A Healthy Memorial Day (Black Bean Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, and Garbanzo Bean Blondies)

Memorial Day is always such a fun weekend because it is the kick start to BBQ’s, pool parties, and that “free” feeling that comes along with the summer months.

You can catch me pool side this weekend!
You can catch me pool side this weekend!

I found myself working really hard to stay on track this weekend, so that I could have some indulgences as well.  My weekend actually started Thursday night because I took Friday off of work.  I made sure on Thursday to double up my workouts (PiYo Buns and Upper Body Fix) and then I was off to pick up my favorite pizza from my favorite pie shop.

Friday I did PiYo Drench and it TOTALLY lives up to it’s name!  I was dripping in sweat and panting like a crazy lady!  Saturday was all about PiYo Strength Intervals and then a 4 mile run in the sun.  And then today, I did PiYo Sweat and a nice and easy 2 mile jog.  Tomorrow I intend to get my workout in, also!  You see, when I do my workouts consistently and watch what I eat 80% of the time, I seriously don’t feel bad AT ALL about my splurges.

Pizza and I are not breaking up any time soon.

Since I indulged on the pizza early in the weekend, I’ve been careful to watch what I eat throughout the weekend.  That includes my Memorial Day celebration!  You don’t have to eat poorly at a BBQ to eat well!  And these recipes are great for people who are skeptical of vegetarian dishes.  You would NEVER know that it was good for you!  Seriously!

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To start, let’s talk about my black bean burgers and sweet potato fries.  From start to finish, it took no more than 30 minutes.  And I’m talking dishes, too!  First I preheated my oven to 375.  I cut one sweet potato per person into fry-like sticks.  Placed these bad boys on a baking sheet, tossed with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt!  Then I let them do their thing for about 20 minutes, turning them halfway.  Once those were going in the oven, I poured one can of reduced sodium black beans (juices drained) into a bowl.  I smashed them into a paste with a fork.  Then I added 1/2 yellow onion (finely chopped), 1 egg, 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tsp. dried oregano, and a couple dashes of hot sauce.  This amount will make 6 burgers, so after mixing together, form your 6 patties and set to the side.  Heat some oil in a pan and place the burgers in (3 at a time worked for me) and cook 5 minutes per side.

Seriously, guys!  The outside gets crispy.  The inside is flavorful.  And served with the sweet potato fries…it is purely out of bounds good!

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And now on to dessert!!!  This dessert sounds like it won’t be any good.  When I told Charlie I was making this, he said “Oh yummy…hummus cookies.”  But I’m not kidding you.  This is SHOCKINGLY DELICIOUS.  Dangerous, actually, since I live alone.  I am totally forced to eat all of these myself.  (Now do you understand why I don’t skip those workouts!?!) 😉  If you don’t tell people, they would NEVER know there were beans in this recipe.  See how many people you can trick at your next get together!

Look at those sneaky beans hiding in there!
Look at those sneaky beans hiding in there!

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Garbanzo Bean Blondies-

Recipe Makes- 15 small bars

Ingredients-

  • 1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar

  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

  • 1/3 cup combined white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips (plus more for the top)

Directions-

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Add all of the ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) into a food processor.

  3. Blend until smooth.  You might need to stop mid way and scrape the batter and blend again.

  4. Fold chips into batter.

  5. Line your baking ban with parchment paper.  Scoop the batter into the pan and smooth it out.

  6. Sprinkle additional chips on top and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool on parchment paper for 15 minutes.

  7. Cut into 15 small bars.  (About 95 calories per bar)

A perfect ooey, gooey bite!
A perfect ooey, gooey bite!
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