

Cauldron Vegan Burgers

We’ve been trying out some new ranges ever since I decided to try going dairy-free, and a lot of the go-to items we were relying on turned out to contain milk. I couldn’t believe how much Quorn was full of it, so I was delighted to find these Cauldron vegan burgers. They have a full vegan range, so we’ll be featuring some of the rest soon! 

Meanwhile, let’s get down to the burgers. They look simple enough, taking the vegetable burger side of things rather than vegetarian burger, if you know what I mean.

Eating them is a different story. I found these burgers exceptionally odd, in almost all ways. The thick texture is very weird, and I’m not sure what they were thinking when creating it. There is a strong and overwhelming garlic taste, which all but drowns out the other flavours that struggle to break through.

There are chunks of vegetables visible as well as twisting strands of spinach, but honestly, it could all be some incredible art project where pieces of garlic have been died and shaped to represent other foodstuffs for all the difference it makes to the flavour.

The interior is very soft, almost to the point of being creamed, even with those veg chunks inside. Overall, this is not very enjoyable at all. Vegan it may be, but palatable it is not. Needless to say, I won’t be going back for another serving of these.

On the Vegburge scale, I give this…

Taste – 1/10

Price – 4/10

Rest of experience – 2/10

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Strong Roots Kale and Quinoa Burgers

Strong Roots Kale and Quinoa Burgers

This week, we’re chatting about the Strong Roots kale and quinoa burgers. We picked them up in our local Waitrose, but we hear tell that they are also available in Tesco and beyond.

Here’s what they have to say about their product:

Our Kale and Quinoa Burgers are a vegan friendly, low sugar and a low saturated fat alternative for your meals. With its crisp quinoa crust, mixed vegetables and no-artificial flavours, they bake to a tasty and crisp burger. They are suitable for a variety of uses such as a starter, a side or simply as a burger in a bun! 
• Low saturated fat
• Low sugar 
• Vegan friendly

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Fry’s Meat Free Traditional Burgers

Fry's Meat Free Traditional Burgers

This week we decided to give Fry’s a try. Fry’s isn’t available in our local supermarket but we did find a wide range at Holland and Barrett, of which these Fry’s meat free traditional burgers were one.

You cook them by frying, which makes sense given the name. We popped them into a pan with some FryLight and gave them a try, served up with some Quorn bacon and rice for an impromptu weeknight meal that was quick and easy to make.

Generally speaking, there wasn’t much to find exciting or different about either the taste or the texture. They are very thin, and have a bouncy, chewy texture which is about what you would expect from any burger of this type. They taste, well, about the same as all of the other brands that we have tried as well.

There is nothing much to set them apart from the crowd, except from one big downside: the fact that they aren’t stocked in supermarkets. As anyone who has shopped in H&B must have noticed, they tend to put their prices up pretty sharply, especially when they are the only stockists of a particular product. That means that these burgers felt a little more expensive than the similar brands we would normally buy. With that in mind, it doesn’t feel like we have a compelling reason to ever go and pick them up again.

ON THE VEGBURGE SCALE, I GIVE THIS…

TASTE – 5/10 

PRICE – 3/10 

REST OF EXPERIENCE – 5/10

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Asda Crispy Lemon & Pepper Chicken Style Burgers

These lemon and pepper chicken style burgers from Asda seemed kind of intriguing when we saw them in the frozen section, so we decided to give them a go. They don’t look hugely exciting – after all, plenty of other brands produce this kind of burger – but we thought, who knows? These could be the best of the bunch, and we won’t know until we give them a try.

It turns out that, although lemon and pepper may receive top billing on the packaging, in actual fact they aren’t the main event. The lemon and pepper flavour is actually quite faint, although there is quite a spicy peppery aftertaste on some bites. I suspect it’s because the breadcrumb exterior actually has pepper in it, while I’m not sure where the lemon is hidden.

The inside of the burger is quite a juicy, chicken style, chewy layer. The breadcrumbs are not as crispy as I had expected given the name, but they were just a little crispy. Probably, you can achieve a higher level of crisp by overcooking them, although that might not work wonders for the flavour. The breadcrumb layer varies in texture and shape, which is at least a nice touch.

All in all, there’s not an awful lot to say about these. They are slightly crispy, slightly lemony, quite peppery, chicken style burgers. They don’t fully do what they say on the tin, and they don’t have enough going for them to really impress.

ON THE VEGBURGE SCALE, I GIVE THIS…

TASTE – 5/10 

PRICE – 4/10 

REST OF EXPERIENCE – 5/10

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Quorn Fishless Fingers

Quorn fishless fingers

This is a review I have almost been dreading, because these Quorn fishless fingers were honestly one of the worst things I have ever eaten. I don’t know who came up with these, but they are completely grim on all levels. 

Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so, as several fellow vegetarians have commented the same to me. The thing is, most people who turn vegetarian really aren’t interested in fish. It seems that those who are remain pescatarian, for the most part at least. Fish is that thing you hold your breath while you walk past in the supermarket. It’s something other people eat. It’s gross and stinky.

These fish fingers have managed to do a fantastic job of also being gross and stinky. Even from the first moment I smelt them cooking I had a very uneasy feeling about them. They just smell awful, and that wasn’t much of a good reason to put them on my plate.

A couple of bites in, and I already knew I never wanted to eat these ever again. Basically, they are just way too fishy for me. Which is a compliment in a weird way, if you think about it. They have a very strong taste which overwhelms anything else, and a firm texture. There is also a strong breaded layer on the exterior.

It just took a few mouthfuls for me to feel sick about eating these. Safe to say I won’t be buying these again – or any fake fish product, for that matter. J says they do taste like real fish, which is even more of a reason to ignore them for the rest of my life as far as I’m concerned.

I’m unable to recommend this product at all – totally disgusting and I may actually be scarred for life now. 

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Battle of the Burgers: Best Sauce + Burger Combo

This week we’re launching a new feature on the blog: Battle of the Burgers! This is your chance to see who is the ultimate winner in the sauce and burger combo category out of all of the options we’ve tried before.

First up, round one!

ROUND ONE: Asda Beetroot and Root Vegetable Burger vs Asda Red Pepper and Chickpea Brazilian Grills

This was a tough category to start off with. First we have the beetroot burgers, which I confessed in my review I am very partial to.

Then there are the Brazilian grills, a very different kind of burger with a VERY different kind of taste.

My final verdict on these was that the grills were better off without the sauce, whereas the beetroot burgers were better with it. That’s a compelling argument for our winner, and the scores back it up. The grills scored 2 less points on taste, the same on price, and 2 less on the experience. 

Final scores: Brazilian grills 15/30, beetroot burgers 20/30.

 

ROUND TWO: Asda Sweet Potato and Kale Nut Bakes vs Asda Mushroom and Spinach Polenta Bakes read more

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