I just spent an amazing, life-changing two weeks in Spain and France. I spent three days Madrid, a weekend outside of Montpellier in southern France, five days in Barcelona and a weekend in San Sebastian. The food was different in every location and it is impossible to decide which was my favorite. Everything was just that good. I ate my way through every town we visited and I am now paying the price.
I made the decision to eat vegetarian for this first week back in order to get my diet and body back on track. I don’t usually consume dairy- cheese is really the only thing I eat on a somewhat regular basis- or meat – rarely more than two or 3 times a week. I’m pretty sure my typical diet would survive living in Spain… cafe con leche at least twice a day, frequent visits to a museo de jamon, pintxos in San Sebastian with thick slices of goat cheese, etc., etc., etc.
My first attempt at a filling and delicious vegetarian meal is a version of a veggie burger my friend, Lauren, introduced to me a few weeks before my vacation. She had me over for dinner and we made veggie burgers using quinoa and black beans (both for protein) and colorful vegetables to brighten and bulk it up a bit. Here’s a look at the version I created:
1 cup white quinoa, cooked according to the packages instructions
1 cup black beans, rinsed*
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 of a medium red bell pepper, minced
1/2 of a red onion, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well to combine
Form into 4 “patties” using your hands. It might help to wash your hands in between each patty
Warm a frying pan over medium heat and cook each patty in about a teaspoon of oil for 3 minutes per side
WW Points: 3 points/patty
*I used vegetarian chili because, in my fog of jet lag, I bought chili instead of normal black beans. Don’t do this- it made the patties wetter than necessary and they didn’t hold their form that well!