Tag Archives: black bean burgers

valentine's day + the weekend

15 Feb

Hello!

Happy late Valentine’s Day to all my lovely readers!  I took Sunday and yesterday off from the internet to love on the husband and pack.  In that order.

But today I’m back at it…and I’ve got lots to catch up on.

On Saturday we met the husband’s parents in the city to show them our lot and take them through a house that has our floor plan.  I don’t think I’d ever get tired of driving over to see our little piece of land, although if signs of an actual house don’t start to appear soon I may change my tune. Ha.  We should be breaking ground any day now, though, so it won’t be long!

Also on Saturday, we stopped by Jonathan’s new office to check it out.  Got to enjoy a pretty sunset while we were at it!

The husband surprised me with Valentine’s Day plans on Sunday.  Our weekdays are just impossible now between Jon commuting to the city and back and working two extra jobs in the evening.  Add on packing and we basically have no life outside of it all.

So our little celebratory day started off at a quaint little coffee shop in downtown where we shared some dessert and sipped on dark French press coffee.  We enjoyed the atmosphere almost as much as the food, lounging back on a modern couch with the sun streaming in the windows.  Love coffee shops.  And good conversation.

Afterwards, we set out in the Mini to explore around town a little bit – what we do best.  With the weather a nice 70 degrees, we cruised around with the sunroof down, admiring big old houses and taking pictures of color schemes that called out to us.  We drove and drove and drove.  A perfect sunny afternoon, just the two of us.  And of course, before it was all over we ended up sitting in front of our lot daydreaming.

Jonathan had made reservations for us for dinner, so after a few hours had passed and our hunger had returned, we headed to the restaurant.  It had a modern and somewhat eclectic décor that made us smile the minute we walked in.

We started off with the vegan nachos – cashew cheese (first time for this!), black beans and roasted veggies.   I’ve been wanting to try cashew cheese for ages, and it was just as tasty as I expected.  I got so excited about the vegan items on the menu as it’s a rarity here in OK.  So nice to just order something and not have to make a million changes and then be disappointed when it comes out wrong.

We then moved on to the main course – chicken sandwich for him and veggie burger with sweet potato fries for m.e  This was my first time to have sweet potato fries at a restaurant, and I was stoked.  They were so delicious, and the veggie burger did not disappoint.

While dessert looked very tempting, we were quite full already so we passed on ordering anything.  But it wasn’t just a few minutes and out came our server with a bowl full of cotton candy.

sorry  – kind of creepy

One of the most random things I’ve ever seen in a restaurant – so unexpected as it didn’t really match the feel of everything else.  But also so fun!  I love little randomocities like that.  I don’t even like cotton candy, but it was really fun to look at and play with.  And I didn’t take a few courtesy bites, so our server wouldn’t think us to be too high maintenance.  Sadly, my camera battery died right in the middle of dinner, so the rest of the night I had to use the iPhone.

By the time we chatted over the cotton candy for another half hour or so, we decided to head out.  There was still one last place on the list for the night.

105 Degrees.


One of the coolest places in OKC, at least for a health foodie.  I’ve wanted to go there for so long, but somehow had never made it.  105 Degrees is a raw restaurant, shop, juice/smoothie bar and raw culinary academy all in one.  It has a great, quirky modern vibe, and the service and food were excellent.

We sat at the bar and ordered dessert – one green smoothie and one green juice, yes please!

the Thai Green – mango, lime, young coconut, Thai chili, lemon grass, spirulina

Best green smoothie and juice I’ve ever had, hands down.  I don’t know how they did it, but it was divine.  We hung around, chatting with the bar tender for quite awhile and exploring the little shop there before deciding to head back home.

I’ll be so happy the day that we don’t have to drive an hour to get back home from the city.  It was well worth it, though.  A great night to celebrate our fifth Valentine’s Day as husband and wife – couldn’t have been better.  I know a lot of people think Valentine’s Day is silly and too hyped up, and I somewhat agree.  But there’s no way I can complain about an entire afternoon and evening being set aside for just us.  No distractions, no talk about work (well, almost)…just sweet time hanging out.

What was your Valentine’s like?  Did you celebrate?  What was the best part of your weekend?

This week I’ll be back to talk about some of the raw/mostly raw meals I’ve been enjoying (thanks, Kris Carr) and how I’m feeling as a result!

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one week later

9 Jul

Happy Friday friends!

First off, I want to remind everyone to enter my 100th post chia seed giveaway!

I’ve had a couple of people ask about ideas for using chia seeds – click here for some of my past posts that include chias.  I’m working on a page of ideas for using chia seeds, as well as the amazing benefits…it should be up soon! I’ll keep you updated:)

Before piyo this morning, I ate half an apple pie Larabar to tide me over until breakfast; however, after I got home I was busy working on some things, and I just didn’t feel that hungry.  Me not being hungry for breakfast is about as likely as snow in the middle of July.  It happened, though.  And in true intuitive eating fashion, I didn’t eat again until lunch!

You know, though, that if I miss out on breakfast – lunch simply must be epic!

In this salad went

2 huge handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 summer squash, chopped
about 1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup corn
generous dousing of balsamic vinegar
3 medium canned artichoke hearts, chopped
Morningstar black bean burger, cut into bite sized pieces
dollop of hummus

When I make my salads, I always throw all the ingredients (minus toppings – in this case black bean burger and hummus) together into a big bowl and mix it all up.  Then, I dump it onto a plate or bowl and add the final toppings.  My salads are always huge, so this makes it easier to mix everything up!

Confession:  I have a huge problem with building things.  Ex: stir fries, salads, plates at a buffet (oops!).  My eyes are always 10 times the size of my stomach.  Today I had to reserve about 1/4 of the salad mixture for later because it was embarrassingly huge.  I mean, I’m not ashamed of big salads, but today’s was just unreasonable;)

It was delicious, though!

This held me over for several hours while I ran some errands, planned some stuff for my tutoring session with Mohammad, worked on some Outbox tasks and answered some emails.

A little later, the hunger monster called again….snack time!

One of my favorite snacks – a brown rice cake slathered with natural peanut butter and topped with sliced banana.  mmmm.

It has been one week since I officially resigned from my teaching job.  And I just want to say to anyone out there who is dealing with a big decision like this – it does get easier!  You will be okay!

One week ago I didn’t know heads from tails as far as this decision was concerned.  I ended up making my final decision by deciding which way I was leaning to 1/2 millimeter more than the other…and then closing my eyes and jumping in with both feet.  It was dreadfully difficult.  There were times when I honestly felt like things were never going to be okay again. I knew that wasn’t true, necessarily, but I just felt so confused and distraught over the whole situation.

I can honestly say that now, 7 days later, I feel happier and more confident than ever.  Seriously, today was like rainbows and sunshine.  I know that every day will not be that way, but the overwhelming feeling that I made the best decision I could have ever made envelopes me. Everything I do, whether laundry, washing, dishes or just fixing Jon breakfast feels happier and freer than it has in a long time.  I don’t expect things to be perfect, but I also feel that no one should have to live day-to-day with dread and unfulfillment.

Again, for any readers who are going through a tough decision, just know that if you follow what your heart is telling you and turn your back on fear…you will be so thankful that you did:)  Remember…if you’re not scared, you can’t be brave.

Not sure what Jon and I will spend Friday night doing…but I promise that it will be relaxing!!  We always take Friday night off from work and just spend time together.  Amen to that.

Have a great night!

back to business

1 Mar

Today was a pretty good day, especially considering I only got 6 hours of sleep last night.  I am starting to really feel it now, though, so I’m gonna keep this short and sweet.

Today was my first day back on my challenge full swing.  You can check out the challenge, as well as my update for today on my “20 day challenge” page.

Lunch today was easy, as I had made up a huge amount of soup yesterday.  I am probably going to get really sick of soup by the end of the week.  I really enjoyed it today, though!

I added all of the following into a giant pot and let it heat through until the veggies started getting soft.

chopped squash
onion
diced tomatoes
brussel sprouts
corn
zucchini
black beans
chick peas
vegetable broth
chili powder
garlic powder
ground red pepper

After it cooked for awhile, I added about 1/3 of the mixture to my food processor and puree’d it for about 2 minutes.  I also added a bit of water to the mixture.  I then dumped it back into the pot, and continue letting it all cook for about 30 minutes.

It was fantastic!  I really love this soup, and it’s a good thing because it made A LOT!

Next up is tonight’s dinner.  When I got home from work I opted out of going to the gym and instead decided to give Jillian’s Micheal’s 30 day shred video a go.  I hadn’t done it in forever, and let me tell you, it was brutal!  I had almost forgotten how tough her 20 minute workouts can be.  If you haven’t ever tried her videos, you should definitely check them out.  They’re a great workout if you want serious intensity, but don’t have a lot of time.  I digress.

By the time I finished working out and took a shower, I was famished and I really couldn’t feel my arms or legs. haha.  So, I decided on something super quick and easy.  Enter black bean burgers.

Black bean burger on an ezekiel bun with a bit of leftover homemade guac, hummus, alfalfa sprouts, pickles and tomato.  With a side of steamed brussel sprouts – my fave!  This meal was awesome!! Especially considering it took all of about 6 minutes to make.  Win win!

Well, that’s all for today.  I’m off to bed to try to make up for last night.  Making up sleep never really works for me unfortunately, but I can always try!

Hope your week is off to a great start!

a "re-epiphany"

20 Jan

First things first, people.  As I mentioned yesterday, I made Averie’s Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars.  They are TO DIE FOR.  So good!  They are gooey and soft, and for me the bitterness of the carob is the perfect compliment to the sweetness of the dried cranberries.  All of the flavors mix together in just the right way.  Her recipe is pretty flexible, so lemme tell you what I put in them.

– one ripe banana
– 1.5 cup oats
– 1/2 cup dried cranberries
– 1/2 cup carob chips
– 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
– 1/2 cup natural pb

– 1 scoop of the only protein powder (soy) I had on hand
– 3 tbsp sliced almonds
– 2 tbsp milled flaxseed – Walmart didn’t have whole flaxseeds.  I think whole would do much better.
– 2 tbsp chia seeds
– 1.5 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp vanilla extract

I mixed it up just like Averie suggested.  If you notice, I omitted the coconut, which may have made my bars more gooey – not that that’s a bad thing!  I certainly have not skipped a beat in slicing off a piece each night;)  Definitely try these out if you’re looking for a healthy, vegan sweet treat!

Today I had an epiphany.  Funny thing is, this isn’t the first time I’ve had this epiphany.  I’ve realized, though, that sometimes in my life I have to learn things over and over.  Bad habits tend to come back randomly, and I have to relearn my new, good habits.  Here’s the story:

Usually when I come home from work, I run in the house, change clothes as fast as possible and race to the gym.  I like to get my workout in and get back home before Jon’s been home from work for too long.  Today, as I was driving home I was realizing that my body…and mind, for that matter…were just not feeling a workout.  Now, for me there is a difference between just not wanting to get on the treadmill or weights and me really needing a rest day.  I could feel it in my bones muscles, and I knew that I needed to take a day off.  Plus, I was completely mentally drained.  This week has just been extra busy and strenuous, and I haven’t given myself a chance to recoup.  So, I was going back and forth in my mind between two things: burn calories and get a good cardio workout in OR give myself a mental and physical break.

I started feeling guilty at the thought of not going to the gym.  I was telling myself that I needed to go to the gym no matter what because I needed to burn those calories.  Then Jon called.  He was headed home early from work and would be home any second.  Talk about making a hard situation harder for me.  Now I wanted to stay home to be with him, really wanted to rest, but the guilt was warring inside my head.  I haven’t done this to myself in a long time.  I honestly thought I was past the point of feeling guilty over working out and focusing way more on calorie burning than mental, emotional and relational (when I’m feeling guilty it affects my entire attitude, even toward Jon) health.

So, to make an already long story a little shorter, Jon coaxed me into staying home and resting, but not without a lot of whining and “bad mood” from me.  Because of him, I went to lie down for a bit.  I started thinking about the whole situation with a little more clarity.

Our physical health is not more important than our mental or emotional health.  Sometimes I make the mistake of putting more emphasis on my physical health because it’s outwardly evident.  If I gain five pounds, other people will notice and my jeans won’t fit quite as well, however, if I completely exhaust myself, other people don’t have to know.  It’s a lot easier to ignore.  So, I decided I’m making a commitment to start focusing equally on each area of my life.  I’m always striving to find that balance, and while I did have a setback today, I also took several steps toward becoming more balanced.

Do you ever have trouble finding balance between everything that is important in your life?  Do you often feel that you don’t have time to take care of every part of your life?  How do you try to maintain balance?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Well, it’s about time for me to skidaddle (sp?:) to bed.  Jon is trying to coerce me into staying up late with him, but I’m not sure how long I’m going to make it!  See you tomorrow for a review of the homemade vegan black bean burgers we made tonight.  Good night!