I love burgers especially those huge juicy, cheesy ones topped with tons of fun things! However, I am always willing to try new things–especially if means a healthy alternative. In anticipation of our vacation next week, I decided to stick with low carb and low-calorie meals. For that reason I opted to rest the burger on a bed of kale and spinach but I this would be phenomenal on a bun! I tried black bean burgers on their own which were delicious but the quinoa makes the burger a bit more hearty and filling. As far as toppings go, the options are endless. I went with a small scoop of guacamole and some tomatillo salsa I had on hand. You could do caramalized onions, a fried egg, sautéed mushrooms, cheese, and much much more.
1 can black beans
1 cup quinoa
bell peppers (I used baby red, orange and yellow for nice color), chopped
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper for heat (optional)
3 scallions, chopped (you can use onion instead)
2-3 chopped garlic cloves
Avocado for topping
Salt & Pepper
Chili powder (1/2 – 1 TBSP)
Cumin (1 teaspoon)
Cook 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups liquid (water or chicken broth)
Strain the can of black beans and place in a bowl. Using a fork, mash up the beans so it will form into a burger. If you need to add a splash of water it will help the process along.
Add the chopped ingredients to your bean mixture. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the ingredients and if you like lime zest like I do, add some to the bowl as well.
Season with chili powder, salt, pepper and cumin.
Add the cooked quinoa and egg to the bowl and mix well. I made 2 very large burgers with these ingredients. It might be more manageable to make 4 smaller patties – but it’s your call.
Heat a flat pan to medium high heat and spray with olive oil.
Place your burgers on the pan and cook until you crisp up each side and the ingredients head through (about 4-5 minutes per side)
While they are cooking place half an avocado in a bowl with fresh lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well to place on top of your burger.
Serve your healthy and flavor packed black bean burgers!
Fried rice is one of my favorite take out items. I can’t imagine it’s that great for you so why not put a healthy quick on it and make it at home. I made this “fried rice” with quinoa and lots of veggies. Feel free to use any vegetables you like or have on hand. This can also be made with chicken or any other kind of protein. Enjoy!
Shrimp, cleaned and deveined, chopped into bite size pieces
1 cup cooked quinoa
3 scallions, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 stalks of celery or bok choy, chopped
1-2 tsp sesame oil
1 carrot, diced
salt & pepper
A few tbsp soy sauce (to taste)
1/2 tbsp sriracha sauce (more for a spicier kick)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
Seasonings are optional. Fresh cilantro would work well. I have a Chinese dried seasoning blend that I use
Add sesame and vegetable oil to a wok and turn to high heat
Add onion and scallions to the hot pan and saute for 1-2 minutes
Add your egg to the middle of the pan, season with salt and pepper
Add the garlic and the rest of veggies and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and fresh ginger. Then immediately add the quinoa. (the shrimp will only need 3-5 minutes to cook)
I love grilled vegetables, especially in the summer. You can eat them as a side, add them to a pasta dish, put them in a fajita, mix them with rice, or in this case make a very healthy and inexpensive light summer meal with quinoa.
Quinoa is new to me but I have fallen in love with it. The texture is hard to describe but it’s very hearty. Much like rice, quinoa is incredibly versatile so the possibilities are endless. I think it’s fun to try something new once in a while. It’s a bonus when you like it, and a double bonus when it’s good for you too! 🙂
-1 red pepper
-1 red onion
-1 bunch asparagus
-Olive oil or some kind of marinade. I had leftover chimichurri sauce. You can use balsamic vinegar, add fresh herbs and chopped garlic to oil, whatever you like or have on hand.
-1 cup quinoa
-Salt & pepper
-Slice all your veggies and lay them out on a tray. Brush the marinade on both sides of each veggie.
-Add salt & pepper.
-Cook quinoa as instructed on package. (Optional: for more flavor cook in chicken broth and add your favorite herbs)
-Place veggies on hot grill. Cook on both sides for 3 minutes or so. It depends how thick you cut them.
Take veggies off the grill when they are cooked to your liking.
-Cut your veggies up into bite sized pieces, toss in a large bowl and top with your choice of cheese.
This night we had fresh mozzarella so we cut it up and mixed it in. When I took the leftovers to work the next day, I topped it with gorgonzola and heated it up in the microwave- deelish! I imagine feta or parmesan would be great too. Overall, this is a healthy meal you can throw together pretty quick and the leftovers are great. It won’t break the bank or your calorie intake for the day so I recommend you try your own version. Enjoy!