healthy lifestyle

Do you dabble with Veggie Burgers?

Are burgers one of your favorite meals? They are definitely one of mine! I grew up eating BBQ and burgers, layered with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and maybe a little bit of mayo. Or actually, maybe a lot of mayo. 🙂 Since my pallet has changed, I have not enjoyed so many  burgers with all the fixings. Over the last few months I have tried a few recipes for veggie burgers that A- can be made at home, B – are made of whole foods and C- can be grilled and covered with cheese (for those non vegans). Here are three recipes I’ve had the best luck with and why!

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1. http://ohsheglows.com/2011/07/13/our-perfect-veggie-burger/ — These turned out awesome and would have stayed my favorite but I found that I had to stick to the recipe pretty close for it to turn out as beautiful as hers. And let’s face it, I have a hard time following any recipe. Could that be why my baking items never turn out quite right? 🙂 They are SUPER filling and freeze nicely. Also, they are nice when grilled.

2. http://ohsheglows.com/2013/10/28/thai-sweet-potato-veggie-burgers-with-spicy-peanut-sauce/ — WOW. I think I even gave some away for people to try and they were blown away too. I substituted some ingredients and they still turned out great. Again, a little time consuming but worth it completely!

3. http://www.veganricha.com/2013/05/bbq-lentil-veggie-burger-with-mango.html — AND WE HAVE A WINNER!!!! These would be my favorite so far! They extremely easy to make, the lentils are the bind (so no egg or flax egg needed) and you can definitely change the ingredients for what you have. I made these on Sunday and they were kind of “Leftover Veggie Burgers.” I only had a little bit of cauliflower, 1 huge carrot, 2 cloves garlic, bundle of cilantro and more like 3 inch nob of ginger. I also added WAY more oat flour (I didn’t have chickpea flour or flaxmeal) than I needed but it complimented it nicely! I wish I had homemade BBQ sauce but I didn’t so I made these “Indian-esqe Veggie Burgers” — tumeric, cardamon pods and curry powder were my seasonings. The whole process took under 1 hour and I was left with 13 nicely round, full and scrumptious burgers for my lunch. ** Note: I think I tripled the recipe**

I think the best part about veggie burgers is once you find a recipe that you feel comfortable with you can make a variety of burgers just by changing the ingredients. The base can always stay the same or you can try a different bean or lentil. You can add carrot or get wild and add carrot and onion! You can add cilantro or sub that fragrant herb for another such as parsley. These can also become Italian style “beanballs.” The possibilities are endless and this a great way to get creative with your food! Have fun and give one of these recipes a try! If you know of a good homemade Veggie Burger creation be sure to share it for all us food creators!

Love & Light & Food Happiness

Abby & Zig, my partner in the kitchen.

 

 

Blueberry Vanilla Chia Oat Cookie!

And the longest title goes too…this lovely yummy creation! These cookies look more like a muffin top but seem more of a cookie to me. They are great for breakfast or a mid afternoon, I have yoga in 2 hours and dinner isn’t until 7, type snack. Easy to make, few ingredients and a little love will get you these!

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What you need:

  • food processor (if you have a high powered blender that should be okay too)
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries, or any other fruit for that matter. The original recipe I modeled this after called for bananas. Be creative and remember that changing ingredients just means changes in the food’s taste, appearance, smell, consistency. Either way it all tastes good to our mouths and bellies! 🙂
  • 1/2 cup of dates. I used my trusty Oxford phonics mug and packed that baby halfway full and rather tight. (By the way, if you live in Taichung — Cotsco has dates and they are really reasonably priced and can be used in so many food creations! Best part of using dates? This is your sweetner! If your dates are hard, you can soak them in hot water for 15- 30 mins. This is important because when you blend your dates in the food processor, you want them to become silky smooth!

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  • 1/4 cup of light oil. I used sunflower but you can also use coconut oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts. The original recipe called for chocolate chips but I opted for nuts. Also raisins, crasians, cacao nibs..you get the point?! Be creative and remember this is all about making your taste buds and stomach feel satisfaction and love! With a dash of accomplishment, obviously.
  • 2 cups of oats. I used wholewheat rolled oats but any oats will work. You can also use gluten free for all those intolerants out there.  (Taichungers — I got my oats at Finga’s but they also have them at City Super).

Creation Time:

  • Put your (soaked) dates, oil, vanilla and blueberries into the food processor. Let it run for a few minutes until it is super smooth.

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  • Add in the cinnamon, salt and baking powder and whiz around for a few seconds. Next, add in 1 cup of oats into the processor and let it run for a few seconds, just until the oats are chopped. Depending on how large your processor is, you can add 1.5 cups into the blueberry blend. Mine is smaller and only 1 would fit. Adding more in would slightly change the chunkiness of your cookie but that’s not a bad thing! They are YOUR creation anyway!
  • Pour creation into a separate bowl and mix in another cup of oats. *Remember if you added 1.5 cups in the first whiz around, only add in another 1/2 cup.* This is also the time to add in your nuts, chia seeds, dried fruits or dangerously enjoyable chocolate chips.

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  • Put foil or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spoon your cookies onto the pan. Each cookie was roughly 2 heaping tablespoons. Mine were big enough to be filling and small enough to just take away the hunger edge. You know what I am talking about too. The hungry, irritable, one track mind focused on your next meal. Sure you do, we all experience it sometimes.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 350F. Last move is to turn the tray around for another 8 minutes or so. Let the cookies cool and enjoy with an afternoon beer or coffee/tea in the AM.

Please feel free to post comments about any of these posts! We did a lot of cooking, relaxing and eating over CNY.. Here are some more food creation from this past week:

  • Vegetable noodles with a homemade teriyaki sauce

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  • Homemade veggie burgers with sweet potato fries..yum. We also served these with two sauces: sesame, chive and paprika mayo & honey mustard. I was happy overall with this creation but want to get the recipe right before I post — this weekend we’ll try again. 🙂

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Another reason to check out Yoga Glo!

It’s hard to describe the communal energy you are a part of when practicing in an actual yoga class.  If I may…it’s supported, powerful, encouraging and uplifting! Especially when you hit your back and sink into a nice savasana surrounded by silence and people. That’s kind of an oxymoron. People and Silence? Ha! But for those of you like myself who are limited to a large number of classes or just really prefer practicing at home, yogaglo would definitely be for you! It  has levels 1-3 and offers a number of styles. While Sean is practicing kundalini, I can get my vinyasa flow on in the other room. Now that is cohabiting! Read the article below and get to know 6 teachers with offered classes on yogaglo!

http://www.doyouyoga.com/10-inspiring-yoga-teachers-you-should-know/

Happy yogaing!

Chemical Free is the way to be!

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This morning we started our day with a major clean out in honor of one of the Chinese New Year traditions of clearing out your stagnant space and making room for new fresh energy. If you want to jump on the bandwagon of cleaning then try a chemical free cleaner.  There are no unnecessary chemicals traveling through the air into your brain that will block you from feeling your utmost best and your space will be toxin free and cleaner than ever!

Homemade cleaning products are easier to make than you would think! All you need is a base of distilled white vinegar and some orange or lemon skins. There is no need to buy expensive orange cleaners….it’s cheaper and more sustainable to learn how to make your own. Plus the feeling of accomplishment is good for your psyche! Who ever knew you were a household cleaner creator! You’re a machine! Welcome to the world of non toxic cleaning, it’s amazing.

Where do I start? Easy. You need two or three things. Take a jar (whatever size you have and fill 3/4 of it with distilled white vinegar). Juice your oranges or lemons and add the skins to the jar. Let it sit for about a week and BOOM! You have a chemical free, pungent smelling, household cleaning product. The vinegar smell is only temporary and your house will seem cleaner than it has in years.

Here is a link for some other non toxic household items you can use for cleaning!  Enjoy! And Happy Chinese New Year!

Today, I ran out of baking soda so I used salt and lemon juice and scrubbed my tub this way. It worked great and my tub looks 20 years younger.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6946/5-Common-Household-Items-You-Can-Use-as-NonToxic-Cleaning-Products.html