September 30, 2011

Morningstar Breakfast Patties made with Organic Soy

Okay, wrapping up breakfast month. I really didn't mean to have so many Morningstar products this month - it just worked out that way. But here's one more: Morningstar Breakfast Patties made with Organic Soy.

To be perfectly honest, I don't really get the whole organic thing. I don't know why it's such a big deal. But whatever - not for me to judge. Once again, Morningstar thinks people actually want 2-inch diameter sausage patties. I have never seen an English muffin that small, so these are kind of useless for breakfast sandwiches, and that's a shame.

Let's quickly cover the cooking instructions. On the box, it says to cook these for 8-10 minutes, "turning as needed to promote even browning". On the website, it says they cook for 11-12 minutes, turning as needed, etc. I cooked these for approximately 4 minutes, turning twice, and they were perfect. Lightly browned, crispy, not at all burned or anything stupid like that. Why are the instructions lying to me?

Alright, enough whining, let's get to the tasting. These, well, tasted just like the non-organic-soy version. Very breakfast-sausage-y, a little spicy, but not too spicy. I don't really have much else to say about these - they're good.

The experience:
Texture - crispy and sausage-patty-ish - what more could you ask for?
Flavor - tasted pretty much like I'd expect a breakfast patty to taste - nicely seasoned and a little bit spicy.

Final grade for this attempt: A- (downgraded for being stupidly tiny)

September 23, 2011

Sunshine Burger Breakfast Patty

This week, I'm taking a quick break from Morningstar products to review Sunshine Burger Breakfast Patty. I had tried the original variety of these burgers a while back and wasn't impressed, but managed to add enough stuff to it to make it palatable. I was excited to try some of the other flavors which might actually have some… you know… flavors. So here comes the breakfast patty.

The website brags that this patty is, "an awesome taste sensation which is both familiar and completely new!" So there's that, whatever that means. So I cooked up a patty, sort of following the directions on the box. They were well-browned just a few minutes into the time suggested (5-7 minutes on each side), and hot all the way through, so I pulled it out of the pan. Why did they think it would take 10-14 minutes? I seriously was cooking it for about 4 minutes, and it was really brown. Maybe I'll just go ahead and cook one of the leftover patties exactly as directed and then mail them the ashes. I just realized that the instructions actually say to cook over low heat, so this time frame makes more sense. Sorry!

Anyway, time for the tasting. I had been promised a familiar and yet new taste sensation, but I have to say, it reminded me very much of the last time I ate a Sunshine Burger. It tasted like a big mouthful of sunflower seeds. No sage, no pepper, (which they specifically named as spices used to season this patty), no any of the other ingredients listed. What a bummer. Maybe if I put it on an english muffin with egg, cheese, salsa, and maybe a different brand of sausage patty, I'd have something. This was not even remotely reminiscent of a breakfast sausage. But hey, if you like sunflower seeds and want to eat a bunch of them all at once, here's the perfect breakfast patty for you!

The experience:
Texture - kinda mushy on the inside, which maybe if I overcooked it (as directed) would go away

Final grade for this attempt: D

September 16, 2011

Morningstar Maple Flavored Veggie Sausage Patties

Continuing with breakfast month, I am going to tell you about Morningstar Maple Flavored Veggie Sausage Patties.

I had eaten the plain sausage patties a while back, and had fond memories of them, so I figured they could only be improved by adding maple flavor. Once again, I was surprised by the size of these patties. Even though they were the same size as the plain ones, it had been so long since I saw them that I forgot how tiny they are! Seriously, I'm talking an inch and a half diameter. And, according to the nutrition information, a serving size is one. ONE! But they're packaged in pairs, so I guess that means they are fully aware of the fact that, like Pringles, nobody can eat just one. Or something.

Anyway, I disregarded the directions entirely, and cooked these up in a little oil in a skillet for however long it took for them to brown. Unfortunately, I kind of overbrowned them a little bit, as I was distracted by also cooking pancakes and eggs. They weren't burned - just extra crispy.

So, the eating… I did not detect any maple flavor in these at all. Just a regular sausage flavor with extra crispiness (my fault). I wanted it to taste like maple! I ended up dumping some maple syrup on them just to experience what it should have been like, and I'll tell you, it was pretty good. But it should have tasted like that right out of the box, otherwise, why call it maple-flavored?

The experience:
Texture - Extra crispy due to over-browning. Otherwise very sausage-patty-ish.
Flavor - Tasted like a boring sausage patty. Not bad for a plain sausage patty, but disappointing for a supposedly maple-flavored sausage patty.

Final grade for this attempt: B-

September 10, 2011

Morningstar Veggie Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit

This'll be a quick one, because even though I try to mix up my reviews a bit, I actually had almost the same thing as last week, and thought instead of spreading them out, I'll just go ahead and review them back to back: Morningstar Veggie Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Biscuit.

This is very similar to last week's sausage biscuit, except, obviously, for the bacon. I was actually a little disappointed with my first bacon biscuit. I cooked it in the microwave, and, while reasonably tasty, it just didn't have much bacon flavor. In the oven, however, the smokiness was a bit more pronounced. Not hugely, but it was better.

So, I still say the sausage version is better, but if you get the bacon ones, cook them in the oven.

The experience:
Texture - microwaved, soft and tender; oven-baked, crunchy and awesome
Flavor - the biscuit had a good buttermilk flavor, almost a little sweet; the filling was sort of indistinctly cheesy, but in the oven got more of a bacon flavor which was nice.

Final grade for this attempt: A-

September 2, 2011

Morningstar Veggie Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuits

This week, I'm going to start a breakfast series! Not sure if I'll make it through all of September, but I'll try. There are a lot of Fridays this month… Anyway, kicking off the breakfast series is a new product (according to the package anyway): Morningstar Veggie Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit.

These looked flat-out delicious when I saw them at my grocery store, and I was very excited to try them. I got even more excited when I realized that the preferred cooking method was the microwave, and it would only take 45 seconds. That's super fast! So I unwrapped the biscuit, placed it, as directed, on a paper towel on a plate, and 45 seconds later, I had a piping hot biscuit with a bunch of stuff in it. And really, it is quite hot - I had to wait a little bit before I could eat it without burning myself.

But once it cooled down a bit, I got right in there. I was a little skeptical that a biscuit would come out right from the microwave, but it was actually very good. The filling was nice and sausage-y. The egg and cheese parts were kind of just a random yellow goo - not much cheese or egg flavor, but overall it tasted quite good. The only thing I can really complain about is that the ratio of filling to biscuit was a little low. There seemed to be, at times, a lot of biscuit, even though it didn't look like it. But as the biscuit was really tasty, this wasn't really a major problem.

The box also contained directions for a crisp crust, baked in the oven. I decided to also test this out, since I was curious. This version is a bit more time consuming. First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then, and here's the part that almost got me to skip this test, bake for 20 minutes. Holy crap that's a long time to wait for something that you could be eating in 45 seconds. But, science was calling me, so I waited patiently for my timer to go off.

Finally, the timer went off, and I busted that thing out of the oven. The crust was … I don't even know how to explain it. Crispy, obviously. Borderline crunchy, I might even say. What I will say for sure is that this new cooking method totally transformed this breakfast biscuit from something fast and tasty to something super delicious. I would highly recommend trying this method out if you have the extra time to spare - it actually seemed to overcome the filling-biscuit ratio problem that the microwaved version had. Not sure how that works, but there you go.

The experience:
Texture - microwaved, soft and tender; oven-baked, crunchy and awesome
Flavor - the biscuit had a good buttermilk flavor, almost a little sweet, which countered the saltiness of the sausage filling nicely; the filling was predominately sausage-y with no real cheese or egg flavor, but it was tasty

Final grade for this attempt: A