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25 Days of Self-Care To Treat Yourself During The Holidays

Self-care is often overlooked. Especially this year, as stress and uncertainty has taken over a majority of our lives. Nonetheless, the concept of self-care is extremely important, as it helps encourage maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself and others.  With the holidays coming up, stress seems to consume us even more due to the pressures that accompany the holiday season — travel plans, hosting relatives and finding the perfect gifts for all your friends and family. So this year, gift yourself by filling your December calendar with some holiday self-care ! Below is a list of self-care ideas to get you started so you can nourish yourself for the holidays. Write Yourself a Love Letter An important aspect of self-care is being kind to yourself and practicing self-love, so start by writing yourself a thoughtful love letter. Write down things you love and admire about yourself, no matter how big or small they might be. If you are in need of a place to begin, check out this prin

Veggie And Vegan Burger Recipes

May 28th is National Burger Day and instead of firing up the grill and cooking up the usual, we'd like to present to you a few burger recipes with a vegan and plant-based twist.

Below are three recipes from three different books: The Fiber Effect, The Complete Quinoa Cookbook, and Easy Vegan Home Cooking.

Recipe #1: Black Bean Burgers
(From The Fiber Effect by Nichole Dandrea-Russert)

Servings: 8–10 patties


1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
1 cup raw walnuts
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided, plus more for cooking if needed (alternatively you can use veggie broth or water)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon each sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 (15-ounce) BPA-free can black beans, drained
⅓ cup almond or oat flour


Cook brown rice as instructed on the package and set aside. Time saver: have rice ready to go ahead of time.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add raw walnuts and toast for 5–7 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden brown. (Keep an eye on them to prevent burning. You just want them toasted.) Set aside and allow to cool.

In the meantime, heat another small to medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add ½ tablespoon of oil (or veggie broth) and onion. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and sauté for 3–4 minutes, or until onion is fragrant, soft, and translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.

Once walnuts are cooled, add to blender or food processor with chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper and blend to a fine meal. Set aside. Add the black beans to a large mixing bowl and mash well with a fork or potato masher, leaving only a few whole beans. Next, to mashed beans, add cooked rice, spiced walnut mixture, sautéed onion, flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon for 1–2 minutes, or until a moldable dough is formed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Form 8–10 burger patties (depending on size you prefer) and set on a baking sheet or plate for grilling. If grilling, heat the grill and brush with oil to avoid sticking. Otherwise, heat the same skillet you used earlier to medium heat. Once skillet is warm, lightly coat the bottom of your skillet with oil then add your burgers, about half an inch apart. If there is not enough space for all of them to grill evenly then grill half of the mixture at a time, then cook the other half. Cook for 3–4 minutes or until browned on one side, then flip (gently). Cook for 3–4 minutes on the other side.

Prepare any other toppings you’d like such as sliced tomato, avocado, sprouts, herbs veganaise. Serve burgers as is, on toasted buns or as a lettuce wrap with added toppings.

Delicious and nutritious additions: Try these burgers without a bun, or substituting in a lettuce wrap. Layer by adding greens, tomato, kimchi and onion.

Recipe #2: Quinoa Veggie Burgers
From The Complete Quinoa Cookbook by Catherine Gill

Serves 4–6


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
½ cup water
1 cup cooked quinoa, any type
1 cup breadcrumbs


In a large frying pan or skillet on medium heat, sauté onion and garlic for about 3 minutes. Add mixed vegetables and stir frequently, until very tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle safely. In a food processor, blend vegetable mixture and water and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Combine vegetable mixture, quinoa, and breadcrumbs. The veggie burger mixture should be sticky enough to form patties; if not, add a little more water until desired consistency is achieved. Form into 4–6 evenly-sized and shaped patties. These can also be frozen between wax paper and stored in airtight bags in the freezer for up to one month. Grill, broil, or sauté in pan as you normally would prepare veggie burgers. Sauté on medium heat in lightly oiled pan for 3–5 minutes each side, or until crispy and cooked thoroughly.

Tip: Making a more moist batch of quinoa for this recipe works really well in helping to bind the mixture and help it all stick together. You may need to add some extra water to your patty mixture depending on the climate where you live.

Recipe #3: Rockin’ Black Bean Burgers
From Easy Vegan Home Cooking by Laura Theodore
Makes 7 burgers


2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed, to coat pan and measuring cup
1 can (14 to 16 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
⅓ cup flavorful tomato sauce or marinara sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 rounded teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1½ cups walnut halves
½ cup gluten-free, quick cooking rolled oats


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Lightly coat the parchment paper with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.

Put the beans, tomato or marinara sauce, ketchup, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder into a medium-sized bowl and coarsely mash using a potato masher or large fork.

Put the walnuts into a blender or food processor and process into coarse crumbs. Add the ground walnuts and oats to the bean mixture and stir with a large spoon until thoroughly combined.

To form a burger, scoop up ⅓ cup of the mixture using a lightly oiled measuring cup. Firmly pack the burger mixture into the measuring cup and drop it onto the prepared pan. Gently press the burger using a flat spatula or clean hands to form it into the shape of a burger. Continue in this manner until you have a total of 7 burgers.

Bake the burgers for 14 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and flip the burgers over. Bake for an additional 10 to 20 minutes (checking often) or until the burgers are golden brown on the bottom and around the edges. (Do not overcook, or the burgers will be too dry.)

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the burgers cool 5 minutes. Serve over a leafy green salad, or serve on gluten-free burger buns or English muffins, topped with some coleslaw and drizzled with Smoky and Spicy Burger Sauce (bonus recipe below!).

Bonus Recipe: Smoky and Spicy Burger Sauce
Makes about 1/3 cup

4 heaping tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
2 heaping tablespoons prepared ketchup, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon sriracha-style hot sauce (use 1/2 teaspoon more for extra spicy)

Directions: Put all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add more ketchup, if desired and stir to combine.

The Fiber Effect
Written by Nichole Dandrea-Russert
978-1-57826-888-7, $15.00 paperback
978-1-57826-889-4, $9.99 ebook

The Complete Quinoa Cookbook
Written by Catherine Gill
978-1-57826-883-2, $20.00 paperback
978-1-57826-884-9, $12.99 eBook

Easy Vegan Home Cooking
Written by Laura Theodore
978-1-57826-925-9, $25.00 hardcover
978-1-57826-929-7, $12.99 eBook

Published from Hatherleigh Press.
Distributed through Penguin Random House.
Available wherever books are sold.


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