Tag Archives: bean burgers

How This Vegan Did Memorial Day

Memorial Day in the United States is (or should be) a day of remembrance and a time when we should stop and thank those who have shown their bravery and made sacrifices to serve in the armed forces. Memorial Day in the United States is also a day of grilling… grilling meat. Lots and lots of meat. Hot dogs, pork chops, brats, ribs, steaks and are you ready to vomit yet?

I had a packed Saturday and Sunday with the nieces so today was a day of relaxation. It was hot out today, too hot to grill in my opinion, and it was just me and my parents anyway, so we didn’t do anything fancy. For lunch, I made some guacamole and some bean burgers.

I used Christie’s recipe for the burgers but minus the mushrooms. My mom and I went back to Jerry’s today, which is still one of the most annoying places on earth to go to, but we also got a crapload of stuff for less than $100. Seriously. If you are in the Chicago area, a trip to Jerry’s is worth whatever it takes to get there and be there. That said, all they had in terms of mushrooms were button mushrooms (packed or you could pick) and giant portabellas. I wasn’t quite feeling either of those.

Now, get ready to vomit again. I really miss the McRib. I know, I know!!! It’s so nasty. But, even after reading what actually goes into a McRib, I still found myself craving it. CRAVE NO MORE, MELISSA. Soy curls and BBQ sauce to the rescue!

I soaked the soy curls and then covered them with some barbecue sauce. It’s as easy as that — the proportions you use are up to you. Unfortunately/fortunately, we had a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s which is the best BBQ sauce but is not totally vegan because of the brown sugar. I baked the soy curls in the toaster oven for 15 minutes at 325 degrees, turning over once, and then for another 5 minutes at 350 to get them a little crispy.

It looks dry, but I like having the BBQ flavor without having sauce dripping all over the place. This was tasty and just about one of the easiest soy curl recipes ever. I finished off the day with a slice of vegan chocolate cake and some blueberries and raspberries (not pictured on account of I ate it all).

Finding vegan ways to celebrate what are essentially food-centric holidays is a small victory. VICTORY! –Melissa

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Burgers and Brussels Sprouts and Balance

Greetings, everyone! Melissa here. I want to take a moment to thank everyone who follows Turning Veganese. You have no idea how excited I get when I see that we have a new follower or a comment. Sometimes, I even do a little running man dance move because I’m so excited. I wish I had more time to interact with all of you. Speaking of interaction, did you know that we have a Twitter? Follow us!

I started this blog four months ago. What I thought it would be: A space to whine about how much I miss meat, how being vegan is too challenging, and ways to tolerate tofu. What it has become: Motivation to be healthier and more creative in the kitchen, a way to celebrate my vegan successes, and an experience–or rather, a gift–that I have shared with two of my favorite people. I wasn’t even sure I was going to tell Christie and Brent about the blog. I am serious. And now, the best things on this blog are Christie’s posts, and I am so grateful for all the hard work she puts into Turning Veganese. I would probably be eating bacon and cheese with a side of pizza and chicken right now if not for her encouragement.

I find myself hitting a milestone of sorts in my vegan transition: I no longer feel like I am depriving myself of anything by following a vegan diet. I don’t miss meat or cheese or butter. I’m actually a little grossed out by it. My tastes are changing. I used to dread having to hit the salad bar at work because there were no vegan options. Now, I love the taste of wild greens, spinach, corn, peas, green pepper… I actually crave spinach. It’s so weird. I was craving spinach yesterday, so I made White Bean and Spinach Burgers. I saw some gargantuan Brussels sprouts when I went to buy the spinach, so I roasted some of those big boys, too (I forgot to buy hamburger buns):

For the burgers, I followed Christie’s recipe, substituting white beans for black eyed peas simply because I have 10 cans of white beans for some reason, and then adding a cup of chopped spinach. I’m not 100% thrilled with how my Brussels sprouts turned out last night, so recipe is pending.

I am starting to tell people that I am going vegan. This is huge for me. I get a lot of different responses, usually about how that person can or can’t ever go vegan, asking me if I miss meat or what tofu tastes like… but no matter what, I always get a “good for you” or “you’re so good” along with “tell me how it goes,” — all totally sincere.

Healthwise, I am doing pretty awesome. I gained weight at first, mostly because I would get overly excited when I found junk food or anything super tasty that was also vegan (oh hello snap pea crisps and sweet potato chips). In the past couple of weeks, I have lost a few pounds. With my tastes changing, I find I need less of certain food “accessories”–salt, sugar, salad dressing, etc. I didn’t go vegan to lose weight, though. I want to be clear about that. I did it to get healthier. And I have. I recently had a health screening and my numbers were so good that the nurse was cheering for me. She actually said that based on my numbers, she would assume I am an athletic person. (Excuse me while I laugh my ass off.)

So I feel great and I am super motivated to keep going and stay committed. I’m learning that there is never a stopping point at which I can say YES, I AM 100% VEGAN AND HEALTHY. If there is anything I learn from Christie or the lady at the grocery store or my friends who are really invested in organic/GMO or current studies and literature, it’s that there are always better foods to eat and better ways to cook.

Thanks again to all of you for reading the blog, following the blog, trying out our recipes, giving us awards (ohmigosh, how fantastic and humbling and encouraging). I’m amazed and inspired by all of your support. I have so much more in my brain and in my kitchen that I want to share with you, and I know Christie and Brent do, too. So, stay tuned! We love you. –Melissa

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