Social Nature: Kim’s Simple Meals, Organic and Gluten-Free Homestyle Burger #Review

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I celebrate Meatless Mondays, so I am always seeking out meat alternatives being that I do enjoy meat on other days. My goal is always to get 3 days out of the week where my protein source comes from anything else but an animal. This means I have had many hits and sadly many misses. My Husband is a carnivore and there is no bringing him to the lighter side of meatless meals, so I need something that is easy to prepare while I am making two different dinners in one evening. I am all for working and cooking, if the product delivers in texture and taste,

I had seen Kim’s Simple Meals at my local Sprout’s Farmers Market, but it seems the stock never moved. The boxes even began to gather dust, so when I received the invite to try the first of two, of the Kim’s Simple Meals…..I must admit my feelings were mixed. I looked at reviews and Amazon had a 50/50 ratio when it came to positive versus negative reviews. It took a while to get the coupon for the free product, and in that time Amazon dropped all the products and just carried the Breakfast Sausage from Kim’s Simple Meals. Sprout’s continued to support the brand and when the coupon arrived, finding it was a cinch.

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Kim’s Simple Meals differs from other products like it. So many use soy protein heavily and artificial boosters to gather a protein number worthy of advertising. Kim’s Simple Meals are Gluten-Free and Vegan Friendly, so no animal anything in this. Ingredients are also Organic, Kosher and Non-GMO friendly. Then there is other factors like these burgers being Dairy-Free. Lot’s of “free from” products and I worried if this meant free from flavor or even texture. The box states burger, so I expect a burger-like product.

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Ingredients: Oats*, garbanzo bean flour*, flax seed*, yeast flakes* (yeast autolysate* with rice flour* and sea salt), sea salt, tamari powder* [(soybeans*, salt), maltodextrin*, and salt], garlic powder*, spices*, onion powder*, dutched cocoa powder*, tomato powder*, natural smoked torula yeast, natural hickory smoke flavor [potato maltodextrin, natural hickory smoke flavoring, hydrated silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent). *Organic  .  Soy ingredients is listed and I noticed it comes from the Tamari Powder.

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Verdict:
As you can see, this is not a soy filled product that can sometimes cause bloat and discomfort. Yes, you fill full but also uncomfortable. You have oats and a bean as a source of protein listed first. Next, comes other ingredients to even cocoa powder! Everything is familiar and real when it comes to the ingredients I recognize. The idea is just to hydrate the product and then make your burgers. Pretty simple. I notice water was listed and you can add ingredients to both add flavor and texture to the product. The biggest complaints I saw when it came to other reviews, was the lack of flavor and to the product being high in oats. Upon opening the box, I do agree the oats visible is higher than I desire. The video on Kim’s Simple Meals website, shows burgers being made with mushrooms, plus onions and other ingredients. You can even add walnuts it states. Barbecue sauce was another addition I saw too. So, I began to look at Kim’s Simple Meals as “starter meals”. I am not new to this method and think of quick bread boxes to even “starter sauces” you pick-up at the store. Same idea. I added red and green bell peppers, red and yellow onion, plus a medley of mushrooms. I even grated some carrots, added Edamame and I went more with an Asian style base versus an American style Burger. For me, the mix was already very far away from a Veggie Burger you get at the store or are familiar with, so why push the product into something it does not even resemble? I added a soy sauce and miso mix to create a hydrating base (water) that would not only plump the ingredients, but also add flavor. Everything was sauteed first and I then lastly added the Home-style Burger base from Kim’s Simple Meals. Okay, it smelled pleasant. I opted for small meatballs in the oven that I basted with Soy Vay, a marinade/stir fry sauce mixed with sesame oil. The house quickly filled with these smell of these Asian style meatballs and it smelled good. I basted a total of 3 times and this made the meatball move around, so it created a nice round shape versus a one-sided flat meatball. The oil allowed for a crisp exterior to build up when it was baking, and using the convection mode and baking on parchment paper, made the cooking process an easy clean up. The taste test? Well, they tasted very good and have a meaty/oatsy texture. I could not imagine using the box’s contents as-is. Like no way! It’s workable but I have to be frank, this was a boxed meal that I fixed up and these are ingredients I always have in hand, so it’s a great way to use up perishables but I am unsure if I would seek Kim’s Simple Meals burger box again. I found myself not craving it and I consider that a test when it comes liking a product. Yes, I made it work but should a product be worked up so much that it no longer resembles it’s beginning….because in the first place you read it never would? Probably not. It’s a start like I said and it’s a meal from a box that is better ingredient wise than others, but not exactly a yummy Home-style burger like it says on the box.

Connect with Kim’s Simple Meals at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kim’s Simple Meals and Social Nature. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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Go Beyond the Bun with MorningStar Farms

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Before you say “Where’s the meat?”,  please take a moment and give it a chance. I am a meat eater and a veggie lover, I also believe when you want a burger, you get a burger. I have tasted meatless products in the past and because they try to imitate an animal product without being one, they fail at being beefy and worse, they are not even a good tasting veggie meal. I was a little nervous and even thought, “Maybe I should have declined this campaign”. I eat vegetables daily and in huge quantities so I am picky and especially when it comes to a frozen product. To get an idea of what I like to eat so you can see where my palette lands in all this, I love Fresh & Easy’s stir fry mix to their Broccoli bags and these all come from the freezer section. I also pick up 2 heads of fresh broccoli, and other vegetables, at my local market because I know it will last me a week and the second week I go frozen. It’s my way to balance freshness and convenience without sacrificing my need and want for vegetables.

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So, I pick up what I call the “original” Garden Veggie Patties. I figure if they do the original right, I then will give their other varieties a try in the future. I have a meat-less meal once a week and it’s not planned but sometimes I just don’t want meat or fish. I know, I’m a girl with bunny rabbit habits. The patties are just 110 calories per serving, 350 mg of sodium with 10 grams of protein. Okay, a little high on the salt but I have seen much worse and I don’t consume large quantities through out the day so I am safe.

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The ingredients:
I looked and the first is Vegetables. Okay, I expected water or some tofu but it states Vegetables and the mix equates to mushrooms, water chestnuts, onion, carrots, green bell peppers, and black olives. Next comes the soy protein. You then have wheat gluten, water for hydration, egg white, cooked brown rice, rolled oats to corn oil. Then comes soy sauce and other items like jalapeno pepper powder, celery extract to garlic powder, and a touch of sugar. Mostly, things I can identify, pronounce, and my brain can retrieve an image to the name! My patty will not be glowing in the dark from chemicals so that is a good thing!

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Is it good?
I saw the ingredients and minus the jalapeno pepper powder (I thought I would just think chili flakes for that one), I thought why bun it when I can pan-fry it and add it to my stir-fry. You got water chestnuts and soy sauce so I’m already there! I fried with just 1/2 teaspoon of peanut oil and sesame oil. I added no sauce or anything else and when it was done, I used the remainder, plus a 1/4 teaspoon of oil (peanut and sesame) to fry my veggies. I added a tablespoon of Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce to my vegetables and I’m done. I plate it with a Jasmine rice I made two days ago, that I added Edamame (frozen) too. Then topped it with the veggies, cut up the Morning Star patty into bite size, a dash of sesame seeds and I’m done. I then go crazy with the Sriracha Sauce and chili flakes but that is another blog post.

The Verdict:
I would buy these patties again. Found myself craving them a few days later and they settled well. Very filling and flavorful. I would say this is the best tasting vegetable and soy protein I have had and not to sound like everyone, it had a chicken like texture and taste. I don’t know if that was the intention but yummy is yummy! I also liked how quick and well they fried up with very little oil. I had that whole golden brown action going that tasted great when you ate it. The product is not so overly milled that it resembles just patties made from baby food. MorningStar Farms treated me like and adult and I see the bell pepper and pieces of real food in the patty. Loved them and I can’t wait to try their other selections. They had some that were flavored more towards the Italian to Mediterranean cuisines. I even saw a breakfast sausage……do I dare? These were so good that I’m game!

I received the above product from BzzAgent and my only commitment is to provide an honest review.  I have no obligation of sharing a favorable (or unfavorable) opinion.  The above statement are my own opinion based on my experiences with the product.  Your opinion may differ from mine.

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