Recipe of the Week: Mexican Lentil Burgers

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Lately I have been craving veggie burgers and last week I finally incorporated them into my meal plan for the week. I had actually intended to make black bean burgers but I forgot to soak and cook my dried black beans so I swapped out the black beans for a can of brown lentils that I had in the pantry.

To help make perfect patties I used our Cuisinart Patty Maker, which was actually on our wedding registry because we love homemade veggie burgers so much. Two tips I have to make these really tasty burgers are to make sure to preheat your oven and line your baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Now these burgers are a little messy but they are delicious!

Mexican Lentil Burgers

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium red onion, deiced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 5 button mushrooms, halved and sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-15 oz can brown lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Serve With:
    • Sriracha Mayo: Vegan Mayo + Sriracha
    • Avocado
    • Tomato
    • Whole Wheat English Muffin

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium- high heat.

Add the onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and carrots; cook for 5-7 minutes until soft.

Stir in the garlic.

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process just until combined.

Form into patties and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve on an English Muffin (or bun or on a plate of greens) with sriracha mayo, tomato and avocado.

 

 

Mood Boosting Recipe: Chickpea & Potato Tagine

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Chickpea & Potato Tagine

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ rounds
  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-25oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 4 Medjool dates, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Harissa (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)


Directions:
Heat
heat the oil in a 4-quart heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat.
Add  
the onions and cook 5-7 minutes until soft.
Stir in
the potatoes and carrots and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
Stir in
the turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon.
Stir in
the broth and bring to a gentle simmer.
Cover and reduce
to low and cook for 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Stir in the chickpeas and dates and season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the harissa and almonds.
Garnish with cilantro and a slivered almonds.
Serve with Lemon-Herb Couscous.

{Pregnancy Update} 20 Weeks & Predictions

(Photos: Neil and I as toddlers)

How far along are you: 20 Weeks

How big is the baby: About the size of an cantaloupe!

Baby’s Gender: See Below.

Baby’s Name: Status is still the same- 5 boy names and 5 girls

Weight Gained: 10-12 lbs.

Clothes:  I picked up two new tops for our upcoming vacation but I really need to get myself a dress or some capris as well so I’m hoping that when we are in Boston I’ll find a few things to take on our trip.

How are you feeling: I’m feeling good. I have been a little tired out at nights and have been going to bed early which isn’t always fun since Neil has been working late; when I go to bed early that means we hardly see each other during the week. I finally took a real nap yesterday and I ended up staying up until 10pm and getting a bunch of things done, so I think more frequent naps might be in order.

What do you miss: Wearing normal clothes. Wine. Running.

Symptoms: Sore legs in the morning. Heartburn. Shortness of Breath <– I feel so embarrassed about this however it’s a normal symptom because as your uterus expands, it pushes against your lungs.

Cravings: Coconut ice cream. Thai. Lemon Water. Pears. Veggie Burgers.

How are you sleeping: I have actual been sleeping better, I found a position that is somewhat comfortable and I allow myself to sleep on my right side for short periods-about 15 minutes.

Other:  We go in for our anatomical ultrasound on March 2nd and I am nervous, this is normal right? We still won’t be finding out what we are having but the anatomical ultrasound but it will check:

baby’s growing and developing properly. This generally includes taking baby’s heartbeat, checking for physical abnormalities, confirming any suspicions of twins or other multiples, measuring the amount of amniotic fluid (to much or too little could signal a problem), checking the location of your placenta to be sure it isn’t covering the cervix, and taking lots of measurements to make sure baby is the right size for his gestational age. (If your babe measures very large or very small, you may be given a new due date! (source)

Neil and I have decided that we want to keep the sex of our baby a surprise until the birth. This doesn’t mean we aren’t curious as to what we are having so this week I decided to look at some of the ways people attempt to predict the sex of their baby without the use of an ultrasound. I was inspired by these two blogs: here and here.

The Predictions Based on Gender Prediction Charts and Old Wives Tales:

Time of Conception: GIRL
I think we conceived on the day before I ovulated. I have read that male sperm swim faster but die out sooner and girl sperm swim slower but hang out longer, so if we didn’t conceive on the day of ovulation I guess girl? All of this is a bit confusing. 

Cravings: GIRL
It is said that if you crave sweet it’s a girl and if you crave salt you’re having a boy.  I have been craving lots of fruit and coconut ice cream lately which is really abnormal for me.  I honestly have had more coconut ice cream in the last 20 weeks than I have had in the last few years.

Dreams: ??
I haven’t had any dreams (that I remember) that have been about the baby- I feel like this is really weird. 

Sleeping Preference: GIRL
I have read that you prefer sleeping on your left side, you’ll have a boy and if you prefer your right side a girl. Well if you have been following my past pregnancy updates I really can’t stop talking about how much I hate sleeping on my left side.

Morning Sickness Severity: GIRL
Apparently extreme nausea or nausea that lingers all day means you are having a girl. Well I had 12 weeks of all-day sickness.

Mathematical Formula: GIRL
You add your age (2 + 6) to your due date month (7) to your conception month (1+0). Odd equals boy, even equals girl. Mine adds up to 16. 

Chinese Gender Predictor: BOY
I used the chart on The Bump.

Mayan Table: BOY
Seems to be basically the same as the Chinese Gender Predictor.

Wedding Ring: BOY
Hang your wedding ring from a strand of the father’s hair over your belly. If the ring circles, it’s girl; if it swings back and forth, it’s a boy. (source)  We didn’t use a strand of Neil’s hair (that is too precious to remove and it’s not long enough) instead I used a string.

Hands- Soft or Dry?: BOY
If your hands are dry-boy. If your hands soft-girl. Well my hands have been dry lately…however we are having a cold dry winter in Vermont so I blame it on the weather.

Citrus: GIRL
Apparently if you’re craving citrus, you’re having a girl. Well let me tell you for the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy I couldn’t get enough citrus and although my cravings have calmed down I still love me some citrus.

Skin: GIRL
Apparently if your skin breaks out, expect a girl and my skin has been awful!

High or Low?: BOY
If baby is low, expect a boy. High, it’s a girl.–Well I am carrying low. However I have also read that where you carry is based on your body type and whether you have a good set of abs before conception.

Nature’s language:  GIRL
It is believed that nature communicates with humans through forms. In this case, if the mother’s womb is round, it is a girl. If it is pointed, it is a boy (source). I am feeling like I look pretty round so I guess girl?

Heart Beat: GIRL
Is Baby’s heart beat faster than 140 beats per minute (bpm)? It’s a girl. Less than 130 bpm? It’s a boy (source). At our 12 week appointment the heart rate was high 160’s and at our 16 week appointment the heart rate was in the 150’s.

Gut Feeling: BOY er GIRL….um BOY?
For a most of the pregnancy I have thought boy but now after all these predictors I don’t know maybe girl? I guess we’ll find out in 20 or so weeks!

TOTALS: 9 Girl and 6 Boy.

What do you predict we will have? 

 

Sources:

  • http://www.home-remedies-site.com/boy-or-girl.htm
  • http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/photos_popular_pregnancy_myths
  • http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-baby/gender-prediction/old-wives-tales/
  • http://content.thebump.com/sitelets/chinese-gender-chart/

Mood Boosting Recipe: Lemon-Herb Couscous

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Lemon-Herb Couscous

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil


Directions:
Bring 
the water to a boil in the small sauce pot. 
Stir in t
he couscous. Cover and turn off the heat.
Let stand
5-10 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
Transfer
to a large bowl, add the lemon zest and juice, scallions, cilantro, and olive oil, as well as, salt and pepper to taste. Fluff with a fork to combine. Serve.

Other Options:

  • Serve this couscous as a cold salad.
  • Add chickpeas, diced tomatoes and/or parsley to make a new dish.

Mood Boosting Food

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We all are living busy and stressful lives and for many  food is a big part of this stress.  Finding time for healthy cooking and eating just adds to the already too long “to do” list causing more stress to our mind and body. Although food can cause a lot of stress in our lives it can also energize our body and help us to make the most of our busy days.

small change in diet can improve energy levels and how your body responds to stress. So boost your mood and increase your energy, while decreasing your stress, by increasing fresh veggies, seasonal fruits, whole grains and lean protein. It is important to remember to start small this could be as simple as making your Mondays Meatless or upgrading your snacks to include more fruits and veggies.

Head on over to my health coaching site where you can find more information on Mood Boosting Foods and three Mood Boosting Recipes.

Keep your eyes peeled for the following recipes coming up this week:

  • Recipe: Lemon-Herb Whole Wheat Couscous
  • Recipe: Chickpea and Potato Tagine