I made these for dinner the other night and they were fantastic! Super simple and great to make ahead. The recipe makes 4 patties that you can easily throw into the freezer for future use. At 162 calories per patty and only 3 grams of fat, this is a definite keeper in my household!
Black Bean Burgers
162 Calories, 3g Fat, 25g Carbs, 9g Protein
- 1 (16oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 bell pepper (color up to you, I used red), cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 egg
- 1 TBSP chili powder
- 1 TBSP cumin
- 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (see recipe below)
- 1 tsp low-sodium salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/4 head of Iceberg Lettuce (for bun)
- If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and lightly oil a baking sheet.
- In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.
- In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
- If making ahead, place patties into freezer and separate with wax paper.
- Patties will seem goopy at this point, I put them in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes to firm up a bit to make them easier to handle when cooking.
- If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.
- Serve on iceberg lettuce rather than a bun not only to save calories but to add an even healthier component to this already healthy meal!
- Top with whatever condiments you like and enjoy!
Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 TBSP Italian Seasonings
- 1 tsp low sodium salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse on low until oats because a fine bread crumb consistency
My husband asked me what I thought trail running was, I said, “I don’t know, in a park on a paved trail?” You see, my first experience with nature walking was on the bike path next to my neighborhood that my parents told me to never go on without them… Naturally I was out there all the time walking to the park, walking to the bowling alley, walking to the post office, blockbuster, etc. But I figured it was a trail because it was in the woods. My next experience with Nature Trails the Monon (paved) and a couple of Nature Parks which all have paved trails. So when I heard 8K trail run, I figured some paved park running with some pretty scenery. If you know me, that’s about as one with nature as I get. Boy was I in for a rude awakening…
Jutting rocks, large roots, low hanging branches and tree limbs, fallen down trees, mud holes, tall grass, land bridges, stairs made out of landscaping timbers, two sets of steep stairs, steep hills, gravel path, mud path, and trees so thick you couldn’t see the sky… Seriously, it felt like I was running in The Hunger Games (minus all the tributes trying to kill me and the muttations) but you get my drift.
I honestly had no idea what to expect since this was my first trail run. Once I got out in the trenches, the goal was not to win, but to finish unscathed. The first mile I was thinking to myself, What have I gotten myself into… as we were running practically single file on the dirt trail. I come to the first little mud spot, which I easily maneuvered myself around. I figured that was the mud spot the MC was talking about, but then I came to a second mud spot which was a little bit bigger than the first. Now I’m in the clear. That wasn’t so bad, what was that guy talking about? Whoopsie – he wasn’t talking about either of those. When I saw the mud hole, I knew there was no going around it. It was the width of the entire trail (about 4 people wide) and equally as long. Even if you went around the perimeter of it like I did, your shoes were still being eaten up by the mud. It felt like walking through the swamp, your shoes making sucking sounds as you pulled it out of the mud. So much for clean shoes. Then we ran through tall grass. All I could think was, Please no snakes, please no snakes, please no snakes. There weren’t any snakes, thank goodness! We came to a clearing, crossed the street, and back to the trail and that was only the FIRST MILE!
Second mile was not any easier. There were a couple of broken tree limbs (not little ones, but ones that took up the whole path) that I had to hurdle over. It was then that I noticed that this was the kind of race that you needed to be able to look down, look to your sides, and look up to make sure you weren’t going to trip, knock your head, or slam into something. A couple guys passed me taking thin branches to the face… no thanks, I’m good. I don’t need to pass anyone. Getting hit in the face by nature is not my idea of a good time. I guess I’m not that hard core. We come to a part where the path is so thin that only one person can fit at a time and to the right is a creek. I’m silently saying to myself, please don’t collapse, please don’t collapse, please don’t collapse… Whew! I made it through that part and up the hill I went.
Mile three had this HUGE tree branch that had grown in a funky arch. It was too high to jump over, but to low to just run underneath. You literally had to crouch down and duck under it. I felt sorry for the tall folks in this race, but not as sorry as I felt for myself when I saw the set of stairs that loomed ahead. Really? I had visions of Bop to the Top come in my head. But, I put my big girl pants on and ran up those stairs one at time, one foot in front of the other. I was not walking in this race.
I don’t remember much of mile 4 except that I was muddy and wondering how I was going to clean my sneakers when I got home.
Then I could hear the finish line music. There is something about hearing that music in the distance that gives you the extra little umph that you need to push through the last half mile. I crossed the street, back to the path, around the bend, and through the grass
(to grandmother’s house we go?) to the parking and across the finish line. No injuries, no walking, no problem. I have a new found appreciation for my ankle and knee joints after running on rough terrain.
Did I come in first? No. Did I place in my age division? No. Did I finish last? No. But you know what? Even if I did, that would have been okay too. The point is, I went out and did it. I tried something new, put myself in an uncomfortable situation for me, and I finished. That in itself is just as good as winning.
This was my second year participating in the Geist 5K run. What I love most about running a race the following year is that you already know the course. You know what to expect. You know every turn, hill, water station, and landmark. This advantage allows you to know when to hold back, when to stay constant, and when to pick up the pace.
Although this race was on May 18th this year, the weather was particular chilly in the morning and overcast. There was a chance for rain, but I was crossing my fingers that it would hold off. My husband ran this race with me as he did last year, except this time he was running to see how fast he could do it (which means he wasn’t really running with me after all).
This year TONS of schools participated in the Geist 5K from all around the Indy area. I could tell because they all had on their respective school t-shirts. Now, I am all for kids being active and getting healthy. But let’s be honest – I don’t think the middle schooler wearing cut off jean shorts, tied-up t-shirt, hoop earrings, make-up, and keds is going to run a 5K in 17 minutes or under. Which leads me to my first major disappointment with this year’s race.
I was a bit disappointed with the self-corraling this year. After the last race, we all know people don’t always line up in their correct corral in the first place, so what makes anyone think that when you get to choose where you stand, the slow people will stand in the correct spot? Anyway – like I mentioned, this year was self-corraling my estimated time. The choices were: under 17 minutes, under 20 minutes, under 25 minutes, and 25 minutes and over. Clearly, I need to be somewhere in between under 25 minutes and over 25 minutes because I’m on the cusp of the two. But as I looked around me, I noticed all of these school groups gathered in the front, chaperones, and kids who were excited to be there. That’s cool and all, but as a chaperone – you should really have your kids line up somewhere more realistic, especially because people are actually trying to run this race for PRs and to win. There is nothing worse than tripping over someone who pushed their way to the front only to walk the entire thing.
Needless to say the first quarter mile was a bit congested and I did my fair share of weaving in and out of school children, but not before my husband zoomed past me as soon as we crossed the start line. That was the last time I saw him until I crossed the finish line.
After about half a mile, I was in my groove – like I said, I knew this course and I knew where it went. I took it easy for the first big hill. Once I saw mile marker 1, I had to pick up the pace a bit. I didn’t stop for any water breaks even though I could have really used a drink. I haven’t quite mastered the drink while you are running without spilling water all over you AND I feel really bad about throwing empty cups on the ground. So I bypassed the drink stations keeping a good pace and ran through the neighborhood.
The best part of this race is knowing that as soon as you run down that last hill, round the corner, you are in the home stretch. This is where I picked up the pace. I slowly chose people to pass, one by one, until I round the corner into the marina. That’s where I picked up into my finish line sprint. I could hear my husband cheering for me from the sidelines.
As I walked to the results tent, I noticed some dark clouds moving in. I checked the radar – nothing. I checked the results tent for both my husband and myself and we BOTH came in 3rd place in our age division. (He finished in 21:58) That meant, there was NO WAY I was leaving until the awards ceremony was completed. I earned that 3rd place prize and I was going to wait for it! As we chatted with friends that were also there, it began to sprinkle but I was determined to wait it out. Besides, we were taking the shuttle bus back to the parking lot last year (unlike last year where I accidentally miscalculated the mileage back to the car and we walked). Finally, we were called to the podium to received our $15 gift certificate to Blue Mile and 3rd place dog tags. By now the rain had picked up but nothing was going to damper my mood.
My husband and I walked over to find the shuttle bus line, it was backed up until the entrance to Bella Vita. My husband did not want to stand in that line, so we went to find plastic bags to hold our things so they wouldn’t get wet and pondered what to do next. The rain picked up even more. Finally (after 20 minutes of deciding what to do), my husband finally agreed to get in the shuttle bus line but by now the line had reached back past Bella Vita, into the marina, and was continuing to get longer by the second (as people were finishing the race they were just getting into the line). We would literally be standing in line for at least 45 minutes getting rained on to get into a steamy, smelly, wet shuttle bus.
I’m sure you can guess what happened next… it was my husband’s idea this year to run back to the car. The thought of just standing in the rain for 45 minutes getting wet was not a productive use of time. If we were going to get wet, we might as well be getting back to the car. So, I sucked it up and ran/walked the 4.5 miles back to the car in the rain. We were pretty wet and cold by the time we got back to the car as you can imagine, but I was still happy. It’s amazing what a medal, a $15 gift card, and winning 3rd place can do for mood!
We’ll be back next year.
My husband has been asking me to make him fish for the last 3 weeks. I’m not a huge fish fan, so naturally I’ve been dragging my feet.
I finally gave in today and surprisingly enough, the dinner wasn’t half bad! Well, my husband thought it was a knock out of the park and for how simply and healthy it is, I guess I’d have to agree with him.
I found two 6 oz. salmon filets at my local Kroger for just $6.29, added a bag of small red-skinned potatoes (I mean these potatoes were tiny) for just $0.97, and two broccoli crowns for $1.68 for a total of $8.97! The entire dinner cost roughly $9.00 plus pantry staples such as butter, salt, pepper, garlic, etc. A salmon dinner, complete with potatoes and broccoli for just $4.50 a person?! Yea – I’ll take it!
From start to finish, the dinner took 1 hour and most of that was cook time for the potatoes.
Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes
- 1/2 bag baby red-skinned potatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
- onion powder
- olive oil
- non-stick cook spray
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a glass baking dish with the non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Slice potatoes in half, lengthwise and place cut side up in the baking dish.
- Season potatoes with salt, pepper, and onion powder to your liking. Then place the 3 garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs on top of your potatoes. Lightly drizzle with olive oil.
- Roast in the oven for 60 minutes.
After your potatoes are in the oven, you can get started on your steamed broccoli. Simply cut the broccoli to however you like it and place in your steamer basket or steamer and set aside.
Once your potatoes have been in the oven for 30 minutes, you can turn the steamer on. The broccoli only takes about 20 minutes to cook.
- 2 broccoli crowns, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Steam broccoli for 18-20 minutes, or until desired texture
- Dump broccoli into a mixing bowl, add 1 tablespoon of butter divided into sections into the broccoli and gently toss so that the broccoli is evenly coated.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Once you’ve gotten your potatoes and broccoli started, you can get started on your SUPER SIMPLE SALMON. Seriously, it is only 2 major ingredients plus salt and pepper. Really, it’s that simple!
Super Simple Salmon
- 2 – 6 oz. Salmon Filet
- French’s Honey Dijon
- Salt & Pepper
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to a high broil and spray a glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Lightly salt and pepper both sides of your salmon filets. Take your honey dijon and squeeze a dime-size amount of honey dijon onto the skin-side of your filet. With a pastry brush, evenly spread out the honey dijon.
- Place the salmon into your glass baking dish skin-side down. Then add another dime-sized amount of honey dijon onto the top and evenly spread it out with your pastry brush.
- Place your salmon in the oven for 10 (on the rare side) to 12 minutes (on the well done side). When you pull out your salmon, your honey mustard will have created a nice crust on top.
Everything should be finished right about at the same time which is completely awesome! Serve hot!
I signed up for the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon back in November, thinking I would have plenty of time to train appropriately and sufficiently for this mini-marathon. Little did I know that my gym would go out of business, the new gym I joined wouldn’t open until March, and the weather would suck so bad that I wouldn’t be able to run outside very often. I got a couple 8-milers and one 10-miler run in before the race but nothing like I had when I trained over the summer for the Women’s Half-Marathon in September. On my last long run, my left hip-flexor felt really tight and was sore for an entire week. I was really worried that I was going to pull something during the race.
Needless to say, when I went into the week leading up to the race, I was a bit anxious. My anxiety doubled when I checked the weather forecast… rain 40% chance. Of course – 87 degrees, sunny, and beautiful all week long and then Friday and Saturday hit and the temperature is supposed to drop and rain all weekend. Perfect. Not only did I not properly train for this run, I’m worried about pulling my hip-flexor, and now it’s going to rain. I checked the weather again on Wednesday, the percentage had moved up to 80%. I cannot tell you how much I prayed to God that the rain would hold off long enough for everyone to get through the race, but just in case I headed to Blue Mile, picked up some Body Glide, new wicking socks, and a dry-fit shirt.
Friday night, I headed to Olive Garden with some of my friends to carb it up to prep for my race. Two helpings of salad, a breadstick, and an entire plate of spaghetti with meat sauce – Delicious! (Yes – I ate it all) I headed to bed around 10:30 PM, by midnight I was starting to get a bit anxious about not getting enough sleep for my race. You know that feeling when you are lying in bed and you think to yourself, “If I go to sleep now, I’ll get 5 1/2 hours of sleep…. if I fall asleep now, I’ll get 5 hours of sleep.” Yea – that was totally me
Friday early Saturday morning.
My alarm went off at 5 AM and I had no choice but to get up. 35,000 people all heading downtown equals limited parking places which means no hitting the snooze button. I check the weather – cloudy 0% chance of rain. Hallelujah, an answered prayer! I went through my morning race rituals, woke up my
driver cheerleader husband, got him ready, and out the door we went. We got to the outskirts of downtown Indianapolis and the traffic was horrific. It was 6:30 AM and I’m supposed to be in my corral at 7:00 AM. I’m starting to get sweaty palms and heart palpitations. I HATE being late to anything. In the meantime, my husband was laughing at me and telling me to chill out. We had plenty of time, he said. Little did he know of the parking issues we will have once we get there (plus my issues with reading a map and not knowing downtown very well). Eventually he had to drop me off so I could get to my corral on time and he went off in search of a parking spot.
I found my spot, thoroughly stretched, because I did not want to injure myself nor did I want to have to walk at any point in time during my race because of a pulled muscle. The weather was cool, there was a slight breeze, and it was cloudy but there was no rain in sight. I was one happy girl! God is so good!
I took off at a relatively slow pace due to the traffic jam that is inevitable once you cross the start line. Weaving in and out, running up on the sidewalk to avoid traffic, and merging back in when I could no longer run up there – my starting time wasn’t where I had hoped it to be. My goal was to break my first marathon time of 2 hours and 2 minutes, but things weren’t looking so good. Once I got passed the first 3 miles, I got into my groove. In fact, miles 3-6 were pretty groovy. As I got onto the racetrack, things got a little congested, but being from the east coast and walking through Time Square in New York on multiple occasions, one becomes good at maneuvering their way through the masses. It was when I hit mile 10 that I noticed my feet starting to blister, my hip-flexors were getting tight, things were not looking/feeling good.
Being my second half-marathon, I know that the first 10 miles are easy, it is the last 3 miles that get you. At this point it is all about mind over matter. You have to mentally push yourself to continue. You cannot give in to your body when you are pushing for a goal. I could feel my toe starting to bruise on my left foot, blisters were forming on the sides of my big toes despite the body glide and fancy new socks, I was getting tired. I threw a quick prayer to God asking him to give me strength, to carry me those last 3 miles to the finish line. Over and over again I had a silent conversation with God asking for strength, for willpower, and for the pain to subside just long enough for me to finish.
And there it was, the mile 13 marker. All that stood between me and my goal was 0.1 mile. I took everything I had in me and I went for the finish line. I sped up, gave it all I got, passed a number of people along the way, and crossed the finish line. I had no idea how I did, but I soon got a text from my Dad saying, “Thumbs up on finishing in 2 hours!” I had done it! I had beat my last time by 2 minutes for an official time of 2 hours and 3 seconds.
I know in my heart that I did not do this alone. “Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” – Psalm 103:1-2
The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon boasts of being the nation’s largest half-marathon, having sold out with 35,000 participants for the last 11 years. Being a relatively new runner, I was told that if I were to run a half-marathon, I simply HAD to run the 500 Festival. It needed to be on my runner’s bucket list. Well, I needed a half-marathon for this year’s race season so I figured, what the heck and I signed up.
Like a good runner and the rule-follower that I am, I read the course regulations, FAQs, and every other thing I could read to get a handle on how large the race actually was and what to expect.
Because there are 35,000 participants, obviously seeding is important. Directly quoted from the website, it states that “All participants will have a corral letter on their bib number. This letter corresponds to a specific starting location based on your estimated finishing time. You must start in this corral or, if you are starting with another person that is in a different corral, you must start in the slower of the two locations. The order of the corrals are as follows (from fastest to slowest) A, B, C, D, E, F, etc.” Participants can submit information from previous runs and verify how fast they plan on finishing the race to get a good seed corral. People who plan on walking get seeded in the back corrals to avoid congestion on the course. As stated on the 500 Festival website, “This corral method is designed to help alleviate passing and congestion throughout the course making your race experience more enjoyable.” This makes perfectly good sense to me. However, if you are seeded in the back half of the alphabet (corrals M-Z), it could take up to an hour for you to even get to the Start line. But no matter how tempted you are to hop the fence and get into a faster corral it’s really not cool to everyone else who is following the rules. That is just my personal opinion. Another thing that it is very clear in the course regulations is that “The following are strictly prohibited at all times: Baby Strollers (and a bunch of other things).”
Now that we have the background info on rules and regulations, I’m going to blow a little steam. Being a school teacher, rules and following rules are a big thing to me. I am not a person who thinks to herself, “Rules are made to be broken.” or “Rules don’t apply to me.” If there are rules there must be a good reason for it, so I should follow it.
The folks at OneAmerica have this 500 Festival Mini-Marathon down to a science, from the confirmation post card they send you in the mail, e-mail updates, the race packet expo, and the race itself. Everything was well organized and there were volunteers everywhere. However, with 35,000 race participants PLUS family, friends, and random people around to watch, it can be difficult to catch every little thing.
Before I get to sounding super negative, let me just reiterate that I was not in a bad mood by any means and I was super excited to take part in this race. But also keep in mind that I was trying to beat my last mini marathon time of 2 hours and 2 minutes. So here I am, in my corral by 7:00 AM just like the handout that I received at the expo told me to be. Each corral had a little entrance manned by 2 volunteers checking bibs to make sure you were in the correct corral. (I’m seeded in Corral L.) I’m hanging out, stretching, waiting for my husband to get there from parking car. As the time gets closer to 7:30 AM, I notice people starting to hop the corral fences instead of walking back to the corral entrances. Ok, no biggie. I can see why you don’t want to walk back to the entrance that is at the tail end of your corral. But then I notice that the people hopping the fence are supposed to be in Corral M, T, and X. WTF?! I earned my spot here in Corral L and I’m supposed to be here. Then an older couple hopped the fence right in front of me and their bibs said Corral S. (Yes – I was reading bib numbers and corral letters). I was getting highly annoyed at this point. If I were in Corral S, I would be in the correct corral mainly because I would be afraid of getting busted and made to move. But these people had no qualms about breaking the rules as if the rules didn’t apply to them or they simply didn’t care. (And we wonder where our morals have gone in this country… people can’t even follow rules at a race).
I was determined not to let it get me down, after all I was participating in the largest mini-marathon in the nation. This is a HUGE deal. So the time finally came to start. I’m slowly moving closer and closer to the start line (literally start and stop). Soon it was our turn to start running. Weaving in and out of people is normal at the beginning of a race, but I’m sorry you SHOULD NOT BE WALKING in the first mile of a mini-marathon if you are in the front corrals. This is why we have seeding, people! So here I am, trying to get around people who are walking trying not to bulldoze them over to get around them, in between them, etc. Of course then I had to turn and look to see what corral they were supposed to be in and of course I passed what seemed like at least 20 people with corral letters in the back half of the alphabet. These “rule-breakers” who clearly were there for the experience (which is totally fine by the way) were clearly in the way of people who were trying to set PRs or run their first min-marathon to get a baseline time. RUDE – I was highly annoyed but I muscled on.
The biggest thing about running the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is being able to run on the Indy500 racetrack. This is supposed to be a cool, once in a lifetime experience (unless of course you run this race every year). You are running on the track, music is blaring, people are cheering for you, the energy is great… until you run into the person in front of you who is walking on the inside of the track. I literally was running in the grass passing people. I really think to improve this experience, there should be a walking lane so if you run out of steam, you can merge into the walking lane so those of us who are trying to run the entire thing (albeit not at Olympic paces) don’t have to worry about tripping over you. It was very congested and I felt very claustrophobic.
My last aggravation is baby strollers. Normally I they don’t bother me at races. In fact, I think kudos to you for running AND pushing a baby stroller at the same time. But it clearly states no baby strollers simply because there are 35,000 people trying to run this race, the roads are always wide, and it’s a safety hazard. Not surprisingly though there were baby strollers (jog strollers) in the race. Now the people who were pushing the strollers that I saw were really getting at it so I’m not complaining about their pace – it was just the principal of the matter… again the “rules don’t apply to me” or “rules are made to be broken” attitude. It’s no wonder some of our children in our schools don’t follow rules because they watch adults break rules all the time.
Actions speak louder than words and children learn by watching. So even though hopping corrals might not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, people are teaching their children that if doesn’t seem like a big deal then it’s okay to break the rules. As a teacher, please let me tell you that it is never okay to break the rules no matter how small.