This time of year, we are reminded to change ourselves everywhere we turn. Why would I want to change who I am? Why would anyone want to change? I've always argued that it's not how much I weigh on a scale, but how I feel—in my own skin. Am I sluggish? Easily annoyed? Having a bout of insomnia? Feeling stuffed? If I can answer "yes" to any of these questions, I know I'm feeding myself all the wrong things, which I typically define as foods that satisfies me in the moment, then make me crash minutes later.
Today, I'm taking part of my friend Hallie Klecker's New Year, New You month-long blog event. She's the author of Daily Bites and she's co-hosting the event with Lexie from Lexie’s Kitchen. The event is about inspiring all of us to make and sustain healthy changes by taking small, but meaningful steps.
This week's theme is Snack Smart. I'm blogging along with fellow writers Alisa Fleming of Alisa Cooks and Go Dairy Free, and Kim Maes of Cook It Allergy Free (For the complete list of themes and bloggers for the month of January, please check out Hallie's site.) Plus, there are giveaways each week of pretty cool stuff that'll help you sustain your positive changes well into the new year.
The idea of making small changes with big impact inspired me to do a special Feel-Good Issue of my new magazine, Easy Eats. To me, it's not about dieting. It's about feeling good and that comes only by living a healthy—and happy—gluten-free life. It's like I wrote in my editor's letter, "Healthy eating is dependent on the understanding that food is our friend, not our enemy. In order to be truly “healthy,” we must learn to accept, and love, ourselves for who we are. We’re all together on this gluten-free path, with a common desire to feel good. And we’ll get there by changing what we put into our bodies—and relying on what’s already inside."
So, how do I flip the switch and start fresh for the new year? I make small changes, a little at a time. This year, I want to increase my greens and decrease my meats. I'm throwing kale and spinach into everything from smoothies to scrambled eggs to soups. I've even taken a liking to broccoli—totally unusual for me. I'm also a known sugaraholic, something I need to learn how to control—so it doesn't control me. Dairy-free bittersweet chocolate squares have been my cure-all. As for reducing my meat consumption, I developed one heck of a meaty veggie burger, which made this issue's cover. For more feel-good recipes, check out Easy Eats.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
One 10-ounce container button mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats, such as Bob’s Red Mill
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons Silvana's Kitchen Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour or your favorite gluten-free flour blend
2 tablespoons potato flakes
4 slices American or cheddar cheese, or dairy-free cheese
4 gluten-free hamburger buns, such as Rudi’s (pictured above), split
Shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato slices, thinly sliced red onion, pickle chips, ketchup and mustard, for topping
- In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, carrot and celery; cook until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Stir in the rice, oats, walnuts, flour blend, potato flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until coarsely combined. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary. Shape the mixture into 4 burgers.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and cook the burgers until golden, about 5 minutes. Flip and top each with a cheese slice; cover and cook until melted, about 2 minutes. Place the burgers on the buns and serve with toppings.