I’m not going to lie: I miss burger sliders. Chili’s big mouth bites were my favorite chain restaurant entrée. Mini burgers topped with bacon, cheese, ranch, and fried onions; I was foolish enough to think that the smaller burgers meant less calories and fat but that couldn’t be further from the truth. 4 big mouth bites pack a mind-blowing 1,579 calories and 97 grams of fat (28 saturated). The side of fries that come with it adds another 520 calories and 31g fat. Okay, I don’t miss the ‘nutritional’ content so much. Or the various animals that were killed or otherwise tortured to make the meal. But I do miss burgers in mini-form. So imagine my delight when my initial foray to Nooch brought me together with Gardein beefless sliders. I couldn’t get those suckers into my basket fast enough! And of course I needed some cheese to put on those babies; what better than the Daiya Havarti wedge that had been eluding me?
The sliders come 4 to a box and are packaged in pairs. The instructions are to pierce the plastic and microwave for 30 seconds but I needed about an additional 45 seconds to cook them fully. I don’t have the most powerful microwave though so 30 seconds may work on better models. I took them out and let them sit the 1 minute that is suggested and cut some slices of Daiya to top them with. I also had some fresh roasted green chili that I thought would go well on them. I added some salt and pepper Popchips to my plate and dug in.
I was a little disappointed by the mushiness of the sliders, especially the buns. I think that letting them sit in the wrappers that extra minute caused them to become even softer, so I would suggest not leaving them in there. An alternate way to cook them is to use a sauté pan; I will definitely use this method next time to see if it solves the mushy problem. The slices of Daiya I cut were a little too thick and overwhelmed the sliders a bit, but overall the flavor of the burgers was good if not exactly outstanding . I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Gardein is reinventing the wheel when it comes to veggie burgers but I love their products because of the healthy grains that are used and as you can see from the nutritional info these are a great deal better than the sliders I used to eat. No guilt here!
I don’t think I ever had Havarti cheese before I began transitioning to a vegan diet so I don’t know how Daiya’s version compares. I do like the tanginess and creaminess and think it works very well on burgers. I made these awesome green chili black bean burgers last week and topped them with the Havarti and even Robert enjoyed it so I think that says a lot! I think my favorite Daiya wedge flavor is the cheddar but I guess that’s because I’m a classic-flavor girl at heart. Still I am impressed by Daiya and their ability to make some of the best tasting vegan cheeses out there. It’s also great to see vegan foods becoming more available in chain grocery stores. The very week after I found the Daiya Havarti for the first time at Nooch I saw it at King’s Soopers! If you can get your hands on any of the varieties I highly suggest you try them out and if you need any ideas on how to use it, look no further than Vegnews; their top 7 vegan cheese dishes features my pal Barb at number one!