Making My Own Veggie Burgers

A few weeks ago I went to a free cooking demo at the brand new Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany. It is a gorgeous new store that just opened, with a big kitchen space for cooking classes!

I saw they were holding a free veggie burger cooking class and jumped on the opportunity to check it out.

We learned the basics of veggie burger making. Buying store bought veggie burgers are convenient, but a lot of the times they contain many many ingredients and are sometimes very processed. They can get expensive, too. Lately I have been making my own and they taste great and are a lot cheaper. Plus, I know exactly what goes in each one!

It was so interesting to see the different combos of ingredients they used for each recipe.  The best part was trying them!

Here is one of the recipes we tried for a sweet potato and black bean burger.

This burger came out tasting amazing!

photo2

At home I experimented with making my own and this is what I came up with:

  • 1.5 cups of lentils, cooked
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs or processed raw oats (or a mixture of both)
  • 1/4 c of sunflower seeds processed in food processor
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp of whatever seasonings you desire

I just mixed all the ingredients together and BAM, I had a soft veggie burger “dough”.

photo

The above photo was the first batch I made using a lentil and tomato mixture leftover from dinner the previous night.

The “recipe” above made enough to make about 10 patties, which I freeze individually for easy access when I pack my lunch.

I just heat about 1 tbsp of grapeseed oil in my cast iron skillet and cook each the patties until they are brown and crispy on each side. I find it takes about 10 minutes and flip them over a few times to make sure they get cooked.

In the past when I’ve made veggie burgers I found them to be a bit annoying and time consuming but with this fool-proof recipe it is pretty easy and now home made burgers are a staple in my diet!

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Harvest Fest in Washington Park

Yesterday was such a perfect fall day! My sister came over and we rode our bikes to our friend Brendan’s apartment since we all wanted to go to the Harvest Festival in Washington Park.

The  Honest Weight Food Co-op puts on the Harvest Festival in the park every year. They have music, local food vendors and vegetable stands. It was lovely! The bike ride down was really nice, too.

So much delicious food to choose from!

We also went to the table handing out goodie bags with lots of samples from the co-op!

Of course I couldn’t leave without trying something! I had my eye on All Good Bakers‘ Pumpkin Maple Cinnamon Bun.

I had been looking forward to this all week!

It was massive!  I am a big fan of their regular vegan cinnamon buns so I knew this one would be a winner, it was even better than the regular ones if you can believe me. The pumpkin made it moist and the frosting was terrific. I loved it! AGB needs to make these a fall staple at their bake shop. But then again, I would be tempted to get one every weekend.

After checking out some more vendors (I scored a free protein shaker bottle!) we walked around the park because it was just so lovely.

Julie and Brendan wanted sushi, so we decided to walk over to Shogun, the new sushi place on Madison. It is their second location. Their other one is in Delmar.

We split some edamame.

I got one Philadelphia Roll.

This is my new favorite type of sushi, the smoked salmon with cream cheese. Delicious. But, I still think Mr. Fuji was better.

After our quick sushi snack, we got back our bikes and headed back to my apartment. We took the longer way to avoid the traffic. After mapping it out, we biked a total of about 12.5 miles. At least I got in some cross-training today! The pro of biking to an event: you don’t have to worry about downtown parking! The con: you can’t buy too much because it won’t fit in your backpack. Or maybe bring a bigger backpack? Actually, that might be a pro for me!

What did everyone do this weekend?

 

 

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On Eating Meat

Some of you who have been reading a while or who know me may already know my philosophy on eating meat.

Check out this post for a refresher: The Thanksgiving Dilemma.

To sum it up, I don’t agree with the way meat is factory farmed in this country so I don’t eat it. The reason I don’t eat happy farm raised meat is because its not in my budget, but if I had the money to spend on expensive meat regularly, I would!

But, yesterday Chris and I went to the Honest Weight Food Co-Op in Albany to check out their meat selection and get some groceries. A good friend of mine had gifted me with a giftcard to the co-op for Christmas so I used this as opportunity to get some chicken!

The chicken I picked is from Misty Knoll Farm in Vermont. I found an article on the co-ops website about the farm talking about their turkeys and chickens,

Nestled on twenty-two acres in the Champlain Valley basin, far from the industrial factory farms that mass produce most of the poultry our nation consumes, is a family farm where turkeys roam and enjoy green grass, fresh Vermont air and sunshine. These turkeys do not suffer the indignities of antibiotics to keep them from dying of diseases brought on by overcrowding, nor are they fed hormones that artificially cause them to swell to larger, more marketable sizes. They eat regionally produced grain grown about an hour away, in Canada, and bugs and green plants. Each flock of birds stays together, lives in an enclosed, untreated pasture, and is moved to fresh fields when needed. They are given protection from the elements by rain shelters in each area. When the time for them to be harvested comes, they are not shipped by truck in cages to a factory but instead go down to the processing building at the farm where they were raised.

Chickens are also raised at the farm. They live in specially designed chicken houses in which they roam free and have access to ample fresh air and water, natural grain feed, and clean bedding. Like the turkeys, the chickens also live without drugs and are harvested and processed on the farm.

Sounds like happy meat to me! At about $17.89 for a package of chicken breast, this chicken is expensive and is not something I can buy on a regular basis. But the fact I know the farm it came from and how the chickens were raised is much more of a comfort to me than sitting down and eating a chicken sandwich at a restaurant that could have come from who knows where.

The co-op also had New York chickens available, but they were whole, and since I’ve never roasted a chicken before, I decided to go with the chicken breasts from Vermont. I do see chicken roasting in my future, though!

But Friday night Chris prepared our meal, chicken stir-fry! We marinaded the chicken in a mix of soy sauce and a mango sauce for about a half an hour and then got to cooking. We also included some volcano rice straight from the co-op’s bulk bin to go with our meal.

The chicken came out great! I’m so glad I have a guy who knows how to cook well! 🙂

The stir fry lasted me two days of leftovers…lunch yesterday and I just finished it off for lunch lunch today. Yum. But of course, no meal is complete with wine! We also picked up a bottle of white wine to have with dinner.

I see meat eating in my future, as long as it comes from a good source like this chicken, and it will only be a rare treat!

 

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Killer Crane

I swear, I could eat the whole batch of superfood cookies that I made yesterday, they are so chewy and delicious! Ahem…anyway. I hope everyone is doing well on this Tuesday evening.

Last night after participating in a tweet up for foodbuzz, I was motivated to make a breakfast cookie to have for breakfast this morning. I also wanted to try my new protein powder. Here’s the cookie!

I threw in…

  • 3/4 cup of oats
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 2 tbsp of unsweetened almond breeze
  • 1 tbsp of  almond butter
  • 1 tsp of chocolate rice protein powder
  • 1 sprinkle of dark  chocolate chips

It was bit too wet, probably because I usually use 1/2 cup of oats instead of 3/4 cup.

Along with my cookie, I had a chocolate protein smoothie!

It looks a bit like mud, huh? I put about a cup of almond milk into the blender, along with a handful of frozen mangoes and pineapples, 1/2 tsp of maca powder and 1 scoop of the protein powder. Apparently, 1 scoop is WAY too much, because it tasted SO gritty! I couldn’t even taste the fruit!!! It didn’t taste horrible, but I guess I just have to get used to the texture. I’m going to experiment with this powder to get it to taste just right. At least it was FILLING!

My morning snack today wasn’t too interesting…some strawberry Chobani with some chia seeds sprinkled on top. They had no flavor, but tasted like I put some poppy seeds into my yogurt.

Before I actually ate lunch I went for an easy four mile run on my lunch break. I did four miles in about 38 minutes. It was hot and I was pretty tired by the end.

Stats!

  • Total distance: 4.0
  • Total time: 38:03
  • Mile 1: 9:53
  • Mile 2: 9:08
  • Mile 3: 9:18
  • Mile 4: 9:42
  • Average Pace: 9:35/mi
  • Calories Burned: 482

After my run I came back to a HUGE salad with lots of veggies!! It was quite refreshing.

I also had two of my superfood cookies!

These are not going to last very long…

So after work my friend Lyndsay and I headed to the Honest Weight Food Co-Op for some shopping!

I picked up a couple of random things…

  • Coconut water
  • Fage 2% Greek Yogurt with Cherry
  • Amy’s organic tomato bisque
  • Honest Tea “Just Green Tea”
  • So Delicious Chocolate Non Dairy Ice Cream
  • Boca Vegan Burgers
  • Organic Frozen Sweet Cherries
  • Avocado

I got the avocado because I had tons of left over cilantro and wanted to make some more guiltless guac..however..I didn’t have the white beans, so I substituted red beans and it came out looking like a mixture of green and red guacamole. Ha!

I also made a quick refried bean, mushroom and cheese quesadilla for dinner. Along with the mutlicolored guac and some peach mango salsa!

It tastes so unhealthy, but it really isn’t! The tortilla is high in fiber and low in calories (only 80 in that huge thing), the refried beans are a great source of fiber and are fat free, the cheese I used is made with 2% milk. It was a very satisfying and healthy dinner. For dessert I had some more cookies, and limited myself to only two. 🙂

I was also in the mood for more exercise tonight, so I popped in Jillian’s Yoga Meltdown, but this time I did Level 2. It was WAY much harder than Level 1! I hope I can walk tomorrow! It incorporated much more ab work! AND the dreaded CRANE POSE!!! I tried this pose last night doing some Namaste Yoga, and let me tell you…it was impossible!! I could NOT hold myself up. I think I have zero upper body strength. It looks like I have a new summer goal: complete the killer crane pose and be able to hold it for five seconds. Think I can do it?

from google image search

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Co-Op, Justins, and First GM

Ah, the weekend of somewhat unhealthy eating. I usually try extremely hard to make good decisions while eating out during the weekend, but it can be tough sometimes. Saturday I went to the Honest Weight Food Co Op for the first time. Its located on Central Avenue in Albany. It was a little bit intimidating at first, because I had no clue where anything was, but after a while I got used to it. I had my little list and found mostly everything I was looking for!

  • Smooth Roasted Almond Butter
  • Toasted Wheat Germ
  • Whole Grain/Quinoa Blend
  • Good Earth Pomegranate Superfruit Tea (I had a coupon!)
  • Unsweetened Honest Tea “Just Green Tea”
  • Falafel Spinach Salad (from Al Baraki)

I would definitely like to go back for a second try…although the prices are kind of expensive if you don’t buy in bulk, I’d still like to back there to find some specialty items that I can’t find in normal grocery stores.

After the co-op I went to Justin’s on Lark with Chris and Liz for a late lunch. I got the Brie & Apple Sandwich, which was HEAVENLY. I swear, the apple butter they use tasted just like an apple pie. I love it so much. They serve so much food there! For a side I got pasta salad and FRIES, which I didn’t know would be extra; otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten them. Oh well.

So Saturday night I went to the gym on my way home from Albany, and ran 2.0 miles, mostly because I was already tired, but felt I needed to get some kind of a workout in. After the gym, I went home and made my first Green Monster. I was actually pretty surprised at how good it tasted! I was wary about the spinach, but you can’t actually taste it. I tasted mostly banana, which was yummy. I threw in a couple strawberries as well. I’ve had about 3 more since then, including one for breakfast this morning, in which I added some almond butter! A pretty good way to start the day I think!

Sunday I ran another 2.0 miles on the treadmill, and took Monday off. Today during my lunch hour I ran outside since the weather is pretty nice! Probably for about 2.5-3.0 miles, for about 30 minutes. I love running at lunch time, because when I get home I can relax instead of worrying about fitting in my workout or driving to the gym.

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