As a flexitarian (aka a conscious and informed omnivore), I am a big believer in avoiding absolutes when it comes to diet choices. I eat meat on occasion. I eat gluten with regularity. And I sometimes even eat dairy (though my system would rather I not). I’ve tried out a lot of different food lifestyles, but I always come back to moderation. In the words of Oscar Wilde, everything in moderation, even moderation. Afterall, who wants to miss out on their mom’s classic sugar cookies at Christmas time, or the sensational experience of sharing pâté and red wine with good friends? The good news is, small dietary tweaks can make an enormous impact, not only on your personal health but on the well-being of our shared environment.
One of these manageable steps stems from a movement called Meatless Monday (#meatlessmonday). According to their website:
Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. We provide the information and recipes you need to start each week with healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives. Our goal is to help you reduce your meat consumption by 15% in order to improve your personal health and the health of the planet. Presidents Wilson, Truman and Roosevelt galvanized the nation with voluntary meatless days during both world wars. Our intention is to revitalize this American tradition. We’re spearheading a broad-based, grassroots movement that spans all borders and demographic groups. By cutting out meat once a week, we can improve our health, reduce our carbon footprint and lead the world in the race to reduce climate change.
Sign me up! I’m already more like a Meatless Monday-through-Friday kind of gal, but if you aren’t this is one small change anyone can make. To jump-start your commitment to being healthier and helping the planet, try out this recipe for Sweet Potato Bean Burgers, or check out my Quinoa Black Bean Zucchini Burgers from last fall.
Sweet Potato Bean Burgers
What You’ll Need:
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 can white cannellini beans
- 1/4 cup gluten-free oats
- 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 sweet onion
- 4 small or 2-3 large cloves garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbs chives
- 2 tbs sauce from a Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce can
- salt and pepper to taste
How to Make Them:
- Polk holes into sweet potatoes with a fork and microwave each individually on high for 5 min. Remove and let cool for 10 min before attempting to peel.
- While the potatoes cool. in a large pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for about 5 min until soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and spices cooking until fragrant (another 2 min).
- Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1″ or smaller cubes. Add to pan and cook another 5 min until tender. Remove mixture from heat.
- In a separate bowl, beat two eggs until smooth.
- In a food processor, combine sweet potato mixture, white beans (drained and rinsed), oats, garbanzo bean flour, adobo sauce, finely chopped chives, and salt and pepper to taste with egg mix.
- Chill mixture in refrigerator for 30 min then remove and form into 6 burger patties. And pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
- In the same large pan used earlier, sear your burgers on both sides for 2-3 min over medium-high heat in a little more olive oil. Then bake in a pre-heated 350ºF oven for 30 min (flipping once).
Maple Chipotle Mayo
What You’ll Need
- 3/4 cup light organic mayo
- 1 tbs pure maple syrup
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
How to Make It: Blend all ingredients together in a mini food processor (or Magic Bullet!) until combined. Chill until ready to use.
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