Sunday, February 27, 2011

Black Bean Burger

This recipe is one we found in the book "The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged."  We couldn't find any leeks, so we don't put them in our black bean burgers.  We serve them in Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds (NOTE: these buns contain soybean oil, because our son can have soybean oil - just not soy protein.) and the boys have done really well eating them.

Black Bean Burger
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients -
1 cup of black beans, rinsed, drained and mashed
1 cup of cooked brown rice
1 clove of garlic, passed through a garlic press (NOTE: we used 1/2 tsp of minced garlic instead)
2 Tbsp leeks, whites only, finely chopped (NOTE: we do not include this in the recipe)
2 Tbsp cooked and mashed sweet potato or pumpkin (NOTE: we use sweet potato)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Step 1. Mix all ingredients except the olive oil and bus in a large bowl.  Coat clean hands with olive oil to mix.

Step 2. Divide mixture into equal fourths.  Shape into patties.

Step 3. Heat grill pan over medium flame and coat lightly with oil.  Add patties and cook five minutes per side or until the patties are golden and crispy.

We typically serve this with baked sweet potatoes as a side - we cook them with the one to mash for the recipe (wash them, poke holes in them, sprinkle sea salt on them over tin foil, wrap them each up in the tin foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees).  The ones we don't use for the mashed sweet potatoes get sliced for the side.

Once we did kale chips - the boys liked them (dipped in ketchup), but the after taste was too bitter for me.  My brother-in-law suggested soaking the kale before making the chips - if that works out better, then I'll put the recipe on here for that.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Why I'm Starting This Blog (a.k.a the "Hello World" post)

"You have to eat your chicken ...  eat your chicken ... just two more bites of chicken and then you can be done."

I've been a vegetarian for 9 years now, so I was starting to feel like a real hypocrite after repeating these words to my sons throughout my first year as their stepmom (esp. since they knew I was vegetarian because I didn't want to eat animals).

My husband and I ate vegetarian when we didn't have the two boys.  But we had gotten into a rut of pasta or chicken nuggets during the nights we had them - we wanted to get them eating better and trying new foods (it was always an ordeal whenever we had them try a new food).   We also wanted to get everyone eating vegetarian at home, but we were concerned about how to ensure our youngest son got the protein and nutrients he needed since he has Milk Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI).  We had searched the internet for vegetarian and MSPI without much luck, so we weren't sure exactly how to do kid-friendly vegetarian meals that adhered to the MSPI diet.

But with the new year, we made a goal to all eat vegetarian at home and to have the boys try at least one new food per week.  We're also working on ensuring we all eat healthy in general.  For the most part, the goals have been going really well - we've added some new staples to our diet and found that eating vegetarian with MSPI is actually a lot easier than it looks.  And, that's the reason for this blog - my hope is that other parents who want to continue being vegetarians but have a child with MSPI don't come up empty-handed when they search for advice on products and recipes for their family.