For most of the country, June means laying on the beach, playing tennis, long bike rides and firing up the grill. If you live in Seattle it usually means staying home and watching the rain from your window or sitting in a coffee shop with your lap top. Seattleites usually have to wait until after July 4th to experience summer. We have had some warm sunny days where the thermometer actually breaks 70! but for the most part it still feels like autumn.
One of my favorite things to do when summer finally arrives is attend outdoor barbeques. However, If you are vegan or vegetarian, when it comes to what to actually throw on the grill, your choices are limited Corn on the cob, maybe some grilled veggies. Nothing wrong with any of that. But maybe you miss having an occasional burger. Well how about a Sunshine Burger ?
Sunshine Burgers are Non GMAO Project verified, USDA certified organic and gluten free. Most veggie burgers contain wheat as a filler so they are out of the question for someone with celiac, like me. The main ingredients in Sunshine Burgers are brown rice and raw sunflower seeds. Then they add beans, veggies, quinoa, tahini and lots of spices.
Sunshine Burger & Specialty Food Co. sent me coupons to try their products for free and write a review. I tried the Garden Herb, Barbecue and Black Bean Southwest flavors.
They come 3 patties to a box and average between 200-250 calories per patty and contain between 7-10 grams of protein and are relatively low in sodium. I thought it was a little strange that they come 3 to a box and not 4. I found 2 to be just about right for a meal and that leaves 1 in the box which might prompt you to buy 2 boxes. Price-wise they average about $1 per pattie.
Other veggie burgers usually try too hard to mimic the texture of an actual burger and mostly fail or are too grainy and fall apart. Sunshine burgers are kind of in-between.
I first tried the Black Bean Southwest flavor. I used a little olive oil in the pan and browned both sides so that it was a little crispy and then put the burger on a gluten free hamburger bun with a little organic mayonnaise, some tomato and some lettuce. I would not compare a Sunshine Burger to a real hamburger, but they are quite delicious in their own right.
The Barbeque flavor has a rather strong liquid smoke flavor, which I’m not a big fan of but if you like that flavor in a burger I think you would like this. I cooked it in the oven with a little barbeque sauce on top. It wasn’t bad, just not my favorite.
I went to their website and tried their couscous and veggie bake recipe, but since I can’t eat couscous due to celiac, I substituted brown rice. It was delicious! The addition of the garden burger gave it a nice herb flavor (mostly dill as far as I could tell) and made the meal feel a little heartier.
Overall I give Sunshine Burgers a very positive review. I will definitely buy them in the future to bring to barbeques and to add to stir frys or just to cook as-is on the stove-top like a burger.