Great Gasby Photo Shoot

THOUGHT OTD. — In response to not knowing the speed of sound, Einstein replied, “[I do not] carry such information in my mind since it is readily available in books. …The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.”

THE. BANE. — Bikini shopping. Earth to Victoria’s Secret: What if I don’t want to “add 2 cup sizes”? What if I like what I have? What if I like a more athletic look? I know your entire business is built around making women strive to look like airbrushed and photoshopped Barbie dolls, but c’mon now, “adding 2 sizes” would put me at a G cup. VERY SEXY, RIGHT VS? Nothing invokes “sexy and flirty” like a G CUP. Gee, isn’t she young and fresh with her GEE CUP. And for the record, halters HURT anyone over a B. Why yes, I’d love to put all the weight of my GEE chest in a thin piano-wire strap that cuts right on my spine in my neck area. If you do the physics, brilliant! Reminds me of that scene at the beginning of Ghost Ship where the entire on-deck party is sliced in half by the snipped metal wire. You hear that? HALVED. Wrong kid died.

BETTSY BURGERS. — In my yuppie-fied first world problems list, I ran out of Amy’s Sonoma veggie burgers today. I decided I’d finally take a stab at crafting my own (for way cheaper, might I add). I did a little online snooping, but I was a little disappointed at what I found. I didn’t want a recipe with eggs (veggie burger, duh!), texturized vegetable protein (TVP – YUCK!), soy, or bread crumbs/wheat flour as filler. Also, these “veggie burgers” were mostly nuts, seeds, and grains. Where’s the veg?

So, I made up my own using elements from my awesome vegan chili recipe. The secret to simulating meat texture is rather simple: bulgar, shiitake mushrooms, and ground walnuts. If you want a gluten-free version, drop the bulgar and substitute more quinoa. DO IT.

Makes 10 x 3″ Vegetable Burgers

1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup bulgar
* For a gluten-free version, substitute the bulgar with quinoa instead *

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine water, quinoa and bulgar in a saucepan with 1 3/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand.

1 small red onion
2 carrots
1 rib celery
8 oz button mushrooms

Place onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms in a food processor. Pulse until vegetables are in small chunks (about 12 pulses). Add to non-stick skillet and sauté in a tbsp water until soft and cooked.

1/2 cup walnuts
3 tbsp flax seeds
1/2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms

1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
Splash of liquid aminos, if desired.

Place walnuts in food processor. Pulse until they look like very small pebbles. Put the flax seeds and shiitake mushrooms in a spice grinder (or coffee grinder) and process until fine, like dust. Add walnuts, spices, quinoa, bulgar and flax seeds to the sauté pan with the vegetables and stir thoroughly. Add the liquid aminos, if desired.

Form compact 3″ patties and lay on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes, then flip the patties and bake another 6 minutes until firm and crisp on the outside. Safe to freeze, separated by parchment paper in ziploc bags.

BONUS!… and after my long search for the perfect sprouted wheat bun for summer, my tireless search results are your gain. You have to get Alvarado St. Sprouted Wheat Burger Buns (and hot dog buns, too!). They are soft, chewy, and amazing! I freeze mine: so to thaw, I wrap the bun in a damp paper towel and zap in the microwave for 20 seconds. It yields one chewy, tasty, delightfully non-cardboardy-tasting bun.

SAYONARA, FB. — Since I dumped my Facebook account, I’ve read half of Setting the Desert on Fire: T.E Lawrence & Britain’s Secret War in Arabia, 1916-1918 in a couple days. Yeah, get some o’ that learning on. Took me almost a year to get through a flippin’ Maisie Dobbs novel; in my defense, I was pretty bogged down with work, upgrade training, & pre-deployment (errrygggnn) preparation. “The energy, Duke, the energy!”

VOODOO MEDICINE. — Lastly, I saw a natural/holistic doctor in Bismarck on Monday. I have liver hormonal regulation problems ever since boot camp (I dropped to 120 lbs/17.7 BMI and my secondary organs started to shut down due to malnutrition: aka my liver), and the crappy endocrinologist at the fancy hospital here in downtown Minot had absolutely nothing to recommend. They ran test after test, but still couldn’t ascertain what the deal was/is. They actually said, “Just deal with it.” Right now I am taking a slew of herbal supplements, juicing, and eating clean/plant-based from the research I have done for myself online and in documentaries. The naturopathic doctor in Bismarck gave me a gold star for all that I’ve been doing on my own, and also “prescribed” a milk thistle extract and chasteberry supplement. It will take three to six months to see the full effect, but hopefully my “health hiccups” will reset back to normal.

Here are some photos from a recent shoot from that photographer I was approached by at the military ball. Dramatic! & those pull-ups at the gym are total win right now. My ten year class reunion is in September. Let’s do this.

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