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Lentil and Beet Burgers

by Meghann on July 22, 2012

Last night we had a pretty intense severe thunderstorm roll through Tampa. It was severe enough to take out a few tree branches in my neighborhood, as well as scare the hell out of Maddie. It’s the type of storm that is not uncommon this time of year in Florida. The clouds usually start to darken the sky around mid afternoon, the intense rain begins around dinner time, and by nightfall it’s all over. The same thing happened today and it will probably happen again tomorrow.

And while we do welcome all the rain, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. Maddie and I discovered that this morning when I drove her to her favorite dog park and was greeted by lots of water and mud, but no doggie friends to play with.

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Bummer. I thought about bringing Maddie in and letting her have at it, but I didn’t have a towel and a muddy Maddie didn’t sound like fun to me.

Instead of letting Maddie run loops of the dog park to burn energy (she’s the fastest dog-park looper that I know), we went on a walk of the much larger loop of the whole park. There was no running, but I think she still enjoyed walking.

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The dog park wasn’t the only portion of the park that was flooded, the whole place looked like a swamp was taking over. Which, I discovered, wasn’t too far from the truth.

Halfway around the loop I had two women with strollers pass me. They looked at Maddie, then told me to be careful – they heard an alligator in the flooded woods next to the path and a little dog would be the perfect snack.

I didn’t think too much about it, but then I turned the corner and heard a very distinct croak. Gulp. I looked to my right and saw where the water disappeared in the woods and a swampy, scary scene was starting to form. I pulled the leash a little tighter, walked a little faster, and kept looking for anything that resembled a gator’s head. Then I heard the croak again. I grabbed Maddie and got the hell out of dodge.

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Once I got past the woods – and was surrounded once again by people and cars – I put Maddie back down and continued our walk. Only at quicker pace, with a faster heart beat.

I’ve lived in Florida my whole life. I’ve discovered gators in my parents’ swimming pool, under the car, and even ridden my bike by them several times. They’re scary, but I know if you leave them alone you’ll be ok.

But having Maddie there was different. Knowing she barks and challenges anything that crosses her path, she couldn’t be trusted. I could see her chasing after the gator and trying to show him whose boss. Little does she know that the gator is boss, not Maddie.

Better to hurry and get her out of there as quickly and safely as possible.

After our walk, I broke out leftovers for lunch.

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Okay. Technically Derek had already broken out the leftovers, but I was happy to reheat the bowl of vegetable soup he had left on the counter for me. :)

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I also made a mini cheese quesadilla with a slice of provolone and two corn tortillas.

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Lunch totals:

  • vegetable soup: $ 1.02
  • 2 corn tortillas: $0.18
  • 1 slice of cheese: $0.20
  • Total: $1.40

Derek and I were pretty boring the rest of the afternoon, watching TV and hitting the mall for a quick trip to return something.

I had the last piece of cornbread for an afternoon snack.

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  • cornbread: $0.19

And had a little fun with dinner.

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Remember those lentils from Wednesday night? I finally got around to doing something with the remaining lentils.

Hello, Lentil and Beet Burgers!

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Simple. Easy. Healthy. And tight-budget friendly.

All you need are:

  • 3 cups cooked lentils ($0.90)
  • 1 cup rolled oats ($0.28)
  • 1 egg, scrambled ($0.14)
  • 1 15-oz can original cut beets, drained ($0.67)

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Preheat the oven to 415

Place oats in food processor and grind them for 30 seconds to a minute.

In a medium bowl add the lentils, beets, egg, and oats. Season with salt and pepper. Work the ingredients with hands until everything is combined and mashed together. Let the mix sit for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, form patties and bake for 20 minutes at 415.

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7 Lentil and Beet Burgers comes to a crushing total of $1.99! Not only are they a cheap deal, but they’re full of fiber, rich in nutrients and protein, and they taste pretty good too. I

I had two on top of a bed of greens with sauteed zucchini and yellow squash and cheese on top.

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The “burgers” were crunchy on the outside and mushy on the inside. I ended up crumbling them and making them more of a salad topping.

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I cleaned my plate. :)

Dinner totals:

  • 2 Lentil and Beer Burgers: $0.57
  • 1/8 block of cheese: $0.31
  • zucchini + yellow squash: $0.33
  • romaine lettuce: $0.20
  • Total: $1.41

A handful of granola for dessert.  

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  • granola: $0.18

Derek’s meals today were pretty identical to mine. Only he had three burgers, and two of the cheese quesadillas. :)

One of the major hurdles of the #SurviveOn35 challenge was making it through the weekend without eating out. I can’t tell you the last time – if ever – we’ve done this. Usually we grab lunch or dinner out twice through the weekend, simply for the convenience of it. It’s pretty typical that we’ll be out somewhere, hungry, and wanting to to try somewhere new.

While I missed the adventure of eating somewhere new, it was nice to stay home and cook for ourselves through the weekend. We had to play around a little with timing so we would be out and about and find ourselves suddenly starving, but it worked out. I think we should try challenging ourselves with not eating out over the weekend more often. :)

Alright, it’s been a quiet week, but I’m still ready for bed.

Good Night!

I’m participating in the #SurviveOn35 Challenge with Anytime Fitness and FItFluential. Check out THIS POST to learn more.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katelyn July 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm

High five for cheap and delicious! The best part is when it’s so easy to put together. Ah, a college girl’s dream.

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2 amy July 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm

ahh gators on a walk, no thanks!!!

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3 Erin @ erinberries July 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Oh my gosh! I would freak out if I saw a gator while walking my dog! Scary!

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4 Sana July 23, 2012 at 12:38 am

Yikes, I how know hpw you can bike past a gator!!

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5 Summer July 23, 2012 at 1:07 am

An ALLIGATOR?

Jeez, I’m a California girl… I can handle bears and sharks, but i can’t fathom seeing an alligator outside of the zoo.

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6 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats July 23, 2012 at 6:52 am

ahhhhh alligators scare the mess out of me!!! Probably because I have very little experience with them though, haha just an alligator farm and a trip through the swamp on one of those boats with the huge fan on the back. I don’t think I’ve ever just come across one when I’ve been in FL

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7 Gabby (Quest for Delicious) July 23, 2012 at 8:16 am

Yikes! I can’t imagine hearing an alligator, let alone seeing one! I guess it’s not as bad since you’re somewhat used to it.
Those burgers look super simple and very creative!

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8 Emily N July 23, 2012 at 9:49 am

Wow, lentils and beets, huh? I never would have thought of it, but they look delicious!

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9 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 23, 2012 at 10:00 am

That must have made for a scary experience! I’m up in Canada so obviously no gator experiences, but I think just seeing one would make me freak the eff out, let alone if I had my dog with me.

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10 Kaitlyn July 23, 2012 at 10:18 am

Woah-gators are totally out of my element. Rattle snakes, bears, yes I can handle those. But, gators.Yikes. I need to try some type of homemade veggie burger. The recipes look easy, I just haven’t done it yet.

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11 Army Amy* July 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

I had never seen beets on a burger until I went to Australia. They put big ol slices on their burgers. Messy but delicious!*

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12 Kim July 23, 2012 at 8:46 pm

As a total cheapskate, this challenge is the definitely most interesting thing I’ve ever seen on your blog (been a loyal reader for 2+ years, also love the race recaps & Orlando recommendations)! I am always excited to see what the next recipe is & how much it costs. My husband wanted to know how you’ve changed your purchasing habits when it comes to organics. Also – are you allowed to buy food @ farmer’s markets (probably cheaper than Publix) or restricted to places that accept food stamps? Great challenge :)

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13 Meghann July 24, 2012 at 10:11 am

Yes, we’re allowed to buy from Farmer’s Markets and, in fact, I’ve actually seen a few other challengers take advantage of the Farmer’s Markets in their areas. I’ve stuck with my organic yogurt through this challenge, but did not purchase organic meat as I usually do. All the vegetables and frui purchases were conventional, but I usually stick with conventional fruit and veggies anyways.

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14 Kelly July 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Have you ever watched Depression Meals with Clara? It’s a fascinating YouTube series and she has an episode about lentils: http://www.youtube.com/embed/UXpouL9Q1iY

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