Stellar Strength Black Bean Burgers
For some reason I’ve never made a good black bean burger. Yesterday, I was determined to change that. I came up with a healthy meat free alternative. Of course you can change this recipe if you want it to be gluten free or vegan. If you’re unsure how to change the recipe, just email me and I’ll help you. I always use organic, high quality ingredients when possible.
I used TVP, or texturized vegetable protein in this recipe. I started using this to add to our food on a backpacking trip in Grand Canyon. It adds a lot more protein without adding fat or a lot of calories. This also gave the burgers more substance and eliminated the mushy texture a lot of black bean burgers seem to have.
3 T Extra Virgin Greek Olive Oil
1/3 c. chopped red onion
3 cloves chopped garlic
4 diced medium sized baby ‘bella mushrooms
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
½ c. Bob’s Red Mill TVP
½ c. flour (you can substitute this with any gluten free flour you like)
1 can organic black beans, rinsed
Saute in medium sized pan over medium heat, 1T olive oil, red onion and garlic. Saute for a few minutes and then add the mushrooms. Add salt and pepper. Allow to caramelize a bit. Set aside. Maybe 5 minutes of cooking time.
Blend In a food processor or high quality blender. Add everything and blend until it is combined.
Cook Add 1 T olive oil, heat pan. Take a handful of bean mixture and drop patty sized mounds into pan. Make sure to give enough space to brown both sides evenly. After browned, transfer to paper towel.
Bake When almost ready to serve take browned patties and bake in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes.
Serve You can use bread, portabella mushrooms as buns, a lettuce bed or tortillas. It’s up to you, be creative. I served them with some shredded mozzarella cheese, some chopped heirloom tomatoes, fresh spinach, avocado, fresh cilantro and a dollop of non-fat greek yogurt.
Simple Greek Village Salad
1 organic cucumber
1/2 red onion
1 Fresh organic tomato
Greek Feta cheese
2 sprigs fresh dill
Maybe 10 leaves of fresh oregano
Greek extra virgin olive oil
Aged balsamic vinegar
Garlic salt, fresh cracked black pepper
This is a very uncomplicated, delicious recipe. I throw it all together. I mix oil and vinegar and spices to taste.
I’m sure you have all heard about how popular juicing and blending are and how great they for you. You might not know exactly how to get started. I didn’t at first, and I found it extremely intimidating.
I’m here to break down the difference between the two and try and remove any fears you may have about starting something new.
The most important thing to note is, you cannot mess this up. So don’t worry that you will put too much or too little of something in and ruin a concoction.
There are two ways to go about this, one is what I call “Blending”, it’s really just tossing a bunch of high quality veggies or roots and a little fruit into a blender, adding a bit of purified water and turning it on. You want to make sure you have a good blender for this. I have a Vitamix, which I love. You would be completely fine with a NutriBullet or less expensive blender, just make sure it is powerful enough to pulverize whatever you want to add. Blending retains the fiber of the vegetables and there is zero waste, since you are blending the whole fruit, roots or leaves and then drinking it. It does tend to keep you fuller longer. Something important to know; please make sure you blend for a while, and add enough water. Otherwise, you will have little bits of kale floating around because you didn’t blend them up enough. I hate the texture of this, you might not.
The second option is “Juicing”. You really do want to have a high quality machine to do this. I purchased an Omega juicer that I love. I can juice and save it for a few days in the refrigerator and it’s still good. Juicing allows you to get nutrients from a great deal of veggies, roots and citrus all at one time without too much fiber. I feel healthier, much more energetic and happier when I juice. Personally, I prefer juicing because my body reacts better to it. Some people don’t like the pulpy “waste” juicing creates, but this isnt an issue for me because I feed my dogs raw and I give them everything that isn’t used.
Many times I have been in clients homes and they tell me they just don’t think they can do it; it’s too confusing, it’s too time consuming. I have stopped what we were doing and taken them to their kitchen and made a blended smoothie right there. Proving you don’t need a lot of ingredients and it truly is pretty simple.
Some veggies you might want to begin with to blend or juice are, kale, spinach, celery, romaine, beets, parsley, ginger and carrots. The harder fruits are better for juicing, apple, pear, etc. The softer ones are better for blending, avocado, mango, etc. The list goes on and on. I try and keep the sweet stuff to a minimum because I don’t want to drink too much sugar. I don’t use a lot of fruit in my juices or blends, but you can. You can use a few veggies or a lot. They all provide something different nutritionally.
The combination I juiced today was kale, celery, carrot, parsley and spinach. I am drinking it as I type. Let me know how it goes for you, and what your favorite combinations are. I can also add some more detailed recipes, if requested. Some books I recommend to get started are “The Juicing Bible,” by Pat Crocker; and “Juice,” by the founders of Pressed Juicery.
Avocado Caprese Toast
I am always tweaking things and trying to come up with the healthiest versions of food I love. This is a simple, incredible lunch I created last week with healthy ingredients I had on hand. I got so many positive responses, I wanted to share it here for reference. Let me know what you think or how you have changed it to suit your tastes more.
One small Baguette sliced lengthwise and toasted
Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, as much as you like or you can omit for a vegan version
One half of a ripe Avocado, smashed
A few sliced Organic Grape Tomatoes
A few fresh Basil leaves
Your favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle
Fresh cracked Black Pepper and Celtic Sea Salt
I toasted the baguette under a broiler first, then put the cheese on and allowed that to get a bit warm and melted.
I smashed the avocado, put the tomatoes and basil on top of it. I drizzled a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top and salt and pepper.