Basil

Roasted Red Pepper and Chickpea Burgers

Oh man do I have a good recipe to share! My salad from yesterday’s lunch was so tasty, so I wanted to make something to go along with those ingredients. I got to thinking and realized I hadn’t made veggie burgers in ages, so I decided to whip some up and these turned out incredible. You can see my recipes for Easy Homemade Veggie Burgers and Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers, but these may be the best ones yet.

Ingredients (for 2 burgers – 2 WW Points each)

  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and dried off (1 pt)
  • 1 roasted red pepper, pressed in a paper towel or cheesecloth to remove moisture
  • Handful of spinach
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (2 pts)
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (1 pt)

Directions:

1.) Combine chickpeas, roasted red pepper, spinach, and basil in a food processor:

2.) Pulse until well mixed and tranfer to a bowl.

3.) Add oats and parmesan to the bowl and combine all ingredients by hand

4.) Form into patties

5.) Cook as desired. If I was home I would have cooked them in a pan to get the outside crispy, but since I’m at my office I baked them in the toasted until heated through and they were awesome! You could also microwave them or bake them but pan searing is probably the best.

I ate both of the burgers for lunch (4 pts) open faced on a toasted light english muffin (1 pt). I also had cucumber on the side (0 pts) but it was on its way out and parts of it were soft. ick!

This is a recipe I will definitely be making again, and you can totally switch up the ingredients based on what you have. I was thinking about mixing feta into the burgers too which could be awesome… play with the recipe and let me know what you come up with!

Today was also CSA day. I went before work to pick it up and here’s the loot:

In today’s box:

  • 5 peaches
  • 6 donut peaches (!!!)
  • apricots
  • 2 zucchini
  • 3 yellow squash
  • 5 ears of corn
  • Lemon Basil plant

I was so excited to see donut peaches in the box this week! Remember when I went to the Asian mart two weeks ago and took a picture of these because I’d never seen them before? Well now I have some to try! So excited.

That’s the donut peach on the left and a regular peach on the right. The donut peach is basically a smushed regular peach but I’m not sure if they taste any different or are any different texturally than regular peaches.. I will let you know!

Have you tried any new-to-you produce recently?

Back At It

Whew. I am SO glad that is over with! I have been putting off going back to weigh in at Weight Watchers because I knew I was up a few pounds and haven’t really been counting points in ages. But today, I sucked it up and went and I am so happy I did. I’m not thrilled with the weight itself, because I gained 3 pounds since the last time I was there, I’m just happy that I went and can start fresh. So, officially now, I have 9 pounds to lose to get to my goal weight, which is very do-able if I just make a few tweaks to my diet and keep up with exercising frequently.

The way that I generally do WW which has worked for me in the past, is I pick one “free” night where I don’t really count points, and then just assume I’ve used all of my weekly points. Then I try to stay at my daily target every other day or else use Activity Points that I’ve earned if I need extra points. My free night is actually going to be tonight since I have the happy hour, and that should give me plenty of time to make up for any set back I have tonight so that I have a good weigh in next Thursday.

So, here is my plan:

  1. Back to Weekly Meetings – Every Thursday at 12pm because it’s over lunch and works well with my schedule. There is a Wednesday 12pm meeting as well in case I have a conflict on Thursdays.
  2. Keep up with the Water – Though WW calls for 6 cups a day, my body is happier when I have 8+ cups a day. This was one of my June Goals which helped me get back into drinking a lot of water, so the plan is to just keep up with my water consumption.
  3. Exercise Consistently – My goal is to work out 4-5x a week, with 1-2 days of running, 1-2 days of Bikram, biking, and some strength training.
  4. Count WW Points – Another one of my June Goals which I have been relatively consistent about, but I plan to try to count as much as possible until I am at my goal weight. This will be a little bit of a challenge because when I first started WW and was good about counting points, I was eating a LOT of processed foods, which are easier to count points of because the nutritional info is right on the package. Now that I largely eat whole and unprocessed foods, it will be a bit more of a challenge to count points, but I will try my best and estimate when necessary.
  5. Keep a Mostly Whole Foods Diet – Going along with the last bullet, I don’t want to revert back to a lot of processed foods like I was eating when I first started WW, so I want to keep eating a lot of the same things, just a little less of it, and treats in moderation.

So that’s it! Seems very simple and straight forward, but as everyone who has ever struggled with their weight knows, its a lot easier to say than to do. Please stay tuned and check in with me and make sure I’m sticking with it so that I can get to my goal weight and look and feel my best for my best friend’s wedding!  On the bridesmaid dress note, I ordered a size 10 which is a bit too snug, and my friend Jess got a 12 which is a bit too big, so we’re actually going to do a test tomorrow and possibly switch dresses. While I still want to fit in the 10 by the wedding, I do not think I need the pressure of the dress possibly NOT fitting, so I’m hoping the switch works out.

Onwards!

Lunch today was a treat to myself for going back to WW. I went to the Juice Joint, my favorite quick spot for a healthy lunch in DC. I got a small side salad to go (no dressing)

Which had organic greens, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers (0 pts).

I also got my favorite sandwich from there, the Fresh Mozzarella & Roasted Veggie Sandwich. It has roasted zucchini, squash, red peppers, sprouts, tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella on multigrain bread. It comes with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, too, but in an effort to be a little light, I asked for it without the dressing. Check out how packed with deliciousness this sandwich is!

And you know what? I didn’t even miss the balsamic! I probably will order this sandwich just like this going forward, even after I’m at goal. The veggies and cheese add so much flavor that you don’t even need it. I’m counting this sandwich as 7 points (just a guess), by breaking down the bread as 4 points and the mozz as 3. I’m guessing that’s a little high because there wasn’t much mozz and the bread was pretty thin, but the veggies may have been cooked in a little EVOO so 7 sounds safe. That means 11 total for today with breakfast, which is not bad at all.

Have you struggled with your weight before? What are the key changes you made to your diet/exercise routine that have helped you along the way? For me, drinking a lot of water, eating tons of fruits and veggies, and exercising at all (because I didn’t used to!) were the biggest changes that helped me to lose most of my weight.

Pizza Night

Today has been such a fun day but I am so sad it’s already almost 10pm and tomorrow is Monday aka back to work! I am sooooo sore from my back-to-back workouts yesterday and don’t worry, I definitely take the whole day off and ate enough to make up for all the calories burned yesterday. 😛

My boyfriend had off too, so Wil and I did a little shopping and got some new plants for the balcony which was fun. Grocery shopping, Target, Crate and Barrel outlet (!!!) and a few others. We went to lunch at a Thai restaurant but I forgot my camera so couldn’t take any pics! I had a shrimp appetizer that was 3 shrimp each wrapped in a wonton wrapper and fried, which was served with sweet and sour sauce. It was SO good, perfect mix of crunchy from the wrapper, sweet from the sauce, and soft from the shrimp. For my main course I had the spicy eggplant dish which was awesome. It had tofu, eggplant, red and green peppers, onions, and a few other veggies. It was in a light garlicky brown sauce with basil and was so flavorful and delish. I had some leftovers but I don’t know what happened to them. I may have left them at the restaurant. Sad!

Then dinner was awesome. We ended up making pizzas at home, and my boyfriend whipped up the dough from scratch.

We spread out the crusts and had more cheese than necessary.

Mozzarella, Basil, Provolone, Romano, Parmesan, Ricotta, and Crushed Organic Tomatoes. Here is the 5 cheese pizza with torn basil ready to go in the oven.

And all done baking:

We had a salad with arugula, radishes, turnips, and a citrus vinaigrette, which was delicious, but the pizza was definitely the star!

We ate out on the balcony because the weather was perfect for it, and I had a hefeweizen with a slice of orange alongside my pizza and salad.

The pizza was incredible. I can’t even remember the last time we made pizza at home and its so much fun to pick your toppings and have it exactly how you want. So, so good and perfect for tonight.

Hope you had a fabulous weekend. What was the highlight?