Saturday, March 12, 2011

Black Bean Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

I love black bean burgers and I've tried quite a variety of them. What is fun about these burgers are their versatility. Everyone seems to have their own "secret" ingredient and of course their own special way of cooking them.

Some extra add-ins I've tried, which are all delicious btw...

+peppers (spicy and mild)
+tomato sauce
+vegan cheese
You see..the list goes on forever!

Cooking Methods:

+BBQ!(Seems most popular)
+Oven Baked
+Pan Fryed with Olive oil
+BBQ then Oven Baked (The combo, as I refer to it)

What was my secret and method of cooking?

My secret ingredient happens to be rolled oats! Although I shouldn't really claim rolled oats as my own secret ingredient of choice, my mom has been putting rolled oats in burgers ever since I was a kid. This was my first time however pairing it with Black Bean Burgers. My method of cooking was oven baked, still a little to cold to bring out the BBQ.

Black Bean Burgers
1 can of Black Beans
1/2 an med. onion
4 mushrooms (diced)
1/2 cup of oats
1 garlic clove
1 tsp of cumin
1 tbsp of Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Hot Black Bean Burger Option: Add some diced jalapeno or your favorite hot sauce to the mix!

Rinse the black beans and then put them in a food processor. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend! Once it is a good paste consistency, divide up the batter into 4-6 burgers depending on size. Place on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 375F oven for 1 hour. Flip half way through cooking time.

Now comes for the toppings...this is endless too! I personally love to top my burger with avocado, tomato, and lettuce!

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries have become extremely popular around here. I see them in restaurants, in the frozen aisle in grocery stores, and even at some concessions! We really love them in our house and during this season they are super cheap to make yourself.

1 large sweet potato
1 tsp of olive oil
1 tbsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Peel the sweet potato and then slice into strips length wise. I have this awesome kitchen tool that makes wavy fries, that I have to share it with you. I bought it for 2 dollars at a grocery store, awesome find!

Place fries in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper. Mix it up and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375F for only 15 minutes. Check on them every 5 minutes to flip over. These little gems can burn quite quickly compared to a regular potato, plus they will not turn out as crispy, but oh my are they ever good!

What is your choice of secret ingredient and special cooking method when making homemade burgers?

What is your favorite french fry? I love homemade types of any kind, whether russet, sweet potato, yam or jicama(raw style) :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Protein Snacks

Went out to the track this afternoon..these snacks came in handy when we were finished with our C25K and interval training.

Everyone seems to have a recipe for Protein balls, bars, snacks, etc... This recipe came from They have some really great workouts, recipes, community following, so check them out if your into fitness. I stumbled across them through a suggestion on a forum post and I'm glad I did!

I couldn't resist trying out their recipe for protein balls (you will have a laugh at their description of them). What I love about this recipe is it's a quick, easy and nutritious snack. If I'm on the go I can grab one out of the fridge, if it's after a workout I can get in some extra protein and a pick me up. They are convenient, basic and healthy..what more could I ask for! :)

The basic ingredients...

I've experimented with the recipe, adding or removing ingredients, but the three basic ingredients stay the same (peanut butter, coconut and protein powder).

In this batch...

Here are some idea's of what you could add to your batch:

+Natural almond extract
+Natural mint extract
+Pumpkin puree
+Different spices (Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc...)
+Dried cranberries, dried peaches
+Chocolate protein powder
+Plant based protein powder
+Spriulina powder for extra nutrition (took some getting used too! lol)
+Cacao nibs! (YUM!)

Thinking about adding your favorite dried fruits, nuts, extracts and spices can really make this recipe your own little favorite!

Enjoy! :)

What's your favorite ingredients to add to a protein snack?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Maggie's Weight Loss Vlog #1

Here is my very first vlog, it was super fun to make, so feel free to giggle and laugh along with me. The run down of this week's vlog episode:

-An introduction to me
-The purpose of the vlog
-My weight and my weight loss history
-Before and after pictures of my progress thus far
-A brief mention of my workouts
-And of course the "Tip of the day!"

Hopefully this video plays well for everyone, it's uploaded through Youtube so it should work well. Next episode I plan to address what I eat, more detail on workouts, plus some other fun stuff :)


Thursday, March 3, 2011

My vlog idea...

Me! Right before my week 2 Day 5 of the Couch to 5km running program :)

I have been so focused on my health lately that I've been absent in terms of writing in here. I've been thinking about adding some video to this blog. I thought it would be pretty fun to do a few 4 minute videos of my everyday health and weight loss journey. I would love to look back at the videos to see how far I have come, but most importantly I want it to help others in similar situations. I know watching other health and weight loss vlogs I've been able to relate, be inspired and encouraged by their hardwork and changes :)

I'm pretty sure i'm going to try it out, see how it goes..might be fun and it would let me focus on both food, recipes, exercise, health, and weight loss :)

What do you think?