Friday, February 8, 2013

Sol Cuisine Mushroom Rice Burgers


Although I've been making an effort to "cook from scratch" more and more, including the basics like: bread, buns, burgers, dressings....there are times when it's great to enjoy the convenience of good store- bought options.
I've been using Sol Cuisine Mushroom Rice Burgers for a couple of years now. A tasty, vegetarian burger patty with an ingredient list that's far better than many of the other meatless burger choices out there:
Ingredients for Sol Cuisine Mushroom Rice Burgers
for Canada:
Filtered Water, Vegetables (Portobello and Button Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots, Red & Green Bell Peppers, Potatoes, Garlic), Organic Cooked Brown Rice, Soy Protein Concentrate, Modified Cellulose, Sunflower Oil, Organic Wheat Free Tamari Sauce (Water, Organic Soybeans, Salt), Yeast Extract, Spice, Sea Salt, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice.
and for the U.S.
Filtered Water, Vegetables (Portobello & Button Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots, Red & Green Bell Peppers, Dried Potatoes, Garlic), Organic Cooked Brown Rice, Soy Protein Concentrate, Yeast Extract, Modified Vegetable Gum, Sunflower Oil, Organic Wheat Free Tamari Sauce (Water, Organic Soybeans, Salt), Spice, Sea Salt, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Parsley, Onion Extract, Garlic Extract.
I LOVE mushrooms and these burgers have a definite mushroomy flavour.
I also appreciate that the vegetables are at the beginning of the ingredient list for these burgers, not at the end, as is the case with some of the other brands. Definitely not an afterthought with Sol Cuisine Mushroom Rice Burgers!
These burgers have a nice, meaty texture that doesn't get soggy or gooey after they are cooked. Don't you just hate when that happens? Some of the other brands I've tried over the years were inedible after they were cooked, for that reason alone.
These burgers cook up fast on the grill or stove top. 
Each burger contains only 90 calories, low in fat and sodium and provide 8 grams of protein.

Well, these were all good points about these burgers and I was feeling good about recommending them until I received an email from one of Sol Cuisine's company reps, yesterday:

Here is their email (emphasis/bolding is mine):

"All our products are hexane free however we do use hexane-extracted soy. We've thoroughly researched our alternatives and to-date have found that we cannot achieve the same great texture our customers love using non-hexane-extracted soy. That said, we are continuing experimentation at our plant… Stay tuned.

Several of our burgers use soy we extract here with a hexane-free process or do not use soy at all. They are our Almond Grain Burger and our (COMING SOON) Indian Masala Burger (called the Indian Aloo Tikki Burger in the US) and our Sprouted Quinoa Chia Burger.

We use organics in many of our burgers – for example the Mushroom Rice uses organic brown rice. Our Almond Grain Burger is 67% organic. We use organic and local ingredients wherever possible, while keeping our products at a price point our consumers find accessible.

Our new Sprouted Quinoa Chia Burger uses a base of organic quinoa and we have 3 organic certified SKUs: our Falafel with Sauce, BBQ Tofu Ribs and Veggie Crumbles.

The Mushroom Rice Burger's a great SKU to review because it's an elevated take on the traditional
mushroom rice burger, which uses field mushrooms, white rice and often cheese. Ours uses portobello and button mushrooms (we recently doubled the quantity so you get great mushroomy flavour in the product) and organic brown rice, in addition to red and green bell peppers… Yum."
Oh, oh....there goes the alarm bells!!!
Seems to be some definite double-talk (to put it politely) when it comes whether there is hexane in these burgers.
I was under the impression from previously checking into Sol Cuisine products that they were ALL hexane free. But if they are using hexane-extracted soy in these burgers, I wouldn't personally consider this a hexane- free product.

And based on what's being said in this email, their IS a way to extract soy without the use of hexane!
If you aren't aware of the dangers of hexane in foods, you can read more here.
And as I wrote about here some other popular vegetarian burger options leave a lot to be desired too. It really is worth it to do some research online before deciding on what brands you want to buy and consume.

But based on this experience, I realize now that sometimes you have to dig deeper, to get ALL the pertinent facts/details.

I also previously reviewed Sol Cuisine Original Burgers (click for full review). Looks like I'm going to have reassess that review/rating, based on the information I'm now being told by this company.

For now, it's back to making and freezing homemade veggie burgers for me. I don't want to have to worry about picking the right variety (ie: hexane-free) of a veggie burger, from any product line!

I can live without the convenience factor of store- bought veggie burgers, if I can't feel good about eating them. And I'll keep checking for other better brands/products too.

On a more positive note and related topic, I'm re-posting my recipe for Bread-Machine Rosemary Flax Buns over at my cooking blog today.

These are the best burger buns I've ever tasted and that's not because it's my recipe! ;<) This is a  very popular recipe from my cookbook.

And without a good bun, any kind of burger is just a burger! LOL

If you've never made your own burger and hot dog buns, this is a quick and delish recipe to get started.
Overall rating for this product: Unsatisfactory. 1 out of  5.


  1. oh i dunno on a veggie burger...ha...maybe if you fooled me and didnt tell me what it was i would...smiles...

  2. I love veggie burgers, but haven't bought any lately because I couldn't figure out which ones were good, or bad. And they are so expensive...since I am not a vegetarian it seems that for now I need to stick to meat, fish, or chicken. I know, not the best alternative, but it's affordable, and it's not soy.

    But I am going to look for that bun recipe.


  3. Excellent review. This is double talk in my opinion too. I'm very disappointed with this company. If they can make some burgers without the use of hexane, why not all of them. We won't be buying any of Sol Cuisine's products again.

  4. I loved veggie burgers and i loved veggies meat balls, and I could have lived on soy, fruit and vegetables, first I had to give up soy, 'cause I found myself running to the toilet, thank I had to give up all greens, thenk all veg and fruits or else I spend the night in the toilet....I have no idea why but I'm forced into a high protein diet, which apart from cheese I never liked, I don't like eating animals, but I have no choice, so sea food, shreeded turkey, shredded chicken, and cheese and maybe egg,yuk Ihate eggs, no more sugars, no more bread, but especially no more greens,how stupid is that when what I love the most is the one thing I can't it, Ihave to believe that the food I've always eaten have been tempered with, how else could it harm me so much now....oh crap, sorry

  5. Hi Brian, I can't imagine eating meat after being a vegetarian for 20 years now. I really don't miss it at all. I gave up meat for ethical reasons, when I worked at the Humane Society and it wasn't such a popular choice to be a vegetarian then. I've never regretted my choice. Now, it's so mainstream, I don't even think about it! Maybe give a veggie burger recipe a try sometime, you might be pleasantly surprised! :<)

    Hi Jen, I'm going back to my own 'from scratch' veggie burgers for now, I've got a couple of recipes I make and freeze that are really good, one with lentils, the other chickpeas, ground with lots of veggies and spices added. I freeze them and they are just as convenient as store bought. After this experience with Sol Cuisine, I feel the same way. What to choose? Homemade wins this time, at least for now. I think you'll love the bun recipe, hope so!

    Hi Joe, Yes, they've lost at least 2 customers, probably a lot more after this has been posted for a while. People are a lot more savvy about their food choices these days and companies should take that into account, with all their processing and ingredient choices. This just turned me off from Sol Cuisine completely. I wouldn't feel good about buying ANY of their products after this.

    Hi Lorraine, That's too bad Lorraine and quite unusual about the greens, veggies. I actually have never heard of anyone having problems with all kinds of veggies before. I love all veggies but not so much broccoli anymore, other than that, I eat them all!

    Thanks for stopping by, G

  6. I learned something today. I didn't realize hexane was of concern. Personally, I have concerns about processed foods for a variety of reasons.

  7. I think I will go for the low glycemic diet because what's in it, I have no moral objection and gosh I can't do meat, I can't eat animals and I hate the diet even though it works in losing weight, I'd rather keep the extra 15 than eat an animal

  8. I agree that a good bun can make a good burger great!!

  9. Hi Rumpy, Hexane is BAD news and I'm amazed that they are still allowed to use it when processing foods. And I agree, there are a lot more issues re: processing practises, than just concerns about hexane. From scratch and organic when it's possible is the way to go! I'm adding to my efforts in this regard, every week. This week, I'm trying homemade crackers and homemade jam for the first time! :<) I already make almost all of our bread, all soups, takes more time but it's so worth it. Cheaper too!

    Hi Lorraine, I didn't realize you were a vegetarian Lorraine, I thought you mentioned somewhere along the way eating turkey, maybe it was someone else...

    Hi OE, Oh so true. If you like to bake, do give these a try, so good!

    Happy Week and Thanks for Stopping By , G :<)

  10. That's what I've been doing eating turkey and chicken slices, I can do tuna cans, but I can't eat turkey and chicken , that's why low carb is so awful for me, plus it throws into depression and with the reduction of my meds it's not the time to go ATkins, and very simply proteins make me sick, at best a protein drink as long as it doesn't contain meat yuk

  11. I'm not following what you're saying Lorraine re: vegetarian vs non-vegetarian diet. Chickens, turkeys...they're all animals.

    We all have to pick what works for us healthwise and ethically too. Best of luck with making those choices, they are so important.

    To all readers: I'm going to be posting more about the use of hexane in foods soon. I've been doing more research on this topic and it's been an eye-opener to say the least.

    Stay tuned, G


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