So the hubster and I are presently retraining ourselves in the way we eat- how to do so more healthily, particularly now that we’ve gone vegetarian, and still enjoy life. We’ve been eating better, monitoring calories, fat, carbs and protein for two weeks now and exercising regularly. It’s always nice to have a partner in crime in such scenarios. Food-wise our lovely flatmate has joined us in much of our culinary revision, at dinner-time anyways.
I went veggie for five years after high school in the 90s- a time when all these freezer type ready foods were just being popularised- and they weren’t that great. I still shudder at my attempt at making a homemade tofurky for Thanksgiving one year. Yikes. I put on 20 lbs then due to eating nothing but pasta and cheese for the most part (and quitting smoking… and going to college… and having a serious BF- what a deadly combo!). Now to work off some of *those* pounds plus others that have since attached themselves to my otherwise tiny waistline.
Lots of what we’re eating is actually vegan, purely because I can only take dairy in small doses (perhaps due to the cheese binging I did while veggie last time, I’ve exacerbated an existing ‘allergy’ to dairy that I’ve never had medically confirmed, thus the quotes). Rob’s also working at a local vegan cafe that serves the most tasty vegan faire so we’re enjoying experimenting and knowing that you don’t have to put cheese on everything to enjoy it. One thing we really enjoyed involved our veg box that we get weekly from local growers and some strange looking items known as salsify. They look not unlike sticks and I peeled them and chucked them in boiling water for a few minutes. While they cooked I mashed up some tofu with chard and nutritional yeast and it looked a bit like ricotta. We then layered some other veggies, the salsify and topped it off with the cheesy mix and baked it. I’d put the cheesy mix in with the veggies next time as it did burn just a bit but overall was amazingly tasty. This tofu mash concoction will no doubt come into play for many future meals.
Tonight we had some defrosted black bean burger patties I’d made a batch of last week. As they were a bit dry last time, though tasty, Rob whipped up some guacamole (avocado, lemon juice, garlic & tomatoes) to top it off and give it a bit more moisture. It was pretty heavenly- and a boost for protein! Fortunately for you I’m keeping track of how much of what is used for foods simply to monitor calories and such- otherwise I turn my nose up from measuring ingredients. Sadly the camera didn’t make an appearance so you’ll have to paint your own imaginary picture of these delights to tempt your own taste buds.
Vegan Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole
1 can/box of black beans (I actually used dried beans, soaked them overnight and cooked them for about 45 minutes so they were extra fresh)
100 g Oats
1 small onion, chopped
3 tbsp Olive Oil + some for cooking
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
Various spices, to taste (salt, pepper, chilli powder, paprika, some herbs if desired)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
salt, to taste
Using a fork, mash the avocado to desired consistency and mix with other ingredients. Chill and avoid nomming right away.
Mix burger ingredients well. When you can mix no further, get your hands wet, plunge them in and mix it up some more. When you’re happy that it’s mixed well enough, form approximately 7-8 patties. Fry patties in a skillet for 3-4 minutes, turning half way. For lower-fat cooking, use a spray.
Eat with or without bread, topped with a good helping of guacamole, salad, cheese (if desired).
Nutritional Info for Black Bean Burgers
Oh yes, and just to prove that this diet is working, I’ve already lost 4 lbs in 2 weeks without starving! Could use some pointers on exciting protein sources though, so do share!