Warm Sesame Green Bean and Quinoa Salad

My mom used to make a recipe similar to this when I was growing up. I think instead of quinoa it might have been brown rice though, obviously, because quinoa is now the trendy thing to eat. And no one had heard of it until about 2 years ago. And now I put it on my face at night as a cleansing mask. Just kidding :) I wish I had a badass story to go along with this but I just got back from a mega long run and I think I just might take a nap instead. Happy Wednesday!

Warm Sesame Green Bean and Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, cooked
3 cups green beans
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon chili paste

In a large bowl combine rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, honey, and chili paste. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Place trimmed green beans in a steamer basket and place over  boiling water. Steam for 3-4 minutes until barely tender. Drain and add to bowl with dressing,  along with cooked quinoa. Toss to coat. This salad is best when served warm, but not hot.


Lemon Blueberry Oat Pancakes

I know it is burger week but..... My friend Lee-Ann always has creative, healthy dishes that she puts on Facebook. She calls these little gems protein pancakes! I have been making them for a bit, but she recently posted the addition of oranges and blueberries. YUM! I didn't have and oranges but who doesn't love the combination of lemons and blueberries. These pancakes are super dense and very filling as well. You could substitute any thing for the lemons and blueberries....chocolate chips, bananas, strawberries. Just know you are replacing the refined sugar and flour of a classic breakfast dish with nutritious oats and protein packed eggs! It's a win-win and a great way to start your day!

Lemon Blueberry Oat Pancakes
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup egg whites (approx. 2 egg whites)
1 egg
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 cup blueberries, halved

The stars of the show!
Put all ingredients, except blueberries,  in a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to play with the ratios until you get a batter that is to liking. Pour into a bowl and fold in blueberries. 

Heat a pan over medium heat and add coconut oil, butter, or vegetable oil. Whichever you can afford :) I know coconut oil is super expensive, but so good for you! Pour about 1/2 cup into pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. These take a little longer than traditional pancakes to cook because of the oats. 

Serve with extra blueberries and your favorite syrup. 


Brown Rice Mushroom Burger

Continuing with the awesomeness that is burger week, we have a nice hearty burger, that is even brown like a real meat burger for you! This one combines protein packed quinoa and some ingredients you might find in a real beef burger like Worcestershire, garlic and onions. The deep brown color of the Worcestershire really make these have a nice color and the bright green parsley adds some nice freshness. They are a little more delicate than our last burgers, because there are no mashed beans for glue. But have a light hand and these are just as delicious! 

Brown Rice Mushroom Burgers

1 cup cooked brown rice 
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup oats
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/2 yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

*You will want rice that is more on the sticky side. So add a little extra water when cooking :)

In a medium pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add chopped mushrooms, garlic, and onions. Cook for 15-20 minutes on medium-low until mushrooms have released their juices and onions are soft. Remove from heat and add to a food processor. Along with mushrooms add cooked rice, oats, parsley, and egg. Pulse until mixture is combined. 

Remove and add to a large bowl along with quinoa, Worcestershire, mustard, hot sauce, salt and pepper. stir to combine. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Form 3 inch patties with hands and add to oil. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown, then transfer to a baking sheet. These are a little more delicate then the last burgers, so flip with caution!

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. This will make your burgers nice and crispy and mush more stable! 


Thai Chickpea Burgers

This is going to be burger week! YAY! I am actually going to do more than one post and a few will be burgers! The biggest complaint about vegetarian burgers I have is that the usually fall apart and don't really hold up to be put on a bun. 

I saw this show on the food network called "You gotta eat here!". It is like a Canadian version of Man vs. Food, but with out the challenges. So maybe more like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Either way, it sounds like I watch too much Food Network.  

There was a cool place featured called Boons Burgers, and it was totally vegetarian! They had so many cool veggie burger combinations it really inspired me to make a few different kinds of veggie burgers to expand my options.  This is an exotic burger with curry, cilantro, and cumin. A much needed change from the average burger ingredients. I actually caught my husband in the kitchen eating one right out of the oven. With nothing on it. BAZINGA!

Thai Chickpea Burgers

1 can chickpeas. drained
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons red curry paste
1/2 teaspoon chili paste
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 egg
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

I could literally eat these with a spoon!
In a food processor add:

 chickpeas, 1/2 cup oats. onion, bell pepper, garlic, ginger, curry paste, chili paste, egg, honey, soy sauce, salt, cumin, and cilantro. Pulse until mixture is smooth. 

Add to a large bowl and add remaining 1/2 cup of oats and 1 cup of quinoa. Stir together until mixture is uniform. In a large pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Once oil is hot. form 1/3 cup of mixture into patties and add to pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side. 

Place on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes until nice and crispy. These hold up so well, do not fall apart at all, and have a great spicy kick! I love them with barbeque sauce or a yummy curry mayo. 


Cucumber Sunomono Salad

My friend Nikki has a super cute blog about her journey into motherhood, DIY crafts, and some awesome recipes. She recently did one on Sunomono salad, which is my absolute favorite cold Japanese style noodle salad. The rest of the post is super funny too, and I am sure any mom-to-be readers will love it as well. Here is a link to her blog:

Two Loonies and a Penny

 I tried to find the most authentic Sunomono salad recipe I could on the Internet and go from there. Let's just say you can definitely tell I don't live in Japan, and the liquor stores don't sell sake. I ventured to the super run down asain mini mart down town, and besides the way too vast selection of douches( ya you read that right) it wasnt too bad.

 This recipe is my best shot at Sunomono salad, which I have to say didn't turn out as bad as I thought it might. You might not see it on the menu at your local sushi joint anytime soon, but given my materials (which I am guessing might be yours as well) it was great!

Cucumber Sunomono Salad

6 inch piece of cucumber
Japanese Rice Vermicelli
 1/2 cup sushi vinegar
1/3 cup white vinegar
5 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
1/2 of a lemon

In a small saucepan add sushi vinegar, white vinegar, sugar and water. Cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and place in refrigerator until cooled. 

While dressing is cooling in the fridge bring a large pot of water to a boil and add rice noodles. Cook until softened, then drain. Keep in cold water until ready to serve. 

Very thinly slice cucumbers and lemons. 

To assemble add a handful of drained rice noodles and a few slices cucumbers and lemons to a bowl. Pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of noodle dressing over noodles. 

Eat up!
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