Once in a while, I have a little flirt. But it's not with a handsome man - no, I'm talking about flirting with the idea of ditching meat and going vegetarian, or even vegan. After all, I know that are lots of completely admirable and honorable reasons to make the plunge and switch to a plant-based diet; not only is it better for your health, it also removes any doubt about how the animals involved have been treated, and it's way better for the environment too.
But there's one thing that always brings me back, and no it's not a big juicy steak: it's burgers. You see, I am a complete and utter, self-confessed, uncontrollable burger addict. There's something about the combination of a juicy patty, crispy bacon, decent cheese and a fluffy brioche bun that just can't be beaten.
So if a friend suggests eating out, I suggest burgers, almost without fail. But at least $10 a pop, $15 after drinks, it's a fairly pricey way to feed a habit - so can an at-home recipe provide the same fix? After a quick peek online, it would seem that there's definitely hope. Here are 10 burgers that will remind you why vegan is just not an option sometimes.
1. The double patty
Any recipe version that starts with the line "I smell bacon, but I don't see it, let's show you where it's hiding" is already off to a flying start as far as I'm concerned. But then this guy takes it to the next level by revealing that it's a double patty, adding plenty of cheese *drool*. Plus, it all looks surprisingly easy.
2. The Posh One
In many ways, this creation is a bit like the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's union of the culinary world; cheeseburgers might not be posh, but beef wellington certainly is. And not only does it feature a layer crispy golden pastry, it also calls for an entire packet of bacon. Let's try not to think about how many calories a slice it clocks up.
3. The Mexican
Famous for a love of queso and carne, it's fair to say that Mexico probably isn't the dream destination for vegans. But for meat eaters, this recipe combining creamy quesadillas and chunky cheeseburgers, looks oh so wrong and yet oh so right.
4. The Game Day Burger
When you've got friends round to watch a game, you obviously need something to sustain you. But crisps are boring and pizza is just so damn cliche - and as any good sports team knows, you've got to put the effort in if you're going to impress. Fortunately, this full-sized stuffed slider tray is surprisingly easy to make and contains a cheeky surprise in the middle.
5. The Buttermilk Dream
Most of the time, I don't think chickens deserve to be burgers; whenever I order a chicken burger, something about it just falls a little bit short. But this recipe for a buttermilk chicken creation with apple slaw looks so cluckin' good that it's hard not to be tempted by it anyway.
6. The Ultimate Drunchie
You know that feeling at the end of a big night out when you stumble towards the same trusty food vendor that have on every one before it, and yet still stand there for 10 minutes contemplating whether a kebab or a burger would be the better choice? Well, this mammoth cheeseburger kebab is here to solve all of your problems. Described as a "melting tower of beef", it contains almost two kilograms of beef.
7. The Hangover Saviour
This one doesn't actually contain any mince, but when you're basically presented with a fried breakfast in a bun you really can't complain, and hash browns just make any situation better. Plus, eggs contain loads of cysteine which break down the alcohol modules causing your hangover, so you could even claim that it's good for you.
8. The Secret One
These cheese stuffed, bacon-wrapped, mince in the middle burger dogs may truly make vegans hate you, but they do look irresistibly delicious. Plus, from the outside, they look like normal hot dogs, so then no one will even be able to criticize you for chowing down on burgers for the fourth time this week.
9. The BBQ Belter
I'm going to be controversial here and say that if there's one sauce that deserves to be slathered on everything, it's not mayonnaise, but BBQ - there's something about that smokey, sticky sweetness that just makes the world a better place. So this meatloaf burger, which comes drenched in the good stuff and jam-packed full of crispy shallots looks like the perfect patty.
10. The Dinner Party Piece
Last, by absolutely no means least, is this Giant Big Mac Ring that comes complete with an inbuilt fry holder. Requiring almost 1kg of beef mince, half a kilogram of dough and a mighty six slices of cheese, it's probably more of a sharing-is-caring meal rather than something you could polish off yourself, although that doesn't mean you can't take on the challenge anyway.
So there we have it, 10 recipes for mouthwateringly delicious, unnecessarily indulgent burgers that look so good it'll be hard to resist truing each and every one of them.