Most of us don’t raise our own beef cattle, let alone slaughter them on the farm. Even vegetarians may crave a great burger from time to time, topped with homegrown tomatoes, lettuce and perhaps, homemade mayo. Burgers made with mushrooms, soy beans or beets, while delicious in their own right, often miss the texture or “meaty” taste of a beef burger. But with Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat, you can get the great flavor, taste and nutrition of a burger without ever having to take a bite into beef.
My wife and I had a chance to try Beyond Burgers at the National Restaurant Association’s NRA Show in Chicago recently and we picked up some more to try at home and with our very omnivorous son who’s become quite a beef burger connoisseur – especially for those sourced locally, raised on pasture and organic.
The Beyond Burgers are plant-based with the protein largely from peas, yet have more protein than a comparable beef-based burger. Interestingly, the Beyond Burger also has more calories, sodium and fat than a typical beef burger according to its nutrition label on the package. Beyond Burgers are free of antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, soy or gluten. As for taste, texture and flavor, they’re so good that my son wanted seconds. Vegans will love these.
The Beyond Burger can be grilled or fried in a skillet, with the patties turning from red to brown on the outside as they cook, staying firm. The burgers take about 3 minutes per side for cooking, sizzle like beef when fried, look like a burger between the bun after cooked -- and even “bleed,” thanks to the beet juice inside them.
Sold in either the refrigerated or frozen section of a grocery store, often in the meat section, Beyond Burgers can be found in many national chains like Whole Foods, Safeway and Kroger. They must remain refrigerated prior to use and completely thawed in the refrigerator prior to cooking.
“Our ingredients are sourced from well vetted and trusted vendors, some domestic and some international,” explains Allison Aronoff, Communications Manager for Beyond Burger. “Beyond Meat uses potato maltodextrin, which is non-GMO and while we aren't currently certified organic, we hope to secure certification in the future.” Beyond Meat is clearly on a mission to feed the planet while improving human health, conserving natural resources and lessening the impact of large-scale livestock on climate change by providing a delicious, plant-based burger alternative.
We came up with a few burger recipe variations that use our seasonal abundance at Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast, like cucumbers, garlic, tomatoes and spinach. Always looking for new ways to enjoy cucumbers, we love using Tzatziki sauce in the place of ketchup, relish and mustard for our Grecian Beyond Burger. Since we’re known for our German red garlic and are fortunate to have the Emmi Roth Cheese Factory in Monroe that makes many award-winning varieties of European style cheeses, we put the two together for our Cheesy Wisconsin Beyond Burger. Skip the cheese or substitute non-dairy options for yogurt and make either burgers completely vegan. We served both our versions on soft pretzel burger buns from Pretzilla.
Grecian Beyond Burger
• 1 medium cucumber, finely diced, draining away excess liquid
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• ½ cup Greek yogurt
• ½ tbsp lemon juice
• 1/8 cup fresh mint, chopped finely
• ½ tsp salt
• 4 pack Beyond Burgers
• 7-8 large spinach or lettuce leaves
• 1 large tomato, sliced
• 4 small pita rounds or brioche buns
Directions for tzatziki sauce:
In a small bowl, mix together the cucumber, garlic, Green yogurt, lemon juice, mint and salt.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.
Directions for Grecian Beyond Burger:
Prepare Beyond Burgers, following the package instructions.
On top of lower bun, add a layer of spinach or lettuce, then the grilled or fried Beyond Burger. Top the burger with a dollop of Tzatziki sauce, tomato slice and bun.
Cheesy Wisconsin Beyond Burger
Ingredients for Garlic Aioli:
• 1/3 cup mayonnaise
• 1 cloves, crushed
Directions for garlic aioli:
Mix thoroughly, mayonnaise, garlic and salt.
Refrigerate unused aioli for up to one week.
Ingredients for burger:
• 4 pack Beyond Burgers
• ¼ pound Roth Prairie Sunset cheese, sliced
• 1 large tomato, sliced
• 5-6 lettuce or spinach leaves
Directions for Cheesy Wisconsin Beyond Burger:
Prepare Beyond Burgers, following the package instructions. After flipping once, add slice of cheese to melt on top of the burger.
On top of lower bun, add a layer of spinach or lettuce, then the grilled or fried Beyond Burger with cheese. Top the cheeseburger with a dollop of garlic aioli, tomato slice and bun.
John D. Ivanko, with his wife Lisa Kivirist, have co-authored Rural Renaissance, Homemade for Sale, the award-winning ECOpreneuring and Farmstead Chef along with operating Inn Serendipity B&B and Farm, completely powered by the wind and sun. Both are speakers at the Mother Earth News Fairs. As a writer and photographer, Ivanko contributes to Mother Earth News, most recently, 9 Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living. They live on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin with their son Liam, millions of ladybugs and a 10 kW Bergey wind turbine. Read all of John's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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