Kelly the Culinarian: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Training Tuesday: Thoughts from the Big Girl Panties Weekend

Thanks for the photo, Jenny!
Phew, it's been a crazy couple of days.  During my Put on Your Big Girl Panties Weekend, I ran a half marathon, then completed a 61-mile ride the next day.  In between traveling 74.1 miles on my feet and via bike, I went through an entire tank of gas and spent enough time in my car that getting rid of my car just because the radio doesn't work is a completely sane proposal. I drove two hours to Wisconsin, one to my parent's house, 30 minutes to the start of the Venus de Miles ride and then another hour home.

I was sore when I finished the Heatbreaker Indoor Half, especially in my left hip flexor, presumably from turning left 98 times during the race.  I felt better the next day, then felt a bit of burning in my quads during the ride. After resting yesterday, I feel back to normal today. I would go out and run my scheduled five miles, but my stomach hurts.
Photo from Bob Miller. He's really handy with a camera.
Here are a few thoughts from this weekend:

  • I need a car radio that works, stat.
  • Gas station coffee is just as nasty as it sounds. Stick with McDonald's if all else fails.
  • Just because I burned like 4,000 calories this weekend doesn't mean I can eat whatever I want.
  • Race costumes are the best idea ever. I should wear a costume to every event.
  • Ice baths are great right after long runs, but Epsom salt baths are the best the day after.
  • I really thought I'd be able to do the half faster, since it was flat and temperature controlled. However, it was missing adrenaline and crowd support, so I'll try not to get too down on my inability to finish by 1:55.
  • There is really no way to buy padded cycling shorts that are flattering.
  • My handlebars really need to be re-wrapped.
  • I love my Fort2Base ambassador shirt! I really might need to wrangle another one of these. It's a Brooks top that never got weighed down or rode up.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Last call: Aug. 1 DietBet Challenge

This is available as a wallpaper download ... just saying

This is your last chance to sign up for my August DietBet challenge. The concept is a private Biggest Loser-style competition among friends with the goal of losing 4 percent of your body weight in four weeks. The buy-in is $20 and whoever reaches the 4 percent goal splits it with the other winners. Right now, $160 is at stake ... and if we suddenly get an influx of last-minute joiners, I'll add a non-monetary, totally awesome Bonus Stake for the person who loses the most percentage wise.

I'll be following a basic clean-eating plan to get to my goal. Because I'm still feeling a bit run down, despite a ton of changes to my food and training, I'm adding fish back into my diet this month to see if it helps. I'll do my official weigh-in tomorrow, but I'm guessing I'll have to lose roughly five pounds.  I can definitely use it because I've used marathon and long-distance bike training as an excuse to eat what I want, when I want. Granola isn't bad, but half a bag of it probably is.  So I'm going to get back on track and get to racing weight for the Fox Valley Marathon ... it'll be here before I know it!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Race Report: Venus de Miles Ride

Of course, the inaugural Venus de Miles Ride was not a race, but it deserves a report nonetheless. I stayed with my parents last night after the HeatBreaker Indoor Half Marathon and left their house around 5:30 a.m. That gave me plenty of time to park in downtown Lake Forest, then ride a mile or so over to Lake Forest College for the start. I got there shortly after 6 a.m. and found MacKenna almost right away. It's a good thing too ... I thought everyone would be wearing a costume. Turns out, it was just me, MacKenna and Jenny wearing identical costumes. Oh well. I actually loved wearing a costume; I got cheered for a ton and think I should complete all races/events with wings, a tutu or some other adornment.

We opted for the 61-mile ride, but there was a 25-mile option for this ladies-only ride. We grabbed our packets without incident and got an adorable T-shirt and bib. We also hit the first of a series of snack tents. This one featured coffee and breakfast rolls.  Before long, it was time to meet up with the other Chicago Running Bloggers and Frankfort New Lenox runners.
It was great seeing Amanda and Erin, as well as meeting Lauren.

My only complaint about the entire day was the start line. We were fired up and ready to go, but there were a ton of introductory speeches. When that all wrapped up, we were off! It was a bit crowded at the beginning, but it thinned out within the first 10 miles.  You know what's awkward? Being on the open rode, dressed as an angel, riding your bike. Motorists steered clear of me, though, so again, costume for the win.

The course was pretty fast with five rest stops on the 61-mile course. We stopped at the end of the first and second hour, and just before the second hour, we saw Amanda. We found out later that her bike had two flats on the course, which cost her at least 90 minutes. It's a good thing this was a ride and not a race! We stopped at every rest stop after that, too, because it was a nice break off the bike and we were in no hurry.

The rest stops had THE BEST FOOD. There was apples, bananas, gluten-free bread and cookies, regular cookies, almond and chocolate butter, sports drinks, Clif shots and blocks and all sorts of other goodies and freebies. I was seriously weighed down by the end with all the eating and stashing of freebies ... yum!

Around the 30-mile mark is when it got hard. There were some rolling hills that I didn't remember because when MacKenna, Jenny and I biked the course, we did it in reverse. It was killer. Glad I fueled with all those cookies.

We thought we'd be around the middle of the pack, but when we rolled in around 12:30, there were tons of bikes already racked.  It took us 4:09:02 to complete the ride (not including rest stops), with an overall pace of 14.5 MPH.

When we finally got back to the start line is when the real fun began. There were all sorts of delicious, refreshing cocktails from North Shore Distillery and beer from Lake Bluff Brewing. There was also an amazing Mexican-style lunch with ice cream sandwich desserts. MacKenna and I both got facials there, too, and were the last people to leave the afterparty.  We wanted to get our money's worth.  The best part was the Trek tent where you had to cycle to make your margarita. MacKenna did the work and I just mooched off the fruits of her labor.

I only wish I didn't bring water bottles in both of my racks and parked closer to the start line to cash in on more freebies. I had no where to put the free water bottles a vendor was distributing and ran out of room to stash more gels and Luna bars. I did, however, win a free case of Luna bars for being one of the first 100 people to register.

Cost: I paid $50 with a Plum Grove deal. Regular registration was $90

Pros: Nice, scenic ride that's mostly flat through some very nice areas. A ladies-only ride that has an abundance of rest stops, a great variety of food, a mostly well-marked course (we had one moment of confusion) and more than enough port-o-potties. The after-ride party featured cocktails, beer, wine, a full lunch, ice cream, Luna bars, vendors, facials, manicures and pedicures.

Cons: Parking can be confusing, but it is plentiful. The weather was wonderful for us, but this time of year is a crap shoot. It was 86 today, but 100+ two weeks ago. There were a few areas with bumpy pavement and a few spots where traffic was pretty close. I'm having a hard time finding not great things to say about this ...

Would I do this again: Hell yeah, where can I get a discount for next year?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Race Report: HeatBreaker Indoor Half Marathon

I won an entry to this race from Jaime, aka, Running Diva Mom. This is only my second half marathon and my time at last fall's Big Hit Half Marathon was 1:57.  Today, my time was 1:56, so nothing earth shattering.

I got up around 6 to eat and make the two-hour drive to Milwaukee. I arrived with time to spare for the 10 a.m. heat.  Check in was easy - I got a tech tee, my bib, my ankle timing chip and a label for my water bottle.  Because you run indoors near an ice skating rink, open containers aren't allowed. Volunteers handed out your pre-designated water bottles as you ran past, which was quite nice. They also handed out whatever gels you wanted, too. I got the channel my inner Kara Goucher (except really slow and pudgier).

I carbed up before hand with snacks in the food room and stretched. It was warmer than I thought on the "course" and I'm glad I dressed 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. A T-shirt and shorts were perfect and I could have wore even less. I didn't need my gloves or ear warmers. I hear it's colder in January when they host the Icebreaker Indoor Race because a speed skating lane is open right next to the track.
Once I got started, I just tried to zone out and cruise. They didn't have a pace counter that was visible, but as you passed a checkpoint, if you called out your bib number, a volunteer would announce the laps you had left over the PA system. I didn't know how to pace myself, so I split the race into four parts and wrote on my arm the times I would need to reach a 1:55 half. I was so optimistic ... or foolish, depending on how you look at it. You needed to complete 48 laps for the half, so I split the course into 12-lap segments because math isn't my strong suit.

I felt OK up until about the last quarter of the race.  Then, it started to feel really hard and I was hot. When I finished, I handed my timing chip over to the organizer at the end, who asked me if I planned to run the next heat. HA! I wanted to tell him that it was quite a compliment that I looked like I was capable of running another 13.1, but I couldn't get out the words.  Then he asked if I was OK, so I suppose he realized that this was all I could muster.

Official times aren't up yet, but I finished somewhere around 1:56. I suppose it's a PR, but I feel like I should have done better because it was flat and cool without sun or wind. Someone said this isn't the place to PR because you use the same muscles throughout, but I feel a little defeated nonetheless.

Afterwards, there was a single shower room available, which was still a nice touch so I didn't have to drive back sweaty. There was a room with nilla wafers, pretzels, goldfish crackers, chocolate milk, powerade, water, bagels, bananas and the best sugar cookies ever. I might have been really hungry, but they were fantastic regardless, I'm sure.

Cost: Free to me, $50 in advance and $60 day of

Time: 1:56:13, second in my age group

Pros: Temperature controlled, completely flat, great volunteer support, nice tech shirt and medal, two port-o-potties literally steps off of the track (meaning you had to go no further than perhaps .15 of a mile to get to a toilet), great for spectators because stands are already set up and your runner just keeps coming by ... about 48 times

Cons: Boring, no headphones allowed, no expo (if that's your thing, I don't really care). There wasn't a great place to stretch after, either, but again, not a big deal for me.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Packing for a Jam-Packed Weekend

Le sigh. The Big Girl Panties Weekend is upon us and trying to get ready for an indoor half marathon + a night away + a 60-mile bike ride is a little dicey. There's a lot of stuff that you need for both sports, along with the stuff you need if you were going away for a leisurely weekend.  So here's a look at some of the stuff I'm taking.

For the Heatbreaker Indoor Half:
BondiBand headband, Fort2Base Race ambassador shirt, sports bra, running shorts from JCP, newer running shoes, fancy running socks and compression socks, fuel packets, gloves and ear warmer, water bottles and a snack for the ride up there. I need water bottles because there won't be throw-away cups since it's indoors. Headphones aren't allows and what's the point of a Garmin indoors?
For after the race, I brought all the things I'll need to shower at the ice skating rink, along with some comfy clothes.  I'll need to add my contact lenses, solution and tooth brush for my parent's house.
And for the Venus de Miles ride:
Tutus, obviously. Also, an air pump, a tire gauge, chain lube, water bottles, Gamin with the heart rate monitor and ANT+ stick, sunscreen and a new cycling jersey I bought off of Amazon this week. Super cute, right? Not pictured: My bike, helmet and cycling gloves are in the car, and my cycling shorts and shoes are at my mom's house after last weekend's ride. No need for fuel because there will be plenty on the course.

I also packed myself another outfit to drive home in on Sunday, so I hope I didn't forget anything!

74.1 miles this weekend or bust. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. I signed up for Run with Jess's Virtual Olympics.  I loved her Jelly Bean Virtual Race a few months ago and even won a prize! I'm excited because this virtual race includes so many distances that I'm sure I'll be able to knock off a few events.  Plus, it's a great way to break up the monotony of marathon training.
2. I'm attending another Suburban Crafters Party tonight and this time, we're making frosted glass vases that we saw on Pinterest. I'm not so crafty, but I'm good at the eating and drinking part of these parties.
3. There's still time to sign up for my August DietBet challenge. Every player pays in $20. Whoever loses 4 percent of their body weight in four weeks gets a share of the prize. This should help me stop eating so much crap food ... I hope.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Training Tuesday: Reunion time

Thanks for your well wishes about Napoleon. He's still acting a little less energetic, but he's currently barking at something out the window and bringing me his tennis ball to play fetch, so I think he's on the road to recovery.

When I got home today, I saw a wonderful package on my front step: my new Garmin ANT+ stick. The tiny, super expensive USB stick is what allows me to look at pretty maps from my runs on my computer. They're reunited and it feels so good. I was finally able to upload the data from my long ride with Kim and Erin.

I also hit the gym today to do my eight-mile run.  I bought some cheap headphones, which sucked hardcore. I couldn't hear the movie I bought to watch on my phone and the headphones intermittently shocked me. However, this run was glorious - my heart rate stayed fairly low and I was able to finish the run without stopping. I felt pretty invigorated by this and my running confidence feels restored.

It's a good thing, too, because my Big Girl Panties Weekend is upon us. I'm going to an easy three-miler tomorrow, then resting Thursday and Friday for the main event. It will give me a little more time to foam roll, stretch and recuperate. Saturday, I'm hitting the Heatbreaker Indoor Half Marathon, then the Venus de Miles 61-miler Sunday.

This week's mantra: I can and I will

Positive thoughts for the puppy, please

Notice the stink eye
From the scene of the (vaccination) crime
I took Napoleon to get his annual shots on Sunday, and he's been super pathetic since. I know the vaccinations are necessary and for his own good, but I still feel bad for the little guy.

He doesn't really want to go for his normal walks and isn't his normal playful self. I'm guessing he's sore from the shots and it just needs to work through his system, but in the meantime, he looks quite sad. He slept through his 7:30 p.m. walk last night and even cuddled with me, which is a sure sign that something is not right.

Here's hoping he feels better today, especially since he has to go back in a month for the remainder of his shots. It turns out that he's too little to tolerate all the shots in one day. He will surely spill his food bowl all over in retaliation of this injustice.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What you need to know about the Illinois Venus de Miles Ride

From our surprise half century a few weeks ago
I'm so excited that the Venus de Miles ride is this weekend! MacKenna, Jenny and I are signed up for the 61-mile ride, but there's also a 25-mile ride that kicks off in Lake Forest (from Lake Forest College, The Glen Rowan House, 500 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, Illinois) on Sunday.

This ladies-only ride raises money for Greenhouse Scholars and includes all kinds of perks that I'm looking forward to (cocktails and manicures are at the top of that list).  Here are a few facts that I've learned from searching the Web site, following the ride on Facebook, studying the Ride Guide and riding the course a few weeks ago:

  1. This is a ride, not a race. Have fun, enjoy the ride.
  2. There are waves that start every five minutes, but the waves are not assigned. If you want to ride with friends, just make sure you start together. Each wave is limited to 100 riders.
  3. Abide by the standard triathlon rules - no drafting, ride single file, no music, pass on the left and carry ID.
  4. A helmet is absolutely required.
    Yep, I only own this cycling jersey
  5. But otherwise, you don't need any special gear (see point one). 
  6. ... However, padded shorts would make your day more pleasant. Everything else is strictly optional. This is a fully supported ride, so you don't really need a cycling jersey since you won't be toting nutrition (although if someone wants to buy me a new jersey, that would be really cool. I only have one). I'd recommend water bottles, but again, beverages will be on the course, too. You should make sure you have some place to stash your ID, any meds and car key, though.
  7. The course has a few rolling hills, but it's mostly flat. Most of the pavement looked new and smooth, too.
  8. Bring a camera. This route goes through some very ritzy areas of Lake County and there are quite a few things to photograph.
  9. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. I put it on before I put on my clothes for the day so I don't miss any spots. This method also gives your sunscreen a chance to soak in and get working before you do.
  10. Parking is off site in downtown Lake Forest, so plan to get there early. I want to arrive by 6 a.m. to check out the vendors and partake in all the freebies.
  11. Plan to stay a while. The post-ride party sounds awesome, as does the menu (complete with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options).
And if you're a Chicago Running Blogger, or just really want to meet me, we're having a meet up at 6:30 a.m. at the Luna tent.

See you Sunday, Goddesses! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A perfect day for a ride

This morning, I got up early to meet up with a set of lovely ladies for a ride through Lake County. Kim mapped out a route that took Erin and I through paved trails and a little bit of crushed limestone. It was picturesque - we saw several families of deer and I snagged this photo when I stopped to use the bathroom before we met up.

Also, I've never seen a port-o-potty with a flushing toilet and running water, but that was a nice surprise this morning. Things are classy up north.

We ended up biking almost 34 miles this morning, but I'm not able to upload the data to my computer. I broke the ANT+ stick for my laptop that connects to my Garmin.  I snapped it in half, so there's no fixing it. The $32 (yikes) replacement I bought on Amazon should be here tomorrow.
I think my eyes are closed in this photo. Sad.  Anyhow, this was a great training ride for next weekend's Venus de Miles ride, which will be half of my Put on my BGP Weekend. We cycled in the area of the course and I got to see how my bike performs on crushed limestone, which is not great, in case you were curious. It was especially scary on the downhills where it was sandy. I never bailed off the bike, but I got close to eating gravel as a result. Also, towards the end of the ride, my bike started shifting gears on its own. I think I need to get in there and clean up the gears before the ride next weekend, but I have no clue what I need to do to get ready for this ride, equipment wise.

What do you do to your bike to get ready for a long ride?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Wining and Dining for Dogs

I love wine and I love dogs. These two things rarely meet, but I found my fundraising sweet spot tonight at the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue wine tasting. MacKenna met me at D'Vine Wine in Palatine for the tasting.

All the proceeds went to the CFBR, where they find and foster Frenchies, then place them in loving homes. While my dog is English, being from Yorkshire and all, and not a bulldog, I'm happy to support adorable dogs everywhere, especially while drinking delicious wine and enjoying way too much cheese, chocolate, fruit and crackers.

We enjoyed samples of six wines tonight, three white and three red samples. My favorite was the La Carraia Orvieto, which was a very smooth and tasty white wine. MacKenna is a fan of reds and liked the Alliance Shiraz.

I also ate roughly my body weight in snacks. They had a great spread of fruit and cheese and all sorts of wine-complementing bites. It's just fuel for tomorrow's bike ride, right?

I even won a prize in the raffle! It's an ornament made of glass salvaged from the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina. Napoleon was very interested in this, but mostly because he wanted to chew the package. It's going to look great on my tree this year.

Cooking with Kelly: Another easy homemade frappuccino recipe

I love fancy coffee drinks and usually make an easy sugar-free frappuccino, but I thought I'd mix it up today and try something easier.  This version makes a coffee drink that's somewhere between a morning pick up and an afternoon snack.  It's creamy and cold, which is perfect for this hot spell we're experiencing in the Midwest.

This recipe is for an individual serving and the easy way to make it is in one of those single-serving blenders.  I used my Magic Bullet blender, but there are millions of alternatives available from Amazon or WalMart.

Quick and easy homemade frappuccino

1 cup (ish) brewed coffee, cold
1/2 package of sugar-free chocolate pudding
1 cup ice
Skim milk, to taste

Fill a single-serving blender cup with ice, then add 2 1/2 Tablespoons of the pudding mix, which should be roughly half of the package.  Add milk to taste and then fill the rest of the cup with the cold coffee. Blend until smooth and enjoy immediately.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cooking with Kelly: Baby shower cakepops

Cake pops are not difficult to make, but they are time consuming. Here's the video I started with:

I had to make a few modifications. I used a 1-Tablespoon cookie scoop and it looks like she used a 3-Tablespoon cookie scoop. I also didn't add sprinkles, but that would be a great way to cover up any chocolate imperfections.
For Becca's Pea in the Pod-themed shower, I used green candy dye and white chocolate to make the outside coating. I also had to add about a teaspoon of oil to make the chocolate a littl easier to work with. I filled large baby food jars with split peas to hold the cake pops. The finished product was pretty cute and definitely tasty.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. My square foot garden is going gangbusters! I've had tons of salads and a few cherry tomatoes.  Soon, I should have a ton of tomatoes ... all from a raised garden bed that's only 4x10 feet.

2. After reading about Monica's weigh-loss challenge on Run Eat Repeat, I decided to host my own DietBet challenge. You can join the game now and starting Aug. 1, the challenge will be to lose 4 percent of your body weight in four weeks. If you do, you'll win the pot or split it with anyone else who reaches the goal. The buy-in is $20 and if 20 people participate, I'll add a Bonus Stake ... it'll be a good one, too.

3. Tim and I have an exciting date tonight. We're attending a VIP sneak preview of The Dark Night Rising in a few short hours.  I've seen all these movies, but I'm not nearly as excited about this as my sisters are. Mandy told me today I am not worthy because I don't appreciate how tough these tickets are to score.  This will be my first movie since we took Napoleon to the drive in.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My 2/3 of a half Ironman weekend

My girl, my girl, my girl
I have one epic weekend coming up at the end of this month.  I already signed up for the Venus de Miles with MacKenna and Jenny on July 29. It's a 61-mile, ladies-only bike ride that starts in Lake Forest and includes food, adult beverages, facials and fun.  It's a ride, not a race, but it's longer than the 56-mile bike ride portion of the half Ironman I plan to tackle next summer.

Then, Jaime, A.K.A. Running Diva Mom, left me a message that I won a giveaway on her blog for an entry the Heatbreaker Indoor Half Marathon on July 28, which is the same weekend. This is the same distance as the run portion of the half Ironman, too. A half doesn't quite fit into my training plan, but I'll be moving things around because I'm really excited about this race. It's the first time they've done this during the summer and it will be at a track at a skating ring. So on Saturday, I'll drive up to Milwaukee to participate in the 10 a.m. heat, running 48 laps and hopefully beating my last half marathon time of 1:57 at the Big Hit Half Marathon.

Do I wear this?
Or is this better?
Then, I'll drive back to Illinois to stay with my parents before waking up super early to rock the Venus de Miles ride.

I'm going to have to put on my big girl panties and make this work. It's going to take some coordination to knock out both of those events in a weekend (which I'm calling my BGP Weekend), as well as pack everything I need for a race, a bike ride and a night away. I'm at a loss for what to wear for an indoor half marathon. It's going to be between 50 and 55 degrees with no wind, no sun and definitely no snow.

So do I wear what I wore for my last half marathon in Kentucky? It was pretty cold that day and I rocked capris and a short-sleeve top.  Or, should I wear shorts and a tank in hopes that I'll warm up and feel comfy?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Training Tuesday: Fort2Base or Bust!

After my four days off of running, I made a triumphant (sort of) return on Monday with an outdoor four-mile run. I took it slow with my first mile coming in at 11 minutes, then picked it up to a comfortable 9:30.  The overall pace was 9:52.

Tonight, I donned my Fort2Base ambassador shirt (Thanks, Brooks!) and hit the gym to use the treadmill. I ran another not-quite-pace eight miler. It went well, so I think my break and slower approach is working well.

I spent a lot of my time thinking about how far I've come in the past two years and what I've learned about running. Last year, I spent most of the summer training for the Fort2Base Race. I went for the 11.5-mile course and treated it like a half marathon, using the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Plan to train. However, there are as many training plans as there are races.  Here are just a few you could try:

But those are just a handful... there are tons of half marathon training plans out there.

The Fort2Base Race is Sept. 23, which is the weekend after my marathon. So this year, I'm dropping back to the 3 Nautical Mile race, which my dad and I are going to tackle together.  I suggested the Couch to 5K program to him to get ready for the race, which is a traditional program that builds up your endurance over several weeks using a running/walking combo. There are actually several versions of this plan, including one that utilizes a treadmill (vital in this weather!). If you have a smartphone, there are lots of apps available for this pursuit as well.

As for me, I'm just more than 60 days from my first marathon ... and I don't feel ready yet.  I really need to clean up my diet as I'm ashamed at how many cookies I've had in the last 24 hours. No wonder my pants are tight! Even running a ton doesn't give me license to eat everything that comes in my path. I am not PacMan!
So my goal for the next week is to eat less crap and more whole, plant-based foods. At the very least, I need to get a handle on my portions because one cookie won't kill me, but no one needs 12 cookies. Even a marathon runner in training.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cooking with Kelly: Vegan Black Bean Burger Recipe

It's grilling time! It's no less than 400 degrees in Chicagoland at the moment, and there's not a chance that I will be turning on my oven until the heat breaks if I can help it. Grilling is the way to go when it's this brutal. I made these black bean burgers recently and froze half of the patties for later in the week in case it doesn't get any cooler.  It's best to put these on the grill while still cold because they're a bit delicate.

Vegan Black Bean Burger Recipe
1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal mixed with 3 Tablespoons water
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tablespoons spaghetti sauce
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup panko

Mix the flaxseed and water and set aside to gel. Divide the beans in half and place one half in the work bowl of a food processor. Place the other half in a bowl with the salt, cumin, corn and panko, then set aside.

Add the garlic, spaghetti sauce and flaxseed mix to the food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Scoop out the mixture and combine with the remaining ingredients.

Form into palm-sized patties. This recipe makes roughly seven to eight patties, depending on how hearty your appetite.
Refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably a few. To cook, heat the grill to medium and place chilled burgers onto the grill, away from direct flame. Cook about four minutes per side, or until the edges are charred.

Remove and serve immediately. I like my bean burgers with spicy mustard, ketchup, avocado, lettuce and tomato on a whole wheat sandwich thin.