Burger Free at a Burger Joint

I checked my archives and couldn’t find when/if I’d ever posted about Red Robin.  It’s not a place I eat at a great deal but I remember it was one of the first eateries I visited soon after making the switch to veganism.  I remember researching what options were vegan and I remember utilizing a build-your-own burger option.  I checked Red Robin’s website and couldn’t find it but I did choose what I wanted veggie burger, bun, and condiment-wise, printed it, and handed it to the waitress.  If I remember correctly, Red Robin’s veggie burger isn’t bad.

I re-visited Red Robin last week.  It was a gorgeous day and my step-father had a gift card so, after a walk at the reservoir, off we went.  I was already primed for a veggie burger and fries when I noticed a new option in the appetizer section of Red Robin’s menu.  My local Red Robin was offering guacamole, salsa, and tortilla chips.  Burger forgotten, I placed my order.

There are not words to express how much I enjoy guacamole.  When paired with salsa and crispy, salty, tortilla chips?  I’m willing to walk the reservoir a second time, if necessary.  It probably was necessary because the waitress told me the guacamole was bottomless.  Yep, she said bottomless and I did find it necessary to eat a second helping.  In order to feel good about my level of protein, I ordered a side dish of the southwestern black beans to accompany my guacamole goodness and tucked in.

This was delicious.  There wasn’t room in either dish to mix the guacamole, salsa, and beans together so I’d take a bite of one and then the other.  I had plenty of chips: one order covered two helpings of the guac and one of the beans.

Black Beans 2

Guacamole is, perhaps, difficult to get wrong, but Red Robin doesn’t miss the mark.  It wasn’t too salty and neither were the tortilla chips which meant the entire meal didn’t overwhelm.  The salsa and guacamole come in the same ramekin topped with jalapeno slices which aren’t too hot.  I would have said they could have used a touch more heat but my family was chortling at me as I began to turn red so, apparently, the meal was spicy enough.  I enjoyed it and it’s nice having a non-burger option at what is definitely a burger joint.

I can’t find the guacamole, salsa, and chips on Red Robin’s online menu so this option might be location specific.  Going to Red Robin?  I found this handy guide online.

Isn’t Healthy Junk Food an Oxymoron?

Work has been stressful lately. Of course, now that I’m thinking of it; work has been stressful for months and it’s only now that I’m becoming concerned for my health. I know I need to learn not to take responsibility on myself for things I can’t possibly be responsible for, but such growth is a process and I haven’t achieved the zenith yet.

Stress does annoying things to me. My mind gets wrapped up in the problem I’m dwelling on so my writing suffers, I get twisted up inside so my health suffers, and I desire nothing more than to stuff my face with all the food that’s bad for me-salt, fat, and sugar-so my health suffers even more. My vegan diet almost had a set back after one particularly trying day: I was driving home and saw the Sonic Drive-through coming up on my right. All I wanted was to get some pre-made food, go home, curl up in my chair, and wallow in misery. I didn’t want to be concerned about my health, GMOs, or think about what (or who) I might be eating. Fortunately, this blip didn’t last long. I remembered I did care about my health, animals, and the environment and made the turn to my house instead. Once home, I made my own burger and fries; satisfying the junk food craving without compromise.

For this, I thank Hilary’s Eat Well brand. I have packages of these vegan burgers in my freezer: I hit a sale at Vitamin Cottage a while back and stocked up, anticipating such an occasion. My favorite is the Green Chile and Cumin Adzuki Bean burger. This burger is flavorful, filling, and the texture is perfect. I’ve encountered some veggie burgers that feel like I’m chewing on a sponge but not so with Hilary’s brand. And, the burger is ready in less than ten minutes. Add some oven fries and my food almost as fast as drive-through, it tastes 100 times better, and is made without being fried in oil so I’m not inflicting too much destruction on my health.

Healthy Fast Food
Healthy Fast Food

It’s good to indulge without violating the principals that are important to me, even when cortisol is howling through my system. Part of me wishes I craved bean and greens soup and yoga when I’m stressed but I don’t. Maybe someday. Until then, I go ahead and indulge and then return to my optimum health track. 10 bean soup with kale for dinner tonight!

I do have one confession: I eat chocolate when I’m stressed and may have eaten one (or two) of these while my fries were baking.

No dairy!
No dairy!

I can’t convince myself these are a healthy snack choice but they are tasty and, if I’m indulging myself, why not fully commit? 🙂

Interested in Hilary’s Eat Well brand products? Check them out!