This vegan nacho burger was a winner

I’ve tried plenty of faux meats, and few have matched the taste and texture of the real thing. Not that these grain- and soy-based products are unappetizing, but most fall short of the enjoyment I receive from a nice, hand-made beef patty.

You’ve probably heard about “Beyond Beef” through restaurant TV ads hyping this alternative to those of us choosing a more plant-based diet. A visit to their website also features a long list of shareholders and champions that includes celebrities like Shaquille O’Neil, Lindsey Vonn, Snoop Dogg, and Leo DiCaprio.

Not one to be swayed by this kind of name dropping, I chose to find out for myself, ordering a Beyond Beef burger at a local A&W – and was pleasantly surprised. It did, as advertised, have the juiciness, taste and texture of real meat. And was equally satisfying.

So I was pleased when Vince’s Market began carrying it.

Beyond Beef’s protein clocks in at a solid 20 grams per serving, there’s no soy or gluten – and no GMOs. They use peas, mung beans and rice for protein, beets for the reddish hue, and coconut oil and cocoa butter for the marbling like you’d find in conventional ground beef.

Currently, I’m moving towards more plant-based meals, so this seemed an ideal time to try a recipe from the company website. Here’s the link to their “Beyond Nacho” burger.  Ingredients are as follows:

  • 4 Beyond Burger patties (2 packages)
  • ½ head iceberg lettuce, shredded (Romain or Boston will also do)
  • 1 ½ cups fresh Pico de Gallo (salsa works)
  • 3 cups tortilla chips
  • 5 cups vegan nacho cheese
  • 6 slices vegan bacon
  • Pickled jalapeno, sliced
  • 3 cups fresh guacamole
  • 4 sesame buns

The burger recipe included directions for vegan nacho cheese, but we simply melted slices of “Sheeze” vegan cheddar over each patty. These were a hit with my wife and daughter, not to mention saving time fiddling around with coconut milk, yeast and tapioca in trying to make your own.

As for the vegan bacon, I chose Yves veggie strips, which crisped up nicely in the frying pan. Lastly, I put a tray of Alexia, chipotle-flavoured sweet potato fries in the oven, a perfect complement to any burger – plant-based or otherwise.

Verdict: this one was a winner. The tortilla chips and bacon strips delivered a nice crunch, atop the piquant fresh salsa. And along with the lettuce and mild cheddar vegan cheese, the combination of tastes and textures left no need for any of the traditional burger toppings.

Even my carnivore son was hoping for seconds. But with only two patties per package, there were just enough for my family of four.

Until next time…

— Neil

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