Even though I’ve never operated a grill in my life (other than opening or closing it for the griller on occasion), I love everything about barbecue season. The smell and sound of chicken, burgers, steak, ribs, you name it sizzling to perfection… it’s a sensory experience that’s been seared into my memory since childhood (hehe, sorry I had to).
The bad news is 1) grilling out isn’t always an option, especially if you’re a city dweller like me, and 2) as much as I love a real-deal burger, it doesn’t love me back in the name of health.
The very best news though—I found a plant-based burger that is legit the closest thing to a traditional burger! IMO, it’s even better than an Impossible or Beyond Burger. REALLY. TRULY. And it resembles a beef patty in appearance before AND after cooking!!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…Trader Joe’s Protein Patties!
So while you coulddd make these bad boys on the grill, I followed the stovetop directions of 3-4 minutes per side on medium heat and was not disappointed. Piled onto a multigrain sandwich thin with the same toppings I usually put on a burger (cheese, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, mayo… missed the pickles this time), it was hands down the tastiest lunch I’ve had in a long time!
To me, there are a few factors that make these patties stand out from the other ones on the market:
The texture and taste are unmatched. I don’t know how Trader Joe’s did it, but they did it. It’s so much juicier than you’d expect (unless you overcook it, I suppose?)
They are to be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days. It literally states this on the packaging. I can understand how some people might be a little annoyed by the short (fridge) shelf life, but it’s a good thing! Because…
Unlike most meat-free/plant-based burgers, the Trader Joe’s Protein Patties are NOT loaded with preservatives and fillers! When you can pronounce each of the 12 ingredients on the label, that’s a huge indicator that you aren’t getting any fake junk in your food. Despite these patties having a pea protein base, I promise you pea haters out there that you can’t taste those little greenies at all!
Given the meat shortage going on, Trader Joe’s could not have debuted these at a better time. Even if you’re not able to make it to one of their stores, I hope today’s post at least encourages you to expand your palate and protein repertoire. I also hope you’ll take a closer look at the ingredient labels of what you put in your cart to ensure that you’re feeding your body the wholesome, real, healthy stuff… most of the time 😉