Monday, January 30, 2012

Quinoa Burger


2 rounded cups cooked quinoa (see note at bottom for cooking instructions)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other variety, if you prefer)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 medium carrot, finely grated (OR 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed)
3 eggs
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 green onions, including white parts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
(optional spices: chili powder, mustard, cilantro, other...)
Olive oil for frying (I used cooking spray instead)

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder (other optional spices).
Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat. [I used cooking spray instead.] 
Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick.  
Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side. [I sprayed the patties with cooking spray just before flipping them to help them fry and not stick.]  
Makes approx. 10 burgers.

To cook quinoa:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water (I used 14oz chicken broth topped off with water)
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat.  Add quinoa and reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the seeds are tender.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Steel Cut Oatmeal [Prepared the Night Before]

A quick night before prep makes them super east to heat up for breakfast in the morning (from

1 teaspoon butter or olive oil
1 cup steel-cut oats
3 cups water
3-fingered pinch salt
1 cup milk (optional)
[optional seasonings: vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc]
2-quart saucepan


1. Start this the night before you want to have steel-cut oatmeal. Measure out your oats. This quantity will make about 4 servings.
2. Heat about 1 teaspoon butter or olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Add the oats and fry them for about 3 minutes, or until they start smelling toasty.
3. Pour in the water and add the salt. Stir. [I add a little nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla, too.]
4. Bring to a rolling boil.
5. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Leave it on the stove, and go to bed!
6. The next morning, uncover the pan and bring the oatmeal back up to a simmer. If you would like thinner and creamier oatmeal, stir in a cup of milk before reheating.
When the oatmeal is warm, scoop out and enjoy!
Additional Notes:
• Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
• Re-heat leftovers in just the same way: warm up on the stove, or in a bowl in the microwave.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nutty Soda Cracker Candy


1 (10 ounce) packages saltine crackers (make certain that you use the salted crackers and do not break)
1 1/2 cups butter ( preferably butter, margaine is not as good!)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1 (12 ounce) packages milk chocolate chips (can use semi-sweet)
1/2 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped (or use almonds)


Set oven to 400°F.
Line a 10 x 15-inch baking sheet with non-stick foil (or use parchment paper).
Place each cracker in a single layer in the baking sheet (add on more if needed to cover the sheet).
In a medium saucepan bring the butter and brown sugar to a boil over medium heat.
When the mixture comes to a FULL boil, boil for 3 minutes (set timer for 3 minutes after mixture reaches a full boil) you may reduce the heat so that the mixture does not boil over the saucepan.
Mix in vanilla (if using) then immediately pour the hot mixture over the top of the crackers.
Bake in a 400°F oven for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crackers, then spread using a back of a spoon to smooth out and cover.
Sprinkle the nuts evenly over the top.
Place in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours or until set.
Break into pieces and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Mexican Trifle Bowl Salad

Got this recipe from a Pampered Chef email. It's sometimes hard for me to figure out how to "cook" w/out their products, but this looked SO good!

Corn bread
1 box jiffy corn bread mix
1 4 oz can green chilies undrained
1/8 tsp garlic powder ( 1 clove of garlic)
Mix together and bake in mini baker for 20 minutes at 400

Salad layers
15 oz pinto beans
15 oz whole kernel corn
1 large tomato
1 large green or red pepper
1 medium onion
6-8 slices bacon fried crisp or 2 cups cooked chicken
2 C shredded cheese

1 C light mayo
1 cup light sour cream
1 package dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
Mix and set aside

Layer ½ of crumbled corn bread on the bottom of the trifle bowl
Add in layers ½ each of pinto beans, corn, tomato, green or red pepper, onion, bacon or chicken, dressing and cheese
Repeat layers

Keeps well and can be made ahead.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Crockpot Chicken

I found this recipe on Pinterest...looks good! Will try soon.

2-4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese (let sit out to soften)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. italian dressing seasoning (the dried kind in the packet)

stir the cream cheese, cream of chicken, and seasoning together in the crockpot. i actually start it on low and let them sit in there for about 30 min so the cream cheese is softer to stir. put the frozen (because i'm lazy) chicken in and cover with the mix. cook on high 4-6 hours or until the chicken is cooked and fall-apart-tender. after the first two hours when the chicken is softer i cut it up into strips for easier eating. how easy is that!?

cook the rice in a pot and smother with chicken mixture! the italian seasoning is the secret ingredient! so yum!