Tag Archives: Sunshine Burger

Ugly food needs love, too…

I read a lot of blog posts that inspire me, but every once in a while one really gets inside my head and takes root…

That’s what happened when I read a certain chocolate-covered post about embracing your makeup-free self. I read Katie’s words, and posted my half-face makeup-free picture, and felt pretty good about it. 

But then I got a little crazy…

You see, my birthday is on Monday and it’s got me feeling a little introspective. I’ve been thinking a lot about my age, my new role as a mother, my goals and my achievements, the fact that the body I’ve struggled with for so long now nourishes another body, and what it means to be ?? years old. So, with those things and Katie’s challenge mingling in my head, I decided to do the unthinkable…

I went to work with. no. makeup.
8O

You heard me.

And get this–nobody even noticed. At least I don’t think they did. Nobody said anything.

While this may not be a big deal to many, it was a major big deal for me. As someone who spent years dealing with cystic acne, I know what it’s like to cake on makeup and panic at the mere hint of forgetting my compact at home on the bathroom counter. 

I know what it’s like to wear my long hair down in the middle of a 100º summer day because I don’t want to uncover all the glaring imperfections.

I know what it’s like when even a gentle touch on my skin causes sharp, searing pain.

And, for some reason I do not understand, I now know what it’s like when that all goes away. Maybe it’s because my stress levels have gone down, maybe it’s because of the hormonal changes that happened during my pregnancy, maybe it’s because I’ve all but given up processed foods, and maybe it’s a combination of all the positive lifestyle changes I’ve made, but I don’t deal with anything more than the occasional minor blemish now.

And this past week, when we had 4 or 5 days of 100º+ weather, I wore my hair up. :D

And this got me thinking even further…

I always try to put my best food forward on my blog, but sometimes the healthiest, tastiest and most satisfying meals just don’t have a whole lot of eye appeal. I’m sure you’ve all been there–working and creating in the kitchen only to produce an edible creation that, visually, is less than blog-worthy and photographs like a big pile of yuck. Or maybe, you just don’t glam your food up for the camera every single time you eat. (If that is the case, good for you. Blogging can creep in and take over…)

In the spirit of loving ourselves unadorned and unembellished, and accepting our natural beauty and intrinsic worth, I’d like to show a little  love to some of the “swept-under-the-proverbial-carpet” unblog food of the past few weeks.

I’m warning ya: it ain’t fancy, but it sure is functional.

Charcoal grilled burgers…SUNSHINE burgers, in fact. Can you believe it? Would you ever have guessed they were Sunshine Burgers? Nope. I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that they tasted fantastic, too! Nothing beats the smoky mesquite-y taste of food on a charcoal grill, except maybe that same charcoal-grilled food eaten with good friends…

And a whole wheat wrap filled with the leanest pulled pork you’ll ever see, some mango, a little pineapple chipotle salsa, and brown rice. 

Photogenic? No way. Healthy and deeeeelish? You betcha!

Since I often delete ugly food pics without a second thought, I don’t have very many. But I’m thinking that may have to change. The unpretties have served me well, and they, too, deserve their time to shine!

I salute you and appreciate you, ugly food, and from here on out I vow that you will have a permanent place on my blog, although not every day;)

I encourage all of you bloggers out there to share the love for less-than-perfect-looking food! Go back through your photo files and post those pics that didn’t make it the first time around!

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Sunshine Stack

I love to cook. I always have. But when it comes to making lunch just for me on my days at home, I often bypass the whole mess and just snack, or heat up some leftovers. There’s really nothing wrong with that, I guess, but today I felt like making myself a real meal. Maybe that’s because it’s rainy outside. We need the rain badly, though, so instead of sunshine outside, I thought I’d incorporate a few rays into my lunch.  

Sadly, I’m down to my last Southwestern Sunshine Burger. :( I found a single box in an out-of-the-way health food store, which I have a feeling I’ll be revisiting soon.

Sometimes, I put my Sunshine Burger on a bun. But the beef I have with buns is that they often seem like nothing more than a vehicle for the real star of the meal, and they contain a lot of empty carbs for something I don’t really enjoy. Don’t get me wrong…I like a good hunk of bread as much as the next guy, but a burger bun just doesn’t excite me too much.

But who needs a bun when you’ve got a fat sweet potato?!

So I rubbed the taters with a mere touch of coconut oil and salt, and set them a bakin’ in the oven (along with a few extras for baby’s dinner later): about 20 minutes at 350º, then another 15 or so at 400º, turning throughout for even browning. I baked the Sunshine Burger along with them until it was nice and crispy.

Hmmm….what jives with the burger’s Southwestern flair? Salsa! 

But I don’t have any salsa. :|

What I do have, and need to use up, is this array of goodies, which I ran through the food processor to create a little somethin’ somethin’ that sort of resembled a salsa.

  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/8 cup fresh onion
  • 1 clove of garlic from our garden
  • 4 yellow pear tomatoes from our garden
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • several sprigs of cilantro Oops. Cilantro was just a little too far past its prime and is now in the compost.

Directions: Hit “pulse” a few times instead of “on” so as not to scare the baby. 


Once my burger and tater bun were baked to perfection, I simply stacked them up!

  1. sweet potato
  2. 1/2 Sunshine Burger
  3. veg “salsa”
  4. 1/2 Sunshine Burger
  5. more “salsa”
  6. the last of my cheddar cheese curds (insert teary-eyed emoticon here!)
  7. another hot round of sweet potato to top it off

It still could have benefited from a touch of real tomatoey salsa, but all in all this was a pretty fantastic lunch. I’m not sure why I don’t treat myself to a real lunch more often, especially considering this was made entirely of ingredients I had in the house, and it only took a few minutes to put together. From now on, I think making my own healthy lunch a priority is a new goal. 

Because I’m worth it!

And now that I’m feeling all inspired and self-esteemy, I’d like to take Chocolate-Covered Katie up on her challenge to post a no-makeup pic on my blog! OK, so this one is not a full face no-makeup pic, but it’s not exactly flattering. And there’s NO makeup, plus I think it was taken on a no-wash hair day, so it fits the bill.

I took it to document (just for my own use) the crazy hair loss that started about 3 1/2 months after I gave birth. Did you know that some lucky women’s hormones cause them to lose clump after clump of hair after childbirth? I knew this going in, because it happened when I lost my first pregnancy, but I didn’t expect to lose so much. This is during the period of regrowth, and trust me when I tell you this pic doesn’t do it justice! I have full-on bangs now that I never intended, and a full head of short hair underneath my long hair! 

Here it is….with no self-disparaging comment, although I’m tempted. I look at my weird hair as just another reminder of how lucky I am to be a healthy mommy to my healthy boy!

…and for the sake of comparison, the mascara and eyeliner version. 

____________________________________________

Do you eat your burger on a bun? If so, do you really want the bun, or do you just eat it because it’s there?

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews, Recipes & Food

The Perfect Lunch

It’s a bold statement, I know.

Sometimes, I take the time to pack a lunch and then, when 12:00 rolls around, I get all persnickety and want something else.

And sometimes, the stars align and I find myself with exactly what I want, exactly when I want it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you The Perfect Lunch!

One Sunshine Burger , with a little mustard hiding underneath, on an  EarthGrains multigrain thin bun… 

Spizznach, pea shoots and mixed greens from our garden…

Piled high…with a little cheese-like single…

With the lid…

The remainder of my greens, topped with some raw almonds and cranberries…

…carried in an Earth’s Best baby food jar! Reuse, reuse, reuse…

A simple vinaigrette and a smidge of salt and pepper…

And, the finishing touch: a Pumpkin Pie Tasty Little Chewy from Kashi!

Voila! The perfect lunch! (For today, anyway.)

What’s your perfect lunch?

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Filed under Home & Garden, Recipes & Food

Race Against Racism 5K

Yesterday, Little Man and I participated in the Race Against Racism 5K in Harrisburg! We walked with some friends from work, met some new friends, and had a great time.

I’ve run in 5k races before, so finishing this one at a brisk walking pace feels a little like a step backwards, but I feel like the day was a major accomplishment anyway.

Having a baby at home gives me lots of excuses to be sedentary. It’s pretty easy to stay home and sit on the couch now that we have to lug around 3/4 of our belongings whenever we leave the house. When I got pregnant, the Husbo and I made a pact that we would still do the things we love (even though they might be more difficult and logistically challenging), and that we would try to expose our child to lots and lots of learning opportunities whenever we had the chance.

So far, mission accomplished!

Where we live, there is not a lot of diversity. I want my boy to grow up knowing and appreciating that the world is made up of all different kinds of people, so I thought the Race Against Racism  would be perfect for his first 5K. We didn’t run, because he’s not quite used to the forward-facing stroller yet, and I’m not quite in running shape yet (I think I could’ve done it, but I would have paid for it later), but the walk went quite well even though he insisted on being held. He’s super alert right now and wants to be right in the thick of the action most of the time. Mommy got quite a workout carrying a 17-lb. baby for over a mile! Luckily, some really helpful new friends offered to push the stroller part of the way. I’ll make sure to pay the favor forward!

Here are a few pics:

Me and my boy before the race.

 

The first mile. What a beautiful view of the river!

 

One of the gardens on Front Street in Harrisburg.

 

The garden again, and our newest buddy and walking partner.

 

Heading down closer to the river on the way back to City Island.

 

We had beautiful weather and although he was a little heavy, the little one was a pleasure. I’m really digging having a little sidekick to accompany me on my adventures. It really does make every part of my life better to have his curious little face and fresh perspective along. 

After the race, food and drinks were available on City Island for all participants. There was fun music playing, so we danced for a few minutes, but we hightailed it out of there when I realized there was free soda, fried something and chocolate something else. No thanks! No way was I blowing that healthy feeling I spent the whole morning wrapping myself up in.

I must admit, however, that we did end up splurging on small Italian ices at Rita’s in the afternoon. Oh well. We were on the way to Grammie and Pop Pop’s house and stopped to look at some land for sale. What better time to stop at Rita’s? :)

I ended my day on a bright note with this happy Sunshine burger, topped with the first-of-the-season baby spinach leaves from our garden! 

One sunshine burger, with a little horseradish mayo and Dijon mustard, topped with sauteed garlic mushrooms, avocado slices and baby spinach leaves, served up on an EarthGrains whole wheat thin bun.

 

These burgers rock!

 

I like Morningstar, but I can really get behind this list of ingredients!

 

That pic is a little small, so here it is: Organic cooked brown rice, ground raw sunflower seeds, carrots, herbs and sea salt. (Note the absence of soy.) Don’t you just love that? :D

Have you ever checked out the ingredients list on most veggie burgers? It can be disturbing.  The best thing about these burgers is that they don’t try to be meat. They just try to be natural and tasty–and they are!  

Know what else I love? Feeling like I got a chance to, as Gandhi said, be the change I’d like to see in the world. I am so excited to teach Finny to be his own kind of change.

Happy day, everyone!

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