Monday, June 27, 2016

Vegan Cooking Successes: Black Bean Burgers & Quinoa Crust Pizza

As I briefly mentioned in my previous Kayla Itsines' BBG review post, I recently started to eat a more plant-based, vegan diet. I started this simply because I noticed my body feels lighter and I have more energy when I go without eating meat, eggs, cheese, and other animal byproducts. I also suffer from ezcema, and find that my skin flares up when I eat dairy products. When I tell people I'm eating a vegan diet, the reaction I mostly get is "wow, that must be so hard," and "how do you do it? There are animal byproducts in everything." And although this can feel all too true sometimes, thankfully Pinterest exists. There is a plethora of amazing tried-and-true vegan recipes that offer (often) healthier options than their non-vegan alternatives. For example, black bean burgers and quinoa crust pizza, which I have tried and will be reviewing below!

Pictured above is my rendition of a vegan black bean burger recipe, found on Hummusapien's blog.
This recipe was very quick and easy to throw together, which is great for someone like me with a busy schedule. It yielded 6 burgers, and I found myself quickly finishing them as leftovers throughout the rest of the week. I was surprised at how much these burgers taste like the "real deal".

The toppings I used were: avocado, lettuce, tomato, mustard, and ketchup.
An alternative to the whole grain bun that I used for the leftovers: romaine lettuce leaves (not pictured, equally delicious).

Recipe level: Easy
Time required: about 20-25 mins. total
Rating: 10/10
Would I make it again?: Yes, I already have!

This next recipe I tried may be hit-or-miss for people who do NOT like vegetables and LOVE cheese (e.g. my boyfriend - love you, honey!). And despite not being the most photogenic meal, I found this recipe satisfyingly, amazingly delicious. I found this quinoa crust pizza recipe on Simply Quinoa's blog, and just excluded the cheese and added my own choice of toppings. I was surprised at how easy this was to put together, and even more surprised at the fairly low overall calorie content and the amount of great nutrients you get since this recipe tastes. so. good.

Toppings I used: tomato sauce, zucchini, tomatoes, red & green bell peppers.
Alternatives: The only quinoa I had was a mix of red, black, and white quinoa and it still tasted great; sautéing the vegetables before adding them as pizza toppings if you mind your veggies being raw.

Recipe level: Easy
Time required: soaking the quinoa for 6-8 hrs. (I do this in the morning) and putting together/baking for about 40 mins.
Rating: 9/10
Would I eat again?: Yes, I already have!


Pinterest is amazing for recipe ideas. I have found healthy, vegan alternatives for so many of my favorite foods, including these pizza and burger recipes. Although eating a more plant-based/vegan diet can be difficult sometimes, I find that when I discover recipes I like and I dedicate the time to make them, it doesn't seem so bad, expensive, or difficult!

What are your favorite healthy recipes? Do you have any kind of diet restrictions you have to work around?
Thanks for reading!

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