Recipe: Best Beet Burger Ever!


I have to share this with you. In the recent months, I’ve been obsessing over beet burgers, thanks to Ground Control 😉 They make an awesome beet burger! And I have, for the absolute longest, been testing out ingredients, trying to put together a really, really great recipe… One that has the best of everything — healthy, tasty, hearty and more. This recipe has it all. Add a little red onion on top and you’re good to go! AND/OR, some melted Chao (yumm…), cilantro or avocado (to die for!). Hope that you enjoy!


  • 3 large red beets (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (not cooked)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown rice crips cereal (rice crispy-like cereal)
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1/4 cup dates, chopped into small pieces.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 flax egg
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cook’n the beets – Heat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the beets in foil and roast for about 50 to 60 minutes (until fork tender). Set aside to cool.
  2. Cook’n the rice – Bring a 2-quart pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add rice. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until it’s a bit beyond al dente. About 35 to 40 minutes.
  3. Sauté’n the onions – Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a bit of salt. Cook until golden brown and charred around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in cider vinegar. Continue to simmer until the cider has evaporated and the pan is nearly dry again. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Process’n the oats – oats in food processor until reduced to a fine flour. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
    veggieluvDrain and rinse one of the cans of beans -and transfer the beans to the food processor. Scatter the dates on top. Pulse in bursts until the beans are roughly chopped. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the second can of beans and add the whole beans to the mixing bowl.
  5. Grate’n the roasted beets – Scrape the skins off the cooled roasted beets with the edge of a spoon. Grate the peeled beets on the largest holes of a grater. Transfer the beet gratings to a strainer set over sink. Press and squeeze the gratings to remove as much liquid as possible from the beets (or save juice for other fun recipe). Combine’n the veggie burger mix – Transfer the squeezed beets, cooked rice, and sautéed onions to the bowl with the beans. Sprinkle the olive oil, brown mustard, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and thyme over the top of the mixture. Mix all the ingredients until combined. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper to taste. Finally, add the oatmeal flour, cereal and flax egg and mix until you no longer see any dry oatmeal or flax egg.
  6. Refrigerate’n the burger mix for 2 hours, or up to 3 days – Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the mixture to a refrigerator container, and refrigerate. Best case burger scenario, let it sit in the frig overnight.
  7. Shape’n the burgers – When ready to cook the burgers, first shape them into burgers. Scoop up about a scant cup of the burger mixture and shape it between your palms into a thick patty the size of your hamburger buns. You should end up with about 6 large patties.
  8. Cook’n the burgers – Heat a skillet over high heat. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to completely coat the bottom of the pan.
    Cook the patties for 2 minutes on each side. Should see a nice crust. Then cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 4 more minutes until the patties are warmed through.

Take the ‘Veg of Allegiance’ with Top Chef Host, Padma Lakshmi!

When Padma Lakshmi isn’t hosting the super popular, Emmy award-winning cooking competition show, Bravo’s Top Chef, she is eating plant-based diet – for her health, the environment and her pocket. She has teamed up with the Morningstar Farms brand to promote the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. I support this entirely. It is a friendly way for anyone to incorporate a more balanced diet into their lives. So Pledge! – One meal, two meals, twenty-one meals a week. It’s up to you. Check out her interview [Video: Padma Lakshmi and Morningstar Farms Present the Pledge] and also the ‘Veg of Allegiance’ video below with more details on ‘The Pledge’!



Bill Nye the Science Guy! And His ‘Eye’ on the Controversial Topic — GMO Foods

Bill Nye! Boy! Growing up, I remember how excited I was to watch his show every week. And he still exists! 😉 Now, with a different show — “Eyes of Nye” — educating young kids just as he has for 20 years! But the information on this video is not only relevant to the youngsters, it is relevant to everyone. He breaks down the GMO (genetically modified organisms) debate in his amazingly fun and thorough way! Check it out!

The Best Guide to Finding Fresh, Organic Produce (during the bitter cold, winter months…)

Hi All! Whether we like it or not, winter is in full-effect. 😉 I cannot believe that we find ourselves in December! December!! How fast does time fly?! Better yet, how fast did this year fly by?! We are just weeks away from 2015. Wowza! I recently ran across an excellent quote for December…this being the last month of the year… “You have one month to finish the book of 2014. Make the last chapter the best one yet.” Pretty powerful, right?! Let’s make December a great one!
In efforts to continue eating healthy and fresh (which can be pretty difficult when the cold weather hits us), as well as continuing a diet free of the ‘not-so-great’ pesticides, processed foods and GMOs, I discovered this really amazing link (Your Guide to Obtaining Fresh, Organic Produce in The Middle of Winter). Easy guide to finding produce in the winter (right now!) and it does not have to be expensive nor difficult. And not all fruits and veggies need to be organic — anyone know about the clean 15?? This guide is the best! Hope that you enjoy! 🙂

Guide to Chicago Restaurant Week…Plant-based Style!


Chicago Restaurant Week is back and in full swing! This year, it has been extended for two weeks, not just one. And there happens to be a few vegan/plant-based restaurants to highlight. I’m definitely excited about my options and was quick to reserve a table, as the restaurants book up extremely fast around this time.

chicagodinerChicago Diner – it is just that, diner vibe with really great, home-style vegan food. I like taking friends and family here because they do have vegetarian options as well. They serve eggs, cheese and the like. My favorite is the Country Fried Steak. Check out their Restaurant Week menu here.

greenzebraGreen Zebra – it is vegetarian/vegan fine dining at its best. I’ve been a few times and the Chef’s Tasting Menu is an amazing 5-courses of plant-based greatness. It changes frequently which makes it a fun choice. Always something new and unique to try. Check out their Restaurant Week menu here. The risotto and the white chocolate mousse sound amazing.

Indulging the Right Way This Holiday Season

The fun and always entertaining Jason Wrobel (who is the most amazing celebrity raw vegan chef) partnered with Eco-Vegan Gal, Whitney Lauritsen, to give us a few healthy, vegan-specific tips and recipes for this holiday season. It is very easy to fall off the wagon and indulge, indulge, indulge (in the most unhealthy way), but their advice encourages us to stay strong and continue to eat nutritiously while enjoying all of the festivities. These two are the best! Hope you enjoy their video as much as I did!

Product Review: Penzeys Spices


While out in California for work, I came across the most amazing spice shop in Santa Monica. Penzeys Spice shop is gigantic, with every quality spice and blend of spices imaginable. Their spices just add another element of flavor to any dish that I make, whether it’d be a dessert, salad or savory meal. I cannot live without them in my kitchen. And as a vegan, I find spices to be of upmost importance, a way to add outstanding flavor to any dish. My absolute favorites are:

  • Green Goddess: blend of green onion, sugar, basil, celery flakes, minced garlic and dill weed (I mix it into a little olive oil and apple cider vinegar to make a fantastic dressing for my kale salad);
  • Balti Seasoning: blend of green onion, sugar, basil, celery flakes, minced garlic and dill weed (I add some to my lentils or rice for a tasty curry touch);
  • Sunny Paris Seasoning: blend of shallots, chives, green peppercorn, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil and bay leaf (I use on EVERYTHING! I sprinkle in salads, sautéed veggies, rice, stews, the list goes on and on…)

[* all seasonings mentioned above are salt-free!]

Their seasonings come in glass containers and are hand-blended and fresh. Best part, after searching the web (so to buy more spices online), I found that there are two actual shops in the Chicagoland area as well (Naperville and Oak Park – see the location information below)! Check out their website:

Naperville, IL
River Square Shopping Center
22 E Chicago Ave.
(630) 355-7677
Mon.-Sat.: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Sun.: 11:00AM – 5:00PM

Oak Park, IL
1138 West Lake St
(708) 848-7772
Mon.-Fri.: 9:30AM – 5:30PM
Sat.: 9:30AM – 5:00PM
Sun.: 11:00AM – 5:00PM

Veggie Vending Machine in Chicago

Veggie Vending Machine in Chicago

Such a fun concept! A vending machine with Healthy Options! When I think of vending machines, I think of the typical options: soda, chips, cookies, candy bars and other processed items. Farmer’s Fridge is the complete opposite, in a new and exciting way. On-the-go hand-crafted, healthy, fresh salads. Visit this kiosk…yes, I said kiosk and choose from one of several options (some of which include: North Napa Salad, Crunchy Thai Salad, High Protein Salad to name a few). They also have breakfast, snacks and more. In addition, all meals are served in recyclable jars. Can’t get any better than that. I am definitely going to check this out and will fill you in on my thoughts and provide more details!
Location: Garvey Food Court, 201 North Clark Street, at West Lake Street.