So once again I succumbed to the ever-excitable “new!” flag and picked up the Boca Bruchetta Tomato Basil Parmesan Veggie Patties. At first I laughed, thinking maybe the length of the name was a sort of Napoleonic complex to make up for the lack of meat. To be completely honest, I’ve never understood vegetarians. Nothing excites me more than the prospect of going out for a steak dinner, and my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving for all the obvious reasons. In fact, the entire idea of a veggie patty kind of freaks me out. Why not just eat a burger? But since I’m on this little health(ier)-food kick though (and more importantly, I have nothing to grill a burger on), the juicy deliciousness of a double bacon cheeseburger was not on the books for lunch today. So when I saw the Bruchetta Tomato Basil Parmesan Boca Burgers out of the corner of my eye, I inspected the box with interest. Boca described them quite appetizingly as containing “oven-roasted tomatoes, basil and Parmesan cheese—it’s all the best flavors of Italy packed into a wholesome veggie patty” I like tomato. I like basil. I like Parmesan. I love bruchetta. So these meatless wonders must be a hit, right?
Needless to say, my foray into the world of vegetarianism was not bad! I nuked the patty, toasted myself a bun and topped the whole thing with cheese, diced onions and tomato (a la bruchetta). The whole ensemble actually made a very good-tasting lunch, and it seemed drastically more substantial than my usual turkey sandwich (yet somehow calorically equivalent). Unlike the mouthful of a name, the patty is unfortunately on the thin side and kind of an unusual dark orange color. This may be true for all veggie burgers; I really wouldn’t know. All together the sandwich was delicious! I detected a pleasant little bit of heat in the burger, and an inspection of the ingredients revealed paprika. I was surprised to see oats on the list as well, since I didn’t really taste any. The balance of tomato and onion was perfect, and the texture was closer to that of a beef burger than I thought it would be. The only part that I really missed was the juiciness. These were disappointingly dry and didn’t give me the experience that biting into a real burger affords. All in all, though, these are a welcome addition to my lunch rotation. I don’t think they’re quite savory or large enough to be a dinner, but they were a filling and satisfying lunch. Nutrition-wise, I was pleasantly surprised. While it was a little high in sodium, it was also high in protein and fiber and contained both calcium and iron. To top it off, it was only 70 calories!
Next time I think I will top one off with a little marinara or pizza sauce, some mozzarella cheese and some diced tomatoes and onions. I think the sauce will make up for the dryness of the patty. Even better, some toasted Tuscan bread and some homemade bruchetta topping would take this Boca burger from good to absolutely delish.
So for all you vegetarians out there, the good folks at Boca have now made a believer out of me. I won’t be giving up my love of eating meat (ever.), but since I can’t reasonably eat a burger every day, I will no longer scoff at the notion of a veggie burger. I actually think I’m going to have to try other kinds now!
Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 Patty. 70 Calories. 1.5g Fat. 0.5g Saturated Fat. 0g Trans Fat. 5mg Cholesterol. 290mg Sodium. 9g Carbohydrates. 3.5g Dietary Fiber. 0g Sugar. 10g Protein. 15% Calcium. 15% Iron. 1 WW Point