Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!! Wow it is such a perfect day to celebrate the awesome women who are known by the unifying name of, “mom.”  I think I speak for just about all of us when I say our moms deserve so much more then a day of dedication.  Such hard working and caring individuals should be celebrated every day for all they do.

Charissa and I couldn’t possibly ask for a better mother.  This amazing woman puts all of her heart and soul into each one of her children like it was her only job.  A perfect example of how caring she actually is -> when we were babies she never once bought formula or pre-made baby food; before the baby bullet was even invented she would puree fresh food for us every meal.  I always talk about how important child nutrition is and she truly set us up for the healthy lifestyle we live today.

Like most girls, growing up we were not always the easiest two to deal with, hehe :), but like the super woman she is she busted through our mood swings and temper tantrums that we would throw on an all too regular basis.  Though there will always be those days where you want to rip each others hair out, there really is no bond that could even relate to that of a mother and her child.  So today I really hope that everyone is taking the time to fully thank their mothers for the often less then perfect hand they may have to deal with on those, ehem, rare… occasions.  I sure am.

Thank you mom for always being there for us, helping us through the stress and the difficult times and sharing in the many laughs along the way.  You have effected us in a way that we will never be able to fully express and for that we are ever grateful.   The last few years I have really gotten the opportunity to get closer to you and I am beyond excited to see what the future has in store for us!

Unfortunately Charissa and I were not able to be home for Mother’s Day due to work obligations but we did get to spend Friday night and Saturday with her! Friday our brother and his girlfriend joined us for a wine tasting at a fairly new winery in our area for a wine tasting.  While all were delicious, of course, we really enjoyed a new sparkling moscato that they saved for last.  After we got our drink on at Four Daughters Vineyard, we went home for a delicious homemade Chinese meal and some of our dad’s homemade port, yum!!

Saturday we made our parents Cinnamon French Toast and had a lazy day of laying out in the sun and gardening with the parents.  The night definitely would not have been complete without a boatload of grilled vegetables and our Baked Portabella Mushrooms!

For other dinner ideas to cook for mom tonight check out our Main Event page! And remember, it’s mother’s day for many of those animals out there as well, so be respectful and don’t eat their kids! 🙂

Before I sign out and lay in the sun here’s a fun Mother’s Day fact for you!

A mother giraffe often gives birth while standing, so the newborn’s first experience outside the womb is a 6-foot drop! Ha!

Thank you again to all of the mothers out there, we really do appreciate all that you do!

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Almond Encrusted Beet Burgers

With the spring season upon us and summer approaching quickly, I wanted to make sure you are all equipped with a fabulous burger option that does not include meat! I am going to have to toot my own horn a little bit here and say that this recipe turned out pretty great. I find myself grabbing little, okay not so little, bites from my leftovers nearly every time I open my fridge.

One great thing about meatless burgers compared to the alternative is they are so much healthier with ZERO cholesterol! This burger specifically is packed with heart healthy fats and lean protein to keep you full and your ticker running properly. It also has plenty of flax that supplies you with omega 3’s to fight that belly fat. There are plenty more benefits to this easy swap but I can feel the anxiety building through the computer as you wait for me to provide you with this super burger, so let’s get right to it!

Almond Encrusted Beet Burgers

~ 12 Burgers

  • ½ cup Canned/Cooked Beets
  • 1 cup Shredded Carrots
  • ½ cup Navy Beans
  • 2Tbs Beet Juice (from the can)
  • 2 Tbs Lemon Juice (about 1 small lemon)
  • ½-3/4 tsp Salt + ½ tsp for crust
  • ¼ tsp Tarragon
  • ¼ tsp Marjoram
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Orange Juice (1/2 small orange)
  • ¼ cup Milled Flax Seed
  • 1/3 cup Almonds + ½ cup for crust
  • 1 Tbs Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast + ¼ cup for crust
  • ½ Onion finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 1 Tbs Yellow Mustard
  • 2/3 cup Garbanzo Flour
  • ¼ cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 Flax Eggs (2Tbs milled flax seed + 6Tbs almond milk)
  • Oil or Smart Balance

Toss the carrots with the lemon juice and set aside. Place 1/3 cup of almonds in a coffee grinder or food processor and chop until the almonds are very fine and begin to clump together then set aside. Place beets, navy beans, and beet juice in a food processor and process until combined well. Add salt, tarragon, marjoram, orange juice, flax seed, and chopped almonds in the processor and pulse once again until combined. Next add the tomato paste and nutritional yeast until combined. Transfer the bean paste to a medium sized bowl and stir in carrots, onions, garlic, liquid smoke, and mustard. Once combined slowly add the garbanzo flour until you get a thick but not dry dough then add the sunflower seeds. Place saran wrap over the bowl and refrigerate for about two hours. Once the dough has chilled *form it into about 12 patties and return to the refrigerator.

Once patties are firm (I let mine chill for an additional 4 hours) mix the flax eggs and set aside. Grind the remaining almonds (1/2 cup) until fine but not to the point of clumping. Combine the almonds with the nutritional yeast and salt, place the mixture on a plate or flat surface and set aside. Preheat a cast iron skillet on the burner over medium heat with your choice of **oil or butter.

Once the pan is hot use your hands to first dip the burgers in the flax egg then coat in the almond crust mixture. Add more oil or butter as needed then place the patty in the pan and cover. After the first side has browned and the patty has heated flip and brown the other side uncovered.

Remove from heat and add your toppings! I used avocado, onion, spinach, beets, pickles, and a little bit of veganaise (vegan mayo,) ketchup, and mustard. The avocado is very highly recommended 🙂

*While watching The Chew the other day I learned a nifty trick for forming uniform patties and all you need is a lid from a jar and some saran wrap! See the pics below for more info.

**I tried quite a few ways of cooking these burgers and I have to say the best was fried in a modest amount of Smart Balance. Another possibility could be baking them but I do not have the specificities on how to do it so feel free to play around and let me know how it tastes!

The shredded carrots really help to make this a low-cal meal option by bulking up the recipe.

This is how the almonds should be that go into the bean/beet mixture. For the crust do not let the almonds get quite to this point.

Make sure the beet/bean mixture is well combined before adding the carrots. Love the pink color 🙂

Patty forming technique –>;;

Place a piece of saran wrap over the lid of a jar.

Place a few spoonfuls of the burger dough on top of the lid.

Fold the saran wrap over top, form the dough into the lid and smooth out.

Unfold the top and plop out onto a plate!

Remove the plastic wrap and tadah! Uniform patties! Continue with the rest of the dough, recover with the wrap and toss them back into the fridge.

Coat in the crust mixture after dipping the burger in the flax egg. This part can get a little bit messy!

They taste good without the crust but they are definitely better with it!

Cover the cooking burger after frying the first side so the inside cooks.

Nice and golden brown!

Enjoy on a hamburger bun, piece of toast, or a salad just as you would any other burger 🙂