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quinoa red bean burgers!

10 Dec

i went totally in the dark with these quinoa burgers and just did what I thought would work..they didn’t come out the way i had wanted them too, but they are still totally delicious!

What You Need for 6 patties:

1/2 cup of dry quinoa, cooked in 1 cups of water

2 carrots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4-6 cremini mushrooms (cremini are baby portabello)

1 leek, thinly sliced up to the dark green parts

1 can or 12-14 oz red beans, black beans, garbanzos, white beans, whatever! drained and rinsed.

1 egg beaten

salt and pepper

note: i made the patties with one egg and no beans the first time and they didn’t hold together the way i wanted them too so i added mushed beans to a few of the patties and they came out properly. i didn’t take pictures of those burgers at all because i was more just trying to figure out the proper technique so please note that the burgers pictured are a different color than yours will be! yours will be a different color depending on what type of beans you use!!

so, cook the quinoa. just boil 1/2 cup quinoa,1 cups of water and a pinch of salt and then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes or until all the qater is absorbed. then just set it aside.

so, slice the mushrooms so they are all about the same size pieces. heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a skillet, add the leeks and saute until soft.

Add in the garlic, saute for a minute until fragrant.

Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the skillet, add a drop more oil if necessary. let the mushrooms sit on each side for about 8 minutes until really, really, really browned. not burnt but dark brown. you really want them to caramelize because that deep mushroom flavor is what will add richness and meatiness to the burgers.

while the mushrooms are browning, chop up a carrot and set it aside with the leeks and garlic.

in a food processor, whirl up the beans so that they are a nice happy mushy bean paste. remove from the processor and set aside. then add in the carrots, leeks, garlic, mushrooms and  half of the quinoa and 1/2 of the beaten egg (discard the other half, you only need a little to bind) and process until all combined and finely minced.

i decided to leave half the quinoa un-mushed just for the texture and appearance.

in a bowl combine the mixture from the food processor, the bean mash and the unprocessed quinoa and fold all together.

add salt and pepper.

form the mixture into patties and set on a sheet pan lined with parchment and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours so that the mixture sets.

once set, heat a saute pan on medium heat, add a t of olive oil and add the burgers one or two at a time and let sit on each side until a golden brown crust forms-approx 7 minutes per side.

serve wrapped in ice berg lettuce or on a honey wheat bun with avocado 🙂

quinoa bean burgers printable recipe


spicy winter vegetable stew with turmeric basil quinoa

3 Dec

yesterday was the gloomiest day that Austin has seen since I’ve moved here, except for maybe today which is shaping up to be just as cold, wet and gray. Unfortunately, all the cold weather is turning my waist line into a waist round. This is a great warm, comforting winter dinner, it’s flavorful and extremely filling, and the greatest part is that one large serving of quinoa and stew is only about 350 calories.  So let’s get to it!
I always make just one serving of quinoa and about 4-6 servings of veggies so that I can freeze the stew and heat it up later in the month 🙂

For 2 Servings of Quinoa:
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water, vegetable stock or chicken stock (low sodium)
a dash of turmeric
a dash of salt and pepper

For approx 4 servings of Stew:
between 1/2 lb-3/4 lb of butternut squash, medium diced (that’s half of a smallish medium squash)
1 zuchinni, medium diced
2 large carrots or 3 small carrots, medium diced
1-2 large handful’s of spinach leaves
1 14 oz box of diced tomatoes (I use the box not the can just because I’ve heard that the acid in the tomatoes reacts with the aluminum can and I try to avoid putting that weird acid aluminum erosion into my body)
1-2 cups of water as needed
1/2 yellow onion, medium diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t olive oil (the only fat added to the dish..not too shabby!)
for the spices my measurements are approximate as I adjust them to taste as the stew cooks, you may like more or less spice than I do.
1 T cumin
1 T sweet hungarian paprika
1 T salt
1/2 T cayenne pepps
2 t chili powder
2 t ground coriander
1 t ground ginger
1 t turmeric
a few grinds of cracked black pepps
a few leaves of fresh herbs for mixing in and garnishing, you can use any cool toned sweet-ish herbs that you like, so this would include, cilantro, flat or curley parsley, mint, basil (i use basil and mint, cilantro and I are NOT amigos unless it’s in the form of ground coriander)

Get ‘Er Done:
bring the quinoa, tumeric and liquid to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook covered about 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the little spiral germ has come out from the grain and it’s soft and fluffy.

Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a medium sauce pot over medium heat, add the onion and garlic and saute until soft, about 5 mins.

Add in the dry spices (not the salt or fresh herbs though). You should be hit with a really spicy, warm aroma and the onions and garlic will turn a nice orange yellow hue. (they should actually be more red than the picture but we all know what my camera can do to colors and whatnot)
Let the spices and onions marry together for a few minutes and then add in the diced squash and carrots and stir to get them coated in the spices.
Add the salt, tomatoes and enough water to cover the vegetables and an inch above them.  It seems like a lot of liquid but it will cook out and the veggies will draw some of it in.

(Your quinoa is probably finished by now, turn off the heat, stir in some chiffonades of basil and let it sit until we’re ready)
Bring the stew to a boil, covered on high heat, reduce to medium and let cook for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are ALMOST to the consistency you want them (I like mine soft but with a bite, not mushy)
Once you’re at the point where a piece of squash can be cut with a fork, add in the zucchini, stir and cook uncovered (so that some liquid can cook out) for about 15 minutes or until the veggies are at the right consistency.

Add in 2 handfuls of spinach and mix–the heat will wilt it within 1 minute. 
Taste the stew and adjust the seasonings and spices as necessary. 
Now, this is my trick for the quinoa that looks really pretty but also gives me the illusion that I’m eating way more quinoa than I am (think waist line, not waist round).
Form the quinoa around the edge of your bowl, leaving a big whole in the center of the bowl.
Scoop 1.5-2 cups of the stew into the center well. Garnish with the fresh basil and mint (or whatever herbs you used)

Another alternative to freezing any leftovers you might have is putting the stew into a blender or food processor until it’s more of a ragu type mixture and adding some more tomatoes or tomato sauce and roasted garlic and using it as a pasta sauce or a hearty ragu to serve along side lamb or beef or to serve over grilled polenta rounds. 
Happy Healthy Eating!!!

Curry-ish Quinoa with Chickpeas, Almonds, and Cucumbers

20 Oct
ok so this for me is a “pantry recipe”,  you know-made from stuff I have in the house. I have a bit of a qualm with pantry recipes though because they are really only “pantry” to the person making them. Sometimes I see pantry recipes that call for things like brown sugar or frozen spinach, or oxtail-whatever. i do not have any of these  things in my pantry.  my pantry consists of whatever hasn’t been eaten yet and whatever I bought a year ago and haven’t used. and about 4 bottles of crushed red pepper and a plethora of other half empty spice bottles that I don’t remember buying but seem to have just appeared. so for me, this is a pantry recipe, but for you, its a recipe that will most likely require a safeway/publix/whole foods visit. The great thing is, tons of substitutions and add ins can be made so that it can use up as much of your pantry as possible-don’t get ridiculous though. 
What You Need (roughly..):

1 cup of Quinoa (you can substitute any kind of rice you have, however, I always have quinoa because it is a complete protein and great for you–and delicious)
1 T of olive oil 
2 cloves of garlic
curry powder
ground turmeric
ground cumin
ground ginger
cayenne pepper
ground chili pepper
water, or chicken or vegetable stock. The stock will give it more flavor but water keeps it more “pantry” and less calories and salt. 
1/2 of any kind of onion, medium dice
1/2 cup of chickpeas
1/4-1/2 of a cup cucumber
1/4 of a cup of almonds, chopped
I used cucumber and frozen chickpeas because I had those in my house and wanted to use them. 
You could really use anything you have, cauliflower, green beans, frozen spinach, white beans, red beans. I also added about 6 chopped almonds at the end because I was feelin’ wild!
Here is the brand of cucumbers I use, I love them because they are baby sized and less watery than the big ones. 
So, roughly chop the garlic
Heat a sauce pot over medium. Once hot, add the olive oil and the garlic. if I had any onion I would have DEFINITELY put it in here too, but alas,  I did not. Okay, now this part is crucial and awesome. Add in about 1 T of curry powder and as much of the other spices as you’d like..I did about 2 shakes of the container each. Then mix and let it happen. Watch the garlic (and onion) turn a rich, red, yellow color and enjoy for about two minutes while your kitchen is filled with a spice-tastic armoa. (I usually stick my face an inch away from the pot and inhale, its weird, but it smells so darn good I just can’t help myself)
Then add the frozen chickpeas (or whatever other vegetable you are using) and coat in the spice mixture
Once those get warmed and coated in the spices, pour in 1 cup of quinoa, stir, and let it toast up a little bit. 
Then add the water/stock and bring to a boil. A boil by the way looks like this. Lots of bubbles.
Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer. A simmer will be on a really low heat and will have a teeny tiny amount of bubbles hitting the surface. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Don’t take the lid off more than once to check it because the steam that gets trapped inside is how it cooks. While its cooking chop the almonds and slice the cucumbers. 

Once its finished, fluff it with a fork. add the cucumbers and almonds, stir. and eat!! or put it into a container and store it in your fridge for up to 4 days. 5 if you like to push the envelope.