Taste: Black Bean Quinoa Lettuce Burgers

Black Bean Quinoa Lettuce Burgers.

This recipe was solely inspired by my sister and bro-in-law. Over Christmas break, Lauren mentioned to me that her hubby makes quinoa burgers by adding an egg and some spices to leftover quinoa and they're "so delicious." I figured I would experiment a little and give it a try. I'm delighted at how easy these are to make and how deliciously they turned out! Many thanks to Lauren and the ALWAYS creative-in-the-kitchen Brent. You two inspired this radical meal.

Stevie is already asking for it again.


- 2 cups cooked quinoa

- 1 cup cilantro, chopped

- 1/2 cup black beans

- 1/2 avocado, diced

- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

- 1/4 cup diced tomatoes

- 2 eggs

- 1 medium carrot, or 5-6 baby carrots

- Cheese slices (I used mozzarella, because its my fave)

- 1 tsp. ground cumin

- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper

- 1 tsp. salt

- 1 dash of red chili pepper

- 2 tbsp. olive oil

- A dash of paprika

- 2 tbsp. Veganaise

- Lettuce (in place of buns)

*Note: I've started using Nayonaise, a vegan verson of mayonnaise per the sort of strict cookbook It's All Good. I don't have any kind of issue with mayonnaise, other than it is fattening, and this is an easy way to deliver flavor without the same amount of calories. You can easily sub another topping (like hummus or salsa) if you don't have any in your fridge, but it's worth trying out! I've been pleased.


1. Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Add quinoa, reduce heat, and continue to simmer for 10-15 mins., until all the liquid is absorbed.

2. Add cilantro, black beans, avocado, diced tomatoes, eggs, panko bread crumbs, cumin, red chili pepper and a generous dash of salt and pepper to the quinoa and mix well. This mixture should be vibrantly colorful by now! Set aside.

3. Place the carrot(s) in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chopped carrots to the quinoa mixture. Mix well.

4. Form 3/4 lb. patties with the quinoa mixture. Yes, your hands will get messy, but its kind of therapeutic, too!

5. Heat a large nonstick skillet to medium and drizzle with olive oil. Wait for the pan to get hot, then place patties on the skillet. Cook until browned, about 8 minutes on each side (16 minutes per patty.) Once you flip the patty to the second side, place a slice of cheese on top to melt nicely. Mmm.

6. Serve the patties smeared with veganaise, topped with a dash of paprika and wrapped in lettuce. So healthy and SO ADDICTIVE.


Seriously, these are GREAT. A little bit spicy and a little bit savory. The fun part is that you can even make this with leftover quinoa from a previous meal. Add in all kinds of spices and just have fun with it - you can't go wrong with a burger! Let me know if you give it a try!

Bon Appetit!

TASTE: Pecan Pear Chicken Salad (With Greek Yogurt instead of Mayo!)

Pecan Pear Chicken Salad.

This idea just came to me one (hungry) day. I had roasted chicken leftovers and I wanted to do something with them, so I thought... chicken salad! Yes! But in an attempt to lighten it up a bit, I swapped the creamy mayo with Greek yogurt (and used less, too.) The pecans and pear addition are a nice nod to autumnal flavor, making this a great lunch idea. Now that I think about it... this is the perfect addition to my at-home tea time lunches! Now all I need is a girlfriend here who wants to indulge with me... tea time, anyone?? Really... anyone...?


- 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken

- 1 small pear, chopped

- 1/4 cup pecans

- 1/8 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

- 2 (heaping) tbsp. plain Greek yogurt

- Pepper (to taste)

- Ginger (to taste)

- honey (just a drizzle)


- 1/4 sliced avocado

- 2 slices multi-grain bread (or a tortilla)


1. Combine the shredded chicken, chopped pear, pecans, cheese & yogurt. Mix them all in a bowl and add a pinch of pepper and ginger.

2. I chose to make a sandwich, so I topped a slice of multi-grain bread with the chicken salad and added some sliced avocado on top (for funsies.) Drizzle with some honey, it absolutely tops off the taste.

Note: you can also put the chicken salad in a tortilla or on top of a salad. Yum!

Enjoy your yummy autumn-inspired lunch!

TASTE: Very Berry-licios Salad

 I have never been a huge fan of salads. I'm a woman, so apparently I should love salad and rightfully gorge myself on it. As if it's some badge of honor. This is one of the huge disappointments I've found with being a member of my gender. Apparently all self-respecting women should just eat lettuce as a meal. This proves you're "taking care of yourself" or something. Ew. I am just not one of those rabbit-like salad eaters. I like protein. I like fruit. I like cheese. And throw in a little wine. So sue me. No don't. But for REAL throw in some bread and I'm a happy girl.

Here's the Deal.

I decided to create a GOOD salad. I'm gonna go ahead and tell you that this is a success story. Read on.

My delicious tasty oh-so-yummy salad consists of:

- A handful of Romaine Lettuce

- Another handful of Spinach

- 1/4 sliced avocado

- 1/4 cup blueberries

- 1/4 cup sliced cucumbers

- 1/4 cup sliced kiwi

- A smattering of sunflower seeds

- A sprinkling of sliced almonds

- A light shower of grated Parmesan cheese

- A pinch-ful of fresh Rosemary

- Salt and Pepper to taste

Lets Dress* it up:

- 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, quartered

- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

- 1 tbsp. olive oil

- 1 tbsp. agave nectar

- 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

*This dressing has been adapted from the Gluten-Free Goddess recipe for "Berry Dressing"


1. Combine all the "salad stuff."

2. Combine all the "dressing fixings" into a food processor. Blend until mostly smooth (it will be textured) and then toss delightfully over the delicious yummy salad. Bring on the taste.

// I canned my dressing in ball jars. Just a bit of my Southern roots coming out. And yes, that is my specialty quiche, as well. //

My friends agreed. I may or may not have made this in honor of a ladies lunch and bridge club session. I would normally feel embarrassed of what you think of me for saying that, but for some surprising reason I just don't. I'm learning to play bridge and learning to love salad. And this was a goooooooooood salad. Enjoy your taste buds again, ladies. And eat your heart out. You're welcome.