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The Very Good Butchers…indeed!

...but maybe more like "AWESOME" Butchers!!!

RainyDayKitchen has been getting a lot really interesting reader-suggested plant-based meats, which came in after their recent posts on plant-based burgers (Beyond Meat, etc).

One reader recommended The Very Good Butchers (VGB), a company based in Victoria B.C.  We took a look at VGB and liked what we read.

Here is our FirstLook of some the VGB offerings and a FirstTaste of one of their burgers.

A Very Good Box

The founders of The Very Good Butchers wanted to make plant-based eating  “approachable, nutritious and delicious as possible.” We thought their Very Good Box, a collection of VGB’s six most popular, minimally-processed, nutritious “vegan meats,” was a good place to start.

VGB’s burgers are made with a handful of beans and a lot of other veggies. What goes into the burger to make it Very Good? An onion here, a mushroom there, and a lot of other veggie goodness:

How come when I put those ingredients together, they don’t come out like that? To quote George Carlin, “It’s a mystery.”

When an order is placed, the “bean butchers” prep the products, freeze the products, and ship them out in an insulated box with ice packs.

There’s a whole lot of nom-nom-nominess in that there box…

According to the enclosed directions, these plant-based “meats” should last for up to four weeks in the fridge unopened, and longer if frozen.

From the west coast of Canada (eh) to the east coast of the US (wicked pissah) and still solidly frozen-solid!

The Very Good Box collection contained enough of six products for 13+ meals:

Talk about a vegan rapture…


Very Good Burger : AAA-grade bean patty, loaded with organic veggies and spices including beets, carrots, old-fashioned mustard and tahini. Think earthy, rich and herby, with the classic BBQ flavor.

Four burgers, 3.75 ounces each

Smokin’ Burger : A chorizo-style burger with smoked paprika, garlic, and onions. Think “smoky” as opposed to “spicy.”

Four burgers, 3.75 ounces each

Pepperoni : Adzuki beans with just the right amount of spices. Perfect for pizzas, calzones, for straight out of the package.

1 “stick”, seven ounces

Very Good Taco Stuff’er : AAA Grade ground bean with the spice and flavours of Mexico, and the perfect texture and crumble that doesn’t fall apart while cooking.

10.6 ounces, enough for eight tacos

Very British Banger : Made from organic navy beans, fresh apples, leeks and just the right combination of herbs and spices.

Why are they called “Bangers”? Here’s your answer.

Four bangers, 3.5 ounces each

Smokin’ Bangers: Made using fresh veggies, adzuki beans, barley and herbs. Smokey ancho and chipotle chili bring the heat with just the right amount of spice.

Four bangers, 3.5 ounces each


We chose the Smokin’ Burger for our FirstTaste.

We cooked it in the RainyDayKitchen, the same way we cooked the burgers from Beyond Meat and Impossible Food, and could not have been more impressed with how it came out.

The VGB burgers, like all of their other “meats,” are pre-cooked and can be consumed directly out of the package, but they recommend heating them for “best results.”

Hurry up! I’m hungry!

The one thing we have learned about cooking plant-based burgers is to NOT overcook them. We use a combination of microwaving and pan-frying, which we found gives the best results.

First we microwaved the burger for 30 seconds to get the inside hot, then pan-fried each side in olive oil for about 2-3 minutes to brown up the outside. Any longer will dry the patty and decrease the flavor.

From fridge to plate, the elapsed time (prep, cooking, etc.) for making a meal is typically less than 10 minutes. The Smokin’ Burger was no exception.

Two halves of a whole lotta goodness… (including vegan mayo)

The texture and flavor of the Smokin’ Burger was spot-on. The taste was mildly spicy, full of flavor, and very satisfying. The burger had a firm ground-beefy mouth-feel, but was not meat-flavored. Those RainyDayKitcheners who found the Beyond Meat burger too reminiscent of red meat did not have the same reaction to the VGB burger.

VGB’s burger was also juicy without being oily or greasy, and didn’t “bleed” like the others we had tried. The lack of “blood” was fine as the “bleeding” actually turned off some all of the vegetarians in the RainyDayKitchen, even though we are pretty sure it was beet juice blud…

Of COURSE that’s vegan cheese! Don’t be ridiculous.

Of all the plant-based burgers we have tried to date, the Very Good Butchers’ burger was the first one to get the nod from both the meat-eaters AND the vegetarians in the RainyDayKitchen.

“Very Good” indeed!!!

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