a RAWky road

Food, health and fitness advice while vegan in a sad, S.A.D world.


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Field Roast Hand-Formed Burger Review – Giving Meat Eaters No Excuses – Again!

Gone are the days of cardboard cut-outs and mushy, squishy, fall-apart patties, these burgers are a “meat eater’s delight.” You know what I’m talking about. That’s not to say that those bean burgers and veggie patties aren’t delicious, but in no way do they successfully mimic the real deal in flavor or texture… unlike Field Roast’s Hand-Formed Burgers!

Girl……………. These straight up taste just like a real hamburger! Do you remember those? However, instead of consuming fear, antibiotics and hormones from a decaying animal carcass (sorry for the visual, but it’s so true), you’re sinking your teeth into a juicy, vegan, hand-formed burger.

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This was our 4th of July treat and hot damn they’re amazing! We baked them in our oven and served them al fresco on the patio, while enjoying the warm, summer weather.

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My first impression upon opening the package was of disappointment from the amount of solidified fat surrounding the patties. So, I took a towel and cleaned off the excess gunk, similar to the effect of towelling off a slice of pizza… Hey, every little bit helps.

These patties are dense, as in they are heavy and hold their shape. We don’t own a grill, so into the oven they went and once heated up they maintained their form even when held up by one end or tugged on; my initial disappointment was beginning to fade. Then came the tasting sample, I bit into that sucker like a caveman. What ensued was a flood of memories and emotions coupled with sheer elation!

“Holy fucking shit! This taste’s like a fucking burger!” I proclaimed while shoving the remainder of the patty into my eager to taste, yet not eager enough to choke, husband’s face. He took the patty from my hand and proceeded to calmly take a bite while giving me his best “I highly doubt that” face. Meanwhile, I was retrieving the packaging from the garbage to inspect the ingredients as disbelief had taken over that what I had just tasted was indeed plant-based and not animal.

“Oh, my God!” I heard my husband moan behind me. “Oh, my God!” I turned to see his eyes rolling into the back of his head the way… well, you know. “Oh, my God!” He scanned the empty kitchen, as if looking for someone to shake and yell “You’ve gotta try these, man!” Unfortunately, we were the only ones standing in the kitchen that afternoon, wide-eyed and dumbfounded by the discovery of the Holy Grail!

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Try them out! They’re hella expensive, but you shouldn’t be eating them on the regs anyways.

Try them!

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Bolognese Sauce

What you’ll need:

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Ingredients: 1 medium onion, 2 medium carrots, 3 medium stalks of celery, 1 Field Roast Italian Sausage (reviewed here), 1 large can of diced tomatoes, 1 small can of tomato paste, 3 fresh bay leaves, 1/4 cup fresh thyme.

Note: This recipe does not need any salt as there is plenty of sodium in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and sausage. I would have used salt-free tomato products, but I couldn’t find any, in which case I still would not have used additional salt as it is not needed.

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Equipment: Food processor, pot, cutting board, knife, wooden spoon.

Step 1:

Rough chop  onion, carrot, celery and sausage. This will allow the vegetables to pulse easier in the food processor. If you don’t have a food processor just chop the ingredients into a fine dice and skip to Step 4.

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Step 2:

Load your food processor with the onion, carrots, celery, sausage and thyme. Be sure that the bowl and blade are locked into position before you add your ingredients.

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Step 3:

Pulse. It’ll take a couple of goes to get it to the right consistency.  You want to make sure you incorporate all the ingredients, but not overdo it by making a paste.

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This is what it should look like.

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Step 4:

Toss the mixture into a pot and add the bay leaves. Use medium to high heat and stir repeatedly, avoiding sticking and/or burning.

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When the mixture has sweated for about 5 minutes it will look something like this…

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Step 5:

Add your can of diced tomatoes and the tomato paste.

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Mix it all in and simmer on a low heat for approximately 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

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 Voila!


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Field Roast Sausages

Discovered last year in our local Whole Foods Market, I will begin by saying that Field Roast is ahead of game when is comes to vegan meat substitutes. Their story begins in 7th Century China when vegetarian Buddhist monks experimented with wheat flour, thus discovering grain meat (a chewy, protein-rich substance) and providing an additional option to tofu. Over the years grain meat made its way to Japan where it was seasoned with traditional Japanese flavors and given the name Seitan. Soon enough European practices, as well as regional flavors were gaining interest, as well as a culture built on a foundation of grains. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that Seattle chef David Lee combined the traditional grain meat techniques of Asia with the flavors of the West and Field Roast was born.

These are not your regular vegan sausages, they’re freaking artisan! However, being a meat substitute product, it comes as no shocker that these sausages are packed with fat and protein. We try to eat these sparingly, usually no more than half a link a day each, but they are so damn good that we have gone all out in the past. I’ll be sure to do a recipe using them soon.

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There are three flavors:

  • Smoked Apple Sage – a savory combination of apples and sage, anchored with Yukon gold potatoes with a subtle hint of hickory smoke. To me, this has a deliciously subtle flavor and the natural hickory smoke flavor really does shine.

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Ingredients: Vital wheat gluten, filtered water, expeller pressed safflower oil, non-sulphured dried apples, Yukon gold potatoes, naturally flavor yeast extract, onion powder, barley malt, garlic, natural hickory smoke flavor with torula yeast, sea salt, spices and rubbed sage.

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  • Mexican Chipotle – a spicy-hot blend of smoked Chipotle peppers, Chili de Arbol peppers, fresh chopped garlic, sweet onions seasoned with cumin seed and oregano. It’s not too spicy, if you’re worried about that kind of thing and so flavorful!

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Ingredients: Vital wheat gluten, filtered water, expeller pressed safflower oil, onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, naturally flavor yeast extract, chipotle peppers, onion powered, granulated garlic, brown sugar, spices, sea salt, barley malt, black pepper, chili de arbol peppers, cumin seed, paprika oleoresin and oregano.

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  • Italian – made with fresh eggplant and packed with fennel, red wine, garlic and sweet peppers. I love how clearly the fennel come through in this sausage, it really waves that Italian flag around on the palette.

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Ingredients: Vital wheat gluten, filtered water, expeller pressed safflower oil, red wine, eggplant, onions, naturally flavored yeast extract, garlic, barley malt, dried red bell pepper, fennel seed, granulated garlic, spice and sea salt.

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Have you tried these? If so, let me know what you thought and if you’ve got some dynamite recipes for them. I’d love to hear any and all suggestions, but don’t ask me to try Tofurky, that stuff makes me yak!