And lo and behold, I found Portobello caps in Kroger this week! I picked up some fresh corn still in the husks, which is how we like them cooked. I had saved a recipe for black bean burgers I found at Sally’s Baking Addiction when I first contemplated plant-based eating in 2020, but had never made. Full disclosure: I have never eaten a black bean burger (nor had any desire to do so), so I can truthfully say “this is the best black bean burger I have ever eaten.” However, Sally assures us that it really IS the best black bean burger and is confident we will be satisfied. I must say, I was fully satisfied, and son ate 2 and R said “it was okay” which is the most I could expect from him. He has a somewhat limited willingness to eat things he did not grow up eating, ‘ya know?
Rice with salsa and grilled Mexican street corn rounded out the offering. As usual, I omitted the onions as none of us like them. Sally suggests mashing the beans, while leaving a few “chunks.” I used whole wheat bread for my bread crumbs, a red bell pepper for the additional beta-carotene and vitamin C. I admit, I was a bit leery about that 2 tablespoons of ketchup, so I just added one. Possibly, I would have reached a total state of enlightenment had I used the second tablespoon, but in my Goldilocks opinion, the one was just right. I also used only 1 egg instead of 2, and again, found the taste and texture just right. If you check out Sally’s recipe at the link above, you will see the additional ingredients of garlic, cumin, chili powder, feta cheese, and Worcestershire sauce, with salt and pepper. The results were similar to the texture of ground beef and filled the portobello caps easily and neatly. I baked them in an oiled pan in the over for 20 minutes and then flipped them for another 2-3 minutes on the ‘burger’ side.
On the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change eating plan to lower cholesterol, I track my total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, fiber and protein each day. I enjoy making lists and keeping details, so it is not tedious for me, though some I mention it to say “I would never do all that work.” I just do what works for me, which is probably what most of us do. I will also do something that I don’t enjoy if it means achieving something important to me, but fortunately, that is not the case here. I am also nerdy enough that I like to read the academic research articles from the National Institute of Health about various nutrients and the outcomes of research.
Learning that eating a whole grain product with plants is helpful is like a gold star on my behavior management chart to me. Soluble fiber found in fruits and vegetables become a sort of ‘gel glob’ in your bloodstream, and the non soluble fibers found in whole grains bonds with them to carry those nasty little fat globs of ‘bad cholesterol’ out of your body. This process is easier for me because I also love a variety of vegetables and fruits, prepared in a variety of ways and like whole grain products.
And of course, it is important to note that the TLC plan is 3-pronged. In addition to what you eat, one must exercise daily, and when called for, lose weight. After 6 weeks on the plan, I do lab work to see how it is working for me. It is like a case study on systems theory and that will be my feedback. Working? Keep doing what is working! Not working? What change is indicated? My ultimate and most important goal was to reduce cholesterol, increase physical stamina and breath control, and lose the excess pounds that crept up during the last 3 years. I am making progress, and the side effects of better sleep, less turbulent dreams, and significant improvement in mood are like feta on the salad.
Many thanks and much gratitude for all my blogging friends out there whose humor, photographs, sharing of their triumphs and challenges and who enrich my life and lead me to new ideas and new places and new experiences are just awesome. Ya’ll “rock it like a boogie woogie choo-choo train” and I can see my dad dancing to that song right now! Let’s all keep dancing.