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What makes the standard American diet (SAD) so addictive?  Besides the ease on the wallet, convenience and the manipulative messaging delivered by the food and beverage industries (you don’t really think veggie chips are healthy, do you?) there are three culprits that keep so many of us coming back for more.
Those culprits are sugar, salt and fat.

For those of you who are thinking about or have just begun to transition into a whole food, plant-based lifestyle removing the dependency on these substances can be a challenge.  How do you get the same satisfaction from a veggie sandwich accompanied by a refreshing ice-cold water that you once got from a chicken bacon ranch wrap complete with a Mountain Dew?
The answer isn’t simple.  It takes time to both form new habits and to develop a new palette.  One way to make it easier to shift into and maintain this lifestyle is to spice it up!

The difference between a good plant-based meal and a great plant- based meal can depend on the variety, amount and freshness of spice (and herbs). Last year I received a spice of the month gift from the vegan hubby. Although we have implemented the WFPB lifestyle into our lives for several years, I am still learning and making changes and this spice gift compliments my expanding knowledge of food and cultures.

Below you will find a recipe from this club that I adapted to fit our dietary choices. The topping of the scotch bonnet chili salt was what set this burger over the top.  The salt in this dish was in used in moderation. If you have concerns about your salt intake, substitute water for the vegetable broth.

Jerk Black Bean Burger, adapted
Serves 6

Jerk seasoning
1 c quinoa
2 c vegetable broth or water
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic
16 oz.  black beans – 1 can or 1/2c dry
1 habanero, seeded, minced
1/2 c rolled oats
1 lime, juice
2 tbsp. molasses
1 tbsp. tamari
1 inch  fresh ginger, minced
½ c garbanzo/chickpea flour

scotch bonnet chili salt

Soak beans overnight if using dry and cook the following morning according to package instructions.
Rinse the quinoa in cold water. Bring the vegetable broth to boil in saucepan over high heat, add quinoa, lower heat to simmer and cover, 15-20 minutes.
Place onion and garlic in food processor and pulse. Add beans, habanero, oats, lime juice, molasses, tamari, ginger, jerk seasoning.  Pulse until well mixed. Fold in quinoa and chickpea flour.
Cook in a large skillet on medium high heat. About 5 minutes on each side.

What is your favorite spice or herb to work with?   Please leave a comment…