This Holiday Week-end Let’s Play a Game of “Instead Of”

This game is designed to challenge you to think about healthy alternatives to your usual holiday week-end food choices.  I am always surprised at how quickly people abandon their commitment to nourishing their bodies when celebrations come along.  For example, birthdays are often celebrated with rich, sugar-filled cakes covered in sugar-filled icings and laden with fats and artificial ingredients. Yet, there are wonderfully delicious, much-healthier alternatives like my Chocolate Cake made with quinoa and cacao. And, don’t get me started on the consumption of soft drinks at parties. One small can of Coke contains 39 grams of added sugar, 45 grams of sodium and 34 milligrams of caffeine. YUCK!  So, one can of coke contains more than the World Health Organization’s recommended total daily sugar intake of 25 grams of sugar (natural and added) for adults. And we give this junk to children!!!! So, to make a point:  one 12-ounce can of Coke contains 156% of an adult’s total recommended daily sugar consumption. 

Instead Of Soft Drinks

Instead of choosing beverages that have absolutely no nutritional value, way too much added sugar, and in the case of Coke that also has caffeine known to contribute to dehydration, choose one of these thirst-quenching beverages. Yes, fruit and veggie drinks have some natural sugars, so drink lots of plain or infused water and unsweetened iced sun tea throughout the day as well.

Instead of Salty Snacks

I can’t remember ever being at a celebration where these salty snacks were not a big part of the party food fare.  Potato chips (or crisps as my husband calls them) and pretzels are easy and inexpensive snack foods to serve but they are nothing but fat, sodium and empty calories. A 1-oz serving of potato chips – and, let’s be honest, who only eats 1-oz – contains 3.1 grams of saturated fat and anywhere from 170 to 215 milligrams of sodium depending on the type of chip. While sodium is important to our bodies, we get plenty of it from other more nutritious foods, so the added sodium you get from these salty snacks simply can’t be justified.

Roasted Veggies – asparagus, cauliflower, carrots – are really delicious served cold and make an awesome, healthy snack. Raw, unsalted nuts and edamame are great finger foods packed with protein and fiber; and raw veggies such as celery, carrots, red peppers, broccoli and cherry tomatoes have a great crunch and flavor factor as well as lots of vitamins and minerals to keep your body in peak shape.

Instead of Meat

Grill a delicious homemade Black-Bean Burger that is a much healthier not to mention cruelty free alternative to ground beef or hot dogs. Another tasty option is to grill some Tofurky Artisan Sausage. I love these with some grilled onions! A lovely selection of salads such a my Carrot, Cumin and Coriander Salad and Simple Summer Chickpea Salad as well as my Bits and Bobs Salad will add nutritious variety, color and texture to your meal.  Add some traditional sides such as my Picnic Perfect Potato Salad or try something new instead of a coleslaw like Wildbrine Beets & Cabbage Sauerkraut.

Wasn’t this game of “Instead Of” fun?  There are so many wonderful foods you can bring to your holiday picnic or while enjoying time with family and friends at home.  Nourishing your body is easy. Make the choice now to live without regret.

THIS HOLIDAY WEEK-END, PLEASE DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE

4th July

 

 

Like & Follow Us On:

Black Bean Burgers with a Cuban Flair

Black Bean Burger

It’s The Unofficial Start of Summer

This Memorial Day Week-end please take time to honor our fallen heroes. Freedom isn’t free – we need to pay our respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our Country.

Summer is the perfect time for gathering friends and family for a casual dinner particularly if you live in a climate suited to dining outdoors. Burgers are a summertime tradition and plant-based options for burgers are delightfully plentiful. Vegetables, grains, nuts and beans make for incredible flavor and texture; and of course, they nourish our bodies with important protein, vitamins, and fiber. It is a familiar ritual at our home to enjoy each other’s company, sipping a refreshing beverage, and lounging on the patio while the grillers commiserate over the perfect time to “flip”. The sound of laughter and conversation always gives me pause for thought about the pleasure we take at sharing a meal together. Preparing food, for most people, is a true labor of love; and the love of those gathered around our table is clearly evident.

The primary ingredient in this recipe, black beans, is a very low cost, high value food source; and, the availability of fresh produce to accompany a summertime favorite like burgers, makes it an especially delicious, nutritious and budget friendly complete meal. Our recipe below for Black Bean Burgers is not difficult to prepare and affords a wonderful opportunity to get everyone into the action. Many of the ingredients for this dish can be prepared ahead, so when your guests arrive, and you are ready to cook, very little time for assembly is required. But first, enjoy our Jazzed Up Veggies video of “Black Bean Burgers with a Cuban Twist”.

Black Bean Burgers with a Cuban Twist from Berry Creative on Vimeo.

Black Bean Burgers with a Cuban Flair

Black Bean Burgers with a Cuban Flair

Ingredients

  • Black Bean Burger Patties - Serves 6
  • 1 cup cooked rice (I use black rice, red rice and flax cooked in veggie broth)
  • 1 15oz can organic black beans (1.5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup shredded onion
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (more if you love garlic like we do)
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • olive oil
  • celtic sea salt
  • black pepper
  • Chipotle Sauce
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 1/4 cup cashews (soaked for minimum of 2 hours)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • water or non-dairy milk to thin if needed
  • Pineapple Salsa
  • 2 small avocado, diced
  • 1 cup fresh (not canned) pineapple, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. Patties: Mix smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, cumin, and Harissa, salt and pepper together. Add small amount of tamari and olive oil to make a somewhat thick paste. Set aside.
  2. Prepare rice. Set aside to cool.
  3. Combine shredded carrot, onion, diced celery and diced red peppers. Sprinkle with a small amount of olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread on grill pan and roast for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
  4. Drain and rinse black beans. Place in a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork or masher. It is good to leave a few beans whole.
  5. Once cooled, add all ingredients into bowl with black beans. Combine well by hand or with a mixer. You do not want to over mix so use care with a mixer.
  6. Form mixture into 6 patties. Place on plate, cover, and refrigerate while preparing sauce & salsa.
  7. Chipotle Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until very smooth. Add very small amount of liquid if needed. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  8. Pineapple Salsa: It is best to make this salsa just before serving. Mix pineapple and avocado together. Squeeze fresh lime juice over ingredients. Toss gently. If making ahead, cover to prevent any air from reaching the avocado and refrigerate.
  9. Putting it All Together: The patties can be cooked on a grill-pan on the BBQ over medium heat; or on the stove with a small amount of non-GMO oil. Avoid crowding. Patties should be allowed to get crispy on one side before flipping (about 4 - 5 minutes).
  10. Place a green leaf of lettuce on your plate. Place burger on lettuce, top with chipotle sauce and salsa. Serve with tomato and avocado slices and baked sweet potato fries.
  11. Buen Apetito!
https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/05/449/

Enjoy this delicious meal with a classic Mojito or some mint & citrus infused sparkling water.

Can’t wait to hear how you like it.

Like & Follow Us On: