I distinctly remember being at the end of 15 – my driver’s license a breath away. Along with the ability to drive myself to play practice and school dances, one of the things I was most excited about was getting fast food whenever I wanted. No need to ask the adult driving if we could swing through for a meal in a paper sack. I could roll up to whatever fast food place I desired, and place my order through a speaker.
I wasn’t a big McDonald’s fan. Tacos were my passion. However, every once in a while a group of us would end up at the 1950’s-style McDonald’s to hang out and play their jukebox.
At the same time, unbeknownst to me, a teenage David was living in another part of the state, making sandwiches at McDonald’s. For a little over $3/hour, he flipped burgers and loaded them up with ketchup, mayo, and special sauce from a caulking gun. Even by the time we met many years later, he still had a soft spot for the place, including their signature sandwich, the Big Mac.
My fifteen-year-old self would be astonished that it’s now been over a decade since we’ve last pulled in dinner through a driver’s side window. For obvious reasons, as vegans most fast food places don’t hold a lot of draw. (Want to learn more? I highly recommend Fast Food Nation.)
However, it was a blast from the past last night, stacking Big Mac-style burgers in the kitchen using Gardein beefless sliders. The sliders come with four miniature burgers and buns to match. As I piled every layer in the tower, I held my breath in a way that is usually reserved for Jenga.
Hearkening back to his McDonald’s days, David minced the onion as small as he could manage. It reminded me of being a child again, watching as my onion-averse cousin meticulously picked each and every one off of her burger. He also cut a ¼ inch off of two of the bottom buns, so that the middle layer wouldn’t overwhelm.
I’ve gotten vegan Big Mac’s at Madeleine Bistro (before they closed), Doomies, and M Café. However, I especially liked how this slider version was a very manageable size for my appetite. Even with two patties and 3 buns, it is just the right size to serve with a side of fries. I baked my own using hand cut Russet potatoes and a healthy squeeze of ketchup.
It was all there in vegan form – the sweet and tangy special sauce, onions, pickles, lettuce, burgers, and buns aplenty.
This is not a sponsored post, and Gardein didn’t contact me about using their products in a recipe. However, I did win a contest in late 2014 that included a year’s supply of Gardein. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.