I’ve reviewed veggie burgers like Hilary’s Eat Well before, and while I’ve had Sunshine Burgers for several years now, I haven’t had a formal review, or had a chance to try different flavors/varieties. I’ve been a big fan of their Sage and Hemp burgers (a very Earthy and sage-forward-tasting soft veggie burger) for a while, and even took them to our gluten-free-vegan BBQ last winter in Bisbee, AZ. Veggie burgers are so great to take camping because there’s less “ew, how long has that meat been sitting out of the cooler?” issues. Plus, since I don’t eat beef, a veggie burger is easier than having people agree on turkey burgers. We took some foil and our own pair of tongs and partied on with veggie burgers, including Sunshine Burgers, in tow.
So what makes Sunshine Burger special? They’re all about ingredients and health. “Our organic Sunshine Burgers are produced without the use of toxic, synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, and all our products are Non-GMO Project Verified. In fact, we were the first veggie burger company to become Non-GMO Verified…and we’re the #1 certified organic veggie burger in America! All flavors of Sunshine Burgers are free of gluten, wheat, soy, corn, oats, dairy, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts – and we never use genetically engineered ingredients.” And they’re tasty too!
When I had an opportunity to finally review Sunshine Burger from the company, I got my friend Raquel from The Frux (a vegan lifestyle site) to come nom on some veggie burger with me. Instead of just grilling and eating with some buns or lettuce wraps, we got a little inventive with it. If you know me, you know I love Chipotle. We basically tried to recreate their burrito bowls with using Sunshine Burger crumbles as the protein! Below is our fresh take on a salad bowl using Sunshine Burger!
We took two different approaches to cooking the burgers – on the stovetop in a pan and then on the grill (George Foreman grill here as it’s a bazillion degrees outside and ain’t no one got time for grilling outside). Both of them worked well, but we ended up having to cover the stovetop burgers 1) to keep them warm on either sides without burning and 2) keeping them somewhat moist but not letting the steam escape). The Loco Chipotle burgers are pictured in a pan and the original burgers are pictured below on the grill.
After getting the burgers off of the grill they were a little too hot to crumble by hand, so we cut them up with a knife. They’re both very soft inside, but kept their form after slicing up.
While the burgers were cooking and getting cut, we prepared the rest of our yummies that would go into our burrito bowl! Here’s the ingredients we used:
FOR THREE-FOUR “BOWL” SERVINGS
- 4 browned Sunshine Burgers (Loco Chipotle or Original varieties preferred)
- I bag or head of romaine lettuce chopped – add as much lettuce as you’d like to the bowls
- 2 cups of brown rice – I used Alter Eco red rice, about 1/2 cup for each bowl to taste
- I can of black beans, heated on the stove, about 1/4 cup each bowl to taste
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, washed and cut into large chunks, about 1/2 a tomato into each bowl
- 1 package of diced sweet peppers, washed and sliced small, to taste in each bowl
- 1 ear of sweet corn, slightly cooked, cut off of the cob, to taste for each bowl based on preference or allergies
- 1 package of pico de gallo salsa, 2 tablespoons each bowl, to taste. If you don’t like prepackaged salsa, you can make you own with tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos (with additional spices) to taste.
- 1 avocado, chopped and seasoned with salt and pepper, 1/4 of an avocado on top of each bowl
- Optional: Daiya cheddar shredded cheese or other cheese to top
What’s the verdict? We both loved the original burgers – great flavor, great texture. The Loco Chipotle was too hot for both of us (gee, we should have guessed with the “loco” part of the name), but non-GFBF liked it. The bowl was a great way to 1) eat the veggie burger without getting bored of a bun or lettuce wrap and 2) a great way to increase your plant intake (something the Frux is all about). The hardest part about this recipe was just chopping and dicing all the veggies, as the burgers were more of a “set it and forget it” type of item. While the cost was slightly less to Chipotle depending on the quality of the ingredients you purchased, it felt awesome to know that you could make it all yourself with a quick visit to the farmer’s market or Whole Foods before dinner!
When it comes to veggie burgers, the only brands that I have spent my own hard-earned money on have been Sunshine Burgers and Hilary’s Eat Well. Compared to Hilary’s Eat Well, Sunshine burgers are a softer burger, but their “original” ones are also much larger in size. I can put Hilary’s Eat Well in a toaster – although admittedly I haven’t tried it with Sunshine Burgers since it doesn’t state it on the packaging. They are very different flavors and textures between the brands, so both can easily fit in my arsenal of gluten-free vegan veggie burgers to keep on hand.
***DISCLAIMER: I received Sunshine Burger product to review without monetary compensation. All opinions are my own. I was given the opportunity to review through the Sweat Pink Ambassador community – part of Fit Approach LLC.***
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