The Task Tamer


Teri 07/15/2013 Comments

Life is full of choices. So many choices we make without really thinking about them, such as when to get up, what to put in your coffee, how to brush your teeth, etc. Others we have to be much more aware of such as when to change lanes on the expressway, what to wear each day, what TV show to watch, etc. Where do food choices fall for you? Do you just eat without thinking or do you consciously make a choice what to put into your body? I recently overheard a conversation between two twenty somethings. It had to do with food so it caught my attention. The conversation went along the lines of one person saying he wanted to eat whatever he wanted and did not care if he didn’t live to be 85 because he would die happier at age 70. Hmmm. Not sure what makes him think he will make it to 70, but that’s another story. What I wanted to say (since I was eavesdropping I didn’t say anything for fear of getting caught) was at what age would he like to say

salad or cakegoodbye to his son? Clogged arteries and heart attacks happen at any age. Choosing unhealthy food simply because you do not want anyone to tell you to eat better is a really bad choice, not to mention the bad behavior being modeled for his son. The decision to eat healthier is one you make not because someone tells you to but because you want to feel good, have energy and want to enjoy life. I know, eating a batch of brownies is pretty enjoyable, but I am talking about the enjoyment you get from being able to be mobile and healthy. My motto is moderation. I will not give up brownies! I often ask myself this question before indulging: is what I am about to eat worth the extra calories? The answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no. The point is I am making a conscious choice. Being aware of my choices helps me make my own decisions. No one is telling me what to eat, when to exercise, what to buy, etc. I can inform myself about smart options, but ultimately the choice is mine. Unlike the young man I talked about earlier, I know I am in control of my decisions and thus the consequences for making good and bad ones.


Speaking of food, I made my favorite veggie burgers this weekend. LOVE these! I do vary it up a bit by using sunflower seeds or walnuts instead of pecans. Also I change the seasoning based on what I have on hand or feel like eating. I serve them on a bun with my favorite condiments and lettuce and tomato. The best part is they make enough for leftovers! Allow about 1 1/2 hours to make these.


Quinoa Veggie Burger

Adapted from Eating Well Magazine


1 cup water

1/2 cup quinoa (any color)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup diced onion

2 cups finely chopped mushrooms (I shred 2 or 3 portobellos with my box grater)

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp your choice seasoning (I use fresh oregano and thyme or dried herb blends)

1 large egg

2/3 cup shredded cheddar

1/2 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped 

1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (I use regular rolled oats with no problem)

1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

Hamburger buns and your favorite garnishes


  1. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from eat and let stand, covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or lightly grease
  3. Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to soften (about 5 minutes). Add mushrooms, garlic and seasonings and cook stirring until mushrooms are tender (about 5 more minutes). Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Beat egg in medium bowl. Add the quinoa, mushroom mixture, cheese, pecans, oats and soy sauce and stir to combine. Scoop scant 1/2 portions onto cookie sheets (Recipe says you will get 8 burgers, I usually get 6 or 7). Shape into patties. They will seem crumbly but shaping them on the sheet makes them easier to work with. Once they are baked they hold together well.
  5. Bake until crispy, about 25 to 30 minutes. Enjoy!

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