Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

One thing I have enjoyed most about this vegetarian cooking journey are the many different ingredients that can be combined and just how flavorful & healthy our foods can be.  In one of my past post, I shared a recipe for Quinoa-Feta Burgers which were delicious.  Today I’d like to share the Quinoa Black Bean Burger, our Sunday night creation.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), it a highly nutritious gluten-free seed (usually considered to be a whole grain) that contains all eight amino acids, a great source of dietary fiber, B vitamins, iron and PROTEIN!  Quinoa is cooked by boiling water and simmering for around 15 minutes.  I usually cook extra Quinoa , keeping some on hand for vegetable stir fry.

The Quinoa Black Bean Burger was my favorite thus far, and somewhat of a hit with the kids.  They would have preferred if I had left out the chopped yellow bell pepper, but otherwise, they enjoyed it!

1 (15 ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup cooked organic quinoa (I use Nature’s Earthly Choice from Costco)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I use Trader Joe’s organic or Ian’s brand from Earthfare)
1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (*optional)
1 egg
3 tablespoons olive

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Roughly mash the black beans with a fork leaving some whole black beans in a paste-like mixture.

Mix the quinoa, bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, hot pepper sauce, and egg into the black bean mixture using your hands.

Form the black bean mixture into 5 patties.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.

Cook the patties in the hot oil until heated through, about 3 minutes on each side.

*I served our burgers on Arnold’s Whole Wheat thins and added Pepper Jack cheese to the adult burgers and Cheddar Cheese to the children’s burgers.
Servings: 5

Meatless Monday!

Meatless Monday…have you heard of it? Meatless Monday is a movement that was created to encourage individuals to take a look at their diet and cut out meat, one day a week. According to Meatless Monday going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. If you do eat meat on other days, Meatless Monday strongly recommends grass-fed, hormone-free, locally-raised options whenever possible.

I would like to express that I have no intention of pushing any of my readers to be completely meat free, as I do have the mindset of “all things in moderation.” If you haven’t heard of this wonderful movement, I encourage you to visit their website at http://www.meatlessmonday.com.

Meatless Monday was a big motivator when I was first venturing into the “meat free” territory of cooking. It’s amazing how starting out one night a week “meat free” led to our whole week of dinners being “meat free” and now it’s just a way of life!

So, what are you having for dinner tonight? I will be cooking up my Extra Easy Spinach Lasagna! (click on the blue to be linked directly to recipe)

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Casserole is one of my favorite side dishes from childhood.  My Mom handed down the recipe to me years ago, and it is also a favorite side dish with my family today.  It is great served alongside of chicken or turkey, and we actually will serve it with other vegetable sides for a meat free dinner. KID FRIENDLY!

2 packages frozen chopped broccoli
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup (I use an organic one from Earthfare)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 cup grated 2 % cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
breadcrumbs *keep to the side
3 tablespoons butter *keep to the side

1. Cook broccoli & drain
2. Mix all ingredients (except for breadcrumbs and 3 tablespoons butter) and place in a lightly greased (I use butter) 8×8 glass casserole dish.
3. Top with breadcrumbs (I use Trader Joe’s Organic Breadcrumbs or Ian’s Original Style)
4. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and drizzle evenly over breadcrumbs
5. Bake at 350 covered for 25 minutes and 15 minutes uncovered until breadcrumbs start to brown.

6-8 servings

Strawberry Spinach Salad

One of my favorite “go to” lunches is a strawberry spinach salad.  Packed full of vitamins and nutrients this salad is easy to make and quite flavorful.

organic spinach
organic strawberries (cut and rinsed)
organic braeburn apple (peeled, cored, diced)
organic goat cheese (crumbled)
balsamic dressing (I used Tessemae’s All Natural: olive oil,lemons,garlic,mustard,balsamic vinegar,sea salt)

Mix ingredients together and enjoy

Quinoa-Feta Burgers

I am excited to share one of my new “favorites” in Vegetarian dishes.  This recipe was found in one of my favorite magazines, Whole Living.  The June edition has a great spread called “Grill Talk” with delicious and healthy alternatives to beef.  This truly is a fantastic tasting burger and is packed with nutrients, protein and fiber.  I do hope you will give it a try!


  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled feta
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 egg whites, lightly whisked
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 whole-wheat buns, grilled ( I used Arnold’s Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins)
  • Whole-grain mustard, for serving
  • Grilled onions, for serving (*see tip below)


  1. In a bowl, mash beans into a thick paste and mix in shallot, carrot, quinoa, parsley, feta, salt, and egg whites.
  2. Form mixture into six patties and chill 30 minutes.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, directly on grill grates or on stove top, and cook patties until golden (add remaining tablespoon oil if cooking in batches), 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  4. Serve on buns with mustard, grilled onions, and romaine. (I served mine on Arnold’s Sandwich Thins)

*For grilled onions, drizzle slices with oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill over medium-high heat, turning, until tender and charred, 6 to 8 minutes.

 Yield:  6

Antioxidant Smoothie

Happy Monday!  Today I decided to try something new and break away from our traditional morning Superfood Smoothie.  This smoothie is packed with antioxidants and is delicious.  Give it a try and see what you think.  Kid tested and KID FRIENDLY!

1.5 cups combined organic frozen blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
1.5 cups organic spinach
1 whole banana (peeled)
1 to 2 tbs flax or chia seed
1 cup water

Blend and ENJOY.

Fruity Green Chia Smoothie

I decided to introduce GREEN back into our daily afternoon snack, today’s choice: ROMAINE LETTUCE.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C. Romaine lettuce is also a very good source of dietary fiber and 4 minerals.  In order to keep the romaine from being too overbearing in taste I added an array of yummy fruit.  If you are having trouble getting your kids to drink something GREEN, how about naming your drink something fun, like THE GREEN HULK.  Use your creativity.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly it will change your child’s perception.

Also included in today’s smoothie were my new favorite Chia Seeds.  I use The Chia Co.  Chia Seeds are the richest plant based source of Omega 3, dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants.

This smoothie is smooth in taste and KID FRIENDLY.

2 large leaves of organic romaine
2 ripe bananas, peeled
1 organic orange, peeled and seeded
1 mango
1/2 pineapple cored (can add more pineapple to increase sweetness)
1/2 cup water
1 cup ice
1-2 tbs black chia seeds


Yield: 4