More Vegetarian Living with Wegmans

What can I say? I can’t stay away from Wegmans while I’m visiting the East Coast. This week, I decided to see if good things really do come in small packages.

I like hummus now and then as a snack, but sometimes a whole tub is too much to get through. Hence I was intrigued by Wegmans’ Snack & Go Hummus in Red Pepper flavor. ($1.99) This snack is reasonably sized and easy to pack, including flatbread crackers and a small tub of hummus in a re-sealable pack. Nutritionally, it weighs in at 280 calories and 12 grams of fat. The hummus has a distinct red pepper flavor and a citrus tang. The crackers didn’t do it for me, though. I was surprised to find just five thin flatbreads, which didn’t come close to using up the portion of hummus. The crackers themselves looked nice, but were brittle and not filling. The next day, the leftover hummus tasted much better on Triscuits. Unless you are planning to pack this in a lunch or bring it on a hike as a snack, maybe spring for the full-size hummus and spread it on whatever you choose!

Picture from About.com

I also couldn’t pass up this sample-sized packet of Justin’s Maple Almond Nut Butter. ($.99) As a single person, peanut butter is another thing I rarely get through an entire container of before it goes bad, so I’ll only get a large size if I really like it. What appealed to me about this is the simple ingredient list: almonds, palm fruit oil, maple sugar, and sea salt. (A non-maple variety is also available, for those who hate trees or Vermont.) The taste was also simple, but delicious. The almond flavor is mellow and earthy and the maple adds a very subtle touch of sweetness. It was great on toast, but I could also imagine this spread working well on a dessert wafer or cookie. Buyer beware, though—a single 1.15 oz serving packet is 200 calories and a surprising 17g of fat. Enjoy in moderation and you’ll be fine.

Picture from Wegmans

Finally, I at last got to try Wegmans Portobella Mushroom Burgers, one of various kinds of Wegmans brand veggie burgers available. ($3.99, also in Black Bean and Southwest varieties) I’m kind of stretching the “small-item” theme here. On the one hand, these burgers come in a 2-pack, which is smaller than the normal 4-pack of frozen veggie burgers that I’m accustomed to. On the other hand, the burgers themselves are massive compared to the usual frozen fare. A single patty is a quarter pound, with a whopping 250 calories, 11 grams of fat (5g of saturated fat), and 17g of protein. Kind of makes you wonder if you’re really saving on nutrition by choosing this over a standard beef burger! On the other hand, these burgers are delicious. Made primarily of mushroom, egg, and cheese, they are thick and have a rich taste. Chunks of portobella mushroom are evident right in the burger, and the texture is amazingly meat-like. I was amazed by how it browned up in the pan and of the moist, crumbly texture on the inside. On my stovetop preparation, the center didn’t quite cook up completely, but on a grill or in the oven I bet these would be divine. Pull the burger apart and you can even see the strings of cheese woven into it. A single patty has 2.5 times the calorie count of my normal veggie burgers, so it’s no surprise that this left me full all night. Of course, the calorie count and high fat content are a little off-putting, as is the cost. This is the kind of burger I would bring out for a party or a BBQ, but that I may not keep around just for myself. Who knows, it may even make a convert out of the carnivore in your house.

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