Jo Knows Nutrition by Joanne Nijhuis

Black Bean & Brown Rice Burgers – So Healthy, So Good

May 21, 2023 – Let’s face it, not all veggie burgers taste great, but I promise, this one does. Several attempts and countless taste tests, this recipe is a winner! Filled with fibre and plant-based protein, these black bean burgers – made with brown rice – are so healthy, so delicious and so easy to prepare.


  • 2 cans black beans (1 can is 15 oz or 1 3/4 cup)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) cooked brown or white rice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 ml) ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (7,.5 ml) ground turmeric
  • 1/2 (125 ml) to 2/3 cup (167 ml) breadcrumbs or oat flakes
  • 2 eggs or chia eggs (mix 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chia seeds with 5 tablespoons (75 ml) water – let sit 10 minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) corn kernels – frozen, canned or fresh
  • 1/3 cup (83 ml) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from 1 lime or 1/2 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) olive oil if frying the burgers


  1. To a large bowl add the beans, cooked rice, onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, cumin, chilli powder, coriander, turmeric, bread crumbs or oat flakes, eggs or chia eggs, corn kernels, cilantro, lemon or lime juice. Mash with a potato masher until the mixture holds together, but still has a chunky texture. Alternatively, place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until somewhat smooth with some chunks.
  2. With your hands form patties the size of a hockey puck or smaller, if desired. If the patties are too moist, add some more bread crumbs or oat flakes.
  3. Either BBQ or heat a frying pan on medium heat. Brush the BBQ grill with olive oil or add olive oil to the pan to prevent sticking.
  4. Cook for 6-8 minutes on one side, flip and then cook 4-6 minutes on the other side.
  5. Serve patties with the usual fixings in a hamburger bun or wrap the patties in iceberg lettuce as an alternative to a bun.


Joanne Nijhuis MSc, RD is a consulting, media and culinary dietitian in Simcoe Grey Bruce on a mission to entertain and educate through her love of food. In addition to recipe development and writing for several publications, Joanne offers cooking demos/classes and counselling – in person or online via Zoom Health.

For more information, email Joanne at jo.knows.nutrition@outlook.com.

Did You Know?

Black beans are a great source of plant-based protein and very good for your gut’s microbiome – the healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. Full of fibre, beans promote a feeling of fullness and also keep you regular. Black beans also contain iron, zinc, calcium and antioxidants that support your immune system.


Reflections in the Looking Glass

May 18, 2023 – There is always great debate surrounding the exposure of wrongdoing on the part of a public figure. If you follow the media at all, it would seem that there is no one out there without something to hide.

I had a grade twelve teacher once who spoke to the class after there was whispering about one of our classmates who left school due to pregnancy. He said nothing about the situation itself. He said only that we should never judge another human being unless we were in an identical situation and conducted ourselves differently. Of course, we can never recreate an identical situation, so according to this logic, few of us could judge.

I have always remembered his comments. I feel saddened when I read of behaviors that cost others their credibility or reputation. I am sad for the individual, and sad for any victims.

Our lives might be a microcosm of the larger world, and there are situations in which human behavior is reflective of what we see on the larger stage. Just think how in gossip, others are judged and shamed, whether in the family, neighbourhood, or workplace.

We can agree on behaviors that are considered wrong in our culture, such as lying, cheating, hurting others and stealing. The more emotionally strong and healthy individuals are, the less they would engage in any of these behaviors. We remain much more humble, when we realize that the wrongdoings we read about in the media are reflections of our own wrong doings, even if we think they are less wrong.

Perhaps the loud criticism and finger pointing we direct at others is to convince ourselves of our superiority. It may make us feel “holier” than them, but it does not make us “holier.” Integrity and honesty are fundamentally black and white. Either you have these qualities, or you do not (but presumably are working to develop them). Being not quite as far along in a pregnancy as a friend does not make one any less pregnant.

The biggest denials may not be on the part of those who lie publicly. It may be on the part of the armchair judges, who pretend to be they are better. If the only ones who could judge were those who have never, ever transgressed, the silence would be deafening. This is not to deny the seriousness of the things we have been reading about, but rather to suggest that we be thankful that we have not been publicly humiliated for our own little dishonesties.

Humans in our culture seem addicted to criticizing others. Critiques of others take up a lot of their headspace, and sharing those with others spreads the negativity.

This, sadly, seems more common in women. Surely, we have more important things to talk about than tearing someone down or spreading dirt about another human being. Imagine a world where people focused more on how they could be a better person that what they think is wrong with someone else.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning psychologist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books, CDs or MP3s, visit www.gwen.ca. Follow Gwen on Facebook for inspiration.

Gwen Randall-Young Psychological Services Ltd. | Website   (780) 464-7005 | gwendall@shaw.ca


Do You Ever Say, “You Don’t Love Me?”

May 14, 2023 – Have you ever had someone say, “You don’t love me!”, when you won’t do what they want? Have you ever said, “You don’t love me,” or “You don’t care about me,” because someone would not do what you wanted?

I remember times when one of my children, upon being refused a treat or a toy, would lament that I didn’t love them. I would always laugh, and so would they, because we both knew how far from the truth that was. But what if adults say this to each other and really mean it? How do you defend yourself when someone says you don’t care? It can be a no-win situation.

First, it is important to recognize that it is inappropriate to tell another person how they feel. That robs them of the freedom to express their own feelings. When we do this, we are projecting onto them our idea of what they feel. When they try to correct us, we might argue with them. If you like vanilla and someone says that you really don’t, you like chocolate, we can see how inappropriate it is to argue with someone about what they feel or think.

Second, loving or caring should not automatically be associated with doing certain things. If you want to know if someone loves you or has stopped loving, it is best just to ask them, rather than to challenge them because of some behavior. If you want to see more of a particular behavior, then its okay to ask for it, but you don’t need to attach an emotional bomb to your request.

If you tell him he doesn’t love you because he never brings you flowers, then where does that leave him when he spends so much time working on the yard because he wants it to look attractive for you? If you’re mad because he never says you look nice, you might be missing the fact that he thinks you’re beautiful, even first thing in the morning. If you think she doesn’t love you because she spends so much time talking with her friends, you might be unaware that she talks to them about how much she does love you.

In any case, a positive approach always works better. Telling someone they don’t care triggers defensive reactions, not deeper levels of caring. Talking about what you would like to create with a person is a way of painting a positive picture that you can strive for. And as for parents telling teenagers that they don’t feel loved because the kids would rather be with friends, or kids thinking parents don’t love them because they won’t finance a car, these are guilt trips plain and simple.

Don’t lay guilt trips on people you care about, because for sure, they’ll think you don’t love them.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning psychologist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books, CDs or MP3s, visit www.gwen.ca. Follow Gwen on Facebook for inspiration.

Gwen Randall-Young Psychological Services Ltd. | Website   (780) 464-7005 | gwendall@shaw.ca


Rose’s Devotions by Rosy Hagedorn

The Lonely Twig

May 17, 2023 – Ephesians 2:10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (NASB)

Spring had finally arrived! The buds on the trees and bushes were slowly starting to unfurl, clothing their surroundings with varying shades of luscious, bright greens. This is the time of year that I like going for walks.

The trail that I walk on passes by a couple of marshes and then winds along the bay. I have seen blue herons, turtles basking on a log, geese and ducks. As I walk on I can hear the waves rolling onto the shoreline.

Sometimes I step off the trail to stop and listen to the many different sounds the water makes as it rushes over the different shapes and sizes of rocks that are in the water.

As I was sitting on the bench by the water, I noticed a tiny twig standing upright behind a rock in the water. The water, rushing against the tiny twig and rock, created a small waterfall that looked like a living, cascading mushroom. I sat and watched in silence, listening to the orchestra of the water rippling over the various rocks. After some time had passed, I decided to leave this sanctuary and walk home.

The next morning, I walked again to the spot where that twig was. While sitting on the bench, I noticed that the twig that had been standing upright behind the rock was gone — and so was the tiny waterfall. As I reflected on this, I thought about how each one of us is like that one little twig.

That little twig amongst the pebbles, rocks, tree stumps, and water was needed to create something beautiful — a waterfall. Without that little twig, the waterfall ceased to be. Just as we are created for God’s wonderful purpose, each one of us is needed to play an important part in God’s wonderful world. No matter how insignificant we may think our lives are, let’s remember that little twig and the beauty that it helped to create!

Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB)

Prayer: Lord of all creation, You created each and every one of us in Your image. You are the Potter and we are the clay. You created each one of us the way that You wanted. Help us to accept each other as You have accepted us. Amen.


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