One inquisitive omnivore’s journey towards healthier and more compassionate eating…

(Click here for why I started)

(MEATLESS/VEGETARIAN/VEGAN) July 4th pretty much kicks off cookout season for me. It’s one of the best pastimes of the summer. Only now I’m trying to say no to my favorite barbecue fare—the cheeseburger. So once again, I’m in search of a delicious and satisfying meat-free option.

I’ve already sampled MorningStar Garden Veggie Patties, which I enjoyed, Burger King’s Veggie Burger, which I loved, Quorn’s Vegan Burger, I also liked, and even one I made from scratch with chickpeas and beets, which was delicious, but a lot of work. As much as I enjoyed each of these, none of them quite measured-up to a cookout cheeseburger.

Next up…Organic Sunshine Burgers.

Organic Sunshine Burgers are soy free, gluten free and vegan. They come in a variety of flavors including barbecue, garden herb, shitake mushroom and black bean South West (as pictured above.)/Photo credit: Lisa Singer
Organic Sunshine Burgers are soy free, gluten free, and vegan. They come in a variety of flavors including barbecue, garden herb, shitake mushroom, and black bean South West (as pictured above.) Photo credit: Lisa Singer

I had been eyeing them in the display freezer at the market when a very fit woman walked up and basically guilted me into trying them. She raved that she doesn’t even like veggie burgers but LOVES these and that I had to get the Black Bean South West flavor. I figured why not?

As healthy as she appeared to be, she was definitely a good representative of the product, and she certainly painted an enticing picture. So I bought them.

When I got home I was starving, so I immediately read the directions on how to prepare my Organic Sunshine Burger. I could cook it on the stove top, in a toaster oven, on a grill or a microwave. I opted for the quickest and nuked it for one minute.

The vegan burger was a little mushy, but it had a delicious, zesty aroma. I placed it on my whole wheat bun and topped it with guacamole and a tomato slice.

Organic Sunshine's zesty Black Bean South West burgers are a good source of fiber and protein./Photo credit: Lisa Singer
Organic Sunshine’s zesty Black Bean South West burgers are a good source of fiber and protein. Add guacamole, tomato, and a whole wheat bun for a hearty vegan meal. Photo credit: Lisa Singer

I should have read the ingredients first.

It actually had a nice flavor to it except for that one ingredient I can’t stand—cumin. There it was as plain as day on the ingredients’ list:

Organic ground raw sunflower seeds, organic cooked brown rice, organic carrots, organic cooked black beans, organic paprika,
organic cumin, organic onion, organic garlic, organic green pepper, sea salt, organic cilantro, organic jalapeno pepper

So unfortunately I can’t say the Black Bean South West vegan burger was a success. Though in fairness to Sunshine Burgers it’s not their fault.  Since I don’t like anything made with cumin they didn’t really have a chance. On the other hand, if you do like cumin you might want to give them a try.

They’re vegan, gluten free, soy free, and organic. Also, as I said, the South West style was pretty tasty if it wasn’t for the cumin. As for me…I’ll continue on my search for the perfect vegan and/or vegetarian burger. Maybe I’ll even try another one of Organic Sunshine’s flavors – the Shitake Mushroom sounded good.

— Lisa Singer, exclusive to Global Animal

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