January is the month of health resolutions. We promise to eat more vegetables. Cut out soda. Work out more.
If your goal this year is to lose weight, remember that wellness goals are harder to achieve if you deprive yourself — not just in the quantity of food you eat, but also in the quality. That is, simply eating low-fat or low-calorie foods isn’t enough. Your food should be nutritious, too.
A dietitian friend of mine once said to me: “My goal is to pack as many nutrients as possible into a single dish that tastes great.” It’s a good mantra to live by.
Recently, I came across Self magazine’s stories about “20 Superfoods for Weight Loss” and the “20 Best Foods for Weight Loss.” Black beans, oats, almonds, blueberries, avocado, and tomatoes were among the lists of food we should all be eating more of.
It was fun taking these ingredients and packing them into satisfying vegetarian-friendly recipes — and adding Fibergy® Plus and Nutrimeal for an extra nutritional boost.
The USANA Black Bean Burgers I love because they’re hearty, filling and nutrient-rich, but much lower in fat than their meaty alternative.
The Nutrimeal Steel-Cut Oatmeal is nice because it gives you a nice dose of the complex carbohydrates and protein that your body needs and can be prepared the night before for an easy on-the-go breakfast. You can also add the tasty, nutritious toppings in this recipe to instant oatmeal, if you’re in a hurry.
USANA Black Bean Burgers
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained in a colander
1/2 bell pepper, cut or town into 2 inch pieces
1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 egg, beaten
1/2 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons Fibergy Plus
1/2 cup bread crumbs, whole wheat preferably
(Optional) Avocado slices, tomato slices, greens and/or sprouts
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and lightly grease a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, mash black beans into a thick paste, leaving some chunks of beans for texture.
- In a food processor (preferably), finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic; stir into mashed beans.
- In a small bowl, stir together chili powder, cumin, salt and Fibergy.
- Stir the egg and powder mixture into the mashed beans, then mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is well-combined and holds together.
- Divide mixture into four patties, lightly grease the tops of the patties (if desired) and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Serve black bean patties on whole wheat buns with optional toppings, such as avocado slices, tomato, lettuce greens and/or sprouts.
Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Nutrimeal
Serves: 2-4, depending on portion size desired
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup steel-cut oats
2 Tablespoons almond milk (or other alternative, such as soy milk)
1-2 Tablespoons Vanilla Nutrimeal, depending on taste
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed (or flaxseed meal)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup almonds, sliced or slivered
(Optional: 2 teaspoons honey, agave nectar or other low-glycemic, natural sweetener)
- Boil 3 cups water in a medium saucepan; add salt and oats to boiling water then cover and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, depending on desired texture.
- Add almond milk and Nutrimeal to saucepan, then divide into equal portions.
- Top with ground flaxseed, cinnamon, blueberries, almond slivers and sweetener, if desired.
Eating well is an important part of being healthy. From the USANA Test Kitchen is a monthly column offering useful nutrition tips, as well as delicious, healthy recipes that use USANA products in creative ways.