Black Bean Burgers

Mix black beans and these 10 yummy ingredients in a food processor and you’ll have the best fake burger you’ll ever eat! Haha! I’m not a vegetarian, so yes, black bean patties are fake burgers to me! Delicious fake burgers that is! Doing the Daniel Fast for 21 days this month is difficult for me, but with the support of my church members, and delicious veggie foods like this, I know I’m going to finish as a changed woman! Hah! Try out this bean patty, prepare it just like you would any other burger, and I’m sure you’ll love it, too! I eat mine protein style!

But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.

Daniel 1:8-20

So for this recipe, you can either start with fresh homemade black beans or you can use a can of pre-made black beans.

Homemade black beans…

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) bag of dry black beans
2 bay leaves
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 tbsp of oil
Cold water

Directions:
Take the beans and let them soak in the cold water over night. Put the beans in a large pot on the stove and fill it 2 inches over the beans. They will soak up the water and be more tender. Drain (if there’s anything to drain) and rinse. Put the beans, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbsp of oil, and 4 cups of broth in the pot and cook on medium for about an hour and 20 minutes, or until beans are tender. The oil is optional, it just helps prevents foam during the boil. When all the beans are tender, take the 2 bay leaves out and strain any excess broth.

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To make the burger deliciousness…

Ingredients:

Cooked black beans
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 diced garlic clove
1 large chopped jalapeño (leave seeds and veins in if you want spice)
1 small lime
1 egg (optional)
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup bread crumbs (whole wheat)

Deliciousness directions:

In a food processor, put the beans, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, and onions and mix! Then add the egg (optional), salt, pepper, and cumin. Mix in the food processor until all is one consistency. Add the bread crumbs 1 table spoon at a time until the mixture becomes a thick paste-like consistency.

Pour the extra breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl to coat your patties in. Grab a handful size of your now made bean paste and shape into a patty. Lay the patty in the bread crumbs to coat both sides. Place your finished patties on wax paper and put them in the fridge for 20 minutes or until ready to cook. The colder, the better to work with. You can cook them just like a regular burger in a flat pan on the stove top for about 7 minutes each side, or in the oven on 350 for 5 minutes each side. Brown the patties and enjoy just like any other burger.

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I like to eat mine wrapped in lettuce, with mustard, tomato, pickles, and onion. I’ve also had it on a whole grain hamburger bun with all my fixings. So delicious!

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The Best Is Yet To Come

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Happy New Year! My first day of the year started with, “Hey! Will you take a look at this? Does it supposed to look like that?!” My patient was showing me her stinky toilet full of poop! Out with the old, in with the new! This is the time of year that everyone reflects on the past year and sets new goals for the new year. Colleagues and clients kept asking me what my new year resolutions are, which got me to thinking and reflecting…

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

2014 was quite a year for me. So much happened, and so much didn’t happen, that I don’t even want to reflect on it much more. It was a blessed year and that’s all that really matters. I started last year off with 21 days of doing the Daniel Fast with my church. I loved it so much that I am going to do it again. I also had a lot of doctor appointments medically clearing and diagnosing me. Just last week I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. So another plan for 2015 is to stay active and live with this pain.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18

Starting on January 4th, the following 21 days are going to be tough. With the strength given to me through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit I will get through it. I’ll be participating in the Daniel Fast which removes all processed foods, including dairy, meats and breads from my diet. This diet is spiritually symbolic of moving past a processed faith. These next three weeks are more than just changing my diet; It is a time of prayer, expressing my love to God through worship, and hearing from God in new ways.

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Because of my health, I will be upping my game with my work outs. Right now I’m just a runner. I stopped weight training and cycling due to the excruciating pain I’ve been in, but knowing it’s fibromyalgia, I will be pushing past the pain. Professionals do not know what causes fibro, but they do know that exercise and medications help to reduce the pain and make it tolerable.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

I always tell my friends if they don’t like the life they have, change it! Those are my two major plans for this new year and I’m excited to see what the it hold in store for me! As my senior pastor says, “The best is yet to come!” What do you plan to do with your new year?

They Keep It Run Hundred

Every Monday I see my friend Jessi and she asks me the same thing, “are you working tonight?” And for the first time in a long time, I said no. With my new free Monday night, I joined her with her community running team. This is a group that runs the streets of LA at night. Even when it’s freezing cold, they still show up and run. While running all I could see was steam clouds all around our heads from everyone’s breaths.

I am so glad I joined her last night! It was such a wonderful experience! This running group was full of so much energy, and the artistic experience was so satisfying! Every week they run to a different artistic mural, sculpture, building and such! It’s so intriguing to learn about the local up and coming artists and really see what their personally putting out there!

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While out running the streets, I learned a few things about running at night that I don’t think I would have ever guessed without experiencing this specific run myself. The first thing I learned was, how beautiful the city of Los Angeles is. When I think LA, I think of crazy people in the streets of Hollywood, tall buildings, and crowded highways. With the help of Eric and BlackListLA, I saw the art in the streets. I witnessed the power of positivity and self expressions! It was amazing!

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

The second thing I learned was the person wearing too much Bengay was actually a genius! When we arrived at the Disney Concert Hall to get ready to start our run I noticed a few people were completely surrounded by the aroma of minty tingly-ness. While I passed certain sour smelling corners of the route, I realized the over powering smell of Bengay or Icy Hot would have been much nicer. Plus, my muscles probably would not have any objections.

The third thing I learned actually left me with a new goal for 2015. I learned that headlamps aren’t just good for spotting cracks in the concrete, but also for spotting homeless people sleeping in the way. As sad as it was, it’s the truth. We were running through downtown Los Angeles where the population of homeless is very high. The streets are lined with tents and what looks like piled up blankets. These are their homes, and as much as the group does run through the area, they are still very respectable of them.

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

Proverbs 14:31

I enjoyed joining them so much that for now on, if I’m not working on Monday nights, I’ll join her and the rest of her crazy running team! I plan to show up with plenty of Bengay lathered on, warm clothes, and a backpack full of food for the people we run past. It’s one thing to feel sorry for all the children in other countries who don’t have food, but how about feeding the people in our own backyards when we can. So for now on, I will bring food, not just in my car, but along with me when I run with BlackListLA!

I Thought You Said Rum…

So I belong to a community running team. We are like a big family and we spend a lot of time together. We have a big holiday party at a banquet hall where we all dress up red carpet style, eat, drink, and play music and photo slide shows! It’s a wonderful time to get together, catch up, and meet each others crazy other halves!


Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8

Well, as great as it all is, I work weekends and didn’t make it this year. So instead, I went to the morning after PreChristmas Hike! It was put together by one of our wonderful members for the runners, like me, who couldn’t attend. I got my invitation and the picture was people with Rumchata, Santa hats, and clearly photoshopped male models hanging out with extremely large Christmas ornaments. Well, looked fun to me! I RSVPed and signed up to bring two dozen tamales!

I’m not much of a morning person, so it was really hard to get up at the crack of dawn knowing how cold it was going to be outside. One of my running buddies picked me up at 6:30 in the morning and drove us to the base of the mountain! It was a freezing cold morning but I had my large insulated bag of hot tamales keeping my ass warm! We arrived at our meeting spot and I just saw a bunch of friends dressed up so silly! Other than all the red and green, they had high pattern socks, silly hats, and one even wore a fake Santa mustache and beard! They also all had their backpacks, water bottles, and garmin watches ready! Yup, this was for reals… we are really hiking a few miles today! All in all, it was a fantastic time!

Note to self: run and rum are two very different things!

We hiked to the top and set up all the goods on two tables. Let me tell you, for being an of health freak runners, today must have been carb day! There was food galore! Oh, and there was rum… Lots of rum! Lots of alcohol actually! Drinking at 8 in the morning was a fun experience, but not as fun as the adventure getting back down the mountain. Hahaha! Well, one of our members announced she had to use the bathroom so was going to take a short cut. Five other runners and I followed her. Her screaming bladder must have fogged her mind… “I think I made a wrong turn guys…” Oh it was wonderful! A bunch of intoxicated people dressed up like Christmas hallmark fools are now scaling down the side of the mountain! It was definitely a sight to see! Everyone worked together and made the full hike alive and not injured! Just another wild outdoor experience with my running family!

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Breath of Fresh Air

So, as a nursing student and caregiver, I spend a lot of time taking care of people. My patients range from young adults to geriatrics. Usually, I help them by giving medication, treating wounds, maintaining good hygiene, and educating them about their specific conditions, but every now and then I walk into a different kind of sticky situation.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6

Most recently I walked into a patient’s room as he was crying. At this point I got really nervous. I didn’t know if the person was just feeling confused and frustrated over something, or if it was going to turn into a code gray (combative patient). I took a step closer and took a deep breath. Looked at my newly assigned patient, introduced myself and asked what was wrong. There was nothing but silence. Then I asked if there was anything I could do to help. With his head down, he explained to me that the next morning he’ll be going to a local cardiologist office to run some tests. Told me that he has a good heart, and it’s just to monitor his medication. I looked down at the papers in his hand and noticed we had the same cardiologist. My patient expressed his fear of going to see a mean cardiologist that doesn’t know him. Said that “only old people go to the cardiologists. And once you go there, you die!” I couldn’t help but to smile (even though I was trying really hard not to.) My patient slightly looked up at me and asked, “what’s with the smirk?” I told him that I personally know this white lab coated lady and that she is a very nice! Such a great doctor who really listens to her patients. With his uneven eyebrows, wide eyes, and pouted lips, he quickly raised his head and looked me directly in the eyes. Then after a quick silent moment he asked me how I know this.

I said, “this doctor is my cardiologist, too, and she is delightful! I hope this doesn’t mean I’m old and going to die!” My patient started to laugh with me. Told me that I’m a breath of fresh air. Told me that just a few minutes before I walked in he was praying about how much he wished he knew how to look up reviews online. Then he could know if this doctor was going to be “delightful” or not. Well, I may not be a Yelp or HealthTap review, but it seems he received what he asked for in prayer!