Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

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Gluten-free and egg-free can be a hassle sometimes when it comes to family dinners everyone likes. Sometimes I have to experiment and substitute until I’ve made a whole new recipe.

Lately, we’ve been trying to clean up our eating in this house. These burgers were so great, we had them twice in the span of a week. I even crumbled it up, swirled in some pepper jack cheese and topped with sriracha the next day for my lunch. Yum!

I left out the egg because my kids are allergic and this made the patties too delicate for the grill, but they worked just fine in a skillet with a bit of olive oil. I’m sure you could bake these too! Experiment. Find what works for you.

Ingredients:
3/4c uncooked quinoa
1 1/2c water
15oz can black beans (rinsed)
Diced carrot
Diced bell pepper
1/2c rolled oats, raw
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 1/2tsp cumin
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil
1 egg (optional)

Directions:
Cook quinoa in a rice cooker. All varieties have different cooking times, but mine takes about 13 minutes.
Mash up most, not all, of the black beans into a paste.
Mix cooked quinoa with whole and mashed beans, carrots, peppers, garlic, oats, cumin and S&P (and egg if you’re using it). Shape into patties.
Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium high.
Cook patties about 3 minutes on each side.
Top with pepper jack cheese, some sriracha, anything you can think of.
These would be great on whole wheat hamburger buns.

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Best ever black bean brownies

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I could eat these every. damn. day.
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about black bean brownies. I had also and I’ve been wanting to try them but I could never seem to remember to pick up a can or two at the grocery store. Finally, I got a huge pack of them at Costco.
I used and tweaked a recipe from Instagram, one of my favorite fitness and clean eating girls, Jazzy.
These are a bit different than regular brownies but they aren’t lacking in deliciousness. I’m out and I may have to make more today… Or right now… Like… Now.

Ingredients:
1 can rinsed black beans
1/3c olive oil
2 eggs
1/2c cocoa powder
1/4c honey
1/4c coconut sugar OR vanilla protein powder (I use protein)
1tsp vanilla
1tsp baking powder
1/3c oat flour (blend oats alone first until like flour)
Pinch of sea salt
Chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350* and grease an 8×8 pan.
Blend oats alone in a blender first until they are the consistency of flour. Add in all other ingredients, except chocolate chips, and blend. Scrape sides and blend again until the batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour into pan and bake 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Eat the entire batch yourself, then make more to share with the family (yes, that’s a required step).

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Cookie Dough Muesli

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I’ve never had muesli. I didn’t even really know what it was until I stumbled across this recipe on my one and only oatmeal site- The Oatmeal Artist. It looked good. But still I didn’t try it. I’m not sure why. I love oats, even a handful of them raw (which earns me weird looks from my honey).

Then, finally… Today. I tried them. And I can’t wait to have them again. So easy. So simple. Great portion size for a light breakfast or a snack, but still satisfying.

Ingredients:
3 tbsp milk (your choice, mine is usually soy)
1/2c oats
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
Scant 1/8 tsp baking powder
Dash of cinnamon
Sprinkle of sea salt
1tbsp chocolate chips

Directions:
Stir everything together. Eat. Think about having more for the next meal.

Tip: The original recipe calls for quick oats. I always only have rolled oats. So I threw everything in the blender, except the chocolate chips, and blended it just until combined. I’ll have to experiment with other variations!

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Lemon Blueberry Muffin Bread

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Made this bread for the big man’s project meeting last night (among other yummies). Lemon and blueberry is such a great flavor combination and is very breakfast-y, if you will.

Now, it’s called muffin bread because it has the density of a blueberry muffin, but it baked like bread. This means that you are going to have a denser, drier batter. It took me a minute to realize this! Silly me…

I made 2 loaves of this and sent away all but the ends. And, honestly, I should have been sneaky and selfish and kept a nice, thick slice for myself this morning!

So the lesson for today is: If you bake, you taste!

Recipe:
Yield: 1 loaf

2c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1c sugar
2 eggs
1c blueberries (6oz)
1/2c plain yogurt ( regular or lowfat)
Zest of half a lemon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350*. Spray a standard loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Add the eggs one at a time, beat well after each. Stir in the yogurt.

Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, zest and blueberries. Stir to combine, being careful not to crush the blueberries, until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Make sure there are no air pockets. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

To Remove: Let cool until just warm to the touch. Run a clean knife around the outside to loosen. Invert loaf pan onto a baking sheet or other flat surface. Bread should slowly separate from pan. Flip, then use a serrated knife to slice into even slices.
*If bread doesn’t separate from the bottom easily, let it cool a bit more before trying again. You don’t want your bread to tear!

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Seasoned Baked Kale Chips

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As I type this post, both my kids are munching on these before naps. The oldest prefers to call them ‘Dino Crispies’… Because they’re crispy and made of Organic Dinosaur Kale (Lacinato Kale). It’s a sweeter version of the Curly Kale you’re used to seeing and it’s shaped a bit differently.
ANYway, this is a super easy, quick and healthy recipe. If you don’t know all the benefits Kale brings to the table (pun intended) then our good friend Mr. Google can inform you. I’d write it all up here but I have a bowl of Dino Crispies to dive into.

Ingredients:
1 large bunch of kale (any kind, I used Lacinato)
1Tbsp olive oil
2Tbsp vinegar (I used rice, apple cider works as well)
Seasonings (I used Mrs Dash Original, but go ahead-get crazy and experimental!)

Preheat oven to 350* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wash and pat dry kale. Cut into large chip sized pieces (it will shrink), discarding the thick veins.
Put into a large bowl. Mix together the oil, vinegar and your crazy, experimental seasonings. Slowly drizzle over the kale. Toss to coat evenly.
Lay out on pan in a single-layer. Cook for 10 minutes, flipping (read:pushing around with a spatula until you think they’re hopefully all flipped over) halfway through.
These should be dry, but take them out before they brown (otherwise they make a bunch of smoke and then your smoke detector goes off and then the kids get scared and then one is crying uncontrollably and… You get the idea…)
Let cool then try to share with others because these really are selfishly-not-gonna-share worthy.

Recipe adapted from Cassey Ho of Blogilates.

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Swatches and Smoothies

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Two posts in one! First, ill start off with the nails. The lighter color is Essie In the Cab-ana. The accent color is Essie Butler Please. Love love love these blues!

Second up is an overnight smoothie recipe. Yep. Make at night, perfect smoothie in the morning. It’s based on the overnight oat idea. This one is Apple PB Cinnamon.

Ingredients:
1/4c oats
1tsp chia seeds
1c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3/4c unsweetened applesauce
1/4c nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2tbsp peanut butter
1tsp cinnamon
2tsp agave nectar (or sweetener of your choice-honey, maple syrup, etc.)

Blend up just the oats and chia seeds until the texture resembles flour. Add in and blend the rest until desired consistency. Pour in a big old cup (I prefer my bigger blender bottles!). Cover. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to thicken. I let them sit overnight and in the morning, no mess, no chopping or loud blending- just SMOOTHIE!

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Clean Chcolate Banana Protein Pancakes with Clean Chocolate Frosting

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As I type this, I’m eating this delicious combination. Yum yum. Lets get right to the recipes so you can have some too!

Chocolate Banana (Protein) Pancakes
1/2c oats
3/4 of a banana
1/4c nonfat cottage cheese
1/8c chocolate almond milk
1 egg white
1tsp vanilla extract
(1/4c chocolate protein-optional)

Heat a skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Blend up all ingredients until smooth.
Pour into rounds onto skillet, flipping once.

Clean Chocolate Frosting
3 rounded tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1tsp honey
1tbsp baking stevia (powdered form)
Chocolate almond milk

Combine cocoa powder, honey and stevia in a small bowl. Slowly add the almond milk in small increments, stirring between each addition, until smooth.
*I wanted mine to be more like icing, so I added a little extra almond milk to get the right consistency.

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