The Daily Beet

08 Aug Saving Time with Char: Dinner with Rip (well, sort of)

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Saving Time with Char

Dinner with Rip (well, sort of)

There I was on a mission to get some kale and some other incidentals at my local Whole Foods Market.  I bumped into an old friend who works at the store when she said, “Oh, Char, we have the NEW Engine 2 veggie burgers!  I thought of you when I saw them.”   I had to cut our conversation short, because truthfully, I could not wait to see these awesome burgers!


I turned the corner to the frozen aisle, and there they were, the long awaited Engine 2 Veggie Burgers.  I was particularly drawn to the Kale White Bean variety…kale and beans are two of my favorite things.  I was happy to throw two boxes of them in my cart.  All I could think about was the arduous task that is involved in creating recipes and food trials to get a product to the shelves of a store, and I knew that these were created with plant-strong love.  Think of how happy every plant-strong person will be knowing that there is a burger that exists just for them (and others).

When I got to the checkout, the person behind me commented on my choice.  He commented on the price and said, “Whoa, $4.99 for three burgers.  That is crazy.”

Then, slowly I turned.  And I said,

“Really?  You can go and get a hoagie for $5.99, and that is one and done.  I’ll create some great meals with these!  In fact, I will get three meals from this one box!”   I am always amazed by peoples’ own food priorities and their ill perceptions of being plant-strong.  This is where I have to remind myself to be a promoter and not a defender.

As I drove home, I was thinking about the variety of dishes that could be made with this great new product from the E2 Kitchens!  And as I rolled into my kitchen, I was ready to make some great food.

Think outside the bun, as they say.   You can bake your E2 Burger in the oven.  If you like a crispy burger, bake on an aerated pan.  If you like a moist burger, wrap in foil paper, and bake at prescribed oven temp.  What else can you do with your burger?

  • Crumble and bake in oven, use as a taco filler.  Totally delish!
  • The White Bean and Kale Burger is perfect to smother in tomato sauce and use as a side dish to your favorite pasta dish.
  • Use lettuce leaves as your “roll” and stuff the leaves with shredded, fresh veggies and your burger!  Iceberg leaves work the best, as they are very “pliable.”
  • Cook, and cut into quarters and use as a garnish for your favorite salad.

The possibilities  are endless.  It is becoming easier to practice a plant-strong lifestyle.  Four years ago when I became plant- strong, none of the E2 products existed.  It was difficult to find plant-strong foods that matched my lifestyle. Rip and his food team knew exactly what people needed.  It’s such a joy to read clean labels and even better to eat such delicious food that doesn’t require tons of time.

Three flavors…I am drawn to the Kale and White Bean, it’s just my thing.  The other two in the burger trio are Thai Basil Edamame, and Curried Lentil.  Think of the dishes you can make with the burgers as the focal point of your meal.  And, if you are headed to a friend’s house for a cookout…you’ve got yourself covered with these awesome burgers.

So, I might not be actually having dinner with Rip, but his burgers are an amazing way to cut corners in the kitchen when you are busy and need to make a plant-strong meal.  It’s going to be easier to pack lunches, too.  Being PSOTR (a term created by a WFM team member [plant-strong on the road]) has never been so easy!


Even Rip is super excited about the arrival of the Engine 2 veggie burgers!

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Char Nolan for Engine 2
Char Nolan

Char Nolan is a blog contributor and Engine 2 Extra Coach. She's been plant-strong for almost five years. From Philadelphia, she works in the plant-based whole foods arena, and is also the "vegan features writer," for the "Town Dish." She's lost a great deal of weight from being plant-strong, practices yoga, and is always dabbling in her kitchen to create new, plant-strong recipes. Armed with a degree in public health, Char also holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from e-Cornell.

  • Sonja Hanson-Stark
    Posted at 08:18h, 08 August

    Cannot wait to get to Whole Foods, but it is a bit of a drive! I will stock up!

  • Sharon
    Posted at 08:31h, 08 August

    I can’t wait to try all of these!!!

  • ekricwlke
    Posted at 09:07h, 08 August

    I tried the Kale and White Bean burgers for the first time last night. Great texture, but way too much garlic. Please, is there anyway to tone that down? Then they would be perfect! My breath was so bad afterwards that I couldn’t wait to hit the mouthwash. Not sure how I could ever pack these for lunch at work!

  • Patrick Nottingham
    Posted at 09:10h, 08 August

    You can pay the doctor or you can pay the grocer. Wish I had a WF close to get these. Roadtrip!

  • Patti
    Posted at 09:39h, 08 August

    I looked for these at the WF in Atlanta the other day and I could not find them! Will go back again soon! These sound amazing and thanks for the ideas on how to use them, Char!

  • Debbie Cowherd
    Posted at 15:25h, 08 August

    I’d love to see this kind of product in stores besides Whole Foods. I know there’s slim pickings, but articles focusing on these types of products you can get in regular grocery stores would be much appreciated.

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