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The journey of a Christian wife, stay-at-home mom, quasi-tree-hugger, and cheapskate to find ways to "CHanGE" her life to be Cheaper, Healthier, Greener, and Easier. Constructive feedback always welcome!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Healthier: My Review of the Back Yard Burgers Garden Veggie Burger

OK, let's face it--in this culture, sometimes it's necessary to eat out. Or sometimes we just get sick of the same old thing every day for a meal. Such was the case with Huz today as we insisted we go to Back Yard Burgers for lunch with his parents, Dot, and me.

With a recent episode of Dr. Oz in the back of my mind as to how to pick out a "healthier" fast-food burger (Wednesday's episode, if I recall correctly), I opted for their Garden Veggie Burger. I had their Turkey Burger the last time we went to BYB, and I liked it ok. So I figured I'd try out another Healthier option to see if it passed my taste test. I ordered it with just lettuce and added a small amount of ketchup to it when I got to the table (I'm kind of picky with my toppings, admittedly). I added a small side salad with balsamic vinaigrette on the side...and a medium Pepsi. OK, so no one's perfect. :) My side-item purchase wasn't 100% noble; I figured I'd give Dot some of my salad (she'll eat the thin carrots and sometimes lettuce) in exchange for some of the fries she got with her kids' meal. On a side note, I'm not too happy that none of their kids' meals offers a healthier side besides fries, but I digress. (I got her a hot dog, in case you're curious. She's inherited my daggone picky gene.)

Here is the some of the nutrition information compared with my old standby at BYB, the 1/3 lb. Back Yard Burger, as taken from their website. Sometimes I would get cheese with it, sometimes not. We'll just compare a cheeseless burger.

Calories: BYB 680, GVB 400
Total Fat/Saturated Fat/Trans Fat: BYB 39g/14g/2g, GVB 8g/1.5g/0g
Cholesterol: BYB 105 mg, GVB 0mg
Sodium: BYB 1040 mg, GVB 1560 mg (interesting!)
Carbohydrates: BYB 47g, GVB 57g

So, in other words, unless you have reason to watch your salt intake or carbs, the Garden Veggie Burger appears to be a good bit Healthier. I wonder if you can ask them not to put salt on it before cooking to cut that back. Plus it was on what appeared to be a whole-wheat bun versus the regular white bun for other burgers.

What's IN the Garden Veggie Burger? Hmm, good question. I'm not sure what the main bonding agent was. Tofu? Soy? A Google search didn't help me find the answer. I did see bits of orange in there (carrot, I presume) and maybe a black bean. Everything else was pretty much a mystery. I wonder if it has a lot of beans because the fiber amount was more than double that of a regular burger (7g vs. 3g).

How did it taste? Pretty good, actually. It didn't taste like I was eating a bunch of veggies. I don't think it tastes just like a real burger, but it's definitely palatable and doesn't make me miss the other kind. The Turkey Burger was pretty good, too, if the idea of going all veggie on your burgers is a bit drastic of a step.

Is it Cheaper? Nope. A 1/3 lb Back Yard Burger costs $3.59 vs. $4.29 for the Garden Veggie Burger. You can get it on a combo meal. Whether or not the health portion of it is worth the extra 70 cents is up to you.

I tried to find a picture of the burger online, but the only one I could find just mainly showed the bun and a piece of lettuce, so you couldn't see what the actual veggie patty looked like.

Now, if I could just cut out my darn "soft drink at fast food restaurants" habit and just order water...I do pretty well at home with just drinking water, but I don't usually keep soft drinks in the house that are tempting for me--just Huz's Dr. Pepper which I don't like that much. I consider fast-food soft drinks my "treat," but I could stand to cut those out.

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