Meatless Monday A Review: Mushroom-Nut Burgers Over Greens – Mark Bittman

Mushroom-Nut Burger by Mark Bittman from VB6 Cookbook

You don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan to enjoy the benefits of adding more plant based foods to you diet. By adding little bits to each meal you will become accustomed to healthier foods and barely notice the change. Really!! Eating more fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and legumes can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, help maintain or lose weight, help with mood and over all sense of well being. Small changes can have a big impact on our health. For example, losing 20% of the size of your waist can reduce your chance of a heart attack by the same amount! Moderation combined with good quality food choices added to an active lifestyle is key to a healthy life.

Ways to add in more whole food plant (WFPB) based foods:

  1. Go Meatless Monday – Try skipping meat one night of the week and let us know how it goes!
  2. Smoothies – toss it in and enjoy. I found that Shhh b-e-e-t-s taste good in a smoothie!!! Try adding spinach, kale, butternut squash, oats etc.
  3. Grab fruit or nuts as a snack
  4. Add veggies to every meal
  5. Don’t forget to add veggies to your sandwiches. I understand meat likes peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers etc. Think of your meat
  6. Add fruit to your cereal
  7. Keep a bowl of fruit on the table or counter, where there is the most traffic. You’ll be surprised how many times someone grabs a piece
  8. Try adding grains like quinoa, bulgar, amaranth etc. to your salads. It will help you feel more full and add more fiber.
  9. Puree vegetables and sneak them into your sauces

What ways do you add more WFPB foods into your diet? Feel free to comment.

Tip: Go slowly, if you aren’t used to the added fiber it can cause a little discomfort. Gradually increase your fiber content over a period of several weeks.

The Review:

Time: 30 Minutes (includes 10 minutes chilling time)

Ease: Moderate. It is simple, but some people will be intimidated by the food processor. Just toss it in and relax!

Review: I was a little skeptical as I read the recipe for Mark Bittman’s Mushroom-Nut burger, it seemed too plain and I was doubtful that the lemon sauce would work. I was wrong! The flavors were very nice together. They are subtle and I suggest you resist the temptation to punch it a notch, at least the first time you make this. Just enjoy the simplicity and flavor, but play around the next time. I think this recipe has a lot of seasoning possibilities. Mark Bittman gives a couple of variations in his cookbook.

Caveat: If you don’t like mushrooms be forewarned that it still tastes like mushrooms. I however do like mushrooms, so it was yummy!

Tips: I want to encourage you to take your time and be patient with this dish. It is important to let the burgers cook slowly so that they cook long enough to be firm. This means keeping the heat lower and taking your time. Not long, 3-5 minutes per side, but don’t rush it.

Overall this recipe is a nice way to add more plant based foods into your diet and a great Meatless Monday meal. This recipe had grains (oats), vegetables (mushrooms, greens, tomatoes, onion), and nuts (pecans or you choose)!

I try to be careful about copyright information, and as a result I have not published the recipe here since I don’t have permission from the author or publisher. However, I recommend The VB6 Cookbook where the recipe is found and if you Google the Mark BIttman Mushroom-Nut Burger over greens you will find some copies out there.

Enjoy!

#meatlessmonday #vegan #vegetarian #mushrooms #burger #wfpb #wholefoodplantbased

I Like to Move it; I like to move it, move it..

You sang the title when you read it right? I did when I wrote it. I hope you are now smiling and I hope you will feel motiviated to be phy-si-caly fit.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the fourth leading cause of death is physical inactivity! They define physical activity as : “Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure.” Plus, studies from the Annals of Internal Medicine have determined that “Prolonged sedentary time was independently associated with deleterious health outcomes regardless of physical activity.” Meaning that our current sedentary lives increase our risk for diseases, including Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers even if you do exercise. In other words, get moving and keep moving! No worries, it is easier to fix than you think.

What do we do about it?

  • Be mindful of how much you sit, for starters.
  • At the top of the hour stand up and stretch and walk around the room
  • Park farther away from your destination
  • Ditch the car and walk or bike to nearby locations
  • Add fun activities to your daily life such as kayaking, hiking, biking, volleyball etc. Don’t count these as exercise just remember to play!
  • Try using a desk designed for standing
  • During commercials try stretching, squats, or walking around the room
  • Walk to work
  • Use a tracking device or app to help you see how you are doing
  • Get a buddy involved. Accountability and partnership help us stay on track
  • Exercise is cumulative. Try taking 3 -10 minute walks. When I’m short on time I set my phone alarm for 5 minutes, then turn around and head back, boom 10 minutes.

Daily exercise is an important part of our lives, but use it to change your thinking and make you into a mover all day long. Your exercise regime should only be a portion of the movement you do throughout the day. You can do it and so can I, really it is about changing our minds first; our bodies will follow!

What do you do to keep moving? Respond in the comments to share your ideas.

#exercise #moving #fitness #physical #health

Recipe Review: Spelt Blueberry Muffin -Whole Foods Market

Spelt Blueberry Muffins – Whole Foods

Time: 40 minutes (prep + cooking)

Ease: Simple

Review: I like having a good muffin recipe to turn to, the kind you can just whip up on a whim, BAM! This is the muffin. This was as easy as using a box mix, but so much better for you. Spelt is a species of wheat and has been cultivated for at least 5000 years, it is considered and “ancient grain”. Spelt is also packed with nutrients and though it has gluten, it is often better tolerated.

There are a lot of blueberries in this recipe, which really brings out sweetness and provides a nice flavor. If you aren’t used to spelt the texture is slightly different from flour, but close. Over all, I would say this was a very successful recipe and one I will make again, and probably again and again.

Note: If you are from the Greensboro, NC are you can purchase spelt at the Guilford Mill on HWY 68. Whole foods is also a great choice and while there, check out the many different types of grains they carry. – Enjoy!

#spelt #blueberry #muffins #wholefoodplantbased #recipe #review #wfpb

Meatless Monday: Orange Soup with Black Salsa – Mark Bittman

We are making an effort to eat more whole food, plant based foods i.e., nuts, legumes, grains, fruits, and veggies, and I have to say we are loving it. After all we’ve been told “Eat food that rots, just eat it before it does” – Dr. Forrest Shaklee. I have also been reading the Blue Zone book by Dan Buettner and learning about the longest lived people in the world, who eat meat more like a garnish or accompaniment to the main meal. A pretty crazy concept for most Americans. The more we learn the harder it is to deny the benefits of good, real, unprocessed, fresh food.

There are so many ways to cook foods, especially vegetables, that no one should be able to say “I don’t like veggies”. Even if you don’t you should keep trying them, over time your taste buds adapt and your body knows you’re giving it good stuff and starts letting you know it needs more – you crave good food! You will also find that sometimes you don’t feel so great after a greasy, processed meal. This is again, your body letting you know it really likes the healthy stuff. Some simple ways to add veggies to your day: smoothies, add them into sauces, puree them, roast, bake, grilled…. MMMmmMMM. To learn more about Whole Food, Plant Based eating visit Eating you Alive or Forks over Knives. and check out Monday.com for some great vegetarian ideas.

Another way to learn about Whole Food, Plant Based eating is through the book VB6 and the VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman He discusses being Vegan, kind of, Mark Bittman is Vegan before 6pm and then eats whatever he would like, within reason after 6pm. The change has still made a huge impact in his health and has become a lifestyle. I like the concept. During the day you get your full share of fruits, vegetables, grains etc. without all of the saturated fats, processed food and bad stuff. If you choose wisely that is. If you want to make a change, but don’t think you can go whole hog, eh hem…whole cauliflower, then VB6 might be a good fit for you.

This review is of his butternut (or pumpkin) soup, a great Meatless Monday meal.

The Review

Time: 60 Minutes

Ease: Simple

I wasn’t sure how well this would turn out at first, just being honest. Every butternut squash soup I’ve ever made had coconut milk or milk in it. I was afraid it would be to thin and watery, but I was wrong! My other hesitation was how was my husband going to handle this vegan dinner? Before I had a chance to ask him what he thought I heard those lovely yummy noises we all love to hear when we cook for someone! Success.

The soup was easy to make and very good. I have a submersion blender, which I highly recommend, but you can use a blender to puree it too. It is creamy from being blended, but is not going to have the exact same consistency as a milk based soup, but I don’t think you’ll miss it.

The salsa is tasty and went very well with the soup. We ate it in our soup as well as with flax chips and I was tempted to top it with sour cream, but didn’t.

This recipe took about an hour, but if you used canned pumpkin or pre-cooked butternut squash you could do it in 30. Enjoy!

#vegetarian #meatlessmonday #wholefoodplantbased #wfpb #butternutsquash #blackbeans #soup