Tag Archives: lean protein

Muscle-Bound Pescetarian


The last month of being land-animal free has been an adventure. A good adventure, but an adventure none-the-less. One thing I’m really happy about is that I’ve become much more creative with my cooking, especially when trying to find protein substitutes. While I really could eat my sweet potato patties every day, that’s a whole lot of sweet potato (speaking of which, eating the sweet potato patties with the beet and paneer paratha is AMAZING). My former riding instructor is a vegetarian/vegan chef and shared a recipe for black bean burgers.

James’s Black Bean Burgers

1 can black beans( well rinsed with cold water.)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp cilantro fresh and finely chopped
1/4 cup onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ancho chili pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tb bread crumbs

  1. In a medium bowl, mash the black beans, cilantro, onion and garlic with a potato masher.
  2. Add in the seasoning and stir everything together.
  3. Form the mixture into patties that are about a 1/2″ thick.
  4. In a skillet over medium heat, heat some olive oil, and cook about 3 minutes per side.

I served mine up in a fresh, whole wheat pita, which I made using this recipe. Making your own pitas is ridiculously easy, so I’m sad that it’s taken me this long to make them. I served the burger with Greek yogurt on a pita.

In addition to the black bean burgers, I made a quinoa and beet salad. Quinoa is another really great source of protein. For those of you who are gluten-free, quinoa is a great option.

Quinoa and Beet Salad
2 beets, roasted, peeled and chopped
1 cups of dry quinoa (cook to package instructions)
1/3 cup of crumbled feta
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Roast the beets for 45 minutes in a 425 degree oven. When they are cool enough to handle, peel and roughly chop them.
  2. While the beets are cooking, cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the package’s instructions. I recommend using vegetable broth because it adds flavor.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper. While whisking the juice mixtures, stream in the olive oil.
  4. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and toss.


Black Bean Burgers with a delightfully pink beet and quinoa salad

Black Bean Burgers with a delightfully pink beet and quinoa salad


Ben the Big Boy?

Ben the Big Boy?

Recently, Ben has decided that he is a “big boy”. He has decided that trying to crawl is for chumps and prefers to “walk” around with you holding his hands. He could literally do laps around our house for hours if our backs didn’t give out. I’m short, but hunching over doing laps from living room to kitchen over and over again gets very old very quickly. In addition, he has decided that he will only eat from a spoon if it is a “baby treat”. By baby treat I mean either pureed berries mixed with cereal and yogurt or peanut butter and yogurt. Those foods cannot be shoveled into his face fast enough. As a result of this new penchant for grown-up things, I decided to try just giving him food that Husband and I were eating. My friend Nikki over at FantasticImaginings wrote a fantastic post in which she describes giving her little guy grown-up food. And thus tonight began Ben’s first dinner with the grown-ups, aka Jack the dog’s “Dear Diary, today was the greatest day ever!!!” moment.

This evening I made my black bean and rice dish. It’s in no way authentic, but it’s tasty. Ben thought so too, but the best part was smooshing it with his hands (so much texture!) and throwing it off of his tray to the dog (hence, Jack’s “Dear Diary” moment).

Black Beans and Rice (baby approved)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground turkey (I used 94% fat-free, but you can use ground turkey breast for something leaner)
1-15 oz can of black beans
1 Tb olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup (roughly) apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (can be omitted if you’re not a heat fan)
Hot sauce to taste

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for about a minute.
  2. Add the turkey and brown.
  3. As the turkey is browning, add in the spices to ensure that the spices get into the meat.
  4. Once the meat is browned, add half of the beans (liquid and all) into the meat. Crush the other half of the beans in the can and add to the pot. The crushed beans will allow the mixture to thicken.
  5. I’m super imprecise when I cook, so before you throw your can into the recycling bin, fill it half-way with water and dump that water into the pot.
  6. Add the apple cider vinegar and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. After 10 minutes, add in the vegetables and adjust seasonings by adding hot sauce and other spices accordingly.
  8. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and Greek yogurt. We eat ours with rice that I cook in the rice cooker (one of the greatest appliances), but it’s fine by itself.

Ben gobbled this up like it was going out of style. He generally likes black beans, but this was his first experience with ground turkey, onions and garlic. It seemed to go well, so we’ll be adding these to his repertoire!