My name is Kelly and I am a Registered Dietitian living in Bucks County Pennsylvania. There are several things that prompted me to start this blog. 1) I absolutely love to cook and try new recipes. What I recently noticed though, is that it’s almost impossible for me to follow a recipe as is – I always end up changing ingredients to make the meal healthier! 2) With family, friends, students and clients regularly asking me for cooking and eating tips, I decided that the easiest way to deliver information to everyone would be online.
This isn’t a food blog of what I eat everyday. I will post recipes a couple of times a week, build up a section with my nutrition philosophies, and even discuss some hot topics.
What you will see with my recipe posts:
- 100% real, natural ingredients (And not the “natural” you see on food labels that doesn’t actually mean anything)
- Special diet indicators
GF = Gluten Free
V = Vegan
Veg = Vegetarian
DF = Dairy Free
All of my recipes are heart healthy!
- If a recipe I post is not something I came up with on my own, and something I adapted, I will link you to the original recipe that inspired mine.
Since you are likely here to learn a little bit about nutrition and find some new recipes, I’m going to get right to my first recipe post. You can learn more about my background by clicking on the “About” tab and if you are interested in nutrition counseling, see the “Nutrition Services” page.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers (GF, V, DF)
I decided to use this recipe as my first post for several reasons: it is one of my husbands favorite dishes that I prepare, I have already shown family & some friends how to cook them, and it is a goal of mine to prove to carnivores that veggie burgers can be delicious! After preparing the recipe the burger can be eaten in a variety of ways. One of my favorite ways is to have an open face sandwich on a slice of Great Harvest Bread Co “High Five” bread and use homemade guacamole or hummus as a condiment. You can also dice the burger up to throw in a wrap for work or even in a salad.
Ingredients (see below for beneficial properties of these ingredients) :
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes (enough to give you 2 1/4 C) baked in skin
1 Cup cooked medium grain brown rice
1 1/2 cups black beans – soaked from dry ( Sub: 15 ounce can black beans or 1 1/2 Cups canned fat free re-fried beans)
1/2 Cup cooked, chopped spinach (from fresh or frozen)
3 large cloves garlic
1/2 Cup chopped red onion
1/2 Large egg (sub 1/2 flax egg if vegan)
1/2 Cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried cayenne
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
-Bake sweet potatoes in oven for 1 hour at 375 degrees (can cook 45 minutes at 350 degrees in convection)
-While sweet potatoes are baking, cook rice according to directions on package (1/2 cup dry rice with 1 cup water should give a little more than 1 cup cooked) and spinach just until thawed if from frozen or wilted if from fresh.
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Measure out 1 ½ Cups of black beans and either blend in food processor or mash with a fork in a large mixing bowl
-Peel the skin off of the sweet potatoes and measure out 2 1/3 cups mashed. Add to bowl.
-Add 1 Cup rice to bowl and mix the beans, sweet potatoes and rice together well.
-Stir in spinach, minced garlic and diced red onion
-Add spices and mix well. You can taste now to see if you’d like a little more of any flavors.
-Scramble egg and stir half of it into mixture.
-Finally, place oats in a food processor or even Magic Bullet and pulse until it is a flour – add to the bowl and mix until well combined
On a cookie sheet or other pan, lay parchment paper. Scoop a slightly rounded 1/3 Cup of mixture at a time onto the pan and mold into burger patties. You should get 6-8 depending on the size of your baking sheet, and will need 2 baking sheets to fit all of the burgers. I like to use half of the mixture right away and freeze the other half for the next time I am craving them. Place baking sheet in oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, carefully flip burgers with a spatula (they may stick a little) and cook another 10-15 minutes depending on your oven.
Real ingredients with real benefits:
Sweet Potatoes: there are so many nutrients in this versatile veggie! Other than a good mix of soluble & insoluble fiber, they provide lots of Vitamin A and are also rich in Vitamin C, B6, potassium and manganese. You’ll also get some copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, B vitamins and even calcium. Sweet Potatoes give you carotenoids and quercitin as well, which are phytochemicals (a post explaining pytochemicals is coming very soon).
Black Beans are also a great source of both types of fiber as well as folate and thiamin, both B vitamins. Minerals provided include iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, potassium & calcium. Phytochemicals found in black beans include anthocyanins, triterpenoids, and flavonoids.
Basmati Rice provide a good amount of Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Vitamin C, Riboflavin & Manganese. You can also get phytochemicals like quercetin & several carotenoids.
Spinach provides lots of Vitamin C as well as calcium, thiamin, iron, B6, zinc, copper, riboflavin & magnesium. Phytochemicals provided include isothiocyanates, sulforophane & indoles.
Red Onions are a good source of Vitamin C, folate, Vitamin B6, and even provides potassium & magnesium. Red onions really pack their nutrition in the form of phytochemicals though. Anthocyanins are present which are important for cardiovascular and respiratory health.
Oat Flour – oats provide protein, fiber and various B vitamins such as folate, thiamin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. Oats are packed with the following minerals – include iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, zinc and copper.
Eggs – I am sure you know that eggs provide you with protein. Believe it or not, its the yolk that packs all the micronutrients though! Eggs are one of few dietary sources of Vitamin D and also provide nutrients like selenium, B12, folate, choline and carotenoids. Most research shows eggs do not have a negative impact on heart health!
Garlic – garlic provides a lot of the same benefits as onions including the phytochemical allicin as well as sulfides. Research on garlic links it to an improved immune system.
Even spices are beneficial to your health!
Cayenne has been found in research to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and even anti-allergy due to its nutrient content including vitamins A and C, some B vitamins, potassium and the phytochemical capsaicin.
Oregano contains quercitin which is linked in research to respiratory health and also phenolic antioxidants
Cumin contains many phytochemicals that act as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phenolic acids as well as a phytoestrogen.
Nutrition Information (without toppings or bread/bun)
Total Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: < 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.7 g
Cholesterol: 16 mg
Carbohydrate: 18.5 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 3 g
Protein: 4 g
Sodium: 125 mg 8%
Potassium: 275 mg 6%
Vitamin A: 48% Thiamin: 12.5% Riboflavin: 8%
Niacin: 6% Pant Acid: 9.5% Vitamin B6: 12%
Vitamin B12: 2% Vitamin C: 8.5% Vitamin E: 4%
Calcium: 4% Iron: 6% Zinc: 8%
Magnesium: 14% Copper: 15% Selenium: 6 %
Manganese: 34% Phosphorus: 12.5%
**vitamins & minerals are listed as % daily value; you may need more
than 100% each day if you’re an athlete, have a deficiency disease, or other medical concerns