Beans, Main Dishes, Recipes

Black Bean Burgers #CookoutWeek

The BEST black bean burgers you will ever have! Promise. These burgers are a great addition to your next cookout… even if you aren’t a vegetarian. (And let me say… your vegetarian friends will love you for having these on hand too!)

The BEST black bean burgers you will ever have! Promise. These burgers are a great addition to your next cookout... even if you aren't a vegetarian. (And let me say... your vegetarian friends will love you for having these on hand too!) #CookoutWeek 2017

I’m not vegetarian, but I still love me some black bean burgers! I have been making this recipe for many years now and they’re always a huge success. My meat lover husband (and carnivore son… seriously, that kid enjoys his protein. Usually. Except last night when he threw his turkey sloppy joes all over the floor until we let him feed himself with a fork. Yup.) enjoys these burgers every time I make them, much to his surprise.

Back in my grad school days we got into eating more vegetarian food as a way to save money, save the earth (Meatless Monday and all), and to experiment in the kitchen. I made various bean burgers. Most were edible, some were good, some were complicated, some were dry, some fell apart, and some went in the trash (when I didn’t use my husband’s lunch to finish them *ahem sweet potato burgers ahem*). But these… these black bean burgers have stuck around. They’re made with quinoa, sauteed carrots and onions, and a few standard pantry spices/seasonings like paprika, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, ketchup, soy sauce, and Sriracha. Even though you won’t find any meat in them, they still have a hearty, burger-like texture with a ton of flavor that you are sure to love. You can top these burgers with all your fave burger toppings–cheese, avocado, tomato… the possibilities are endless!

The BEST black bean burgers you will ever have! Promise. These burgers are a great addition to your next cookout... even if you aren't a vegetarian. (And let me say... your vegetarian friends will love you for having these on hand too!) #CookoutWeek 2017

One of my favorite aspects of these burgers is that they freeze SO WELL. I’m not just saying that; they really do. I love making a double batch of these burgers on the weekend. After eating one fresh, I like to freeze the rest on a baking sheet for a few hours, then transfer them to a zip-top bag. They can last up to two months in the freezer and still taste great, but I usually find that we’ve eaten them much faster than that! They’re wonderful to pull out of the freezer for a quick weekday lunch. Even if I don’t have burger buns on hand, they’re great with a lettuce wrap, on a salad, or even just eaten alone. Plus, if you have a bag of these in the freezer, you’ll be set when vegetarian friends and family come over for a cookout. There’s nothing worse than realizing you don’t have anything on hand for them to eat… and these black bean burgers taste way better than the frozen kind you can buy at the grocery store. Your vegetarian friends are sure to appreciate you after that… and your meat-eating pals may even be swayed with how tasty these burgers are! 🙂 Enjoy!

Don’t forget to enter the #CookoutWeek 2017 giveaway, happening NOW! Lots of great prizes and an easy entry!

Tell me: what’s your favorite vegetarian dish for a cookout?

Check out some other delicious cookout recipes shared today for #CookoutWeek here!

one year ago: Avalanche Cookies
two years ago: Peach Cobbler Scones

three years ago: Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
four years ago: Double Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes
five years ago: Cilantro Lime Hummus
six years ago: Rhubarb Muffins

Black Bean Burgers

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

The BEST black bean burgers you will ever have! Promise. These burgers are a great addition to your next cookout... even if you aren't a vegetarian. (And let me say... your vegetarian friends will love you for having these on hand too!) #CookoutWeek 2017

from Bake Your Day

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (sometimes I use chicken broth instead)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • 1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups black beans)
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (Worcestershire sauce works in a pinch too)
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1/2-1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • to serve as desired: buns, lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese, avocado, mayonnaise, etc.

Directions:

Prepare quinoa as directed on package, using broth instead of water.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute carrots and onion until soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, another minute. Remove from heat and stir in spices: paprika, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, and cayenne. Season to taste with black pepper and salt.

In a food processor or large bowl, combine black beans and cooked carrot mixture. Pulse together a few times to break down the black beans. A potato masher is a great tool for this if you don’t have or don’t want to use a food processor. Beans still should have some substance to them, so don’t obliterate them completely.

Stir in ketchup, soy sauce, and Sriracha. Fold in quinoa, 1/2 cup panko, and egg. Mix well to combine. Shape into 1/2 cup patties. If the patties don’t hold together well, gradually add up to another 1/2 cup panko until they do. Place on a plate or baking sheet, then cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 48 hours before cooking.

When ready to cook, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook patties for 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown and heated through.

Serve on a bun or in a lettuce wrap with your favorite burger toppings and enjoy!

Notes:

These burgers freeze so well! Make a batch or two to keep on hand for busy nights, quick lunches, or vegetarian guests at your next cookout.

If you’re spice averse, you may be wary of the cayenne and the Sriracha. You can omit, of course, but they really aren’t spicy at all! Just FYI. 🙂

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Pumpkin Quinoa Oatmeal Bake | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek
Breakfast, Oatmeal, Recipes

#PumpkinWeek: Pumpkin Quinoa Oatmeal Bake

Pumpkin oatmeal meets quinoa in this hearty, healthy baked breakfast dish!

Pumpkin Quinoa Oatmeal Bake | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek

Welcome back to#PumpkinWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections. We are celebrating our love of the season with a whole week of pumpkin goodies, leading up to National Pumpkin Day on October 26th. This week, 17 food bloggers are sharing tons of yummy recipes, both sweet and savory. You can also find these great recipes and more on Love and Confections’ #PumpkinWeek Pinterest Board. Today I have a delicious breakfast to share with you. Baked oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts, and in the fall, this Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal is one of my go-to choices. But you know me… I always want to try something new! And this something new is definitely a good thing! 🙂

Pumpkin Quinoa Oatmeal Bake | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek

For awhile now, I’ve seen recipes using quinoa, barley, or farro as a pseudo-oatmeal. I’ve gotta admit though–while those recipes SOUND good, they also seem a little scary. Old breakfast habits die hard, I suppose. To ease my way into this breakfast madness, I decided to combine quinoa with oatmeal in a baked breakfast dish. I added tons of pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree to make this dish seasonally appropriate. It was such a hardship, let me tell you. Ha. Not at all!

Pumpkin Quinoa Oatmeal Bake | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek

I should have known to always trust quinoa. And pumpkin. 🙂 This breakfast was so great! I enjoyed it a few ways–warm with cinnamon as pictured above, warm in a bowl with some Greek yogurt and maple syrup, and warm in a bowl with almond milk and some maple syrup and dried fruit. The bake is also hearty enough to just be cut and served at room temperature. I think it could be excellent with some peanut butter or even pumpkin butter spread on top. Mmmm! I’ll have to make it again soon. I always get good serving ideas after everything’s all gone. 🙂 Enjoy!

Pumpkin Quinoa Oatmeal Bake | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek

two years ago: Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce
three years ago: Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
four years ago: Oatmeal Scones

Pumpkin Quinoa Oatmeal Bake

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

adapted from my baked oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk + more for serving
  • Greek yogurt, for serving

Directions:

In a small saucepan, cook 1/2 cup quinoa in 1 cup water according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10 inch round casserole dish [a pie plate or square baking dish will work too, but cooking time may vary].

Meanwhile, whisk together oil, pumpkin, maple syrup, and egg. Fold in oats, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice. When quinoa has cooled down, add quinoa, vanilla, and milk, stirring to combine.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth out if necessary. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until firm and golden brown.

Serve warm with almond milk or Greek yogurt, plus additional sweetener/dried fruits/nuts if desired.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek

Check out all the #PumpkinWeek Bloggers and their recipes:

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Truffles by Love and Confections

Pumpkin-Vanilla Bean Madeleines by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

White Chocolate Drizzled Pumpkin Scones by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

S’mores Pumpkin Pie by The Spiffy Cookie

Homemade Pumpkin Puree by Happy Food Healthy Life

Pumpkin Mole by Curious Cuisiniere

Drunken Pumpkin Seeds by Life Tastes Good

Pumpkin Roll by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Pumpkin Lasagna by My Catholic Kitchen

Cinnamon Pumpkin Bread by Making Miracles

Pumpkin Quinoa Oatmeal Bake by The Pajama Chef

Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Pancakes by Dizzy Busy and Hungry

Appetizers, Recipes

#10DaysofTailgate: Hot Mexican Quinoa Dip

This cheesy, Mexican-inspired quinoa dip is packed with protein and veggies for a semi-healthy tailgating treat! 

Hot Mexican Quinoa Dip | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

This week I’m sharing tailgate-style recipes as part of #10DaysofTailgate, the special blogging event I am participating in through the rest of the month. This event has been graciously organized by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. While you’re thinking about it, be sure to pop over here to read all about the event and enter the giveaway. You won’t regret it! 🙂

#10DaysofTailgate Sponsors

One tailgating [or homegating] staple for me is dips. Cheesy, creamy, delectable dips that I can dunk tortilla chips in are my favorite thing ever! Notice that I didn’t say I’d dip veggies in dip. I’m not above healthifying a cheesy recipe, but I AM above dipping veggies in a cheesy dip. That’s just weird. For dips, tortilla chips > veggies, imo.

Hot Mexican Quinoa Dip | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

This Hot Mexican Quinoa Dip is full of all my favorite things! It’s a twist off of seven layer dip, and it’s even more delicious because it’s hot, gooey, and bubbly. I don’t think there are quite seven layers: black beans [pureed with garlic, cayenne, cilantro, and cottage cheese–weird-ish I know, but adds protein and makes ’em creamy], quinoa, cheese, bell peppers, salsa, avocado, tomatoes, green onion, and cilantro. I guess that’s nine layers! Extra yum, huh?

Hot Mexican Quinoa Dip | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

Ben and I ate almost the entire pan of this one Saturday night while watching a movie–it is that good! It almost reminds me of a black bean quinoa casserole that I’ve made before, except you eat it with chips so it’s extra fun. For some reason I feel a bit uninspired writing about it… but know this: it is amazing and addicting and perfect for anything from tailgating to a girls’ night in! Enjoy!

one year ago: Sweet ‘n Spicy Apple BBQ Chicken & Slaw
three years ago: Homemade Chipotle Bowls
four years ago: Buffalo Ranch Chicken Dip

Hot Mexican Quinoa Dip

  • Servings: 16
  • Print

from The Lean Green Bean

Ingredients:

for the beans

  • 2 cups black beans
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup water

for remaining ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup shredded cheese – cheddar, Mexican blend, etc. your choice!
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • hot sauce, optional
  • tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

Grease a 9×9 inch pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the beans and process until mostly all ingredients are incorporated. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth. Add extra water if necessary to thin it out.

Spread half of the bean mixture on the bottom of the pan. Top with half of the quinoa, half the bell pepper, half the cheese, and half the salsa. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool for a few minutes, then top with avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions. Serve with tortilla chips and hot sauce if desired.

Here’s what the rest of the team brought to the table…

Starters
Beer Battered Fried Pickles with Pickle Dipping Sauce
 by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
DBLT Wraps by Miss Laura’s Kitchen
Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup by From Gate to Plate
Bacon-Wrapped Potato Wedges by Making Miracles

Dips
Hot Mexican Quinoa Dip
 by The Pajama Chef
Deviled Egg Dip by From Gate to Plate

Mains
Pretzel Dogs El Diablo
 by A  Day in the Life on the Farm
Carrot Habanero Duck Meatballs by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Curried Maple Leaf Farms Duck Mini Meat Pies by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Sweets
Quince Butter Thumbprint Cookies
 by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Main Dishes, Quinoa, Recipes, Sides, Turkey

Mystery Dish: Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa + Cookbook Giveaway

These Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa are tied together with a creamy mint-almond pesto. An easy, healthy dinner that comes together quickly!

Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa | thepajamachef #mysterydish

I had a really tough time with this month’s Mystery Dish. I’m not sure why–pretty much ALL the ingredients on the list are things I love. I was just uninspired I guess. But I don’t think my recipe reflects that… this meal was pretty darn delicious. Andi from Weary Chef was our host and she asked us to use three ingredients from this list: pistachios, wine, mint, gluten-free flour, red pepper flakes, fish, agave nectar, applesauce, blueberries, parmesan cheese, milk, and corn.

A couple weekends ago, we were going to grill turkey burgers [Ben makes a to die for turkey burger with Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper] but we were rained out and I had some ground turkey thawed in the fridge. We could have grilled indoors, but instead I decided to make some Mystery Dish magic with these Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa. And you guys… they are so good! I love a good turkey meatball anyway, but add some fresh mint to your typical garlic and onion mixture and they’re definitely amped up a notch. To fulfill the ingredient requirement, I used gluten free flour to help hold the meatballs together and red pepper flakes instead of normal black pepper. In hindsight, I wish I would have used more flour because the meatballs didn’t hold together super well. Though that was three ingredients, I decided to make the flavors even more apparent by making a mint pesto to serve over the meatballs and to toss with the quinoa I decided to serve on the side. If quinoa isn’t your thing, try rice, pasta, or some other grain/starch. Though my pesto wasn’t a true pesto it was still pretty addictive and a great sauce that was nutty, minty, and creamy all at once.

Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa | thepajamachef #mysterydish

The mint in this dish balances perfectly with the crushed red pepper. I was somewhat generous with the red pepper flakes, but it was definitely an approachable level of spiciness so if you aren’t a spicy person you’ll be okay here. I was supposed to tell you that that description was Ben’s idea, and I was threatened with a lawsuit if I didn’t. 🙂 Ha ha, a lawsuit from my husband. Moving on… I loved how minty this dish is… enough flavor to make things interesting but not so much you think you’re eating toothpaste. I love having a great repertoire of healthy, easy dinners and I know this dish will go into my usual rotation. Hope you give it a try!

And, as a special treat since we’ve been Mystery Dishin’ it up for a YEAR now [whoa], we have a special giveaway for our lovely readers… copies of cookbooks from MasterChef Season 3 Winner Christine Ha and Season 4 Winner Luca Manfe! I wish I could win! Go HERE to enter.

Enjoy!

one year ago: Roasted Peach Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel 
two years ago: Brown Rice, Feta, and Tomato Salad
three years ago: Healthy “Fried” Rice –> I make this ALL the time with different veggies, meat, and/or tofu. A must try!
four years ago: Cornmeal Pizza Dough in the Breadmaker

Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Ingredients:

for meatballs

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca flour [or other flour, gluten free or otherwise + more if you need it]
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • crushed red pepper flakes, about 1/2 teaspoon or to taste

for quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water [or stock if preferred]
  • 1 cup prepared pesto [above]

for pesto

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint
  • 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons half and half
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan
  • crushed red pepper flakes, about 1/4 teaspoon or to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs–garlic, green onion, mint, flour, egg, turkey, and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste. Mix well with your hands, then shape into 16 meatballs. Place half the meatballs in the preheated skillet and cook on each side for about 2 minutes per side until browned all over. Remove meatballs from skillet and place in a large oven safe dish, misted with cooking spray if not nonstick. Repeat with remaining meatballs then bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.

While meatballs are cooking, prepare quinoa according to package directions. Bring rinsed quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes until all water is absorbed.

Prepare pesto by combining mint, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons half and half, and almonds in a food processor. Pulse until combined, adding more oil and/or half and half if desired. Stir in parmesan and red pepper flakes to taste. Pesto yields about 1 cup.

When quinoa is ready, pour about 3/4 cup pesto in the quinoa and stir to combine. Serve meatballs with quinoa and reserved mint pesto, along with sides like green beans or crusty bread.

Be sure to check out what my Mystery Dish pals whipped up this month:

Mystery Dish | thepajamachef.com

  1. Tuna Tacos with Avocado Corn Salsa by The Weary Chef
  2. Blueberry Scones by Yummy Healthy Easy
  3. Parmesan Crusted Tilapia by Culinary Couture
  4. Minty Berry Fruit Roll Ups by I Want Crazy
  5. Baked Blueberry Donuts by Chez CateyLou
  6. Hearty Minestrone Soup by Joyful Healthy Eats
  7. Blueberry Lemon Pannacotta with Pistachio Tuilles by Flavor the Moments
  8. Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa by The Pajama Chef
  9. Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake by I Dig Pinterest
  10. Pistachio Drop Scones with Blueberry Compote by The Well Floured Kitchen
  11. Grilled Corn & Blueberry Flatbread with Whipped Goat Cheese, Pistachios, and Basil Vinaigrette by Baking a Moment
  12. Pistachio Crusted Tilapia and Peach Salad by Blahnik Baker

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.

Quinoa, Recipes, Sides

Kale Quinoa Salad

When I was asked to cater the bridal shower, I was told that the bride loooved kale and quinoa. This salad was the direct inspiration of that. Well, and of Smitten Kitchen. Ha. But anyways, this kale quinoa salad is just SO good, you guys. It’s so fresh and delightful, I could seriously eat it for breakfast and be happy. With a fried egg on top? Oh goodness, I think I’m going to try that really soon.

Kale Quinoa Salad | thepajamachef.com

Like any kale or quinoa salad, the sky’s the limit on mix ins. I just used some basic, affordable pantry staples: dried cranberries, almonds, and feta, but feel free to adjust based on your preferences. I’m a huge pistachio fan myself and think think that would be yummy. Oh, and don’t skip the dressing! Sometimes I just wanna do a basic olive oil rub on kale or quinoa but taking a couple minutes to mix up this vinaigrette-eqse dressing is totally worth it. Enjoy!

Kale Quinoa Salad | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Mexican Rice
two years ago: Black Bean Wraps

Kale Quinoa Salad [adapted from Smitten Kitchen]
click to print

Ingredients:

for salad

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 8 ounces kale, stems removed and thinly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries [or cherries]
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

for dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, as desired

Directions:

In a large bowl, toss together quinoa, kale, cranberries, and scallions. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients: olive oil, viengar,lemon juice, mustard, honey, and dill. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to set. Top with almonds and feta just before eating.

Time: 40 minutes [10 minutes active].
Yield: 6-8 servings.