Patty Melt Craving Replete

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. You're having a family cookout, the burgers and wieners are ready for the grill and then you are reminded that your Aunt and cousin are vegetarians. Yikes! What to do?

Harmony Valley Foods has a quick and easy solution. Their Vegetarian Hamburger Mix is a soy-based, low-fat, vegan, kosher-certified meat alternative that is a great source of protein and fiber. The dry mix is hydrated with the cold water and results in vegetarian protein with the same consistency and versatility as ground meat and can be substituted into any recipe that calls for hamburger.

We received a sample of the hamburger mix as a sample from Harmony Valley to try. While the guys were off on a fishing excursion, I found myself with an empty refrigerator and a grumbly tummy. The mix was front and center in the pantry and I was hit by a sudden craving for a patty melt.

½ cup Harmony Valley Vegetarian Hamburger mix
½ cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced into rings
¼ cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
2 slices of bread, toasted
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Follow the package directions and blend hamburger mix with water and stir well. Allow the dry mix to rehydrate for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

While patty mixture is resting, put olive oil in a sauté pan and cook onions until caramelized. Remove onions to a plate.

Once the rehydration is complete, (don’t panic if it looks like cat food at this point) form the mixture into a patty and place it in a pan with some olive oil. Now it looks like a burger! Add a little more olive oil to the sauté pan and place the patty in it. Cook patty until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side.)

Place the patty on one piece of toast and top with grated cheese and caramelized onions. Run sandwich under the hot broiler for a few minutes to completely melt cheese and then top the sandwich with the second piece of toast.

While it was obvious that the patty was not beef, it was quite tasty and closely resembled meat in texture and consistency. Served with cheese and sautéed onions on toast, the veggie mix made a sandwich that fully satisfied my patty melt craving.

The one aspect of Harmony Valley’s products that is most appealing is the versatility of the dry mix. It can be kept on hand for emergencies (power outages or surprise guests), packs easily for a camping trip, and is quick and easy to prepare. I will definitely keep a pack in the pantry in case of another cookout revelation or patty melt urge.