Charting life's circuitous path

Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 – Challenge 31 and Veggie Bean Burgers

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My Update:  It’s been a week since I started the Loving Kindness Meditation exercise and I’ve been able to do it every night.

Even when I didn’t want to.

Even when I’d rather just curl up with a good book and go to bed.

Even when my mind resisted by telling me “it’s not like it’s working, now is it?” and proceeded to show me just how little it really was working.

Still, I crossed my legs every night and sat upright for my 10 minute session with my inner self.  It’s so hard to stop the silly and not-so-silly thoughts from distracting you.  One moment I can feel myself detach and the next, like the gray hairs popping up out of nowhere on my head, the thoughts just show up and I begin thinking until I catch myself and try to let them go.

One week isn’t really enough time to judge anything and this week has been a pretty rough week on my self-esteem.  I’ll see how it goes after my month.

Challenge Week 30 Topic: Easy Dinners

In a lot of ways, I’m lucky when it comes to dinners.  During the week, I eat alone and therefore I can cook whatever I want.  During the weekends, we eat rather simply: either Japanese for dinner on Saturday and a meat dinner for the hubby on Sunday or vice versa.  The hubby isn’t a picky eater and doesn’t get very excited about gourmet meals so I don’t have to worry about whipping up something new and complicated every time.

For my weekly dinners, I like to go for filling yet low calorie.  This usually entails a stir fry with brown rice, turnip greens, onion, mushroom and bok choy.  I cook it up with a bit of egg substitute and eat it piled on top of the rice.  The meal is quick, nutritious and filling while not tipping you over your calorie intake for the day.  It’s even easier to make when you cook a big batch of rice at the start of the week and just scoop and reheat when you need it.

Other popular choices around here consist of baked falafel (just make a batch and freeze them for future use), homemade fajitas (simply cook peppers, onions, mushrooms and add spices), Smitten Kitchen’s Mushroom Bourguignon (honestly – it all comes together in about 30 minutes.  I use the prepacked stir fry mushrooms from my grocery to make it even quicker), or a simple rice, egg, and salad with soy sauce.

Dinner  isn’t usually a complicated affair, but I’m learning to cook more interesting food for myself.  🙂  It’s one of the ways that I’m trying to show myself love this year.

Another quick dinner idea?  Veggie Bean Burgers.  You only have to make them once and when you do, you have 9+ burgers you can freeze for instant dinners.  They’re great in a bun or in a tortilla.  They’re even good just by themselves!  I love this recipe because it’s full of really good stuff and it tastes spectacular.  I brought one to my grandmother’s birthday party for my dinner and everyone commented on how wonderful it smelled.

I’ve made a lot of bean burgers in my time, but none were as flavorful as these.  Go on, make a batch but do be careful!  You might have others crowding around your kitchen wondering where that delicious smell was coming from!

Veggie Bean Burgers

(Note: The original recipe came from Brown Eyed Baker.  My alterations are in red.)

  • Nonstick Cooking Spray
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • 1 heaping teaspoon homemade chili powder (I always use My Baking Addiction’s homemade blend)
  • Two 15½-ounce cans black beans, rinse and drained
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  1.  In a large skillet over medium heat, spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the grated carrots and chili powder and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  2.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl mash together the black beans, mustard, soy sauce, ketchup and cilantro. Stir in the onion and carrot mixture. Add the cooked brown rice and chopped mushrooms, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  3.  Form the mixture into nine patties.  Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add the burgers and cook over medium-low heat, for 5 to 8 minutes per side, until browned and crisp.

Author: iscribbler

A girl scribbling her way through health, love, food and life.

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