- Not quite sure where to begin with this whole “blogging” thing (I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it eventually), but here goes nothing…
I started to blog to write about my experience throughout my Health Coach Training Program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (which I will refer to as IIN) that I started last month. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in anything related to “health & wellness” and typically got A LOT of helpful information from magazines – much of it conflicting. One day coffee is good for you, and the next you need to cut it out completely. Over time, I’ve just become more and more interested in diving a little deeper into the subject of “nutrition” and I finally took some initiative and joined this program. You’re about to embark on a very fun journey with me over the next several months! I’ll begin by talking about some of my initial takeaways –
Cooking should be simple, right? The short answer is yes, but I feel like I always love to make cooking a million times harder than it needs to be. I live by myself, often cook for one, have no counter (oh the joys of living in a studio apartment in New York), pick recipes meant to serve 12 and that have about 50 ingredients of which half of those are spices. I get all excited, run to the store to buy each and every last item on my list (enough to serve 12), and run back to my apartment! Once back, I unload the groceries and realize I have nowhere to really prep anything… Dilemma! After cutting veggies on a cutting board on the edge of my sink, using my small kitchen table to put the various bowls, casserole dishes, etc out of the way…and after like 30 minutes of stress and chaos…I pop whatever it might be in a pot on the stove or in the oven and wait the allotted 30-45 minutes before I dig in. And then I have enough food left to feed an army and it all goes to waste. Okay, so where am I going with this? (To warn you, I often ramble and I do promise to eventually get to the point I’m trying to make…) I’m trying to tell you that one of the many things I’ve learned in my few short weeks with IIN is that you need to just keep it simple! So, my blog readers, that is what I tried to do tonight…
My friend Kait sent me a wonderful recipe for “Pinto-and-Rice Burgers” awhile back that I never got around to trying. One of my goals throughout this program is to cook more at home. So tonight before I left work I got a rush of motivation – I went to the grocery store and picked up the ingredients with the whole “keep is simple, Courtney, keep it simple” mantra repeating over and over in my head. For starters, I cut the recipe in half – yay! Not as many leftovers at least… I then decided to make some healthy substitutions – I subbed brown rice for the white rice and flax for the breadcrumbs. One thing I’ve found in NYC is that most grocery stores never really have everything you need. Like today, no cilantro. I mean, come on, who doesn’t carry cilantro?! So what did i do? I bought a cilantro plant for my apartment and threw in a basil one while I was at it! But that is neither here nor there so back to the “burgers” – I mashed up the beans (very difficult using a fork) and got everything together, was way too proud of myself. I figure if I’m going to be a Health Coach that I really need to start practicing what I preach: keep it simple, cook more at home, buy organic* (*that’s a whole other topic I’m sure I’ll get into sooner rather than later), etc. I put the burgers in the pan, managed to flip one into the sink, yes that’s right, I lost total control of the spatula and it plopped into the sink! Long story short, I was only semi happy with the final product – could have used more salt and I definitely should have cooked them longer to get a little more crisp on the outside. But I had fun, and it was a learning experience to say the least!
I think I uploaded an image of my finished product, but not entirely sure since I’m so new to this! The original recipe:
2 cans (15.5 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 3/4 cups cooked long-grain white rice
1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
coarse salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Mash beans until a coarse paste forms, then add rice, breadcrumbs, scallions, cilantro, eggs, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; gently fold to combine and form into 8 3/4 inch patties. Then cook until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
Good night! I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did…