When I was a picky eater, I ate the same things all the time.

Cereal for breakfast.

Fruit, yogurt, crackers and carrots for school lunch (since I didn’t like sandwiches or salads).

Meat, rice or pasta, and a steamed veggie for dinner.

…all without sauces (teriyaki was the lone exception) and with very little seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan cheese were my “go-tos”).

It’s no wonder so many of us get bored with food and “eating healthy.” We eat the same things over and over again and don’t flavor our food!

Food was meant to be enjoyed and filled with endless flavor possibilities, many of which I just started experiencing over the past three to four years.

Be bold and try new flavors :) We love this southwest black bean burger!

Be bold and try new flavors 🙂 We love this southwest black bean burger!

It has taken me a while to build up to liking flavors I used to hate (like coconut) or assumed I wouldn’t like without actually trying (curry) and food preparations that sounded “weird” (i.e., anything containing ingredients I hadn’t eaten before).

We’re afraid of anything unfamiliar…so we don’t even give it a chance. Longer ingredient list? Not trying it. Ingredient I don’t have on hand? Not buying it. Ingredient I don’t recognize? Forget it.

That’s how I was for most of my life when it came to food…and a lot of other things actually. If I thought I was going to fail at or dislike something, I didn’t even try it.

I had no idea what I was missing!

Now I can’t imagine food without herbs, spices, sauces, dressings, and other flavorful add-ons. Hooray for no more bland food 🙂

The dish I’m sharing today is one of our favorites for the summer time and it is FULL of flavor…along with ingredients I never would have tried as a picky eater.

We found this recipe about 3 years ago on my absolute favorite mobile app for delicious and nourishing recipes – Whole Foods Market Recipes. You don’t have to shop at Whole Foods to use it, but if you’ve written off Whole Foods as “Whole Paycheck,” take a look at this article about 25 things that are actually cheaper at Whole Foods.

Screenshots of the Whole Foods Market Recipes app

Screenshots of the Whole Foods Market Recipes app

Anyway, we love this app! Here’s why:

  • Contains a searchable database of over 3,000 recipes. We can save our favorites, create weekly meal plans (and grocery lists!) and get inspirations for new recipes to try.
  • We can search by course, cuisine, and special dietary needs (gluten free, low sugar, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, low sodium, high fiber, health starts here etc.)
  • Use On-Hand Search to find recipes that use ingredients you already have (great way to use up food and save money)

This recipe for a Southwest Veggie Burger was one of the first ones we tried from the WF Market Recipes app, and it quickly became one of our favorites. We usually make about 6 burgers from one batch. Check out the 3-minute video below for how to make them yourself!

Southwest Black Bean Veggie Burger

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (to save time, use one of the steamable brown rice bags)
  • 1 cup cooked no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon no-salt-added chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce

Click here for the full recipe from Whole Foods Market Recipes!

I eat mine without a bun since I feel best eating gluten-free and top it with some guacamole or avocado slices. Feel free to serve yours with a bun, in a wrap, or on top of a salad 🙂