Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trader Joe's Spotlight: Vegetable Masala Burgers

This past week during my usual Trader Joe's run, I picked up a few pantry essentials - and some items my boys love ( the frozen gorgonzola gnocci is a particular side dish favorite of theirs ) but I was also browsing for something new for me to try. Something I might enjoy eating  , something I might enjoy reviewing. 

When  I picked up the Vegetable Masala burgers, I frowned a bit, but picked up the package anyway. "Authentic Indian spices" - I've never been a huge fan of curry. It's okay - but not a favorite. Meatless burgers are also at best a Border Food ( one that is consumed very sporadically because it is a little too processed, a little too high in sodium, a little too Unclean for daily consumption ). So right off the bat - an Indian flavored meatless burger wasn't exactly triggering a warm fuzzy response from me. 

Ingredients: Potatoes, canola oil, carrots , green beans, water, bread crumbs ( wheat flour, sugar , yeast, salt ), bell peppers, onions, corn, salt, green peppers, sugar, ginger, cellulose gum, spices, citric acid, tumeric, and mustard seeds.

A bit long - but all fairly Clean. The addition of salt and sugar almost made me put it down, but I didn't. 
The nutritional information was fairly strong. 

Per patty:
Calories: 120
Fat: 8 g ( probably from the canola oil )
Sodium: 360 mg ( Not terrible for a premade burger like this, but definitely Borderline.
Carbs: 12g 
Sugar: 1 g ( Huh, they added sugar, but even with the sugar from the potato in there, it is still only 1g? Not bad. )

 So with a slight "These aren't exactly what I want but I will settle for them" air, I put them in my basket and headed for the checkout. 

Wow - I'm glad I did. These burgers are delicious! The Indian spicing is flavorful, not cloying and over the top. The consistency of the burger is moist and interesting. It isn't dull and lifeless. The cooking directions given are to heat them in a lightly oiled skillet until hot, or put them on a "barbeque", oiled, and grill on both sides until hot. I chose to heat them in the microwave, because I was at work and that is all I had available to me - and I think they came out just fine. 

When you pull the burgers from the package, you can clearly see the chunks of vegetables in them, and I liked that aspect a lot. The vegetables weren't ground into a paste to hold everything together. I feel this is a plus; I could recognize my food. 

I will definitely buy these again, but I do recognize these aren't something I would or should eat on a weekly basis. These will be an "every once in a while" addition to my menu. A very tasty addition - every once in a while...