Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean BurgersIt has been quite some time since I have blogged.  Life has been keeping me busy despite my good intentions of sharing my new recipes.

After many attempts I have found the perfect vegetarian burger for our family.  In recent posts, I made what my husband and I considered great quinoa burgers, but the kids didn’t “love” them.  Tonight I tried a new Black Bean Burger mixture that hit the spot for everyone…a thumbs up from all!  I am happy to report this will be part of our summertime rotation.

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked 1(15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup plain whole wheat bread crumbs
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup water
1 egg (omit egg for vegan option)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (or ketchup)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 small onion (diced small)
About 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions
Heat beans in microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.  Drain and rinse.  Mash the beans with a fork in a mixing bowl.  Just mash them some so no whole beans are left.  You should leave some half beans, they don’t need to be pureed.

Add the bread crumbs, chili powder, cumin, onion, water, egg, and ketchup (and cilantro if using), but don’t mix yet.  Use a grater to grate the garlic in.  (A garlic press or very well mince garlic works, too.)

Mix everything together with a fork, and then knead with your hands until the mixture is firm and uniform.

Preheat a frying pan or saute pan over medium heat.

Divide the burger mixture into six equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a firm ball.  Press the ball down into the shape of a patty.

Pour a thin layer of olive oil into the pan.  Cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side, gently pressing down on them with a spatula until cooked.

Serve with your favorite toppings on burger buns.

Servings: 6

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Meatless Monday!

Meatless Monday…have you heard of it? Meatless Monday is a movement that was created to encourage individuals to take a look at their diet and cut out meat, one day a week. According to Meatless Monday going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. If you do eat meat on other days, Meatless Monday strongly recommends grass-fed, hormone-free, locally-raised options whenever possible.

I would like to express that I have no intention of pushing any of my readers to be completely meat free, as I do have the mindset of “all things in moderation.” If you haven’t heard of this wonderful movement, I encourage you to visit their website at http://www.meatlessmonday.com.

Meatless Monday was a big motivator when I was first venturing into the “meat free” territory of cooking. It’s amazing how starting out one night a week “meat free” led to our whole week of dinners being “meat free” and now it’s just a way of life!

So, what are you having for dinner tonight? I will be cooking up my Extra Easy Spinach Lasagna! (click on the blue to be linked directly to recipe)

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Avocado, Tomato & Cucumber Round

I’m excited to share a new lunchtime creation: Avocado, Tomato & Cucumber Round.  This was my first year growing an organic garden and I can not believe how many vegetables we are harvesting.  So fresh from the garden today I decided to use some of our tomato and cucumber!  This sandwich is healthy, delicious and light!

INGREDIENTS
CHIVE SPREAD:
1/4 CUP VEGENAISE OR GREEK YOGURT OR MAYONNAISE (OR 2 TBS OF EACH)
1 TABLESPOON FINELY CHOPPED FRESH CHIVES
SALT AND PEPPER, TO TASTE

AVOCADO SALAD:
1 AVOCADO, PEELED, PITTED AND DICED
1 TOMATO, CORED AND CHOPPED
1 CUCUMBER, PEELED, SEEDED AND DICED
SQUEEZE OF LIME JUICE
2 TABLESPOONS CHOPPED FRESH CILANTRO
4 SLICES OF ARNOLDS WHOLE WHEAT SANDWICH THINS
1/4 CUP ALFALFA SPROUTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. To Make the Chive Spread: In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. To Make the Avocado Salad: In a medium bowl, gently toss together the avocado, tomato, cucumber, lime juice and basil or cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  3. To Assemble: Spread the chive-yogurt mixture on all four round slices. Divide the sprouts between two slices of bread, and top with avocado salad. Cover with the remaining slices of bread.
YIELD:
2 LARGE SANDWICHES

Antioxidant Smoothie

Happy Monday!  Today I decided to try something new and break away from our traditional morning Superfood Smoothie.  This smoothie is packed with antioxidants and is delicious.  Give it a try and see what you think.  Kid tested and KID FRIENDLY!

Ingredients
1.5 cups combined organic frozen blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
1.5 cups organic spinach
1 whole banana (peeled)
1 to 2 tbs flax or chia seed
1 cup water

Directions
Blend and ENJOY.

Fruity Green Chia Smoothie

I decided to introduce GREEN back into our daily afternoon snack, today’s choice: ROMAINE LETTUCE.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C. Romaine lettuce is also a very good source of dietary fiber and 4 minerals.  In order to keep the romaine from being too overbearing in taste I added an array of yummy fruit.  If you are having trouble getting your kids to drink something GREEN, how about naming your drink something fun, like THE GREEN HULK.  Use your creativity.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly it will change your child’s perception.

Also included in today’s smoothie were my new favorite Chia Seeds.  I use The Chia Co.  Chia Seeds are the richest plant based source of Omega 3, dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants.

This smoothie is smooth in taste and KID FRIENDLY.

Ingredients
2 large leaves of organic romaine
2 ripe bananas, peeled
1 organic orange, peeled and seeded
1 mango
1/2 pineapple cored (can add more pineapple to increase sweetness)
1/2 cup water
1 cup ice
1-2 tbs black chia seeds

BLEND & ENJOY

Yield: 4

Kiwi Watermelon Smoothie

Today I was craving something fresh but not too sweet and decided to try a new combination.  The Kiwi Watermelon Smoothie was just what I was looking for and is packed full of great nutrients.  Kid tested and KID FRIENDLY!

Ingredients
1.5 cups peeled, diced watermelon
1 kiwi, peeled, halved
1 date, pitted
1 cup ice cubes

Blend for at least 45 seconds.

Yield:

2 1/4 cups

Frosty Basil Lemonade

Frosty Basil LemonadeI was intrigued by the use of both basil & lemon in the Frosty Basil Lemonade so decided to give it a try.  Basil herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, Iron & flavonoids.  Lemon has been known to clear the digestive system and purify the liver.  This drink is light & refreshing!

Ingredients
3 cups (720 ml) water
1.5 lemons, peeled, halved, seeded
1/4 cup (50g) sugar or sweetener of choice*
1/2 cup (20g) fresh basil leaves
1 cup (240ml) ice cubes
*I tried to go light on the sugar and decided to add the full amount.

Blend for 1 minute

Yield: 3 cups (720ml)