I will be honest, this January has been the exact same January as all the previous January’s. The only exception being we now have Vegenaury. However, this also means trying more Vegan/ Vegetarian food (shout out to all Vegetarians, I have not forgotten you) because it’s the talk of the whole country right now. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying some vegetarian burgers which I am fond of. This review will be covering Mae’s Kitchen Vegetarian 2 Superfood Burgers available in Aldi’s.
Before I start, I have had some mixed opinions on plant-based foods thus far. I have reviewed Quorn Meatless Crispy Nuggets (review here) and I have not bought it again. At work we taste-tested Subway’s meatless-meatball marinara between some colleagues. My vegetarian colleague said it tasted too much like meat. Too me it tasted too much like cardboard. So yer, the meatless stuff for me has not been so great. But I still do like the vegetarian based burgers that don’t try to taste like meat.
So let me discuss these Mae’s Kitchen Vegetarian Burgers from Aldi because it’s pretty good for the price (£1.29!) and it’s made from actual ingredients that you might use to make burgers. This point is important because as I mentioned from my review of Quorn’s Meat-Free Crispy Nuggets, I questioned the ingredients used for meat-free products. So when I came across this vegetarian burger it was effectively a Bean Burger made with the trendy type of food you might see.
I have tried lots of veggie burgers in my time and I actually do enjoy them because of the creative flavours you can get. Me and Mrs Reviews even made some burgers from kidney beans once and it was good. So these Aldi’s version was interesting because it comprised of Butternut Squash, Giant Cous Cous, Quinoa and Red Pepper. That itself is a pretty good combination although my expectation was a little low because of the number of understandable reasons. I was just not expecting an inexpensive product from Aldi to taste great that wasn’t in there Specially Selected range.
The great thing when you set your expectations low is that you will enjoy something a lot more then you think. Even if it was not that spectacular. These burgers were more than alright with some tweaking of course. I made them as a late Sunday dinner on a really cold but sunny day in January. We had a late but quite filling lunch and I was delaying having dinner as I was quite full. A meat burger was going to be too much but a vegetarian one didn’t sound bad. We picked up a pack from Aldi as a backup option for a day we wanted a simple dinner. I donned the chef hat and beard hat that Sunday evening but my creativity got the better of me as always.
The instructions on the box advised cooking the burgers in the Oven for 27 minutes from frozen. Our oven was acting up because Mrs Reviews made a little boo-boo so I just put these on a pan with a little bit of salted butter. It didn’t take long, about 5 minutes each side. The burgers were quite large, so I kept the heat medium to low to ensure it cooked all the way through. I would recommend not touching the burger when cooking because it was quite delicate especially when I was flipping it over.
I didn’t want to have these plain so I sliced some gherkins for some little sharp acidity, sliced cucumber for crunch and Japanese mayo for some creaminess. We got some seeded brioche buns from Aldi too, I have spoken highly about anything brioche from Aldi from my Top 5 best buys under £1.00 list (you can check that list here).
The actual taste of the burger was pretty good although not with any strong flavours within. It just needs some sort of kick and not the spice type. I don’t know what it is but if I knew I would be some millenial burger connoisseur. As again, our expectation was low so it was all fine. It was definitely like the old-school bean burgers with the similar soft, mushy texture inside. Although you need to be handling this burger carefully it held together well enough. Now I said it lacked any strong flavours and I realised this when I read the ingredients used to form the burger. Therefore, I actually enjoyed adding thing like gherkins and cucumber to just enhance the taste by quite a bit.
The burger itself was quite filling too due to its size as I mentioned earlier. I also give it points that it held together well even though I gave it no chance at first. Mrs Reviews was pleasantly surprised by this burger and I think it brought back some memories of having bean burgers from places where it was not halal. I was impressed this was all done with things like quinoa and couscous and gave me a little inspiration to maybe try to make something similar one day. I would even buy these again but get more creative by adding some jalapenos and even some nachos into the burger.
To cap it off, these inexpensive Aldi burgers kind of get a thumbs up. The thumb is not directly at 12 O’Clock, more like 10.45 if that makes sense. It probably does not make it to our weekly meal plan or shopping list. Probably a good food to have in the freezer when looking for a quick easy dinner. Let’s call it a reliable bench warmer.