Friends! We have some incredibly exciting news to share with you all: my Carrot and I are due to have a little Leek or a little Carrot sometime this July!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are over the moon excited to meet our sweet farm baby in a few months/ very nervous to see how hard it is to raise both a human and five acres of vegetables at the same time.
And I am so excited that I can finally talk about it, because really, there is little else on my mind. As so many of you know, beginning our family has been a longgggggg journey for us. The five year saga of trying to get pregnant was filled with more pain, heartbreak, disappointment, and shame than I ever could have imagined, but I also never could have imagined how one little test result could wipe away all the years of difficulty.
Being pregnant has felt more natural, easy, fluid, and joyous than I ever expected. I thought there would be lots of emotions to unpack about our infertility journey, but somehow there wasn’t. Happiness and gratitude became the dominant emotions fairly quickly, and aside from little bouts of very normal amounts of worry, have become the way I will describe myself in pregnancy for years to come.
Having never been pregnant before, I don’t really have any frame of reference, but I believe my pregnancy has been pretty easy. I was very, very tired for the first three months clocking in 10-12 hours of sleep each night and still finding myself needing a nap after six hours of work. As someone who likes to run a million miles an hour at all times, this was very humbling, but also felt like some sort of initiation process for a soon-to-be mother. I learned quickly that surrendering was key and not surrendering simply wasn’t worth it. And I have never been more grateful for the rhythm of our seasonal work and the opportunity to work at a much slower pace when I needed to.
Little bouts of nausea were quickly mediated by discovering that my body requires me to eat every 2-3 hours, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. If I stick to consistent calories, I seem to consistently feel amazing and I’m also very grateful for that.
Food in pregnancy has been going alright. My ability to know what I need, listen to my body, and eat intuitively has never been easier, but actually mustering up the energy to feed myself and make healthy meals has never been harder. I have eaten approximately 10,000 pieces of peanut butter toast and 200 egg sandwiches. Because I rely heavily on sourdough toast as the base for many of my daytime meals, I’ve also been eating a ton of berry, kale & chia smoothies to balance things out a bit.
We eat healthy dinners focused on all the foods the books tell me a growing baby needs, but if I’m being honest, finding the energy to cook or even figure out what I want to eat has been extremely difficult. In the beginning I thought it was because I felt like I could never keep up. I was always hungry and didn’t have enough energy to make enough food to keep myself fed (even with my Carrot making me my breakfast, lunch and afternoon smoothie). But even after we had learned the tricks and snacks that were essential to keeping me from constantly feeling starving, I still continued to feel like the last thing on earth I wanted to do was cook a meal.
When I flip through my favorite blogs and cookbooks, nothing looks goods and cooking feels like the world’s biggest chore. I have lost 90% of the joy I usually find in the kitchen. If my Carrot doesn’t help me with dinner, I wind up eating more peanut butter toast or eggs for dinner (or begging for takeout). Luckily, he almost always helps me with dinner.
My friends tell me this is normal. A lot of them said they also hated cooking in pregnancy, and the joy eventually came back. I’m sure hoping that’s the case because preparing food for myself and the people I love has always been a pretty fundamental part of my life.
Anyhow, we’ve come up with a strategy that works well enough. It includes me keeping a list of meals in my notebook and spending a little time every weekend thinking through what we have in our fridge or freezer, looking for recipes and adding to that list. I’ve never been a diligent meal planner but right now I feel like I have to be.
I focus on things we’ve made a lot or I really found nourishing in the past. I try not to get too creative or fancy (because when we actually start cooking I’ll be very mad at myself for doing that), and we focus a lot on lean proteins and veggies. I’ve been leaning towards noodle dishes (it seems I could eat Pad Thai for weeks on end), tacos, grain bowls, and different roast salmon recipes with different vegetables. Every couple weeks we roast a chicken or a pork shoulder so we have a ton of shredded meat readily available for sandwiches and salads.
I won’t say I enjoy batch cooking right now, but I will say that anything I can muster up the enthusiasm to batch cook makes me very happy throughout the week so we try to work that in from time to time. These Beet & White Bean Burgers were one of our biggest batch cooking successes. We made so many burgers that we were actually able to freeze some for later.
I love the simplicity of this recipe: the burger mixture is made in the food processor, the patties are made using a measuring cup, and they bake perfectly in the oven on parchment paper so there is no gloppy mess trying to fry them off in a skillet. Plus, they’re packed full of veggies and beans so it’s a great, easy vegetarian dinner. We typically top our burgers with even more veggies and wind up with a deeply nourishing dinner.
I hope you enjoy friends!
BEET & WHITE BEAN BURGERS
Adapted from From My Bowl
Like with most vegetarian burgers, this burger is still a lot more soft in texture than a meat burger would be. I don’t mind the softer texture but a soft burger on a soft bun can leave you textural feeling a little bored. We mediate this by adding a lot of crunchy toppings– typically pickles, sliced cucumber and raw onion.
Takes 1 hour, 15 minutes (most of it inactive)
2 medium to large beets, about 3 cups
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup pecans
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons flex seeds
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup white beans
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
Burger buns, optional
Sliced cucumber, optional
Sliced red onion, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Shred beets using food processer attachment or a hand-held shredder. Dump into a large bowl. Change out food processer blade so that the S-blade is ready to chop. There may be some residual beets in there. Don’t worry about it. We’ll be mixing everything together anyway.
- Add oats, pecans, sesame seeds, flax seeds, garlic, salt, and cinnamon to bowl of food processor. Process until the mixture forms a coarse flour. Add beets back in along with beans and tamari. Process until the mixture comes together, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. There will likely be some lumps remaining. This is fine. The mixture will also look wet, more like a thick beet hummus than a burger mixture. This is also correct.
- Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, scoop beet mixture and turn out onto prepared baking sheet. You should wind up with six patties. Cover the patties with parchment and press down gently with your hand or the flat bottom of the measuring cup. They should be 3/4 to 1-inch thick.
- Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Flip and bake 20-30 minutes more, based on your preference. The longer you bake them, the firmer/ drier the patties will be.
- Serve on a toasted burger bun with mayo, cucumber, red onion, and microgreens.
*This recipe can easily be doubled if you’re in a super batch-cooking mood (like I was), but can get a bit messy because it won’t fit into the food processer as a double batch. After processing the oats, pecans and spices, I had to stir all the ingredients together in a giant bowl and then process half at a time. It was clunky and required washing two extra bowls, but I still felt it was worth it. Probably because when I get the energy to cook, I have to just go for it in a big way.