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Tag Archives: quinoa

Brie Stuffed Veggie Burger

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Brie Stuffed Veggie Burger

When I sat down to enjoy this flavour packed veggie burger stuffed with brie cheese, I did not know just how many people would share in the excitement of my creation! I entered this photo of my homemade burger, dressed with avocado sauce and pickled onions, in a burger contest and promptly forgot all about it, until my Brie Stuffed Veggie Burger won the contest.

Epic Burger Contest

I was honoured to have my beautiful burger recognized and, of course, was thrilled to win the prize (who doesn’t love winning?). I did re-prize it as I love to share good fortune (even more than winning) and it was too good to keep to myself!

Brie Stuffed Veggie Burgers

Ingredients

MAKES: 4 SERVINGS

  • 1 pkg Veggie Burger Mix (Pkg of 2)
  • 1/2 C (125 ml) hot water
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 C (250 ml) cooked quinoa
  • 1 C (250 ml) grated zucchini (or carrot)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) oil
  • Brie Cheese (or other soft cheese)

Method

  1. In a bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Let stand 5 minutes
  2. Use Burger Press to form 4 patties with brie cheese inside
  3. Preheat large Fry Pan or grill pan over medium heat. Add oil. Cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Recipe Tip: Make burgers; refrigerate or freeze. Reheat on barbecue for smoky flavour.

Avocado Burger Sauce

Ingredients

Method

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, using Piano Wire Whisk, whisk together all ingredients.
  2. Store in a sealed container in fridge for up to 1 week.

Quickled Red Onions

Ingredients

MAKES: 1 C (250 ML)

Method

  1. In a saucepan, combine water, vinegar, sugar, pickling mix, and salt.
  2. Boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour over sliced onion. Chill before serving.

Hack: Add pickled onion juice to Caesars and Bloody Marys or substitute it for the vinegar in your salad dressings.

Assemble with all your favourite burger fixings and enjoy! I love onions on my burgers: raw, pickled, caramelized or any combination. What is the one topping that makes your burger the best it can be?

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The Mystery of the Disappearing Salad

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I don’t have a picture of the salad in question to show you, because it just keeps disappearing so quickly!

Have you ever just thrown some tasty ingredients together, making it up as you go, and somehow it turns into something so crazy delicious that you and everyone else can’t seem to get their fill? It’s a wonderful feeling when it happens. Instead of just recreating somebody else’s recipe, you have designed a dish of your own. I used to fool around with a Southwestern pasta salad with corn and chorizo and it was always pretty good. But, I’m trying to up my nutrients and dial back on the wheat, so I started playing around with it even further. In the fall, I subbed black quinoa for the pasta, added black beans for more fibre and went crazy with the veggies. My fellas went for seconds and made lots of happy sounds as they ate.

I ended up making an unseemly amount and took some of the overflow to work. I set it out at lunch time and invited everyone to dig in. Many of them hadn’t tried quinoa yet and displayed some reluctance to dive in. But, I persisted and after the first couple tried a bite it disappeared quickly. Almost every single person asked me for the recipe, but I didn’t really have one. It was just thrown together. I’d tell them a bunch of ingredients and then remember something else later and have to update them. Some of my coworkers even made their own versions at home! The highest of compliments.

When my husband, Exec Chef, came home that night he asked if there was any of the salad left and was disappointed when he found out that I’d taken it to work. For a guy who doesn’t do leftovers, this was pretty impressive. As autumn turned to winter and I couldn’t get any flavourful tomatoes or fresh corn, I took the salad in a new direction and switched in roasted root vegetables as a seasonal substitution. So, I present you with not one, but two recipes and there may be more versions to come!

 
Black Beauty Salad: Autumn Version
Dressing Ingredients:

juice of one lime (or maybe 2 if they are on the dry side)

splash of extra virgin olive oil

Tbs of dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup dry black quinoa (or red quinoa or white quinoa)

2 chorizo sausage diced (Freybe makes a nice one)

1 can black beans or 1 cup dried black beans (rehydrated and cooked)

1 ear fresh corn sliced off (or 1 cup frozen)

2 medium tomatoes diced

1/2 bunch cilantro minced

1/2 cup black olives (sliced)

1/2 cucumber diced

1 red onion diced

2 green onions sliced

Method:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the quinoa, turn down to low and cover. Let it cook for 15 minutes, or just make extra when you have quinoa for breakfast.

Cook the chorizo on medium heat until the edges get dark and crispy.

Drain and rinse the beans. Toss the beans, corn and red onion in withe chorizo once it starts sizzling.

Let the quinoa and the chorizo mixture cool for a bit, so that they don’t cook the other ingredients. Then mix them all together and withe the dressing.

 
Black Beauty Salad: Winter Version

Dressing Ingredients:

juice of one lime (or maybe 2 if they are on the dry side)

splash of extra virgin olive oil

Tbs of Dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:

1 medium parsnip diced

2 medium carrots diced

1 bell pepper diced (red, orange and yellow work better than green)

1 cup dry black quinoa (or red quinoa or white quinoa)

2 chorizo sausage diced (Freybe makes a nice one)

1 can black beans or 1 cup dried black beans (rehydrated and cooked)

1/2 bunch cilantro minced

1/2 cup black olives (sliced)

1 red onion diced

2 green onions sliced

Method:

Preheat oven to 400. Toss the parsnip, carrot and bell pepper with extra virgin olive oil and salt & pepper. Spread them out of a baking sheet and roast until golden (about 25-30 minutes)

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the quinoa, turn down to low and cover. Let it cook for 15 minutes, or just make extra when you have quinoa for breakfast.

Cook the chorizo on medium heat until the edges get dark and crispy.

Drain and rinse the beans. Toss the beans and red onion in withe chorizo once it starts sizzling.

Then mix all the ingredients together and toss with the dressing.

Now, watch it disappear right before your very eyes.

Quinoa Quandary

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The only difficult thing about having quinoa for breakfast, at least in our house, is deciding what to mix in with it. My son, Young Fresh Chef, would have straight up quinoa for breakfast everyday, but I am not a creature of flavour habit and I need to switch it up. I’ll usually make a big batch of neutral flavoured quinoa at the start of the week so I can get creative with the additions. While it cooks up in only 15 minutes, it’s even faster to just reheat it, which gives me more time to play around with the add ins.

Quinoa works well in savoury side dishes, but takes on sweet flavours just as well. This South American seed gives you the goods to get your day off to a promising start, packing a complete protein punch. It also delivers as a good source of dietary fiberand phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. So I always feel I’ve done well to send YFC off to school with a bowl or two in his poke-able belly.

The only caution that comes with quinoa is, “Beware the saponins!” This bitter coating protects the growing plants from hungry birds which makes means less pesticides are needed, so it’s easier to grow it organically. I would recommend buying quinoa has already been pre-rinsed for your laziness.

It’s pretty easy to find quinoa at the corner grocery store, as long as you bring your specs! My favourite source for white quinoa is Costco  where they carry Truroots  organic pre-rinsed quinoa. I like the white quinoa for breakfast, while I find the red and black varieties hold up a bit better in cold salads.

So, what do I like to use to jazz up my morning bowl of quinoa? First, I feel the need to gild the nutritional lily:

chia (either ground or in gel form)

flax (ground)

wheat germ

Then I pick a flavour combo:

-raspberry and unsweetened coconut

-apple or pear or whatever is in season with spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, etc)

-blueberry and walnut

-dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, what have you) and almonds

And just a touch of sweetness:

Agave Nectar

Molasses (iron!)

Maple Syrup (manganese and zinc!)

Xylitol

-Brown Sugar (special occasions!)

As you can see, the variations are limited only by your imagination and your provisions! My top pick right now is raspberry and coconut with xylitol and just a splash of coconut milk. I use frozen berries, but I dream of when they will be back in season…

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