This is how I spent my day off today:
A fellow teacher that I carpool with twice a week knows a lot about hiking trails in the area, so she showed me around this morning. Our day started at 9 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our first stop was a trail just off the parkway. I forget what it's called, but it was a nice short hike. After that, we went to Roanoke Mountain and we somehow missed a turn and ended up walking in a circle, so that was a really short hike. The pictures above are views from Roanoke Mountain. Pretty amazing that we could see a clear view so far out. It was such a great day to go hiking. It was chilly during our first trail, but it warmed up by late morning.
Our last stop was Mill Mountain. Mill Mountain has a zoo at the top. There's also a huge star that is lit up every night. After a short walk around the zoo, we headed back down and ended the day there. When I got back to my apartment, it was lunchtime and I was huuuungry. These bean burgers were perfect. Veggie burgers are always something I found difficult to make and perfect, but these are pretty good. I love the addition of nuts, though it sure gave my jaw a workout. I don't have a food processor, so I tried my best to chop them into small pieces, but there were still some coarse pieces. These also didn't stay together very well. Maybe the addition of an egg will help.
I'm in love with hiking. Yeah, I'm out of shape and it was rough at first, but it was peaceful and so much fun. I still had a lot of energy after hiking that I was sad I had to go back to lesson planning.
Classic Bean Burger
From Pinch of Yum
1/3 cup red onion (about 1/2 onion)
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp hot chili powder
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1 15-oz can pinto beans
1 Preheat a grill to medium heat.
2 Peel the 5 garlic cloves. In the bowl of a food processor, add 1/2 red onion and garlic and process until finely chopped. (If no food processor, chop finely with a knife.)
3 Add 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon hot chili powder, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a good amount of fresh ground pepper. Pulse 10 to 15 times until the mixture is coarsely chopped. (If no food processor, coarsely chop the almonds, sunflower seeds, and cilantro, and combine with the other ingredients.)
4 Drain and rinse the beans. In a medium bowl, mash the beans with a potato masher. Stir in the ingredients from the steps above, and add 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Mix together with your hands; taste and add more salt if desired.
5 Form the mixture into four patties. Place on a grill and grill for 6 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the heat of the grill. Or, bake them in a 450°F oven for 30 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.