Category Archives: ryan

one last thought..

Has anyone noticed that the “‘n” suffix seems to be a vegetarian trend?  Is anyone keeping an eye on this?  Grill’n, chick’n, bac’n… I think I might start calling myself a vegetari’n.


review: light life “backyard grill’n burgers”

Here’s my fairly quick review, since I feel pretty out of my league discussing food.  Ashley and I both agreed on two basic elements of these burgers:

1) The texture was great–they feel exactly like burgers in your mouth.  (This is a far cry from those black bean burgers, which felt like black beans in your mouth.)

2) The flavor was really bland–almost like a blank palate.  These burgers weren’t bad per se, they just didn’t taste much at all.  We both ended up putting a lot of ketchup and mustard on our burgers.

Diagnosis: 3/5 veggie stars up.  B-.


Here are the photos, which I’m including because they’re awesome.  Again, I cannot recommend the Against Malaria Foundation highly enough.

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why the amf is so awesome

I was a little bemused when I discovered earlier this year that no longer recommended Village Reach, instead encouraging readers to donate to the Against Malaria Foundation.  I decided to trust GiveWell (their calculations do seem rigorous) and go with AMF.  It turns out they run a pretty awesome organization; they update you an inoffensive number of times (maybe 1-2 emails every few months, and they have NEVER mailed me).  The best part about those updates is that they give you photos of where the malaria nets you helped fund were distributed.  Their interface is extremely user-friendly and provides thorough information:

veggie burger review: sorry hilary, it’s not you, it’s me

We’ve heard rave reviews about some of the Hilary’s Eat Well brand veggie burgers (the company, indeed, claims to make ‘The World’s Best Veggie Burger’) so we were excited to try them.  Hilary’s is local, too; Hilary the chef is not only the creative source behind the actual burgers but she’s also the owner of Lawrence institution Local Burger, which we admittedly didn’t dine at much before (though, fun fact: Local Burger is the first restaurant I ate at in Lawrence, before I even lived here).  Local Burger serves these veggie burgers and they’re also available for purchase in the frozen section of Checkers grocery store, and they’re not bad bargains when they’re on sale, which seems to be pretty often.  They come two in a pack and we bought one pack of each variety, and tonight we finally got around to trying the Adzuki Bean Burgers for dinner.

Look, I like what Hilary’s is doing.  Local, organic, real ingredients are hard to come by in the frozen foods section.  And the burger had an alright taste.  I just could not buy the texture, which was really crumbly and grainy and just not up my alley.  I pan-seared these suckers and they kept falling apart in the pan, which was a bit annoying (there are other cooking instructions so I might have tried cooking them a different way for a better result).  I’m sure it’s a personal preference thing; I just didn’t enjoy them as much as Boca Burgers, which have the texture nailed down really well.

We topped these with pepperjack cheese and served them on whole wheat buns with a simple salad and some Trader Joe’s french fries.

We’ve still got some of the regular Hilary’s veggie burgers in the freezer that we’ll try soon, and I’ll review those when we get around to eating them.

Ryan’s Brief Review

Agreed with Ashley on all counts.  The taste was pretty good, but then I like beans; the texture made it seem not that different from simply putting beans on a bun and eating it.  It wasn’t disgusting or anything, it was just a little off-putting.  (Note: I’m the type of person who might actually put beans on a bun and eat it.)  The fries, conversely, were fire, and the salad was as my kids would say ‘crispy’.

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kids against malaria

One of the things I like about donating to the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) is that they show you every donation that has been submitted, and allow you to post a personalized message to others.  (My optional message, incidentally, is always, “If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine,” because I am committed to destroying any potential political career by aligning myself with noted communists.)

Anyway, I liked this message in particular:

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McDonald’s fries aren’t vegetarian?!

Note the “natural beef flavor.”  But… why?


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Q: Can I recycle receipts on thermal paper?

A: Inconclusive (like most recycling questions).  Some places yes, some places no.  I have an email out to the Lawrence Recycling people.

Yet another product for which recyclability seems intuitive (to me at least).

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thank you!

Why can’t this exist for all food?

[This was on a sample tray at the fancy Dillon’s on 6th and Wakarusa.]

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