I don't eat much processed food for two reasons, health and money. I feel best eating real food, and most processed vegan, especially organic is way out of my range. But about once a month, I let myself have some kind of treat, especially if I spot a sale. I do enjoy having something easy in the freezer for those times when cooking just isn't going to happen.
Well, I noticed a sale on Gardein products awhile ago, and decided to try the Chipotle Black Bean Burgers. That flavor was new to me, and I was surprised to see that they are gluten free, and also the ingredients aren't too funky.
When I decided to have one for dinner, I was impressed to see that there are whole black beans, and pieces of red pepper, and corn. I cooked mine in the oven, and it was quick and easy as convenience food should be. I stuffed my burger in a pita with some shredded romaine lettuce, and some Just Mayo mixed with some hot sauce. Wow, it was beyond my expectations. I've had other Gardein products so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed, but wow, these were everything I've ever wanted my homemade black bean burgers to be, and more. I love the pop of corn kernels in veggie burgers, especially with the flavor of chipotle. I am a spice fan, so I didn't find these spicy, I found them to be more smoky. And they were a great texture, crispy but no too crispy on the outside, and soft but definitely not mushy on the inside. They are a little bit oilier than some other veggie burgers, but again, it is a treat, so to me not that big of a deal. It would be great with tomato and avocado, and if you were feeling really flush, some Daiya pepperjack cheese. But as I said, it was delicious in a more basic presentation as well.
All in all I think this burger is great to have on hand. It tastes great, and it's a nice balance of being not to healthy, but also not to healthy. And I know I will never make a black bean burger this good myself, so it's great to have this choice. And I think if you know a meat eater who is a fan of tex- mex flavors, I think this would impress. You can't deny good flavor, and these burgers aren't trying to be meat, they are proud to represent the humble black bean.
Again I think it is important to support companies like Gardein, because they are making some delicious vegan foods, that just plain taste good, vegan or not. And at this point the vegan choices need to appeal to non- vegans in order to save animals. I think Gardein is doing that. This burger had bold flavor, and it was juicy in a way that other vegan burgers are not.
If you are looking for a great meatless option for Labor day, I say give these a try. The instructions say they are great for grilling, and they are great in an oven if you get rained out!