Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Beatles Know What's Up

Heya! How's your week been? Mine was an absolute whirl-wind! I feel like I've learned so much in just a few days, both through the experience of mid-terms and some family stuff. I could probably go on an on about it, but instead I'll summarize so we can get to the food that I want to share with you. I really don't like going this long without blogging; so much to share, so little time...

  • First of all, my grades in school do not determine my worth or how much people love me. I have always been a self-motivated perfectionist in school, but now I am learning that there is much more to life than just succeeding in school. I always try my hardest but it's easy to slip into self-doubt when I don't get exactly the grades I want. I'm taking a lot of Advanced Placement and Honors courses that have really contributed to my high stress level because of this. However, this week I've started to realize that my best really is good enough. I'm not just a letter on a report card; I have so much more to offer! It's who I am, not a number, that is loved. 

  • All you need is love! [Clearly the Beatles knew what's up.] I am so amazed by the immense amount of love that surrounds us every day, sometimes without us even noticing it. It seems as though everyone in my family has been experiencing some bumps in their road lately so to speak. I think it is in these trying times that I've seen the power of family more than ever. Even though we've all struggled with our own problems, there's never been a moment where we've felt alone or like we can't get through it. My family is truly my support system, and I am happy to be apart of theirs, too. I am so thankful for all of the love that surrounds me from the amazing people I am lucky enough to call my family and friends. 

I felt so free after finishing mid-terms, that I knew I had to do something that would make me feel like, well, me! Naturally baking came to mind. Since my mom had a very stressful week, I decided to bake for her. Over the summer she fell in love with Tahini Lime Cookies that I made on a whim. She doesn't like to bother me by asking me to bake her favorites (though I love requests more than anything), but I knew they would be the perfect thing to perk her up. 

One of the ways I show love most is through baking. It seems as though every time I want to show my appreciation or that I care, I immediately wonder what I could bake for them. I was so over come by love yesterday that I am convinced it actually overflowed into the cookies. I suppose love is my secret ingredient ;). 

Last night I also made delicious Mini Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers. I've been tossing around the idea of recreating Dr. Praeger's Bombay Curry Burgers for a while now so I was intrigued when I saw Emily post a recipe for her recreation of Trader Joe's Masala Burgers. They are veggie burgers made out of just vegetables, which is exactly what I was looking for. (I swear bloggers have some kind of special telepathy!) Don't get me wrong; I love bean burgers, but sometimes I just want a hearty mix of vegetables instead. Last night was one of those nights. 

Mini Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers 
Makes 1 large burger or 4 small bites 

  • 1/4 cup sweet potato (59.85g), diced 
  • 1/2 large carrot (36g), chopped 
  • 2 TBS red or yellow bell pepper, chopped (17.5 g)
  • 2 TBS shelled edamame (25 g) 
  • 2 TBS peas or 3 TBS frozen peas and carrots
  • 2 TBS rolled oats/oatmeal
  • 2 tsp canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 tsp ginger 
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala 
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric 
  • 1/8 tsp ground mustard powder 
  • Herbamare, or salt and pepper to taste

Chop sweet potato and carrot into small, even pieces. Saute in a non-stick pan (with oil or cooking spray) over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Next, add the bell pepper, shelled edamame, and frozen peas. Add a little bit of water or vegetable stock to soften the veggies. Cook until the peppers are soft and warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Grind rolled oats into a coarse meal using a (mini) food processor or spice grinder. Add cooked veggies, pumpkin, and spices. Pulse until the veggies are finely chopped and bind together (you may need to add a tsp or so of water at this point to make it stick better).

Form mixture into desired amount of burgers or patties with hands. Cook over medium heat on each side until lightly browned.

All I can say is yum :D. I really like the vegetable base so I look forward to experimenting with it by changing up the spices. Also, I think these would make a great veggie burger to freeze to have on hand for busy days. And even when I'm short on time, I like that this recipe comes together rather quickly if I use almost all frozen veggies. These definitely get high marks for versatility and overall taste!

With that, I'm off to finish making dinner for our girl's night. My grandmother, mom, and I just got our nails done so now we're just planning to relax and enjoy each other's company. I'm a bit tired after this week, but I know some quality time with the fam will leave me feeling refreshed. After all, all you need is love!

What makes you who you are? What is something you are thankful for in your everyday life? 

Remember, you are special and loved just the way you are. You are not a grade on a report care, a dollar amount on a pay check, or even a number on a scale. And as one of the teachers at school told us, if you ever doubt that you are loved, just know that I love you.

Have a lovely day!


P.S. Blogger officially hates me. The proof is in the pudding hours I've spent trying to get this post up. I hope to switch over to my new blog this weekend. Please stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Way to go with the "grades don't define me" thought, Mandiee! I can relate to that so much.
    That was definitely an amazing post :)
    Great recipe, btw! I can't wait to try it - it's the first veggie burger made of vegetables only I've ever found! Thanks for sharing.
    Something that makes me who I am... is probably how I'm always thinking about others. I'm not the "selfish type", I always defend, help and fight for others. And I wouldn't have it any other way :)
    Have a great week, love!