Recipe: Spicy Black Bean and Beet Burgers

For the majority of this year, I have been following a plant based diet.

Now when I say the word “diet”, I don’t mean diet in the sense I am cutting calories.

No, I mean diet in the sense that this is what I am eating on a daily basis.

I will be going more into how I feel about the plant based diet in a later post, but for right now let me just tell you that I love it.

I especially love all the new recipes I am discovering.

One of my absolute new favorites is a burger recipe from a cookbook I got called The No Meat Athlete

It’s the Spicy Black Bean and Beet Burger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you are like me, you read the word “beet” in a recipe and turn the page.

I have tried making beets 100 different ways, because I know they are really good for you and have a ton of nutrients, but no matter how I cook them, they still taste like dirt to me.

But I swear to you, this recipe is SO FREAKING GOOD! We are on our second batch and I know I am going to make more as soon as we are done with this one.

Here is the recipe…

1 15oz can of black beans
1 cup of cooked rice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Taco seasoning
1 beet, peeled and grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
Black pepper

Pulse black beans and rice in food processor until combined and paste like then transfer to bowl and set aside.

Heat skillet on medium, add oil and taco seasoning. Stir often, heating for about 1 min

Add beet, carrot and onion and cook. Stir often and cook until veggies are soft (about 5 min)

Add vinegar, tomato paste and garlic. Cook for 3-5 min, again stirring often.

Remove from heat, add salt and black pepper.

Add veggie mixture to beans/rice in bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.

Place in fridge covered overnight.

TO COOK…

Preheat oven to 400

Shape burgers and place on cooking sheet. (I made 4oz patties and got 10 burgers out of the mixture)

Cook for 30 min, flip burgers and then cook for another 10 min.

Enjoy!

***NOTE*** Make sure you use gloves for grating the beets and shaping the burgers or your hands will be a nice purple/pink color 🙂

Hope you try this one and let me know what you think in the comments below!!

Recipe: Cold Summer Quinoa Salad

I love easy cold salads during the summer.

They are light, refreshing and a great way to get in more veggies during the day.

Here is one that I have been making a lot this summer because it is SO good!

You will need 1 cup dry (3 cups cooked) quinoa, 2 cucumbers, 3 tomatoes (I use Roma, but you can use whatever tomato you like), 1 lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cook the quinoa, place in a bowl to cool and fluff with fork. I like to cook mine in my Instant Pot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut up the cucumbers by cutting in quarters length wise, then chopping into bite-size pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chop up tomatoes into bit-size pieces. I also scoop the seeds and “slimy stuff” out of the tomatoes as well. I like to do this so the salad doesn’t get too watery as it sits in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put all 3 ingredients into a bowl or Tupperware container. Cut lemon in half and squeeze out the lemon juice onto the quinoa, cucumbers and tomatoes making sure you take out and seeds that might fall in while doing this. Then drizzle some olive oil (maybe 1 tbsp), add salt and pepper.

Mix and you are done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours to let all the ingredients marinate together and get really cold.

Then serve!

I love having this in the fridge for lunch, even dinner. I have also added avocado in the past, but the avocado turns brown after awhile and the salad doesn’t look as appetizing 😉 If you want to add the avocado, I would suggest adding it when you serve, just putting enough in what you have on your plate.

Hope you try this one and let me know what you think!

New Favorite Veggie!

I love trying new foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

I’ll be honest, I thought I had tried all the fruits and veggies out there until one of my client’s asked me if I had ever had Jicama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought about it, and realized I had not.

So the next time I was at the grocery store, I decided to pick up some and try it out for myself.

The result?

My absolute favorite new veggie!

If you have never tried jicama before, it’s a root vegetable that has the texture of an apple, crunch like a carrot and is a bit sweet.

It’s a great source of fiber and it has a ton of vitamin C!

I eat it raw and I love to have it on hand to snack on.

And if you are a “snacker” like me, this a great veggie to snack on and not worry about the calories or expanding your waistline.

It’s super easy to prepare.

Here are the simple steps to cut up a jicama.

Cut whole jicama in half

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut skin off like you would a pineapple. I tried using a peeler like I would a potato, but the skin is too tough and thick for the type of peeler I have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut jicama up into sticks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And lastly…ENJOY!

I am going to look at some recipes that the jicama is cooked to see how I like it like that. But for right now, I am loving this simple veggie as a snack throughout the day.

If you are a person who likes to snack, this is the veggie for you.

Hope you try it, or maybe go back to it if you have already tried it, and let me know how you like it by commenting below!

Happy eating! 🙂

Easy Way to Stop Throwing Out Produce!

One of my biggest pet peeves is throwing away food that has gone bad.

Especially fresh fruits and veggies.

One thing that seems to go bad quickly for us is spinach.

A couple of weeks ago my husband bought 3 big bags of spinach because it was on sale

We go through a lot of spinach for our smoothies.

But this time we didn’t since I had to go out of town for 4 days and last week while looking in the fridge, I saw all the spinach he bought was going bad and getting slimy 🙁

So instead of throwing all that away, and wasting it, I came up with a plan.

I decided since this spinach was going to be used for smoothies, why not just freeze it?

But I didn’t want to just throw the bags in the freezer and let them be.

I decided to blend all 3 bags up (basically liquify them) and freeze them in ice cube trays.

And I’ll admit, I’m pretty happy with the results 🙂

Here’s what I did….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took all 3 bags and placed handfuls at a time, along with a little water, in the blender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then kept adding the spinach until all 3 bags were liquid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I poured the liquid into the ice cube trays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now when I need the spinach for my smoothies, I just take out 4-5 cubes and blend it in with the rest of the fruits and veggies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m looking at trying other veggies to do this with. Not only to be able to keep them longer, but to add more to my smoothie.

Hope you try it and if you do, make sure you comment below how it turned out!

Recipe: Vegetable Soup-Pressure Cooker

As an early Christmas present, I got a new pressure cooker. I have been wanting to get one of these for awhile now and I was so excited to start using it.

I haven’t tried cooking a lot in it, but I can tell already it will become a staple in my weekly meal prepping.

Last week I posted a picture of a vegetable soup I made in the pressure cooker on my personal Instagram and I got a lot of inquiries on what the exact recipe was.

Well, if you have read any of my recipe posts, you know that I hardly follow recipes when it comes to cooking. Most of the time I use whatever we have on hand, and that is exactly what I did with this soup.

Here is the “recipe” I put together for the vegetable soup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:
4-5 Carrots peeled and chopped
1/2 onion chopped
4-5 potatoes chopped (depending on how big)
1 bunch of celery chopped
1 can of Rotel **not pictured**
1 red pepper chopped **no pictured**
1 cup lentils
1 tbl of garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tbl of oregano
1 bouillon cube of chicken stock
4 cups of water
salt/pepper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put all the chopped veggies, except the potatoes, in a pan and saute for about 5 min. (I know I can saute in my pressure cooker, but I haven’t explored that yet lol)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the veggies are cooked a little, add all ingredients to the pressure cooker. I had cooked the first batch for 20 minutes, which turned out to be too long and the lentils basically turned to mush. So yesterday I only cooked it for 18 minutes and it turned out perfectly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This has become one of our favorite soups already and with the cold front coming this weekend (only reaching a high of 30!!!! ), I will probably be making it again LOL.

 

Recipe: Cauliflower Rice

Over the past couple of months Cauliflower Rice has become a huge staple in our weekly food/meal prepping.

If you have never tried it, you need to!

I love it for many reasons…

  1. It seriously tastes just like rice, but without the added starch that I don’t always need some days.
  2. I love that you use the whole head of cauliflower. I hate throwing away the stems because I feel I am wasting a lot of good food. With this, you don’t need to waste anything!
  3. My daughter loves it! Always good to find new veggies she likes 🙂
  4. It’s simple to make and lasts all week in the fridge.

I have seen a lot of different ways you can make cauliflower rice, but here is the simple way I do.

Cut the cauliflower up into small chunks.

cauliflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put them in the food processor and pulse until the cauliflower has the “look” of rice. Make sure you don’t do it too long or the cauliflower will turn into mush.

cauliflower 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add about 1 inch of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower rice. You will want to stir it around and then cover and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

cauliflower 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then drain the cauliflower rice.

Once done, you have endless possibilities to add to your daily meals.

My favorite is making a “stir fry” and adding chicken, cut up veggies and a little bit of soy sauce.

Mmmmmmmmmmm 🙂

Hope you give this a try and let me know how you like it!

Recipe: Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

I love to grill.

In fact, it is one of my favorite ways to cook food.

This past weekend I made chicken and veggie kabobs on the grill.

I love making kabobs because you can make them with any meat and veggie and they turn out so good!

Here is the recipe I made…

I first marinaded the chicken with a Mediterranean marinade. I just placed 4 chicken breasts in a zip bag and let them sit in the marinade for about 2 hours.

kabob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I cut up the chicken into about 1 inch pieces. (I probably should have cut them up before I put them in the marinade…but oh well LOL)

kabob 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I put the chicken and veggies on the skews. For this time, I used mushrooms and peppers. I know some people will marinade the veggies too. I don’t. I find they can become too mushy if I do.

kabob 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I grill!

For these I set the grill on medium heat and grilled for about 16 minutes, turning the skews half way.

kabob 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They turned out perfect!!!

Hope you give these a try!!!

Recipe: Veggie Stuffed Mushrooms

I’m always looking for new recipes for veggies.

Steamed broccoli and spinach salads can get a bit boring after awhile.

Recently I found this recipe for Vegetable Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. And they are SOOOOOOO good!

But like always, I tweaked this recipe. I used broccoli instead of zucchini and Roma tomatoes instead of sun-dried mainly because it was what I had on hand.

First chop up the red pepper and onion and saute it in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with garlic. (I put extra garlic in because I love it!) Cook until peppers are tender and onions are translucent.

mushroom 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then chopped up the tomatoes and broccoli and added it, along with the spinach, to cook. Cover pan so the spinach wilts, stirring occasionally. Cook on medium low.

mushroom 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After spinach has wilted, mix in bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. (You can omit but they help with the binding). Mix in all other spices.

mushroom 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, wipe off bottoms of mushrooms and cut stems. Place on cookie sheet.

mushroom 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoon mixture into the mushrooms evenly. I only had 4 mushrooms, but had enough mixture for about 5, maybe 6. I just over-stuffed 😉

mushroom 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, place in oven for 35-40 minutes at 375. After you can leave them like this if you do not want to add the cheese.

mushroom 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, well I LOVE cheese, and it’s not much, so I add about 1 tbsp of mozzarella cheese on top of each mushroom and cook for an additional 8 min.

mushroom 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there you go!

They are really good and a great way to get a lot of veggies in at once.

I hope you try these and really like them! They have become a weekly meal in our house!

Making Recipes Suitable for You! (And here is one of my new favorites)

In my house I am notorious for taking a recipe and making it mine.

I will add “this” or take out “that” to fit my taste or diet. I very rarely make a recipe the way it is written.

I mainly do this because I like experimenting with recipes, especially “comfort foods”, to make them healthier yet still tasty.

I also tweak it with ingredients I have on hand.

Here is an example.

My husband and I love stuffed peppers, so this past weekend I got on my computer and started looking at recipes.

I found this one for Stuffed Peppers

But I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, such as the beef and I had already made a bunch of shredded chicken for the week, and I wanted to omit some of the cheese and add in some extra flavor with some garlic.

So that is exactly what I did!

I substituted in the chicken, I cut out 1/2 of the cheese recommended and added a whole lot of garlic. 🙂

Here is everything combined and cooking.

SP 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After cooking the “stuffing” for about 20 min, I put it in half-peppers. Again, something else I changed in the recipe. Main reason is because my portion would only be 1/2, while my husband’s would be 1 whole pepper, so he will just eat two. I also put about 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the dish.

SP 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, here is everything cooked and ready to eat!

SP 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love tweaking recipes and making them perfect for us. I strongly urge you to do as well. Take recipes you normally wouldn’t make because it’s not on the “clean list” and make it suitable for your nutrition plan.

New Favorite Kitchen Tool

When it comes to cooking, and/or baking, I’m really not one to have a bunch of fancy tools and gadgets in the kitchen.

I stick to the basics.

But a couple of months ago I decided to buy a new gadget called the spiralizer. This is a tool that turns vegetables into “noodles” that can be used instead of pasta.

I kept putting off the use of it because…well we don’t really eat pasta. Really the only “pasta” we make in the house is mac ‘n cheese and even that is for our daughter.

But last week my sister-n-law asked me to use it so I could give her my opinion and she would decide if she wanted to purchase one for herself.

My opinion?

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS GADGET!!!

Spiralizer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the Spiralizer I used>>>> CLICK HERE

I made a shrimp and zucchini dish and the zucchini actually did taste like pasta.

Shrimp zucchini

 

 

 

 
I love this because as I am leaning out over the next 5 weeks and I can get my veggies in and feel like I’m “cheating” with pasta. LOL

Honestly, it is a great way to get your veggies in and, if needed, trick your family into getting them too! Enjoy!