Do you want ketchup with that burger?

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.

cross section view of stuffed portobello…moist, juicy, spicy, and filling!

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.

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24 Responses to Do you want ketchup with that burger?

  1. So great finding what works for you! I don’t know how people survived before the internet. There are so many interesting suggestions to be found. (and a lot that will never see the light of day in a doctors office). I would have added onions but then, I am French. I add onions to everything. ๐Ÿ™„

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      I think we are likely in the minority when it comes to onions. My mother did not eat them, so I grew up not eating them, and thus, son grew up not eating them, and not sure why R doesn’t, but it sure makes it easier to cook! I have on rare occasions used them, but primarily, I cannot stand they way they smell or chopping them. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • One of Dan’s best friends cannot stand onions. It is ok if I am cooking – I can leave them out or have them on the side but last time Rob was here we ordered out. That was fun! We had to rule out a lot of our regular places or the orders we usually place.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Mags says:

    If I tried the bean burger I would have to add onions. I love onions and eat a lot of them. A while back I gave the bean burger a glancing thought, but thus far the thought of trying one has not appealed to me. I am glad you are finding things to try that are helping you health wise. Thank you for sharing this, if I ever change my mind I will check back to see how to fix the burger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      I was actually surprised at how good I thought it tasted. I like black beans anyway, and eat them on salads and we have them with rice or Mexican food often, so it was not too much of a stretch. I am one of those who always thought a burger is beef, not chicken, not fish, and certainly not plants, but it was tasty in the mushroom cap. Not sure I would want it on a bun like a regular burger though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beth says:

    This made me laugh in several places and it is interesting reading about your “journey” through this process. My father couldn’t stand onions and my mother loved them. She would chop them into tiny minute pieces to disguise them when making things like spaghetti sauce and Daddy never knew. He did complain about the sliced onions on hamburgers though! My ex was funny because if I made something “Mother” didn’t make he would usually complain, but occasionally like it in the future. However, if he ate something new at a friend’s house or on a business trip then he was all on board with having it again. So I understand the idea of not eating things you didn’t grow up with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      One of the funniest family stories was when my brother’s ex-wife cooked pork roast with garlic. He just could not stand it, and even Dad would comment on how he hated it. Then when he began dating his current wife, she made pork roast with garlic one night and he “loved it!” I am not sure if she made it differently, or if other issues interfere with our perception..or both, because of course other issues figure into perceptions. Mom never used garlic in her cooking, and thus, we never ate it. I was way up in my adult years before I ate garlic. I will eat cooked onions that are caramelized on a Philly cheese steak, or French Onion soup, so clearly, there are other things in play!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth says:

        That is funny about the pork roast! Our perceptions can be very controlling and difficult to shake. Growing up I was hungry most of the time as my parents were still cooking and eating a lot of what I think of as real country food. Ham hocks and corn bread dumplings were the most disgusting of those dishes! I do think it was the perception that drove me to not eat many nights! A church in SA’s potluck dinners refined my mother’s cooking and during my teenage years I benefited greatly from those recipes bestowed on her after the dinners!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Suzassippi says:

          How fortunate you were she learned some new ways at the potlucks! Mom was a good cook, and she even had recipes! She was pretty basic though–fried chicken, chicken-fried steak, fried pork chops, roast, and ham. Her strength was her baking and she could bake the most delicious cakes, pies, cookies, biscuits, cornbread, dressing, and rolls. Oh, and her banana pudding could not be beat. She made pies one year at Christmas even when she could no longer see that well, and they were perfect!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Beth says:

            My Mother was a good cook and once she refined her recipes it was always fun to come home from school and sniff the air as I came in the door to see what she was making for supper! My grandmother was the banana pudding champion and hers was the only one I really liked! We do have sweet memories of growing up food!

            Liked by 1 person

        • Suzassippi says:

          I do not think I ever even heard of cornbread dumplings, though we ate chicken and dumplings a lot. I still love them, and make them in the winter…but I cheat now and use rolled out floured canned biscuits cut in strips. I learned that from my father-in-law and they were waaay better than my mother’s recipe!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Beth says:

            My MIL made the best chicken and dumplings. Fortunately, my SIL had the recipe and gave it to me a few years ago. Her dumplings were easy, but I have to marvel at the idea of canned biscuits!!!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I love black bean burgers but I have never made them myself. Yours looks delicious! Good luck on doing what works for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to admit that I have never tried a plant-based burger. Yours actually sounds delicious – if I can get past the portobellos. I’ve never been a fan of mushrooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      You can omit the portobellos. They were not in the original recipe, I just decided to stuff them with the bean mix. I have eaten a few grilled portobello sandwiches which were tasty.

      Like

  6. Betty says:

    Kudos to you for finding what works for you and for making the effort. Not only will you have “subjective” feedback (how you feel, energy, etc), you will also have “objective” feedback – i.e. – looking at the numbers. The best thing is you are making the effort to take care of yourself, and it sounds like both the walks and the new food dishes are enjoyable. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      Muchas gracias, Betty. Only 4 more weeks to go to see those objective numbers on the cholesterol and find out the progress. I am satisfied with the objective numbers on the scale, too, which does not hurt!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. These looks really delicious, and I’m so glad you found your portobellos! So good that you found a plan that works well, I’ll have to check it out. Last year my doctor had me start tracking my saturated fat and she recommended MyFitnessPal program which is free and can track whatever nutrients you want. One of the things I track is saturated fat, and I’ve been really careful, lowering my bad cholesterol 30 points without taking any drugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      That is so encouraging to hear, Dorothy! I know plant based works, there is research that supports it. Saturated fats, as you well know is the worst thing we can do re: cholesterol, so of course, eating less meat and full fat dairy products is important. I will check out MyFitnessPal, too. I have a computer file of all my regularly consumed foods for their nutrition content, and I just love using my little notebook with a page for each day, but I might learn something else beneficial and that is always good to me.

      I was shocked and surprised to see those portobellos after so long of looking for them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Universe heard your longing and sent you the portobellos!
        Keep up the good work.
        It’s seem to all be about the saturated fat. My doctor said to track that first and foremost, and to make sure to include healthy oils like olive and avocado in moderation.
        I really love cheese, but what I miss the most was the half-and-half in my morning coffee!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Julia says:

    While Bruce loves onions, they do not love him. They are an item that I have to limit his intake. He is on a low-FODMAP diet to help his UI track and onions are on the do not eat except for the green leaves of scallions and chives.

    Liked by 1 person

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