Let’s start out with a black bean burger

What better way to start out 2014 than with a quick post on black bean burgers.

I’ve been a pescatarian for the last 6 years. A should say a strict pescatarian for the last 5 but have dipped my toe into the fowl world in the last year (I blame it on my allowing myself to “cheat” with turkey on Thanksgiving Day 2012… it was all downhill after that). I still don’t eat a lot of chicken or turkey, but find that I crave it after not having it for a few days. So, I don’t deprive myself of it because I believe the body craves what it needs.

Anyway, I’ve had two delicious black bean burgers of late. One that my husband made out of the Isa Chandra Moskowitz vegan cookbook called the Island Black Bean Burger (though we went with the alternate route just using black beans, no black-eyed peas, and mild chili powder and cumin instead of the Jamaican curry powder). Yum!! Even the kiddoes loved it!! A much healthier alternative to beef and pretty easy to throw together.

IDIcoverSmall2

The second is the Spicy Baja burger from Smashburger here in Austin, TX.

Delicious on both counts!! Seriously, you forget that you ever ate beef. Give ’em a try and let me know what you think! Or, if you have a black bean burger recipe that you love, please share!

HAPPY 2014! Make it a healthy and deliciously happy year!

Veggie Board

I love the Bitten Word. If you haven’t visited Clay and Zach’s food blog then you’re missing out on some yummy recipes.

I had popped onto their site a few days ago and come across this amazing looking Grilled Panzanella Salad. Doesn’t it look faboosh?!!! Can’t wait to try it. And this looks like something my kids might actually eat!

Grilled Panzanella Salad / Image rights - thebittenword

While there, I clicked over to their Vegetable Board post. This is so brilliant I can’t believe I hadn’t already thought of it.

Veggie board / Image rights - thebittenword

Like them I waste so many vegetables. You have the best of intentions and buy some beautiful greens or vibrant reds and oranges, only to see them rotting away in a matter of days in a drawer somewhere in the back of your fridge. They suggest keeping a board of the veggies you have on-hand. Post it to the outside of your fridge so it’s a constant reminder of what you have that you could incorporate into your dinner or lunch that day, before it spoils.

LOVE IT!! What are you doing to not waste food?

Vegetarian product reviews

I’ve been a vegetarian for about a year now and in my all food meat-less search, I’ve had my fair share of challenges finding foods that don’t taste bland or like cardboard. I’ve come across some things that have been amazingly delicious and also … pretty gross. Here are a few I’ve tried or heard of that I thought I’d share with you. Note that this is just my personal opinion and I have not been approached by any of these food manufacturing companies for a review or endorsement.

My friend Alisa mentioned these to me. Her brother-in-law ironically went vegetarian just about the same time as I did and has been faced with the same family get-together challenges, i.e. we have to pretty much bring our own food if we want to eat something other than bread and potato salad (and he’s lucky; at least his potato salad doesn’t include bacon). He had brought these Quorn Chik’n Patties to a barbecue to share with her and she could not stop raving about them. I decided to give them a try and have to absolutely agree. I love these! I used to be envious of my children and their little chicken nuggets that I bake for them — well not no mo! The wonderful thing is that Quorn has a large line-up of products and I can’t wait to try something new when I’m done with my Chik’n Patties!

Quorn Chik'n Patties / Image rights - quorn.us

My friend Allen is also a vegetarian and he and I have on several occasions talked about vegetarian protein options. He had found some Soy chorizos (aptly named SoyRizo) that he really liked and recommended. (I do miss having a nice sausage in a breakfast burrito.) My rotten luck though, I can’t find these in my local stores. I’m going to have to look for them again. Maybe someone else has requested them and they’ve now been stocked nearby. (I was just watching a recent episode of Mexican Made Easy on the Food Network and the host for that show, Marcela Valladolid, actually mentioned Soyrizo in her episode as the vegetarian chorizo option!)

Soyrizo

In my attempt to find a decent substitute I found this one… I wanted to like it, but I was sadly disappointed. Way too spicy. I tried the Mexican Chipotle. And mind you, I’m Latin and so have a pretty good tolerance for spicy. This one was just too spicy, even for me. There aren’t very many vegetarian sausages so I wouldn’t rule out trying their Smoked Chicken Apple Vegetarian Sausage or the Italian Sausage. That Italian one looks pretty darn tasty.

Field Roast Vegan Sausages

Do you have a favorite vegetarian product that you’d recommend I try? I’m always looking for something new. Please drop me a comment or email!