Monday, September 16, 2013

Bun-less Black Bean Burgers

On with the healthy eating!

We're less than TWO WEEKS out from this big she-bang, so I'm doing everything I can to make sure I'm eating as healthy as possible so I can thoroughly enjoy all of the fabulous East Coast food that awaits us on vacation.


---> By the way, where in the WORLD did the past 8 months go? Does ANYBODY remember Spring at all? Beginning of summer? Last Christmas? It's all a blur. Anybody? Anybody?


On Friday I wanted something a little...different. I'd spent all week consuming many variations of delicious salads, as well as this fantastic veggie-filled lasagna, yet I was just ready for something a little more..."burger" -like.

Okay let's face it. I want a Mugshots burger. And I want it BAD.

However, giant chunks of delicious meat with thick, warm bread was not in the cards for me on that lovely Friday, but that's okay! Because THIS recipe was a surprisingly okay, VERY surprisingly great substitution!

But let me warn you, if you're seriously craving meat, you might want to go to Mugshots. But if you just want a burger, I'm confident that this will suit your fancy just fine:


They're not that pretty -- but they taste GOOOOD. I want another one of these SO BAD.

They just might be on the rotation for this week! And might I mention that The Fiance' was thoroughly impressed by the tasty-ness of such a burger with no meat?

It's much, much lighter than ground beef -- and there's no worries of dripping grease! -- plus it's got a great flavor going on. It's a fast recipe, too :) Great for weeknight dinners alongside a nice sweet potato that has been cooking in the crock pot all day. Be still my rumbling stomach.

This recipe made about 6 burgers; 1.5 of which were leftover for lunch the next day...until I got hungry again right before bed. Then there was only half of a burger left. Whomp whomp whommmp.

And also? They taste GREAT (better, even?) WITHOUT the buns. Hellooooo carb cutting!

So these are basically guilt-free.

Actually, I believe they are. Yes, let's go with that. Allll sorts of good stuff in here! :)

Bun-less Black Bean Burgers with Corn

Makes 6 patties

What You'll Need:

1 can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 egg
4-5 tbsp Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp hot sauce
dash of Tony's
1/4 - 1/2 cup corn (fresh or frozen works best) - depending on taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

What You'll Do:
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, pour in your beans and mash with a fork until it has a smooth texture. Add in your garlic, tomato sauce, Tony's, cumin, and chili powder and stir until combined. Next, add in your egg and then the breadcrumbs, one tablespoon at a time, and stirring after each addition. Pour in your corn and hot sauce, then stir until it's evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

By now, your mixture should be thick enough to roll into burger patties (it will be messy!). If not, add in another tablespoon of breadcrumbs and stir. Pat mixture into 2- to 3-inch patties.

Bring 1 tablespoon of olive oil to medium-high heat in a skillet and place patties in the skillet. Pan fry patties for about 3 minutes on each side, then again for an extra minute.

Serve warm alongside veggies.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

One Day at a Time

Almost two years ago, I signed up to receive a daily devotional from Proverbs 31 ministries. I love it, and I look forward to seeing it in my inbox every day when I get to work.

Today's devotional really touched me and I can't help but post it on here. It's so easy to get so "caught up" in life and feel overwhelmed. I know many of us are struggling with decisions, to-do lists, workloads, and more - and it's easy to start to wonder how, in the world, will we be able to handle next week, next month, and so on?

As far as work goes, my mind is already in October, November and January - juggling a few projects and trying to stay ahead so I can really enjoy a real vacation in the coming weeks. Mix that with a few last-minute details for the wedding, and I have no idea what's going to happen.

Thankfully, though, the Lord does.

And he's got it.

There's an old hymn I grew up singing, and still sing in church today -- but no matter what, it still rings true.

One day at a time, sweet Jesus...
that's all I'm asking from you...
Just give me the strength
to do every day
what I have to do.
...So for my sake,
Lord teach me to take
one day at a time.

Thoughts of tomorrow may make us cringe. Thinking of next month may overwhelm us.
And thinking of everything in between may make it hard to breathe.

Good news is, though...God's got it under control.

While we may know this, it can be difficult to remember when you're caught up in a situation. Trust me on this, I know how that feels.

But take it from someone who has {almost} come out on the other side.

It's going to be okay. One way or the other. It won't be like this forever.

There are days where I have no idea what to do. Like the writer says below, we all long to hear God's voice audibly, telling us FOR SURE what to do.

But that's not always the case; we're not always sure. But somewhere, at some point, there will be that still, small voice calling you - leading you - in the way that you should go.

"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."
-Psalm 31:24

I'm thankful for you today.

Today's Devotion:

September 12, 2013
Should I Quit?
Lysa TerKeurst
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
We all have those times we wish the voice of God would audibly speak so loudly there's no way we could miss it: "THIS IS THE DIRECTION I WANT YOU TO GO." Then we'd know whether to stay the course or head in a new direction.
Have you ever wished for this kind of certainty?
I have.
Most of us want to know what to do. Without that confidence, sometimes we stay in a place too long. But the greater loss happens in those times we quit too soon. Then, we can live with this nagging sense of "what if?" What if I'd persevered one more year, one more month, one more day?
Knowing when to stop and when to keep on keeping on is a crucial life lesson. One I want to learn well. Often, the more I struggle on my own, the less confident I am with the right next step. It's exhausting!
But the truth is, I don't need to be confused or tired. There is one central place I can go for direction and rest. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus encourages us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
I used to get so frustrated with this verse because I thought, I don't want rest. I want reassurance! I'm burdened by this decision I have to make. I don't want to mess up by missing a cue from You, God.
But the rest Jesus offers is not a spiritual sleep aid. The Greek word for this kind of rest is anapauo which has as one of its definitions, "of calm and patient expectation."
In other words, Jesus is saying if you come to Me, I will take your exhaustion and uncertainty and turn it into a calm expectation.
But how?
My friend Jennifer Rothschild does this enlightening exercise at some of her conferences. She tells the audience to imagine her writing two different words on a large chalkboard. She then speaks the letters as she draws the first word into the air ... R-E-S-T. She does the same for the second word ... R-E-S-I-S-T. Then she asks what is the difference?
The difference is, of course, "I."
I don't know what to do. I can't figure this out. I'm worn out. I've tried everything I know to do. I've given all I have to give.
I'm familiar with these "I" statements because I've said them myself.
We can only find anapauo rest — fresh hope — as we stop running ragged and simply take on the next assignment Jesus gives.
In verse 29 of Matthew 11, Jesus gives us the assignment: to take on His yoke and learn from Him. Ask Jesus to show you how to rest in Him. It might mean sitting quietly, asking others to join you in prayer or clearing your calendar to read the Word. Once you're still, take the next step. Not ten steps. Not the whole path. Not the Google map with the highlighted route. Just the next step. You'll know it because it'll be in line with God's character and His Word.
Complete that step with excellence and an open, humble heart. Listen and look for all Jesus wants to teach you in this next step.
This is your part of the equation.
But after the assignment comes the reassurance in verse 30, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." We don't have to have all the answers. We just have to stay connected to the One who does. Where our strength ends is the exact point where His will begins.
This is God's part of the equation.
I must do all I can do. Then trust God will do what only He can do.
Should I stay? Should I go? Maybe the better question is, "God, what is the next step I'm to take today? I'm going to do my part. And trust the rest to You."
Dear Lord, I am tired, and I can't figure things out. Please help me see Your part in this equation. Where my strength ends is where Your will begins. Help me, Lord, to look to You for my very next step. I will wait in calm expectation. In Jesus' Name, amen.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Turkey and White Bean Chili

I'm a hard core lover of veggies.

But sometimes, a girl needs meat. Warm, meaty goodness - minus the grease.

Solution? Skillet turkey chili, my friends! Turkey chili!

While I realize chili tends to be a cold weather food, I love making this dish at any given time of the year. It's that good - and to be so meaty, it's actually lighter than your average chili.

I use ground turkey instead of beef because it's much less grease, and with this dish it gives it more flavor. Pair it with a nice salad or some veggies and you've got yourself a nice meal that leaves you feeling REALLY good about yourself!

I had steamed corn and toasted bread alongside mine when I made this last week, and it was purely delish. I love this stuff. HINT: If your corn "accidentally" mixes with your chili, it tastes really, really good!!!!

What a great kickoff to fall :)

Turkey & White Bean Chili
Serves 2

What you'll need:

~ 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
small handful of chopped onion (or onion powder, if you're not into onion)
~ half a tsp of garlic powderHalf a pound of ground turkey (93/7 works great!)1 can of white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained1 can of diced tomatoes (italian seasoning)~ 1 tsp of italian seasoning1/2 cup of water
sprinkle of pepper
dash of salt
worcestershire steak sauce, to tasteoptional: hot sauce


In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat, then add onions (or onion powder) and garlic powder and saute for about 2 minutes. Add turkey meat and cook until brown, crumbling with your spoon or spatula and adding worcestershire sauce as it cooks. Once meat is completely cooked through, add your beans (rinsed and drained) and diced tomatoes (with juice!). Add water and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

If you want, add your hot sauce, pepper and salt as everything starts to simmer and combine. Stir to ensure that everything is mixed and evenly combined and serve warm. Goes great with toasted bread and veggies.

Total time: About 15 minutes

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday's Soundtrack

Mondays are Mondays, which means they deserve a rockin' playlist. Here's what I'm listening to so I can get pumped for the week!

1) All Dressed In Love by Jennifer Hudson (from the SATC movie soundtrack)
2) Shake Senora by Pitbull
3) Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti & Spearhead
4) Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond <---YES YES YES
5) What Makes You Beautiful by these children named One Direction BECAUSE IT'S A GREAT SONG!
6) Hollywood by Michael Buble
7) You Are the Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne
8) It's Gonna Be Me by {who else?!} *N SYNC
9) Tie it Up by Kelly Clarkson
10) I'll Be There For You - The Rembrandts

Happy Monday, peoples! Hope it's a great one.

What are you listening to today?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Random Thoughts All Over the Place!

  • There are lots of things to do. I have no idea where to start. Somehow I still have a job.

  • I'm simultaneously helping to coordinate a major event at work as well as a wedding. Le mind eez moosh. (That's fancy French for "the mind is mush." Kind of.)

  • In 3.5 weeks I'm marrying that guy I've been dreaming of my whole life =)


  • In 3.5 weeks I'll finally get to eat that cake I've been dreaming of my whole life.

  • My throat hurts. Waah.

  • However, I'm drinking a Pepsi. WIN.

  • Caffeine is goooooooooood.

  • Clearly I like italics on this fine day.

  • I have no idea what I'm doing.

  • We booked our honeymoon. It has A LOT to do with this post. WHOO!!!!

  • It's basically Fall. YAY! Boots, cool breezes and pumpkins YEAH!

  • This song randomly popped into my head this afternoon. Random year-2000 flashback? It's probably the Pepsi.

  • A few favorite moments from the past month:

1) Ridiculously GREAT hat the sister gave me for my bachelorette party. Whoop!

2) Beautiful (and delicious) cake from our wedding shower a few weeks back.

3) New haircut. Because they rock. What feels better than getting your hair done?
Very few things, my friends. VERY few things.

4) A day of shopping with my mom and sister for my SISTER's wedding dress!!! EEEK!

5) Baking at midnight yet again. Product: Amish Friendship Bread. Yumz.