At our house, we often say it’s hard to put vegan food down. And not just because it’s tasty, which it usually is. It’s hard to put down, because, if you do, you may need a spoon to pick it back up again.
Allow me to illustrate with two staples of our veganish diet: veggie wraps and veggie burgers.
The veggie wrap was an enticing lure for me to go over to the dark side. My wife got into the habit of having one for breakfast. For me, the bigger the breakfast, the better I like it and I would usually go a little heavier on the weekends with an extra bowl of cereal or an omelet, French toast, or pancakes.
One day, as my fourth piece of French toast bobbed in maple syrup, I looked over at this cornucopia of colors, bursting out of a sandwich. Red and green peppers, onion, lettuce, spinach, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, and humus. Each bite would yield a satisfying crunch. When I decided to try it, it was every bit as good as I imagined.
On Saturday, we share the prep work, not necessarily aware of how much the other is dicing. Carrots are shredded and other vegetables are cut into bits so tiny they could collect on the head of a pin. When we’re finished, we put all the vegetables in a huge pile and then divide it in half.
You would think by its name alone that a wrap would keep everything in, but it’s not always the case. You may have heard the expression “ten pounds of flour in a five pound sack.” Our wraps often come out this way. And, if the wrap is stale or prone to cracking, you’re really in trouble.
The best way to manage the wrap is to hold on to it and not let go. Hold it upright as if it were a glass that you don’t want to spill. This may limit your ability to multi-task as you may have to choose between holding your sandwich and sipping a beverage, talking on the phone, eating a pickle, or turning the pages of a newspaper. But you’ll be glad you did.
The wrap experience will only help you prepare for eating a veggie burger. Because they are held together with beans and bread crumbs and not pink chemicals, veggie burgers struggle to maintain their shape. Even when smushed together and seared in a pan, veggie burger molecules are looking for any opportunity to disband.
The key to eating it is the bun selection. If you choose a bagel, as I used to for sandwiches, you might just as well throw the whole business in a food processor and drink it. The weight and density of the bagel will crush the burger. A hamburger bun is soft enough but probably too small for a decent sized burger.
I have had the best luck eating veggie burgers on Kaiser rolls or bulkies. They are big enough yet light enough to keep most everything between the bread. You will always have some leakage. So keep a spoon handy just in case.