I have been trying to be more conscious the past year, of choosing at least one recipe a week that doesn’t include meat. Most of that comes out of living on a more careful budget. I actually realized last month, that I had not purchased any beef since… I don’t know, maybe July? Memorial Day? Maybe even before that. Since I love a good burger or steak, once I realized how long we had been without red meat I blew $22 past our $200 grocery budget because I needed to purchase and cook beef. Not ground turkey, not chicken pieces, not pork chops, but real honest to goodness cow. So I did and it was good. We ate some and I froze some but I still felt vaguely guilty for my blatant disregard of the budget. Anyhow, that is neither here or there, except to say that never in this lifetime do I have strong feelings about become a vegetarian.
I do, however, like going meatless on occasion, and am trying to round up recipes that the whole family likes. I feel like if we were a Ven diagram, I would be a big circle, encompassing lots of different foods, husband would be a circle inside – a little more picky, and then Isaac would be a much smaller circle inside the others. I mean, the kid doesn’t like rice or pasta. The heck? And then Jonathan is off on the sidelines mowing down carbs and tossing the avocado and protein over his head like a handful of (expensive) confetti.
Last year, as we tried to eat more naturally, I’d thought that I was going to try several different veggie burger type recipes. Veggie burgers, like brightly colored bars, have symbolized through the years being a “real adult”. In fact, when I first got married, I would buy Boca burgers on sale and then hide them from my husband because I didn’t want to share them. But 2012 passed without me purchasing veggie burgers or making my own. Ironically, I finally tried a black bean burger recipe just a few days before being invited to join a Morningstar Farms Bzz Campaign.
So I made a fairly easy black bean recipe that I’d printed out months before (a little messy to work with) that I put in the food processor, shaped, cooked, and flash froze for later. I liked them. They actually tasted like black beans and spices, and really, shouldn’t a black bean burger taste like what it is? The recipe was very basic and all stuff I had on hand.
- 2 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic salt
I decided to try Morningstar Farm’s black bean burger so that I could compare it to my homemade version and came to realize that I really am no long a fan of processed veggie burgers. Too many ingredients and too much soy protein texture. I would rather my food taste like what it is. I don’t need soy particles trying to masquerade as beef or chicken or black beans.
It has been interesting to see that my tastes have changed (not with Balance Bars, but with many other things) and that apparently I can save our grocery money to spend on steak and not veggie burgers that I need to hide from the rest of the family. Though come to think of it, I doubt anyone in my family would fight me for either version of the meatless burger. The quest for good eating continues…
Anyone know where I can find a preschooler who will eat beans and rice? :-)