Pizza Quinoa Burgers

by Susan on June 24, 2017

I love veggie burgers, but unless I can verify the ingredients I’m wary to order them when I’m out. A lot contain soy and/or gluten, and it’s a huge disappointment when a restaurant serves up patties that came straight from a box. I much prefer to make them myself, and love that this version was easy to make and enjoyed by everyone. How can you go wrong with pizza, after all?

These aren’t going to win any beauty contest, as quinoa is certainly not the prettiest of foods. Make sure you mash up the beans well to created a balanced burger. Since beans are a bit heartier these aren’t a terribly fragile veggie burger (a definite plus!).

The burgers themselves are gluten and dairy-free and you can easily skip the cheese I added on top. My kids ate theirs on gluten-free English muffins and I put mine on a salad. A little olive oil and balsamic vinegar paired with it perfectly. The sky’s the limit for topping options, but I do think basil was a great addition. A dollop of pesto or a little pizza sauce would be delicious as well.

Pizza Quinoa Burgers

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup organic tomato paste
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp. onion powder
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup canned organic pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
gluten-free burger buns or English muffins
toppings of choice (I used sliced fresh mozzarella and basil leaves)

Combine the quinoa, water, and 1/4 tsp of the salt in a small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 12-15 minutes until all of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mash beans well with a fork, then stir together with the quinoa, tomato paste, seasoning and garlic cloves. Form the mixture into patties, and place on a greased or parchment-covered baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Flip carefully and bake an additional 5-6 minutes. Let burgers cool completely before removing from baking sheet.

If desired, you can top the burgers with sliced fresh mozzarella cheese for the last 5 minutes of bake time. Serve them topped with your choice of fixings (such as sliced tomato, basil leaves, pizza sauce, pesto, sliced black olives).

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BBQ Baked Beans

by Susan on June 21, 2017

bbq baked beans

My son and I are huge Food Network Star fans; while we’re enjoying the current season, I’m not sure we have a favorite contender yet. We both loved Eddie Jackson when he competed a couple of seasons ago, so when I came up his take on this classic dish I just had to try it. What better time to make it than on the first full day of summer?

This one is easy to make as it doesn’t require dried beans, but you do have to allow enough time for it to bake for the flavors to really marry. Since you’re using canned pork and beans, definitely seek out a healthy variety. I used the Pacific brand, which is completely organic. A lot of conventional varieties use high fructose corn syrup for sweetness, caramel color and artificial flavors.

I added a chopped bell pepper to the recipe to boost the nutrition, and went with Annie’s organic BBQ sauce to keep it clean and a bit lower in sugar.

This smelled heavenly while it was in the oven! Both kids kept asking when it was time for dinner. Served up with a big green salad it was just the meal to usher in summer.

As written this recipe is gluten and dairy-free.

BBQ Baked Beans
adapted from Eddie Jackson

4 strips thick-cut nitrite-free bacon
1 small chopped white onion (about 11/4 cups)
3 (15-oz.) cans organic pork and beans
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbs.  yellow mustard
1 tbs. palm sugar
2 tsp. barbecue seasoning or rub
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until just before it becomes crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon, and drain on plate lined with paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Set bacon aside to cool.
Add onion to hot drippings in skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are nice and tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir together cooked onions, pork and beans, barbecue sauce, vinegar, mustard, sugar, barbecue rub, oil and salt in a lightly greased 2-quart casserole dish. Finely chop drained bacon; spread evenly over top of bean mixture.
Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven until slightly reduced and bubbly, about 11/2 hours.

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