As we sat down to eat these delicious veggie burgers, I started laughing. I have a knack for turning all things vegetarian into some form of non-vegetarian dish. This dish can (and probably should) be made into a vegetarian dish. However, I choose to cook the quinoa in chicken broth. You know, for the sake of deliciousness.
While I was making these burgers, I was also planning my grubHub order just in case this dinner was an epic fail. It actually turned into one of the most amazing dishes I’ve cooked in a long time. The most plesant surprise, it saves well for lunch the next day too!
I found this recipe on Pintrest a while back, but I amended it based on the ingredients of my kitchen. As long as you keep the “base” ratio the same you can adjust how to spice up your burger. This recipe will make four burgers.
Quinoa Sweet Potato Burgers
1/3 cup quinoa
3/4 cup liquid (I used chicken broth)
1 cup cooked sweet potato
1/2 cup canned white kidney beans (or kind of white bean will work, I think chickpeas would be delicious)
2 cloves garlic
2 TBS of seasoning (I used my Napa Valley Rub I purchased at the most beautifully displayed spice market in Napa. It is a blended seasoning that consists of: sun dried tomatoes, rosemary, lemon peel, fennel, black pepper, chili, garlic, citric acid and sea salt).
1/2 cup bread crumbs
whole wheat hamburger buns
For the toppings, I whipped up some guacamole and fried shallots
1 ripe avocado cut into chunks
1 tbs of salsa
small handful of ripe cherry tomato cut in half
1 Tbs olive oil
Start by boiling water for the sweet potatoes
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into chunks
place into boiling water and cook until soft (10 minutes depending on size of the potatoes)
Start the shallots: Thinly slice up shallots and place in non-stick pan over medium heat w/ oil. Stir every so often until you notice the onions turning golden brown. As you are preparing the rest of the meal, keep an eye on shallots, stirring more frequently as they brown. Remove from heat when they are all dark golden brown (this takes about 15 minutes under low heat) — set aside
In a small sauce pan, cook quinoa for 10-5 minutes (1/3 grain + liquid, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer)
While the Quinoa, shallots and potatoes are cooking, in your food processor (or by using a potato masher by hand) roughly chop 1/2 cup white beans and garlic. You do not want this to look like baby food.
Once the potatoes are soft, gently pulse through food processor and mix into bean mixture
Add seasoning and quinoa
Shape into patties and coat with breadcrumbs
Cook patties in a little bit of oil for 4-5 minutes on each side. They should look crispy and golden brown on each side.
Start the Guacamole: While the patties are cooking, gently combine the avocado, salsa and tomatoes.
Every morning before work I walk into my favorite cafe and grab a cup of coffee. This cafe is actually a chain, but it is run by locals. They have yummy coffee and delicious pastries. One of my favorite quick-fix breakfast grabs is their mini quiches. For only four bucks, you can get a cup of coffee and a mini-quiche. With the intention of saving some for the weekdays, I set off to whip up my own mini-quiche for Sunday breakfast.
Mini Cheddar Bacon Quiche (makes 12)
What you will need:
1/3 cup milk
4 slices Cheddar cheese (I used sliced cheddar cheese and cut each slide into 12 squares)
1 small onion (roughly cut into 4 pieces)
1 small handful of shredded carrots
Preparing the ingredients:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and throughly grease the muffin tin
Using a food processer, chop onion and carrots for about 5 seconds
Whip eggs and milk for about 30-45 seconds until frothy
Use the following measurements to distribute ingredients between the muffin tins:
1 tsp of carrot/onion mix
1/4 cup egg mixture
4 squares of cheddar cheese
a large pinch of crumbled bacon
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Use a small spatula to remove the quiches.
When I am stumped about what to have for dinner, I usually result to one of the following: quinoa, grilled cheese, pasta, or tacos. A while back, I wanted to spice up my mundane tacos, into a taco salad.
Taco Bowl Salad:
Avocado (make into guacomoli quickly my mushing up with a little garlic powder, salsa and onion powder)
black beans (heat up in microwave or over stove top)
Olive oil spray
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray one side of a tortilla with olive oil or cooking spray (you can probably use butter too). Arrange tortilla inside the bowl so it takes on the shape. Bake for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Then throw the salad toppings inside!
During my domesticity bake-off a month ago I made a huge batch of vegetable corn chowder soup to freeze. This chowder was so delicious, it has turned me on to a flurry of other potato chowder based recipes.
My corn vegetable chowder pre-freezer
One thing I really appreciate about this chowder is how the ratio is just right. You can substitute veggies for what is already in the fridge and it will still turn out (as long as you include the potatoes and corn).
These are the sweet peppers I used, straight from my local produce box
3 tbs butter
1 large onion (diced)
2 medium bell peppers
1/2 tsp thyme
4 medium baking potatoes (pealed and cut)
8 ears of corn
3 cups milk
5 cups liquid (I used 4 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup white wine and 1/2 cup water)
1) In a soup pot, melt butter of medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, carrots and thyme. Cook until soft (about 5 min)
2) add in 1/2 cup white wine and stir into the veggies. Slowly pour in milk and liquid/broth then add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft
3) While the soup is simmering, cut the corn . After 10 minutes, stir in corn, salt and pepper, let simmer about 3 minutes.
4) Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture together so that it creates a creamy chowder. (optional)
Before I froze the whole batch of soup, I set aside a bowl for lunch…
Serve soup immediately or keep in freezer for about 3 months. One last comment, it is surprisingly hard to find vegetarian freezer meals. As long as you substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth, this is a great vegetarian option!
I recently returned from a family adventure to Southern California. Every-time I get together with my family, we spend the entire time eating. Thus, after our intense bonding time is over, all I want to do is eat salad.
Disneyland Southern California Adventure
I threw together this kale salad with random things I had in my kitchen. The main take away is adding the edamame to the salad takes this dish from a side to a main course.
Pear Gorgonzola Kale Salad
Slivered almonds (small handful)
1 cup edamame (cooked no shells)
Directions: Cook edamame according to directions. Sprinkle a little bit of olive oil over kale and massage with your hands for about 1-2 minutes. Toss everything on and dress. I used pear Gorgonzola dressing from Trader Joe’s.
A few weekends ago, I decided to turn into a 50′s housewife and make a bunch of frozen dinners.
One of the recipes I found was for chicken pot pies with ham. I found this recipe curiosity of the website Delish, however it’s original origins are in from Martha Stewart.
These are mini, individual sized chicken and ham pot pies that freeze very well. I have adjusted to recipe mainly to accommodate what I had in the house at the time, but also in attempt to make this recipe with whole wheat pie crust.
Chicken Pot Pies with Ham
Pre-heat oven to 350 when you are ready to bake up your pies. Frozen pies take about an hour, unfrozen takes about 40 minutes.
1carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 lb of green beans (chopped)
about 12 radishes (sliced)
1fennel bulb, cored and chopped
1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
Individual-sized pie crusts in the metal tins (found in the frozen food section)
For the Dough:
The first time I made this I didn’t have individual pie tins, so I purchased them from the frozen food section. Because I still wanted to have a pie topping, I made my own dough in the food processor. This recipe makes the perfect amount of dough to top 6 individual sized pies. Going forward, I will probably tripple to recipe to make the whole pie crust.
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3-4 Tbs water
In a food processor add the dry ingredients and pulse.
Then slowly add the cubed butter until mixed in.
Lastly add water 1 Tbs at a time until you have reached pie dough consistency.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, then divide into 6 and roll out with flour.
For the Filling
This image shows how to cut leeks and fennel
Chop, slice and dice all the veggies. Gently saute the leeks, followed by the fennel carrots, radishes and beans (about 8-10 minutes)
Add flour, cook and stir for 1 minute
Gradually add milk and butter, stirring occasionally for until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens (about 5-8 minutes)
Remove from heat, stir in chopped ham, lemon juice and salt/peper to taste. Then divide mixture between pies.
Top with homemade/store bought pie crust.
Wrap up for the freezer. I used the glad press and seal to wrap up my pies.
Recently, I looked at my bank account and I noticed a pattern: public transit, breakfast sandwich, coffee, beer/happy hour with friends, repeat.
Not a typical happy hour, but a really fun way to taste beer at Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa.
Clearly the only subtraction is the breakfast sandwich. So instead of indulging in my delicious morning bad-habit, I decided to make my own breakfast burritos that I can bring to work. It actually saves me a ton of money because they are so filling I do not feel the need to eat a huge lunch.
These are super easy to make ahead and freeze. You can also vary the recipe so it is healthy or moderately gluttonous. When you are ready to eat, microwave for about 2 minutes.
What you will need:
10 whole wheat tortillas
1 package of frozen hash-browns
9 eggs and a couple tablespoons of milk/soy
Sausage, bacon, veggies, or beans
Cook the sausage, scramble the eggs, grill up those hash-browns!
1) Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a cookie sheet, lay out a sheet of foil and arrange the chicken sausages or bacon . If cooking sausages, remember to rotate so all the sides get golden and crisp.
2) cook hash-browns per the directions on the package
3) While the hash-browns cook, arrange squares of foil and the tortillas, put a tiny handful of cheese and about a teaspoon of salsa on each tortilla.
4) Distribute the hash-browns between the tortillas
5) scramble up the nine eggs and milk salt/petter to taste and distribute.
6) add the cooked sausage, bacon and eggs, then wrap up the burritos and freeze!
Assemble as you go, this allows you to use only one pan for the hash-browns and eggs.
Yes, I did just write a haiku about bread crumbs. Mainly because Haikus are often forgotten and yet are so awesome. Secondly, because the process of writing a haiku is about as simple as making your own bread crumbs!
Simple as a Haiku Bread Crumbs
1-2 pieces of your favorite bread (best if day old)
1) In a food processor pulse your bread into crumbs, season if desired.
2) Spread the bread crumbs over a baking sheet. Bake at 250 for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Since I often forget to photograph daily cooking activities, here is a beautiful photograph taken at Monteray this summer.
August has been a busy month full of company, birthdays, family and work. On one of the few Saturday mornings where I was left to my own devices, I turned on PBS and found myself enthralled with a low-budget cooking show. Between testing emersion blenders and marinating steak, this quirky public broadcasting introduced a new way to bake a potato.
What you will need:
1) Wash and dry the potatoes
2) Identify the flattest end of the potato and slice off the skin so the potato will lie flat on the cutting board
Slicing off the bottom. Step 2
3) Sandwich the chopsticks parallel with the potato (hotdog bun style). The chopsticks will provide a sort of guideline to prevent you from chopping the potato in half rather than the intended fan sliver.
Cutting the fans, step 3 & 4
4) Using a knife, carefully cut the potato to make a fan, use the chopsticks on either side to prevent the knife from cutting through the entire potato.
5) Wash out the starch between the fans. If you skip this step the potato will look shriveled, sticky and sad.
6) Microwave the potatoes for 7 minutes and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
7) Once the potatoes finish in the microwave, brush olive oil all over including the fan portions and salt. Bake on a baking sheet for 20 minutes.
The finished product with homemade breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese and paprika topping.
Optional: Make toppings! I used breadcrumbs, shredded cheese and paprika. It makes a delicious potato with a little dollop of sour cream. If you add toppings, turn on broil for a couple of minutes at the end.